August 4th, 2019: Fatma Ali, a third-year Bachelor of Communications student at Canadian University Dubai, has secured a much sought-after internship with leading global public relations firm, Weber Shandwick. Shandwick is renowned as a leading communications and engagement firm—named 2019 Large Consultancy of the Year at the PRCA MENA Awards and topping the Holmes Report’s annual Global Creative Index for the second year in succession.
Mr. Ghaleb Zeidan, the firm’s UAE Managing Director, delivered an on-campus seminar which showcased some of Weber Shandwick’s most successful campaigns. Inspired by Mr. Zeidan’s presentation, Fatma pursued an invitation to explore opportunities with the firm and progressed through the interview and assessment process to be rewarded with a four-week internship in the firm’s digital department.
Fatma, who is majoring in Public Relations, revealed, “I am participating in many large-scale dialogues in a business-to-consumer context and being truly pushed to make use of my creative abilities. I am finding myself subconsciously applying parts of academic theories to my work here.
“So far, I’ve learned that this is a job where you must remain alert to your client’s needs and concerns, in order to deliver the best quality of content and other PR services. I’ve also learned that consistent and clear communication with your team are crucial elements to the success of any project. I’ve undergone a very resourceful learning process and could not be more grateful for this experience.”
Mr. Zeidan’s on-campus presentation was part of a lecture series based on collaborative efforts between industry and academia, organized by the Faculty of Communication, Arts and Sciences at Canadian University Dubai. The purpose of the lecture series is to bring professional experts into the lecture theatre to share their experiences of the business world with students.
The industry lecture series is organized by Dr. Pablo Medina, who also provided support and encouragement to Fatma in pursuing the internship opportunity. He commented, “We believe that these industry interactions are vital for students to get a real insight into professional practice in the field. Learning by doing is especially important in a sector so diverse as public relations, and this is an outstanding opportunity for Fatma to explore the industry and gain all-important hands-on experience.”
Looking to the future, Fatma concluded, “My long-term career aspirations are to develop myself in the field of PR by working in reputable agencies, until I can venture out and manage PR in a private company, or possibly become a marketing freelancer. However, for the time being, I am simply enjoying the process and looking forward to completing my degree soon.”