- 3,271 miles away in Qatar,
- within the space of a few weeks,
- in your chosen profession?
Let Christopher tell you, seeing as he did just that:
Job Title: Digital Marketing Specialist
Working in: Doha, Qatar
Working for: Creative Marketing Agency Mirage Digital
Studied: Advertising Management and Digital Media Communications (BA Hons)
Graduated: September 2015
What is involved in your day-to-day work?
Monitoring groups social media channels, running and monitoring campaigns, keeping up to date with changes in the local and global market to see what I can integrate.
How has your qualification from Bucks helped your career?
It prepared me for the challenges and reality of what would be expected of me in the work place.
Upon reflection, what skills did your qualification give you that help in your job?
Team working, critical thinking, information analysis.
What advice would you give to a student who is about to graduate into your role/industry? Research the sort of role you want to go into and do not be afraid to apply outside of your comfort area, even if that’s in a different country.
Are there any misconceptions about your role/industry that you would like to address?
You will always be learning (even more so than when you were at Uni, if you are doing it right).
What advice would you pass on to your first year self?
Stay calm and LISTEN to the lecturers, they may seem harsh/unfair but they have your best intentions at heart and know what they are talking about.
How did you manage to secure your dream job so soon after graduating?
I feel that I have been extremely lucky with being able to get the job that I currently have, to explain what made me decide to apply for jobs outside of the UK I need to give a little back story.
My decision that I would consider Qatar as a place to apply for jobs came in the summer of my second year (2014) when I came to Qatar to visit my dad (who moved here for work the November before), I was lucky enough to be offered an internship in a production agency for the duration of the time I was here, I was given the opportunity to help and advise on a set up business that the owner was working on, this gave me an insight into how business was done in the middle east; the company that was being created was a promotions company, I was asked to help with the market research, competitor analysis as well as trying to establish a USP, I was also asked to be on the team which created the corporate identity and my ideas helped to create both the tagline and Logo that is being used, I was obviously very excited to hear that not only had these businessmen decided to listen to someone who was new to the country and didn’t have any qualifications (yet) to back up his reasoning but that they actually used my ideas for their corporate identity.
After my 3 month internship working with a culturally and geographically diverse group of people (Egyptian, Swedish, Indian, Croatian, and American) I decided that Qatar would be somewhere I would consider applying to after I graduated.
Fast forward to January of this year (2015) I had spoken to a few people on my course and related courses in their final year to try and find out what everyone’s plans were for after we had finished, it was obviously a topic which few were happy to discuss as it was not a situation many wanted to consider.
It was from this that I felt (and I am slightly ashamed to admit it) intimidated and scared that I was going to be unable to compete with someone of my peers as they had been doing better than I had on assignments and live briefs, I felt that I would not be able to compete with them if we went for the same jobs so I thought about how I could make myself competitive and give myself the edge I would need to secure my first career position. It was around this time that I received an email from the person I did the internship with giving me an update about the company I had helped with, we exchanged emails back and forth and that’s when it dawned on me that I already had something that would make me stand out compared to my peers I was the only person that I had spoken to that had done an internship in a different country.
I decided initially that I would apply for jobs both in the UK and in Qatar, though after a few months I discovered that it was a difficult task trying to look not only for jobs throughout the UK but also try and look at jobs in a different country . My laptop screen was getting full on digital post it notes of job sites and at this point I decided it was time to sharpen my focus; I decided around April that I would focus my attention on applying for jobs purely in Qatar and not send any in the UK, this was an exhilarating and daunting decision to make as I was aware once I had decided to dedicate my time to this I was limiting any chances of getting a job in the UK as if I changed my mind at a later date I would have been behind my peers who would have already applied for job and highly likely had interviews.
Move forward to the end of May/middle of June, I had not heard anything back from any employers out in Qatar whilst the people around me where hearing back from employers and having interviews, I started to feel dishearten and started to contemplate if I had made the wrong decision about not applying for something in the UK as well, it was upon speaking to my dad that we agreed that I would come out to Qatar and stay with him for a 2 months on a visitor’s visa (I would have to leave the country after that time) to try and speak to employers whilst I was there.
I arrived in Qatar on the 8th June and a few weeks had gone by and I started to get disheartened again, it was only because my dad took me out to meet some people that he knew that I met someone who had a friend who was looking to hire a marketer and gave me his email address to send him my cv and he would pass it on, later that week I received an email offering me an interview and I started a few days later on the 13th July.
I found out after my interview that the person who interviewed me (my now manager) was also friends with the person I did my internship with and I had been recommended.
I live a few minutes’ walk away from where I work, in a country where it’s essential that I wear sunglasses every day to be able to see and work in one of the most expensive parts of the country in an office on the 37th floor looking out over the city and the Arabian Gulf, I work with people from all around the world (South Africa, Philippines, Sri- Lanka, Qatari, India, Romania and Malaysia).
I enjoy my job and the lifestyle I am able to live, I’m also lucky that I work with people who are highly motivated, competitive and skilled (one is an award winning graphic designer and another has over a decade of experience) but also respect my opinion and what I am able to offer to the team, even though we are currently a small start-up (recently transitioned from the groups marketing department to a marketing agency who is able to take on external clients) we have big ideas to move up and become well known and respected in the industry.
A message from Bucks New University Alumni Service:
Thank you so much Christopher for contacting us to see how you could contribute to Bucks. We are beyond grateful that you got onboard with this blog whilst it was still at the planning stage, and shared your story and workplace photographs with us and our readers.
Are you an alumni who can match that?: Alumni Testimonials