In a bid to attract the best and brightest among the youth, the International Advertising Association (IAA) recently held a two day conference for junior and senior undergraduate students and young industry professional delegates. Held on the 8th and 9th of November at the Emirates Airline Training School and the first in a series of international career conferences by the association, the Global Apprentice Conference featured live direct speeches and panel discussions and attracted a wide spectrum of high profile professionals from the region and abroad as speakers and panelists. The event was made possible through the presenting sponsorship and support of leading regional media company The Choueiri Group, together with Emirates Group, Edith Cowan University and the American University in Dubai, Gulf News and AGA/ADK advertising and marketing.
Offering a blend of wisdom and insight along with a behind the scenes glimpse into the ad industry, the IAA Apprentice conference covered issues ranging from the transition from academia to a career in advertising, view from media, media agencies, digital specialists, creative agencies and the client side and personal branding to interview and presentation techniques among others. The successful conference managed to achieve the objectives set out by IAA Global, which focused on:
- Creating the demand and raising the level of the human resource attracted by our industry
- Being able to help students (while still at universities) to take a closer look at the opportunities offered by the industry.
- Helping to build two way networking opportunities for employers and potential candidates.
- Allowing students to learn more about the industry from real practitioners for the first time and not just through academia.
Commenting on the conference, IAA Chairman and World President Mr. Faris Abouhamad said, “We are constantly hearing how our industry needs to attract the best young talent available, but without many opportunities to address this growing challenge. So the IAA added this exciting new IAA Apprentices program to its global education portfolio - bringing together over a two-day interactive program - marketing communications students from the region's universities and an amazing cross section of industry leaders. It represents our commitment to move the needle from talking about talent, to actually finding it, and enabling a productive interactive career insights program to really make a difference. We are thrilled with the response to this first initiative from students as well as executives and educators in our program.”
Mr. Saad El Zein, IAA Vice President – Area Director for the Middle East and Africa (MEA), further added, “We are honored to be able to host the inaugural IAA Global Apprentice Conference in Dubai. Being the melting pot that it is, the UAE is the perfect place for such an event and we are proud and pleased to meet with the young talents who have graced the conference.”
The IAA is a natural forum for industry issues and its global activities range from advocacy to activism, promoting freedom of commercial speech, self-regulation and defending unwarranted bans on advertising. Furthermore, the IAA has taken an integral role in the industry's future through innovative initiatives to educate, train and attract the advertising professional of tomorrow. In commemoration of its 75th anniversary, the esteemed association recently hosted a leadership forum along with a dazzling black tie dinner for industry bigwigs, also honoring association members for their commitment to excellence in communications and contribution to worldwide advancement of the International Advertising Association.
Speakers at the Global Apprentice Conference included the following: Faris Abouhamad, IAA Chairman and World President; Michael Lee, IAA; Marc Aubry, Western Union; Ashish Banerjee, DU Telecom; Nassib Boueri, Wunderman; Pierre Choueiri, The Choueiri Group; Kamal Dimachkie, Leo Burnett; Oliver Eills, Publicitas; Saad El Zein, THE NETWORK Communication Group; James Hewes, Gulf News; Scott Hicks, Facebook MENA; Gina Johnson, Motivate Publishing; Raj Kapoor, the American University in Dubai; Rayan Karaky, Starcom MediaVest; Dimitri Metaxas, Omnicom Media Group; Mike Readman, ID Cmms Media Auditing; Ricarda Ruecker, MCN; Diane Slade, Edith Cowan University, David Smith, Edith Cowan University; Cath Sutherland, Brand Energy & Conscious Business; Jacob Thomas, LinkedIn; Yousef Tuqan, Flip Media.