Switzerland: Shahzad Jawaid ACCA – chocolate and diplomacy
Switzerland-based member Shahzad Jawaid, who works for one of chocolate’s biggest purveyors, Nestlé, has a very interesting role that he loves and which involves him ensuring compliance and controls for the company commodities. But how did he end up on a diplomatic training course at the United Nations (UN)?
‘It was core diplomatic training for Leadership Skills,’ he says. ‘The methodology used was based on the idea of “practical learning” instead of stale delivery of information. The sessions were highly participative in nature, combining power point presentations, exercises, case studies and group discussions.”
Why did you choose to go on this course?
To adjust my professional demeanour and polish my existing leadership skills. In addition, I wanted to indirectly learn from the experiences of some of the most educated and powerful professionals in the world. Finally, to fill the leadership vacuum in my personality.
What did you learn?
I learnt how to demonstrate leadership in practical scenarios and global challenges. I also learnt the key skills that international leaders use in their leadership capacities, such as taking initiative, leading others in and through challenging circumstances, and how to use personal power to strengthen decision-making and influence in problem solving.
Was it a good way to grow your network?
Yes, I witnessed the most high calibre and educated professionals operating under one roof. This workshop was open to members of Permanent Missions and delegates of Ministries of Foreign Affairs and other government officials, as well as to representatives of international, intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations. After the session, my professional network grew with the addition of a scientist, international trainers, ambassadors, UN executives, a speechwriter and a specialised doctor.
Also on the programme with me were an executive secretary at the European Polar Board, a speech writer for UNESCO, an international consultant, and officer from the ministry of trade, a heart specialist and a diplomat.
How did you get on to the training?
I submitted my profile to the panel of UNITAR (which is a United Nations department for training and research), they evaluated participants case-by-case. This panel was responsible for overall training and development in the UN across the world. They had to build a perfect quorum for this training, covering participants from all sectors of society, including multinational professionals, which is where I fit in.
How important is continued development, learning and training opportunities to your career?
Just like a new car, which requires regular maintenance, I also require training and development to fine-tune my professional shortcomings. Also, during professional training, I was part of intellectually stimulating discussions that helped me to think in a better way. With learning and development, I get fresh and different viewpoints, which helps me to enhance my intellectual muscles and make me more successful in my job.
This article was first published in Student Accountant