Meet Nour Dennaoui, Performance Media Specialist at Initiative
Nour is a tech-savvy Millennial with nearly five years of performance marketing experience gained on the agency side, managing all things social media and search campaigns for clients such as Etisalat, Arabian Automobiles, Coty, Unilever, and Volkswagen Group in markets across the Middle East and North Africa. When Nour is not working, you’ll find her outdoors either running, swimming, cycling, or on the rugby pitch.
Why did you join this industry?
After my first year at university, I took part in a unique study-abroad program held annually in Salzburg, Austria, that connected people from all five continents to explore how digital media technologies are shaping society, innovation, and culture in a global media age.
Four years later and a civil engineering degree in hand, I took a sharp turn and pursued a career in media. It’s an industry that rapidly changes and challenges you to not only learn rapidly but to stay curious about what’s happening.
How did you land your first job?
I was interviewed for an internship position and the first thing I got asked was to come up with as many ways to use a paper clip as possible. It turns out most people can only think of about 10-15 ideas; I thought of 22. Two months and endless questions, shadowing, courses, mistakes, and lessons later, I was hired as a Junior Performance Executive. The rest is history.
Who do you look up to?
I am constantly surrounded by strong female role models in my life that are fierce, brave, intelligent, and inspiring. I look up to them every day.
What’s the best advice you have received so far?
Champion one thing at work and be so good at it that you become integral to the business.
What’s the best advice you have given so far?
Get a notebook and start writing things down.
How do you feel about the stigma sometimes associated with Millennials and Gen Z?
The stigma comes from a generation that created a culture of long working hours and endless striving, which caused burnout, unhappiness, and gender inequity. We work to live rather than live to work and we are slowly rewriting policy under the nose of the Boomers because money and work are not the be all and end all. We have proven that you don’t need to be in the office from 9 to 6 to be effective.
What do you think you specifically bring to the organization you work for?
Being an expert in all things social media but also an all-rounder across different channels, platforms, and skills.
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned at work?
It’s not about where you work; it’s who you work with.
What’s the most rewarding thing about your job?
Being in a position to enable others to learn what I know and help influence their career progression.
What’s the most frustrating thing about your job?
Hearing someone say, “We’ve always done it this way.” It is easy to get caught up in the motions but embracing a culture of change means maximizing your potential as a company and, perhaps most importantly though, creating a culture of change means talking to your people to transform “We’ve always done it this way” to “How can we do it better?”
If not this, what would you be doing?
I would be a civil engineer on a construction site somewhere around Dubai.
Would you start your own venture in the future?
Yes, I want to start a non-profit organization for a cause I’m very passionate about: empowering migrant and refugee women with the skills they need to integrate back in society, become protagonists of the life of the communities they live in, and act as multipliers within their families and circles.