Why should you spend your summer in a foreign country working full-time? Because it will be one of the most valuable investments of your life. While it might sound cliché, I must admit that my six-week internship at Ketchum Raad in Dubai changed my life. I left the United States excited about the opportunities the trip would provide for my career, and I returned with both invaluable work experience and life-long memories.
Looking around the walls of the office in Dubai, I saw many Ketchum posters reminding me to “break through” and provide creative solutions for our clients’ needs. However, “break through” creativity is difficult in the Middle East, where the public relations industry is almost as young as I am. Working on the Healthcare Practice team also meant that all ideas had to be relevant to the specific needs and boundaries of the Middle East region and the Arab world.
Boundaries aside, I flexed my creative muscle and was able to contribute toward many aspects of the agency’s work, from pitching for accounts to presenting in a workshop. I quickly learned that the best way to reach your demographic is to find them where they are, whether it is in the mall or on Twitter. Finding common interests is the best way to earn media placements and create genuine conversations.
The professional development training I received in client service and presentation skills was also very insightful. The agency provides all employees with workshops and tools to improve their skills, and even as an intern I was able to reap the benefits of the global network. The Ketchum Programming Process makes strategic planning easier and more engaging than any textbook, and Ketchum’s Mindfire program was a wonderful resource to hone my creative planning skills.
After a few short weeks, I felt like part of the Ketchum family. I loved my time at Ketchum Raad Middle East and look forward to maintaining my Ketchum connections through Mindfire and future opportunities.
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