Our Career Profile portrays successful women at the workplace by telling their success story. In this issue we spoke with Mennat Farouk, Public Relations & Communications Manager at Sofitel Cairo El Gezirah and TV presenter at the Egyptian Television.
What is your background? What’s the career path you took to reach where you are now?
I was born and raised in Abu Dhabi, UAE and returned to Egypt for university. I have a BA in Business Administration and an MBA in International Business Administration in addition to several diplomas.
Did you have any mentors or role models who inspired or guided you?
I was raised up among very giving parents. They taught me that life is a tough journey but you have to accept whatever it brings and move forward. My mom had nothing in her life but her children and work. On the other hand; my father has been a great example to me on what real altruism is.
With a career in PR and another very successful one in TV how do you come to manage both?
In fact, both careers complement each other and go hand in hand in many aspects. Being a TV presenter exposes me to all kinds of local and international news and events, which in turn widens and strengthens my relations and network. Also being a PR person in one of Cairo‘s biggest hotels enables me to utilize my expertise and connections to promote the hotel and play even a small role in promoting Egypt as a destination.
What were the most influential or challenging moments in your career?
The hotel business is a great industry to let you come across many nationalities and learn the real meaning of diversity. In the past eight years I worked with many nationalities, which enabled me to melt in their cultures, learn more and more about their traditions and ways of life.
Looking back at large track record, would you have made anything different in retrospect?
Nothing except that I wish I have had moved faster in my thesis as I’ve been preparing it for too long now.
Do you believe that women in the field of Public Relations and communications are treated with equal opportunities?
With international companies: YES THEY ARE. We learn, we are given serious duties and responsibilities, we travel, we are asked to be part of the decision making team and our voices and opinions are well heard and respected.
Looking at the younger generation of aspiring PR executives, what advice could you give them?
Never wait for opportunities to come knock your doors. Go chase them and strive to find where you fit the best. And if you ever fail, never regret your previous steps, on the contrary, look forward to your next step and keep the faith.
With a demanding job, and a personal life, how do you balance yourself?
Nothing is impossible if you have the real will, but it can be difficult and challenging. Yes my job is very demanding, and with my thesis and learning Italian I rarely have time to enjoy my personal life. But I try as much as I can to balance myself in weekends. Remembering that no one gets everything, you sometimes need to compromise.