“One of the less obvious benefits of work experience is how it helps alter pre-conceived ideas. All too often students become enamoured of a particular professional sector based on a favourite movie or the stories of a family friend. For Samiha, while she thoroughly enjoyed her time working in a commercial creative agency, it helped to clarify that this kind of job is not for her. She is determined to pursue a path in international relations, working in the not-for-profit sector. An equally important learning was just how important soft skills like communication, patience and teamwork are, and how strength in these areas is required universally, in all spheres of life and work.”
Elizabeth Kelleher, Head of Business, Economics and Careers, Cranleigh Abu Dhabi
Brands & Beyond says:
We are a locally bred, brand-centric communications strategy and implementation consultancy born out of a belief that a brand’s image, values and core must be clearly established, maintained and implemented on all levels of communication to develop what is known as a ‘winning brand’.
Over the past seven years, we have been able to achieve this with the help of unique young talent employed at our agency. We believe that by investing in fresh graduates and school interns, we can develop and utilise their skills to achieve benefits for both parties.
This desire for a mutually beneficial relationship is at the heart of our internship programme. For students, a sustained period of meaningful work experience contributes strongly to personal and professional development. It also helps with career planning while also building a strong résumé.
Real world exposure to workplace skills from time management to networking, helps young people understand what it takes to be successful in the workplace over and above the key academic, technical or creative skills they learn in the classroom. In particular, we try to ensure our internships focus on the enhancement of three main soft skills areas namely the ability to communicate appropriately in different scenarios; to work collaboratively as part of a team and finally, to be able to apply critical thinking as a means of problem solving.
Having Samiha as an intern brought real added value to the agency. We believe for any advertising agency to be successful, it should regularly inject new energy into its thinking and creativity. We are grateful to Samiha for showing such interest in Brands & Beyond and actively being involved in a range of tasks under the supervision of an Account Executive.
CEO, Brands & Beyond
Year 12 Intern say:
My work experience was at Brands & Beyond, an integrated branding, advertising and marketing solutions agency based just off the Corniche.
During my internship, I was introduced to the breadth of the company’s service offering, meeting and working with some of their specialist teams who are experts in event management, film/documentary production, strategic planning and development, web design, TV commercials and exhibition stand design.
I was asked to spend time with the different offices, providing my reaction to and input on a number of projects using my ‘fresh eyes’, as a regular young consumer. For example, I reviewed brand marketing campaigns and gave my thoughts on whether the materials the team had created would appeal to the target audience, or whether a different treatment might be more engaging.
I also did some work on market scans, specifically researching the competitive landscape in Abu Dhabi. I was shown how to use design applications to plan and create the product exactly needed. My skills in technology improved, as did my ability to work and communicate in Arabic. I also learned about how to develop an integrated marketing communication plan using different platforms to achieve the client’s objectives. So much was new to me, from the power of advertising via SMS to how the content and even length of promotional material can affect its impact.
Another very significant growth area for me was becoming more patient. Not everyone will communicate as regularly or as well as you might expect, so I had to adopt new behaviours in order to manage challenging clients. Perhaps my greatest learning was the realisation of just how important communication skills are. Whether you are writing or speaking, how you communicate makes a huge difference, even down to the tone used.
Samiha Hamze, Year 12