Challenging the Accepted by Listening to Understand: Inas Kamel’s Story

One of our transport planners in the Middle East showcases the power of keeping an open mind and really listening to what others have to say.

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  • Inas Kamel
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Each month in 2023, we’re focusing on one of the 10 essentials we all need for success in these fast-changing times. This month, we’re highlighting Active listening, which is about being present and attentive with an awareness of personal biases, and listening to understand and hear ideas, potential options and alternatives.

A way you can practice active listening is through conducting your annual performance conversations with your manager and set goals for the coming year. Through keeping an open mind and really listening to what others have to say, Dubai-based transport planner Inas Kamel has been challenged to understand different perspectives, solve problems and lean on the expertise of those around her to grow and develop.

What is your role today?

Transport Planner, GMICE

What year did you start at Jacobs? What was your title then?

I joined Jacobs in February 2021 as a graduate transport planner working with the transport planning team in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. I was also enrolled in the graduate development program, which I completed in March 2023. This program helped me better understand a variety of business-related concepts, including the important role that sales and market solutions plays in the work we do.

How did you evolve to get to where you are today?

I got to where I am today by pushing myself, stepping outside of my comfort zone and developing in new areas within my field and the business in general. I always try to keep an open mind and really listen to others’ thoughts and suggestions. This has helped me to discover new ways to solve problems and to deliver on my work more efficiently.

I also raised my hand to take on leadership opportunities that align with my personal values. By becoming the co-lead for OneWorld employee network and part of the leadership team for ACE employee network in the Middle East, I can have a direct influence on our culture and ensure we’re living inclusion at Jacobs.

What tools did you utilize to help you get to where you are?

I’ve really leaned on my team and their expertise. By participating in technical conversations with the transport planning team and hearing their ideas, I’ve been challenged to see different perspectives and become a better professional overall.

What’s the highlight of your journey?

I had the opportunity to work on one of our Giga Projects in Saudi Arabia. The unique nature of the site required us to rethink traditional mobility and connectivity solutions to achieve the vision and goals of this project. Through my work with the team, I was exposed to the technical details that go into delivering innovative mobility strategies for a project of this scale as well as the connections with the client and various stakeholders. The opportunity to work on this project has given me a greater appreciation for the influence planning and development has on our communities.

What tips do you have for others?

  • Always ask questions – and really listen to understand others’ responses.
  • Share what you’re working on, your goals or progress you’ve made with your mentors and team. It will always bring a new perspective and can inspire new ideas.
  • Keep an open mind. Be open to the people around you and their experiences. This will help you grow – not only in your role, but as a person.

Jacobs: A world where you can

At Jacobs, we expand the limits for what’s possible and create the standards of the future along the way. This means we’re responsible for consistently growing and developing ourselves by each feeding our curiosity, raising our hands and sharing what we know.

Explore more about our learning culture at Jacobs