01 November 2017


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A 14-member delegation from Notre Dame University- Louaize (NDU) attended on November 1, 2017, the Fifth International Advertising Association (IAA) Apprentice Conference in Dubai, UAE, which was held in the IAA-UAE Chapter offices. Both NDU and the IAA-Lebanon Chapter sponsored top students.

J. Walter Thompson (JWT) CEO for Gulf Operations and IAA-UAE Chapter Executive Board Member Sasan Saeidi opened the one-day intensive program titled, “Graduating? What’s Next?”

The main objective of the program is to help the new generation of graduates enter the advertising workforce. Speakers and panelists were international and regional ad industry professionals who offered insights as well as a behind-the-scenes look into the industry from its various perspectives: media, digital, advertising, media companies, and clients. Attendees included senior students, soon-to-graduate students, and graduates in addition to faculty members, representing various universities from around the world, such as Australia, the UAE, and Lebanon.

The list of speakers included:

  • Mona Elsayed, regional planning director, Gulf JWT, presented a talk titled, “Power of Branding;”
  • Alex Brunori, creative impact lead, MENA Google, discussed, "Creating Relevant Content in a Data-driven World;"
  • Ian Manning, regional head of agencies MENA, Facebook, demonstrated the updates on Facebook & Instagram platforms in a session titled, "In the Blink of an Eye;"
  • Islam el-Dessouky, head of integrated marketing communications, Coca-Cola Middle East, gave us a broad idea on what it takes to make a brand succeed in communications;
  • Asad Rehman, director of media MENA, Unilever, gave a presentation on “Crafting Brands for Life in a Connected World;”
  • Andrew Philips, chief commercial officer at King College Hospital, showed the diversity in the communications industry in his talk titled, "The Business of Health;"
  • Melhem Rechdan, advertising lecturer at NDU, screened a video to celebrate the University’s 5-year milestone at the IAA-Dubai Apprentices; and
  • Omar Tom (aka OT), managing partner and lead strategist, Cause Culture, and founder at Dukkan Show, teamed up with Levent Donertas, account manager at Horizon FCB, to discuss the benefits of attending the Cannes Film Festival;

Following the presentations, NDU participants received a ‘Certificate of Attendance.’

On November 2, NDU delegation visited the different MCN Holding agencies in Dubai and also benefited from a special session on the advertising business with Mounir Harfouche, MullenLowe MENA CEO. Afterward, Ricarda Ruecker, vice-president for leadership and organizational development at MCN Global Holdings Co., gave an insightful session on how to effectively conduct job interviews.


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