|A Winning Marketing Mix
The Dubai Summer Surprises apprenticeship
program was one-of-a-kind –– a spectacular
experience that I believe is indispensable for a
business student’s career. Now in its fifth year, the awardwinning
program opens doors for young people from the
Middle East and North Africa (MENA) to participate in
marketing internships, receive hands-on experience and gain
valuable exposure to best business practices.
It all started a few months ago when I was nominated by my mentor and professor, Ahmed Tolba –– who has taught me all I know about marketing –– to participate in the competition, which included more than 200 participants from 10 countries in the MENA region. I had the honor of being nominated alongside five other AUCians. Only 10 students, one from each country, were selected to take part in the final competition. The selection was based on an essay question asking participants to suggest a marketing plan for the 2010 Dubai Summer Surprises and to recommend themes for the event. I did a lot of research and looked at previous competitions, prepared a mental SWOT analysis of Dubai and the MENA region, worked hard to be as creative as possible and put all the marketing theories I’ve learned in my classes into practice. I was very pleased when I was chosen to represent Egypt and AUC.
Traveling to Dubai was an experience in itself. It was the first time for me to travel for two weeks on my own. Our offices were located at Modhesh Fun City, one of Dubai’s star attractions. My teammates were from Jordan and Saudi Arabia. They were remarkable and pleasant, constantly bringing new ideas to the table and encouraging one another to strive for the best. We realized the competition would be fierce, since we were presenting alongside the best marketing students in the region. However, this wasn’t the challenge.
The real challenge was to come up with a new and creative
marketing strategy, given the fact that Dubai Summer
Surprises has a history of past successes and unique initiatives.
Conducting intensive research, we interviewed samples of the
target audience and incorporated videos of these interviews
in our final presentation. We met with governmental leaders
and corporate managers, visited key monuments and tourist
attractions, and attended marketing, public relations and
public-speaking workshops. In the end, we came up with a
marketing plan targeting the enormous population of people
under 30 across the MENA region and highlighting Dubai’s
unique and accessible geographic position.
Our presentation and award ceremony was held on the last
day of the program, a few hours before heading back home
Akher Kalam is an open forum for members of the AUC community.We invite you to share your thoughts on any topic of your choice. Submissions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and may be edited for length and clarity.