A group of Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q) students met with marketing professionals from Memac Ogilvy, a marketing and communications company in Qatar, to explore career opportunities for students studying strategic communications.

NU-Q has developed a programme for its students – the Global Media Experience programme – that provides students with the opportunity to visit publication houses, production studios, and marketing communications agencies in and around the region. Through these visits, the students are able to discover the different roles professional communicators hold within the organisations and to better understand how they can establish themselves for their future careers.

Everette E. Dennis, dean and CEO, said:

The Global Media Experience program allows students to see how the theories and mechanisms they are learning in the classrooms come together in the real world – and what that means for them as they explore various career opportunities in strategic communications, journalism, and the media.’

In addition to meeting with executives at Memac Ogilvy, NU-Q students have also visited the communications and advertising agency ADabisc and global network BeIN Sports.

Syed Muhammad Erzum Naqvi, a sophomore at NU-Q, said:

After observing Ogilvy’s digital media campaigns on social media, I wanted to understand the process of how brands share their messages.’

During their visit to Memac Ogilvy, the students met with Haïkel Ben Hamouda, the agency’s strategic planner, who explained its operations and addressed the need for communication experts in an age of short attention spans and seemingly infinite choices.

He told the students:

Successful brands understand that they are not just selling a product, they’re selling a philosophy. Effective communication is conveying to the public a brand’s ultimate goal.’

Students were also introduced to the agency’s directors who presented the various functions creative agencies perform in defining and solving various communications problems – from client servicing to strategic planning.

Naqvi said:

I didn’t realise until this visit that strategic communications really is about effective storytelling and that it demands thorough research as well as creative thinking.’

Younes Mana, also an NU-Q sophomore, quoted the founder of the firm, David Ogilvy, who said:

In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative, original thinker unless you can also sell what you create. I’m interested in finding out how my skills can fit into producing communications solutions.’

Ben Hamouda advised students:

We’re a generation that constantly challenges the status quo. As long as you are critical thinkers, think outside the box, and have strong opinions, you’ll do very well in this field.’

As part of its commitment to educate a generation of media and communications experts, NU-Q provides its students with numerous opportunities to interact and work with world-class communications professionals, including internships and residency programmes in the region and abroad.

For more information, visit NU-Q website