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What is your background? What’s the career path you took to reach where you are now?
I have a Bachelor of Commerce from the Faculty of Commerce English section from Cairo University, 2002.
In 2004 I started a postgraduate diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing in England (CIM), and I studied this through the AUC .The CIM is the largest marketing association in the world and is the official appointed body for setting the standards for sales and marketing professional development.
First, I worked as a Territory Manager in a Lebanese company in the ophthalmic field, where I had to study ophthalmology for 6 months to be able to talk to eye doctors and show understanding of everything. The main challenge here was that all my colleagues had scientific backgrounds so I had to study hard to be able to compete. I ended up working there for 2 years.
Since then, I have decided to continue my career in marketing, which besides being an academic field it’s also a talent as you can’t live without practicing marketing in everything that you do in your life, starting from the day you go to sit for your first interview for any job acquisition. What you do simply is that you gather all your tools to try to market yourself to your employer, so we all practice marketing spontaneously without noticing that we are doing so.
Did you have any mentors or role models who inspired or guided you?
One can’t succeed without mentors or role models in his life , and luckily I have several mentors in my life whom I witnessed during my childhood and have until this day .
First was my father, whom I saw from the early beginning giving all the support to my mum during her studies to prepare for her PHD and then during her career path to reach all academic degrees that she had. For him, life was a real partnership, he was never reluctant to help and support in anything even if this was not his duty, and was very keen to bring me up as independent and always encouraged me to take decisions in life. Second was my mum, whom I saw succeed in her career, with a strong personality.
Third is my business mentor was my first boss who is Lebanese, Mr. Salah Malek, who was an icon for success to me. As he was young, yet very successful, his charisma, presence and intelligence were his way to success. I always looked at him to learn and always dreamt of being as successful as he is.
What was the most influential or challenging moments in your career?
The most influential and challenging moments in my career was when I decided to quit the sales field and shift to the marketing. Although I was very successful and even though I was very young, I used to make a lot of money but I had to pause and decide, and asked myself where I want to be in 5 years time and I decided to quit my first job. I had a clear vision and I knew where I wanted to be, and this is where I am today.
Looking back at large track record, would you have made anything different in retrospect?
If I looked back, I would take the same path without changing anything starting from my school passing by my studies at University and postgraduate ones and till today.
Do you believe that women in the field of marketing and communications are treated with equal opportunities?
Nobody has equal opportunities on earth , because there are several factors that play a very important role in our lives , there is luck , circumstances and the efforts that everyone do to make himself/herself better. So when we speak about equal opportunities for women in the field of marketing the answer is definitely, No!
Looking at the younger generation of aspiring marketers and fresh graduates, what advise could you give them?
The only advice I would give them is to have a clear vision and stay focused, and to know that marketing is changing everyday so they need to continue studying and reading what’s new in marketing.
With a demanding job, and a family, how do you balance yourself? How do you handle both? Is it possible?
Yes it is possible to do the balance but it needs the cooperation and support from the family and as well from the superiors at work. Being a relatively a new mother, at the beginning it was very difficult for me to make the balance especially that I used to be a workaholic person before marriage. I never cared when to finish work, I never minded working on holidays, but when you are responsible of a family this can’t be the case as I have to balance my time between work and family.
But thank God it didn’t take that much , now I try as much as I can to compensate my family for my absence and we try hard to make best use of my weekend.. Also my husband understands when some days he finds that my job requires me to travel out of the country or sometimes work at home, he supports me.