Meet Sarah Abdelrahman, Creative Designer at Wavemaker
Sarah is originally Sudanese but was born and raised in Saudi Arabia before moving to the UAE to pursue her Bachelor’s degree in Design Management.
When she’s not working, Sarah will most likely either be at an art gallery, trying to find music gems, or deep-conditioning her hair and doing her skincare routine.
Why did you join this industry?
Complete transparency, I did not know what the media industry actually did. So, initially, I joined it blindly; but I’m glad I did because I learned a lot about the art of persuasion and storytelling, which is essentially what we do.
How did you land your first job?
I applied through my university’s alumni portal. When I was selected for an interview, I was told that there was no creative department and that I would be the first designer at the company. I was hesitant at first, since it was my first job and that was intimidating; but almost six years later, our creative team has expanded and I was fortunate enough to grow and learn from such an amazing and supportive team.
Who do you look up to?
I know this might sound very cliché but without a doubt, the people I look up to are my family. My parents and siblings all have qualities that collectively inspire me, whether it is their work ethic, pursuing their passions, their drive for knowledge, and most importantly their pure hearts; all of that rolled into one is the person I aspire to be.
What’s the best advice you have received so far?
To look up. A stranger told me this when I was a kid, trying to get me to look up at the sky. Even though, at the time, it was not intended as advice, this memory is vivid to me because that is how I carried it with me my whole life. Especially now, in this age when most of us spend most of our time on our phones, we forget to look up and live in the now.
What’s the best advice you have given so far?
To look up.
How do you feel about the stigma sometimes associated with Millennials and Gen Z?
I think we are misunderstood. The technological era grew as we grew up; we don’t know a life without it. For older generations, it shifted the paradigm. So, drastic change coupled with igno- rance will always lead to assumptions. Instead of getting defensive, it’s important to educate and enlighten in order to overcome the stigma because we are undeniably changing the world positively with our drive and innovation.
What do you think you specifically bring to the organization you work for?
My curiosity is probably the best attribute I bring to the organization because I believe that there’s no limit to what I can learn or expand on – knowledge will always be power.
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned at work?
To never stop researching. Whether it is to gain more knowledge or simply for inspiration, the research step is the most crucial.
What’s the most rewarding thing about your job?
Without a doubt, seeing ideas come to life. It’s such a beautiful thing to think back to the brain- storming sessions that resulted in the big idea, and eventually reaching the execution stage and being able to witness the reaction to the idea.
What’s the most frustrating thing about your job?
Probably that design is subjective. In my opinion, subjectivity is usually a great thing because it can strike up discussions; but when you’re trying to get approval on a creative, then yeah, it’s not so fun.
If not this, what would you be doing?
Something still within the design realm, for sure.
Would you start your own venture in the future?
This will always be the move for me. I am fortunate enough to have a background in design and knowledge from working in the industry. This has definitely given me a strong foundation to help me grow a brand I can call my own in the future, inshallah.