Graduate profile: Sondos Effat
Subject of study: MA Marketing Communications
Year of graduation: 2009
Name of company/employer: Fortune Promo Seven Egypt
Your current position/job title: Account Manager
WHAT DOES YOUR CURRENT ROLE INVOLVE?
I am currently managing the accounts for some large national and international companies including McDonalds and Etisalat, which is a large telecommunications company in Egypt. I am responsible for all brand communication. I coordinate all areas of the brand such as communication, planning and strategy, PR and advertising, production and I act as the main point of contact for the client.
WHAT IS A TYPICAL DAY FOR YOU?
I always have a lot of emails to answer, meetings to attend and often have to write reports or give presentations. I spend a great deal of my time following up on any work in progress and liaising with the various people involved and then feeding any information back to the client. I am involved in planning the upcoming year's brand strategy and ultimately the overall execution of any planned campaigns.
HOW HAS YOUR CAREER HAS DEVELOPED SINCE LEAVING WBS?
After finishing my degree I worked for a while before deciding to study for my MA at Westminster Business School. I think gaining some experience in the field before starting my Masters gave me a real focus for my studies and helped me to realise what I wanted to get out of it.
HAVE THERE BEEN ANY CHALLENGES ALONG THE WAY AND IF SO, HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
Moving from Egypt to London to study on my own has been both my biggest challenge and probably my greatest achievement. I firstly had to work hard to convince my family that it was the right thing for me to do.
HOW HAS YOUR EXPERIENCE AT WBS - THE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT, ACADEMIC AND SOCIAL LIFE - SHAPED OR HELPED YOU IN YOUR CAREER?
The course itself did not just focus on marketing theories and was very ‘case based’. We studied current and up-to-the-minute cases which has now helped me to apply the theory in my daily work.
Whilst at WBS I had a great social and cultural experience which has helped me to develop my communication and social skills. Being in central London is what initially attracted me to the University and is something that I still draw upon today when referring to my experience of working and studying within an established global market.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR STUDENTS AND FELLOW GRADUATES, EG TRENDS OR SKILLS REQUIRED IN YOUR FIELD?
Get some experience! Try to either work before you start your studies or get some work experience whilst at University. It definitely gives you a greater understanding on how to apply theory and gives you a better focus on what you want to get out of your course.
Attend events and take up any opportunities to expand your social and cultural experiences.
HOW FRIENDLY AND SUPPORTIVE AN ENVIRONMENT DID YOU FIND WBS?
I found the staff really friendly and helpful. They were always accessible and open to suggestions about the course. They understood the difficulties facing international students in particular and were always on hand to support you.
WHERE HAVE YOU TAKEN YOUR ADVICE AND INSPIRATION FROM?
Whilst I was working as an intern I had a brilliant manager who was a real inspiration. I am also driven by the desire to succeed and overcome obstacles.
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?
I plan to gain further experience working within advertising agencies and one day I’d like to turn to teaching and become a lecturer in the field.