Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Coffee with one of the first local UAE national ladies to hit ad scene

D: So your working in a big agency right now, you are definitely a minority. How easy are you finding it to blend in as a local?

Guest: Is minority the word? I think singleton would be more appropriate :) All jokes aside, it’s a completely different experience to what I had expected. On the first couple of days at the agency I really felt like an outsider, but a few months into it now and I'm so swamped with work I don’t even notice! But seriously, the people at the agency I work at are super friendly and the atmosphere is just awesome. im really starting to get the hang of being part of the agency family, and liking it!!

D: You rarely find local people working in ad agency's why is it the case? What are the stereotypes locals tend to hold of agency's?

Guest: To be honest, I don’t think that local people had the talent or the interest to be working for an advertising agencys 5-10 years ago. But just like Dubai, the locals develop fast. They're expanding their interests, learning new things, and going into fields that were, until now, not even an option and because they tend to do things they love, they are extrememly hard working and always set out to be better than everyone else. Stereotypes: Locals tend to percieve agencys similair to mafias, as in they'll never let an outsider in! In spite of this, the reality of the matter is pretty different, agencies are often pleasantly surprised and open when they meet an outspoken, hardworking, eloquent local .. (not just the specific agency I work for, but many different ones I've happen to have dealt with), I think they just arent aware of whats out there. At the end of the day, its our responsibility to show people (as locals) what we're capable of, otherwise, how will they know?

D: Do you think this will eventually change in the future?

Guest: It's already changing! It started about a couple of years ago, locals started penetrating the advertising field by freelancing while they were still students, or secondary to their "government" jobs. Now, im a local working fulltime at an agency, and I have a feeling I'm the first of many to come!

D: Agencys have had some trouble attracting local talent. Any advice you could offer?

Guest: A majority of the local talent pool is fairly young, mostly fresh graduates so a good place to start would be scouting universities. My reccomendation of course would be AUS (American University of Sharjah).Every year, AUS has a career fair were graduates or soon-to-be graduates walk around a room full of potential employers and hand out CVs, have mini-interiews and familiarize themselves with the professional world out there. Also, The School of Architecture and Design, (includes Architecture, Interior Design, Multimedia Design, Design Management, & Visual Communication) have yearly publications of their work, as well as the School of Business & Management which has a yearly graduate Resume Book.

D: Many thanks for being with us, we wish you all the best in your career!

11 Comments:

Anonymous Ish said...

I was in complete awe when I first got here to see that locals rarely work in agencys.
Its good to hear that we are overcoming this as our industry.

1:51 PM  
Anonymous Spoon said...

WELL IT IS ABOUT TIME!!!Welcome to the industry 'guest'!

2:53 PM  
Anonymous Technorat said...

I agree with both of you, it is ironic that a wide segment of our business is dependant on local consumers and we have yet to resolve this issue properly/

10:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think a wide range of locals would also rather opt for better paying jobs. I mean why in the world would anyone want to work in an undustry where he or she is a 'singleton' for less pay when they could very well work amongst their peers, friends for almost twice the amount...

Hmmmm...

4:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think a wide range of locals would also rather opt for better paying jobs. I mean why in the world would anyone want to work in an undustry where he or she is a 'singleton' for less pay when they could very well work amongst their peers, friends for almost twice the amount...

Hmmmm...

4:42 PM  
Blogger X said...

Valid point anonymous but whatever happened to the simple merit that experience has to offer.

6:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'anonymous' : its true that other jobs do pay better. A LOT BETTER. but I guess the same applies accross the board. Why do you do it?

I chose to because to be the best, you have to learn from the best. The experience and knowledge you gain from being in a 'big time agency' is by far more valuable than any amount of money I would be getting anywhere else.

Working with the industry's best, in an environment where you are given the opportunity to really make a difference, is such a fulfilling experience. You really couldnt ask for more!


Besides, if you look at it purely from a financial aspect, a lot of UAE Nationals either live with their families or own their homes so end up saving loads on rent and many other expenses thats are government subsidized.

6:25 PM  
Anonymous Loser said...

anonymous 1 your logic is truely confounding! Are you at the best paying job u can be, most likely not...why not?
Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmm...there is a reason this industry pays less anonymous 1, think about it.

6:39 PM  
Anonymous Loser said...

Anonymous 1, i congratualte you on the level of stupidity of your repeated posts.

Close ur eyes and think about why u do what u do...then repost preferably not twice on what a stupid comment u made

6:46 PM  
Anonymous GB said...

Motivations to stay in a job

Experience
People
the actual work
the future doors it may open
the learning
the way you look forward to it
the trust the company has in you
its fun as hell
u do what u love
I can go on
and on
and on
and on

8:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I comend the young lady for taking a bold step and have no doubt that whatever her career path she will excel.
Well done.

3:45 PM  

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