How the the Italian Job influenced my Career

Reflections (2020) — Saeed AlMheiri

Back at the age of 14, I was charmed by the product placement of the Mini Cooper S vehicle in the film the Italian Job (2003) the power, the agility and durability of the car portrayed in the movie were terrific. I told all my friends and family that when I grow older and be finally able to buy a car, it will be a Mini Cooper.

Little did I know that this was part of a rebranding strategy to re-position the car as a durable, fast, significant at manoeuvring, urban car. At that time, I had no idea what marketing or branding was or how product placement worked.

During my senior year in high school (2006), my guidance counsellor suggested that I look into marketing programs as she believed that I would excel in these field due to my love for products, creativity, innovation, and sales. At the time, I was holding the position of student council communication representative and in charge of approving posters, advertisements, and designing them for the school’s functions and events. I was also a member of the journalism club.

The world of promotional media, marketing, and market segmentation always captivated me, and I was still buying magazines and looking at the advertisements, watching television commercials and clicking on internet pop- up banners.

This fueled my interest and curiosity for integrated marketing communication, advertising and public relations, which then lead me to study at the College of Communication and Media Sciences at Zayed University.

Today, I have been involved in different aspects of media and especially advertising and public relations for a few years. I have worked as a Public Relations and Events Officer in Watani Al Emarat for more than a year, an NGO with a focus on promoting Emirati culture and identity.
Furthermore, my start at watani Al Emirati helped me to move on to a more challenging career as the Experience Analyst at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, A top healthcare multinational facility in the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Wherein, I was in charge of patient communication strategy, conducting staff communication training,

The internet supported, and widely spread international media must administer ethical journalism without compromising on various elements of culturally or religious sensitivity in communication to society in order not to provoke the nation into a heated debate.

I have worked in Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi full time while also studying full time at Zayed University towards a bachelor degree in Integrated Strategic Communication with a focus on marketing and advertising, and the program is rigorous. It combines vocational and research components in one of the top public universities in the country.

I know now how product placement works, what are the elements of a marketing campaign as well as a public relations campaign, the fundamentals of a strategic communication approach and implementing the design, branding, messages and media elements to market a service or a product. And how to quickly identify and analyze aspects of marketing.

However, I still am curious to pursue more education and gain more knowledge to be further specialized in the field. In the future, I am looking forward to starting my creative communication and marketing agency in the United Arab Emirates, and I believe that this program will provide me with the necessary skills and knowledge to attain this goal. And yes, I now drive a Mini Cooper.

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