Last week, advertising executives hosted a free one-day workshop to give students a rare insight into the creative and demanding world of advertising with an aim to nurture UAE talent.
More than 20 students signed up for a first look into the world of advertising, hearing from industry professionals how to take their first steps in a $500 billion (Dh1.8 trillion) market.
"This is a pro-bono project we've taken on as part of a long-term commitment to Abu Dhabi to develop its talent pool," said Robert Kay, Managing Director of TBWA/RAAD. "The more folk who understand the critical role advertising plays in societies and economies, the more likely people will be interested in pursuing careers in advertising."
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The workshop was hosted by twofour54's Creative Lab in collaboration with advertising agency TBWA/RAAD. Twofour54 is an initiative by the Abu Dhabi government to create an Arabic media and entertainment industry in the Middle East and North Africa, by nurturing the region's young talent.
"The UAE continues to develop rapidly and when you look at the 2010 global figures of $500 billion invested by clients in advertising, it puts into perspective how advertising drives economies and holds huge potential for job creation," Kay said.
Yet, the advertising industry can sometimes be a hard nut to crack.
"The most important thing for me when hiring is an inquiring mind," he said. "Another is the ability to listen well and absorb new information quickly."
He added that irrespective of discipline, graduates' ability to sell their unique qualities through creativity is a key element for entry into the industry.