Darley

Dubai International Thoroughbred Internships (DITI)
The Møller Centre Future Leaders’ Programme

Darley is the thoroughbred racehorse breeding enterprise owned by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, with operations in Australia, France, Ireland, Japan, UK and USA.

DITI commissioned the Executive Education team at The Møller Centre, Churchill College, University of Cambridge to design and deliver an 18-week leadership development programme: the Darley Dubai International Thoroughbred Internships Future Leaders’ Programme – a nine month-long internship for exceptional Chinese university graduates.

Practical impact

The interns work on Darley farms, learning practical horse handling skills; and undertake online self-study and attend classroom sessions, lectures and visits to develop their understanding of:

  • Dubai, the United Arab Emirates and their relationships with China
  • the global thoroughbred industry
  • best practice in business administration, and
  • communication, team work and leadership skills necessary to manage a successful business.

The 17 interns on the 2015-16 Future Leaders’ Programme gained a clear understanding of self-awareness, team development, and business planning strategies and practice. They were also coached in CV and cover letter-writing and interviewing skills, to prepare them for life immediately beyond the internship. The Programme culminated in interns’ regional teams presenting business plans for thoroughbred-related start-ups to a panel of potential investors.

Design and Delivery

The programme comprised 14 tailor-made courses, delivered via The Møller Centre’s digital learning platform, Møller Online, tutorials, online discussions, ongoing self-assessment, one-to-one coaching with Darley’s Training Manager, individual and team projects and assignments, recommended reading (books and articles), and face-to-face facilitation focusing on presentation skills and working through case studies and scenarios of ambiguous and difficult contexts.

Feedback from the DITI interns 2015-16 included:

“The quality of the teaching is very good.”

“The Programme is tailored to DITI students, is very well-paced and well-organised.
The order of topics is perfect.”

“The online modules are well-structured and tutorials are very helpful. Time to work on the business plan and the feedback given were useful.”

“I liked playing different roles [in the scenarios] with “observers” so that we could get feedback from each other, which helped me notice my weaknesses.”

“The Programme provided knowledge and skills that are useful in the business world, especially for someone like me who had little training in business… The tutorials were effective – I liked having a tutor to guide us and offer immediate feedback. The personal development planning was relevant and really helped us prepare for the career paths we’re about to embark on.”

 

“In every industry and sector, the leaders of tomorrow are found among the young people of today.” DITI Handbook