Career Profiler: Cherine Zeind

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In this issue we have Cherine Zeind, Marketing Manager, United Motion Pictures, telling us about her career path.

What is your background? What's the career path you took to reach where you are now?

I was born in Cairo on the 24th of July 1972, studied in a French school and had my university degree from the Faculty of Literature – French section in 1994. My father has been in the cinema business from his early age, now he is the sole theatrical agent of 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. in Egypt. This was the ideal environment where I could start my career path even without making any marketing studies. At the age of 15, I started going to the office with my father during the summer vacations, during this period I had the chance to have long visits in all the departments of the office and finally found myself attracted by the Publicity and Marketing department.

After my graduation I started there and was strongly supported by my father who helped shape my mind and put me on the right track, generously giving me from his experience, care and love.


Did you have any mentors or role models who inspired or guided you?

I owe all I know and achieved so far in this field to my father who gave me the keys of success and surrounded me with his guidance. He is the role model I always look at and try to follow his work steps. I am really proud to be the daughter of this man who has been able to gain the love and respect of all the people around him.


What were the most influential or challenging moments in your career?

The most challenging moments in my career were when I was pregnant and I knew that I am going to have twins; I had to take the decision to leave for an unknown period of time. At that moment I was so confused about whether I should be a full time mum or resume my professional life after the maternity leave.


Looking back at a large track record would you have made anything different in retrospect?

My early dreams were to be an engineer. My parents’ house is located in downtown, one of those old buildings, with large rooms, high ceilings and plenty of windows and exits which make the house very bright and full of light all day long. I was fascinated by these kinds of buildings and would have loved to study it.


Do you believe that women in the field of marketing and communications are treated with equal opportunities?

Women are treated with equal opportunities wherever they show their capacities. Women have proven themselves in all the activities they join; they successfully achieved what is demanded from them in all kind of fields and did well in compromising between house and work tasks. My father always says that those who are not working are those who are not making mistakes, we learn by doing, the more we work the more we learn, and acquire experience and of course achieve success and obtain more opportunities. This goes for both genders regardless of the field of marketing or sales or somewhere else.


Do you believe that women in the field of cinema production and the entertainment industry get leading positions as equal as men do?

Yes, I believe so, the proof is that we have leaders in this field that have been able to compete and fight for their positions to be at least equal to men, if not better.


Do you believe in gender discrimination in Egypt private sector companies?

Well, discrimination exists everywhere, in private and public sectors, but I also believe that this discrimination is the normal consequences of the endless wars women fight for their rights.


Looking at the younger generation of fresh graduates, what advice could you give them?

I see that the younger generation is in a hurry to achieve big titles and obtain high positions with the minimum effort. Self-confidence is very much appreciated but when it is placed well, the new generation see that they know everything and that they can manage without any help. I do advise them to watch, hear and see what others are doing, specially the older ones with more experience and try to learn, they should be sure that one day it will be their turn to give their proper experience to others. "Slowly but Surely"


What about the Western film industry in Egypt, how do you view its situation and developments compared to a few years back?

The Egyptian market has been very much improving during the past few years, we were not allowed to import more than 3 prints of foreign films, now we are able to import up to 8 prints. Taxes were very high on ticket price, now they reduced them. We receive a special discount in all media channels as indemnity for cinema. Theatres and multiplexes are becoming more updated and very similar to those abroad.


We know you have twins, with a demanding job and family, how do you balance yourself? How do you handle both? Is it possible?

I am trying very hard to balance between them; this does not mean that I always succeed, but I keep trying. I have to say that without the great help of my mother and husband I would never gone back to work, at least for the time being as my kids are still very young with an increase of needs everyday. It's impossible to excel in everything but the most important is to select the most important events, stages and moments of your kids’ life and make sure not to miss any of them.


What advice do you give working women?

Never forget that you are a mother, and that motherhood is irreplaceable. A million of candidates can do your job but not a single one can make your kids safe and warm as they can feel between your arms.


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