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Student, savvy entrepreneur, survivor: Meet Tarek

This article appears in: Business and Accounting
Entrepreneur Tarek in office space with colleagues

A road trip from New South Wales to the Territory, a commerce degree at Charles Darwin University, a miraculous recovery from a plane crash, starting his own company – Tarek’s inspiring story has it all.

After finishing high school in Sydney, Tarek started receiving the offers from universities across the country, including CDU.

“I did research about Darwin and its environment and climate, and I thought this would be the place I would start my adventures,” he says.

“I packed my car and drove using Google Maps to guide me from NSW to Darwin.”

Learn what you love

Tarek began a Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Laws double degree, driven by his curiosity in the world economy and politics.

Despite figuring out that law simply didn’t interest him and discontinuing that degree, Tarek thrived when studying economics. In fact, he would eventually be nominated for a university medal.  

“Study what you love to learn. It’s the only way you will excel,” says Tarek.

When you do something you are passionate about, you will excel despite what anyone says or what marks you got in school.

Tarek also lived on campus—an experience he calls “the biggest highlight of my life”—and felt a real connection to the Territory’s famous laidback lifestyle.

“Darwin is a place you will love. It will give you opportunities you never imagined and take you places you never thought of.”

“I met amazing friends and professors, and the classes were small so you would learn better,” he adds.

"CDU gave me life experience I don’t think I could have ever obtained on my own."

Against all odds

Tarek grew restless in a number of jobs after graduating with his Bachelor of Commerce, so he harnessed his entrepreneurial mind to create his own start-up.

Tragedy would soon put his career dreams on hold.

Tarek had always been fond of aviation, so he snatched up an opportunity to learn to become a pilot.

On a routine training flight, the single-engine aircraft he and another trainee pilot were in was seen entering a spin and then plunged to the ground in a field.

Somehow, Tarek survived.

Seriously injured and staring down the barrel of an extended stay in hospital, Tarek baffled everyone by making a miraculous recovery.

“Doctors couldn’t believe I had memory recall—they couldn’t fathom that I was still functioning.”

“I went from ICU to home on the third day when they said I would be looking at three to four months of recovery.”

Several years and over a dozen surgeries later, Tarek is still on the road to a full physical recovery. That won’t stop him from continuing on his “path of dreams”, both personally and professionally.

“Sky’s the limit”

Persevering through a traumatic spinal injury gives insight into Tarek’s drive and determination, attributes he brings to his career.

He hopes to see his start-up project, Sharetheload, disrupt the logistics sector and create positive connections around the world.

His advice for future CDU students is equally fitting for budding entrepreneurs: failure isn’t the end of the world.

Take risks. Fail. It’s okay.

“It’s how we have advanced as a society. Thomas Edison failed numerous times before he made the light bulb,” he says.

“Set a goal and aim. Sky’s the limit.”

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