Spotlight On: AlShiemaa Rafik – Alumna International Brand Communication M.A.
International Brand Communication M.A.
Title of Thesis
The Power of the First Follower
Hi AlShiemaa, what have you been up to since your graduation from Brand Academy?
I have had the opportunity to work as a Senior Graphic Designer at PepsiCo, Egypt. I was responsible for overseeing all design projects of the snacks department, from the conceptualization of strategies through to their implementation, including the completion of all related deliverables. Not all campaigns were created from scratch, though. I also did a lot of rebranding, polishing and facelifting of brands while trying not to lose the current target groups. Not least, I submitted ideas to the marketing team about how to use digital media to generate more sales.
Where do you work now and what are your tasks?
Currently, I work as a Branding Creative at ICONIC. I am responsible for managing a client’s entire branding campaign, including the production of specific assets, liaising the campaign with attention to the visual designs from A to Z, and ensuring all deadlines are met. In other words, the client comes to me with “nothing” and I flourish his/her ideas into “something”.
What’s your greatest challenge at work?
As a Branding Creative, my greatest challenge is the constant need to improve and the resulting responsibility to stay on an endless path of self-development. In an industry like ours, if you are standing still you are falling behind. I also have to have leadership skills while maintaining qualities like empathy, compassion and intuition at the same time. It’s difficult to align all of this with a tough daily job that comes with a seemingly infinite number of duties.
What do you like about your job?
The idea of being creative on a day-to-day basis is very rewarding. Generally speaking, visual communication and branding have an impact on peoples’ lives and it is a privilege to have a job that makes a difference. On top of that, my current employer has created an amazing work environment and the team I’m working with is super fun.
What are your plans for the future?
I am planning to go for a PhD in order to become even more knowledgeable in my line of work. However, I can also see myself working in academics as a professor one day.
Looking back at Brand Academy, what do you see?
I see hopes and dreams; I see people and memories. In fact, it is not only about what I see; it is also about what I feel. I feel successful and experienced; I feel loved and appreciated.
Do you have any advice for prospect students or first semesters?
Studying is usually a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will change who you are – especially if you study in a foreign country. So if you have the chance to study away from home, then you should. Studying has its ups and downs, yet each and every bit is worth it in the end. Just remember, balance it to nail it!