Maryam bin Humaidan recently graduated with a bachelor degree in Graphic Design from College of Arts and Creative Enterprises, Zayed University, (Dubai Campus). Having recently completed an internship at Dubai-headquartered brand experience agency, Action Impact, Humaidan formed part of the design team that worked on the opening event of Qasr Al Muwaiji.
Events have always interested me. Even as a child I was getting involved in committees at school and later, university. As a graduate of Graphic Design, I was looking for an opportunity to gain experience across both design and events through my internship, and my professor suggested Action Impact. On researching the company I was inspired by the size and caliber of clients: Expo 2020, IBM, Dubal, Google, Majid Al Futtaim. However, on joining Action Impact on October 18 2015, I would have never anticipated the actual role I’d play within the design team responsible for the inauguration event of Qasr Al Muwaiji, the birthplace of Sheikh Khalifa.
Of course, as an intern, I didn’t have a major role in this project but supported a large team in a number of ways that gave me an insight into the industry. Moreover, as an Emirati, I was able to offer opinion and deep cultural insights and helping out with the workshops during the opening week was a real highlight for me.
The industry insights I gained were of huge value, and certainly helped shape my ‘What Next?’ plans. Understanding the intricacies of different planning phases, and level of patience required take planning to execution, seeing how hand-sketches ultimately become renders and videos, and appreciating that each element has to be redone if something went wrong, really brought home the attention to detail that’s required in the events industry. I will never underestimate the importance of a small detail again, having witnessed the review and client approval process.
Since Qasr Al Muwaiji is in Al Ain, it involved a lot of traveling back and forth and it was not easy for me to get to. Luckily my mother was very supportive and she even joined me for the rehearsal, and enjoyed being part of it too. Working on Qasr Al Muwaiji was a wonderful experience, more so that I could have ever imagined.
Having completed my internship at Action Impact I can now say that I genuinely understand the value of work experience. At university, we ultimately have the guidance of our professors to rely on. Of course, in a work environment, you have colleagues but you are so much more accountable and ultimately responsible for guiding yourself. Clearly this is challenging but I also found it to be the driving force of my motivation. My two months at Action Impact provided me with a brand new and positive experience. Initially, I was worried about fitting in with people and keeping up with the quality of work within such a well-known company. Would I be able to work quickly and deliver creatively at the same time? However, I immediately felt that this was my job and that I had real work to do; I was part of a team. As a result, I have not only worked on a project that celebrates my heritage, but I have made friends from different nations and not once did I feel a stranger amongst them.
Whilst the events and design world has always been of interest to me, I am aware that I am unusual amongst Emiratis. Many of my peers traditionally seek roles in the public sector or finance. However, I feel this is set to change. Expo 2020 is opening minds. Worldwide exposure is educating us all on the scale and importance of such an event and positioning the event world in general as an attractive and a locally relevant industry. If more emphasis was placed on the events industry in education, it would only become more popular as a career to locals.
Having finished my degree in Graphic Design, I now plan to take more art-related courses and I’d like to do a master’s degree, too. Where to next, profession-wise? Based on my experience at Action Impact, I think that the events industry is the right one for me.