Sc’20 student credits Queen’s community and clubs for prestigious work experience

Posted on July 15, 2020

Headshot of Danny Elnatour

Danny Elnatour’s journey began half a world away, and took him though a transformative education at Queen’s Engineering – before putting him back on track to make a global impact.

Elnatour, Sc’20, has parlayed his education in Computer Engineering and leadership role in multiple Queen’s clubs into a prestigious work experience, beating out nearly 4000 candidates to become CEO for One Month at the Canadian branch of multinational employment firm Addeco. He is now in contention for a global CEO month-long work experience as one of 34 candidates out of 260,000 global applicants.

A dream of being an astronaut sparked his initial interest in engineering, and success in the classroom led him to initial experiences working at NASA in Pasadena, California. During his time at Queen’s, Elnatour also found his interests evolving toward entrepreneurial work. He credits his expansive involvement with Queen’s clubs with the shift. “Extracurricular activities are what allowed me to get outside my comfort zone and learn how to collaborate with and lead people,” he says of his time in organizations like Queen’s University Business and Engineering (QUBE), student-business connector Connectiv8, and student consultancy CREO Solutions. “I chose clubs that advocated for professional and self-development. These experiences truly shaped my leadership and communication skills, gave me the drive to innovate and learn quickly, and remain resilient in the face of adversity.”

As he enters his second week of a paid work experience shadowing Addeco’s CEO, Gilbert Boileau, Elnatour is benefiting from direct access to leadership at a global scale. “I’m seeing how leaders think and act in a time of crisis,” he says, “and how to develop my own skills while seeing how a Fortune 500 company is run and how the pieces of a global organization fit together.”

Elnatour’s global perspective comes naturally to him: he’s a Canadian citizen, originally from Lebanon, and was born in California. After living in Doha, Qatar for 14 years, he finally arrived, solo, at Queen’s in 2016. “I was thrown into a different society at Queen’s, which taught me how to adapt and be flexible when faced with change,” he says. “What distinguishes Queen’s, for me, is the ability of our students to be vocal and to make change happen – alone, or in an extracurricular or social context.”

Being surrounded by people from diverse backgrounds and with diverse skillsets helped Elnatour build an appreciation for a breadth of perspectives – but community was the thread that held it together. “All the programs felt like they came together as one big faculty,” he says. “The sense of community in Engineering gave me the support I needed to grow.”

From Qatar to Canada, Elnatour feels his time at Queen’s has prepared him to take his next global step – and hopefully into the office of the global CEO at Addeco. “My peers pushed me to be entrepreneurial, and be business-minded… and most importantly, to bet on myself and take the risks I needed to grow.”