Twenty Northeastern University students representing family businesses from around the world, together with professors, panelists, ABA students, and OABC board members, participated in the Oman Family Business Forum, organized by the Oman American Business Center on March 5. The event was sponsored by the Grand Hyatt Muscat.

Members of the OABC participated a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Greg Collier, Professor of Practice at Northeastern University, and answered questions designed to encourage and impart knowledge to the students, each of whom are about to graduate and possibly enter their own family businesses.

Non-family CEO’s in Oman shared about their personal experience in serving family businesses, from the unique opportunities presented, to the differences between such organizations and other corporate structures. Other CEOs discussed their partnerships or joint ventures with family-run companies, and the importance of shared values and cultural understanding in business.

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Panelists discussed the significance of gaining industry experience upon graduation, before returning to work in the family business, and each left the students with some closing remarks about their futures, regardless of paths chosen.  Mark Rix, CEO of Apex Media, encouraged the students to “Never stop learning, no matter your age or how long you work — there is always more to learn.”

Students from the American British Academy were also invited to attend and benefit from the wealth of knowledge in the room.

“We are thrilled with the willingness of our members, each of whom are busy executives, to offer their time and support during a critical point in these students’ lives,” says Rebecca Olson, Executive Director of the OABC. “Providing a space for the exchange of ideas and the building up of understanding is a key objective of the OABC. We are grateful for the opportunity to host these students from a top U.S. university, and also to discuss a topic of such great importance and interest to the Oman business community.”

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