Sultan Abdel Hamid,
A student, a blogger, a humble worker, and a social activist, OC meets Touline Alish, a Jordanian with massive dreams and ambitions.
After being chosen as the Jordanian representative in a competition held by Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) Apprenticeship Program, an annual summer festival of world-class entertainment, Touline Alish had the opportunity of a lifetime. A third year Management Information Systems (MIS) student at the University of Jordan, she, along with 13 other representatives from various Middle-Eastern countries, was chosen to participate in the marketing of DSS with world class CEOs and ranking managers.
What did you do throughout the first 2 years in university to be chosen as one of the top in your field?
A fairly high GPA, various activities, and a good relationship with your doctors are the ingredients to distinguish yourself. I disagree with students who view their universities as only a place of study.
You must have a high GPA of course, but you must also work on the right activities to build your personality and network. I am not a “nerd”, thankfully; I am the type of person who stands up for herself and disagrees with what is wrong around me, and this is how students should be.
When you were announced as the Jordanian winner of the DSS Apprenticeship Program, how did you react?
The assignment was to write an essay of how to promote DSS in our local market. My field in MIS gave me a distinguished background in business and marketing as well, so I was sure of what I wrote and I gave it my all. When they called me for an interview a month later, I was amazed. It was wonderful knowing I have a project to work on for the summer, and it was my first time to travel on my own
What keeps you motivated through all your activities?
When you do what you love, you do it with passion. I currently am the Community Manager in Play FM and Nashama FM. Even when I have exams, or if I’m under a lot of stress, I still do my work and manage my time appropriately to fit my schedule, well, hardly. But still, if you have the passion, you can achieve anything you want, wisely.
How did you find Dubai?
Dubai is a dreamland. A lot of people told me how beautiful and spectacular Dubai is, but you can never understand what they truly mean until you actually see it. If you want to mark yourself in society, you should definitely go work in Dubai for a few years. I, for one, got the “Dubai Fever”
How did you break the cultural barrier as you arrived to Dubai and mingled with the 13 other representatives from different countries?
Dubai is saturated with Europeans and Indians and people with differing nationalities, so it was very interesting to meet them and understand their cultures from a different perspective. You learn how to accept people and their cultures, even if you don’t agree with them. Other than the Sudanese Arabic the representative tried to speak with, we were able to understand almost everyone else!
How did the program help increase your network with important business and management developers?
We were exposed to a large number of successful employers and CEOs that offered their help in literally anything, even if it constituted of opening a business in your local country. We were going wild collecting as much contacts as possible to increase our reservoir of acquaintances. However, some people played it smart, trying to broaden their network skills for future opportunities. I’m one of the people who love understanding the success stories of prominent people in order to learn from them, specifically from ones in Jordan as well! I tried to learn from the many Asians, but like the Sudanese accent… Oh well!
How has DSS shaped your thoughts about improving the Jordanian market?
Jordan has the potential to be one of the most successful countries in the Middle East. I am a passionate Jordanian, and I love watching Jordan grow. I believe that if we teach the youth (specifically university students), including myself since I am part of the youth, to tap into the resources of Jordan, we can build an even greater country. But first, we must teach them how to correctly shape their personalities and skills to utilize them efficiently.
What are the most important skills you developed after the program?
I have developed many skills that shaped some of my thoughts to the better. First, I learned how to accept diversity. I also built on the marketing skills I learned from my studies, but most importantly how to integrate them into the jobs I already have. Learning from the leaders in Dubai is an experience by itself! But most importantly, teamwork was the main asset responsible for my group, which consisted of 5 people, to win the competition.
How do you feel about leaving Jordan to develop yourself somewhere else, like Dubai?
We can learn a lot from metropolitan areas like Dubai. Yet, I believe that if I leave Jordan for business purposes, I intend to come back and incorporate the skills I’ve learned into Jordan’s economy, something I am devoted to do. It is not treason to leave your country to develop yourself, as long as you keep your aim to help your country in return. Jordan can move monster steps, not baby ones, and I hope I’ll be part of those steps.
What would you advise the Jordanian youth today in order to help improve themselves as individuals and a community as a whole?
I love social media. It builds connections and allows you to meet people in your community that will help you develop as an individual. If you want to succeed in what you are doing, you need to be a social activist. And by that I mean endorsing the various means of media to not only have an influential voice, but to listen to the voices of others around you. I am a twitter-bee, and I have a follower base that actually listens to my voice and thoughts, and not just to Justin Bieber’s. If you use quality content on Twitter with appropriate humor, you will attract people’s attention, and not just by tweeting a thousand meaningless tweets of boring things you did today.
How do you reflect back on this whole experience?
I thank God I took my time to write that essay, and had the benefit of the doubt to send it. It taught me how to seek opportunities and grab them. I got an offer from the Academy to work with them. However, I had just finished my second year in university and could not accept the offer, in order to get my Bachelorette degree. I also learned that the youth should be more aware of what’s around them in order to create a path for themselves and pave the right way for our society. I am definitely one of the people who still knows very little of the knowledge around us, and must work hard to develop myself for the better.
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