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Championing Change In The Digital Space
Earning a degree means more than just a qualification to Ebrahim Shakir (pictured above). Determined to bring about social change through advertising, he decided to take up the SIM-University of Southampton BSc (Honours) in Marketing programme.
“My long-term goal was to be part of a campaign that addresses nationwide issues and to highlight solutions to help everyday Singaporeans. I believe that advertising has the power to do good for the world and be the force that ignites change,” he shares.
After graduating, Ebrahim landed a job at Ogilvy & Mather Singapore, one of the largest marketing communications companies in the world, as a Senior Digital Specialist. He was tasked to handle various multi-national brands within the digital space.
Through this role, he was able to fulfil his goal by spearheading advertising campaigns with brands like Milo to create awareness on the pressures that PSLE students face in getting good results.
While his job is a highly demanding one, Ebrahim relishes the challenges that come with it.
“The greatest challenge in this field of work is the steep learning curve. There is a lot expected out of you and you have to be prepared to push yourself and to be able to break out of your comfort zone on a regular basis,” he says.
Thinking Beyond The Box
He believes that the drive and passion that he has is the most important requirement that one needs to be able to succeed in his field. “In this line of work, it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture when you work long hours and have endless tasks but in the end, when you see your work appearing on a big screen, it truly feels worth all the effort,” he adds.
Ebrahim also points to the course at SIM GE which has equipped him with the relevant skills that he needs to excel at his job.
“The course at SIM GE really pushed my ability to think critically and challenged me to look at different ways to solve problems for brands, especially within the digital arena. This was critical as I feel that not many graduates from traditional businesses and marketing backgrounds are able to offer this. Hence, I believe this gives me the edge over graduates from other universities and programmes.”
Having a dedicated group of professors was also instrumental in helping him to overcome the challenges that he faced during his time in SIM GE.
“There were a number of modules that were significantly challenging that pushed our analytical and critical thinking skills. We had a really dedicated group of professors who went above and beyond to ensure we were able to overcome these challenges and guided our thinking beyond the contents of the textbook,” he says.
Ebrahim hopes to further enhance his knowledge and skills within the digital advertising field and further develop in both strategic and analytical areas at his company.
For students looking to land a job in an advertising agency after graduating, Ebrahim shares his advice: “Know who you are going to work with and what your job scope entails before you take on a role at an advertising agency. I am very fortunate to have a team that supports me very strongly and puts a strong focus on my development. It’s very important to work for a company that grows you as a person both professionally and holistically."
Posted online, 27 April 2017