Manager - Integrated Planning at UM Dubai
Rachel is self-motivated and inspired by new challenges. While being career-driven, she enjoys experimenting with new approaches to media and data. She appreciates a mind-picking conversation, ideally over a good Neapolitan pizza.
Why did you choose this career path?
While studying for my bachelor’s degree, I wanted to become a financial analyst but then fell in love with marketing & strategy. I explored several internships across both creative and media agencies but found myself passionate about the latter, which perfectly combines brand growth, communication, and the essential fluency in technique and numbers.
How did you land this job?
I was headhunted for my second job by UM Lebanon as the agency started building The Hub, a remote team that services the GCC. As a senior planning executive at the time, I was highly driven to deliver beyond my role and, with the support of my line manager, Nagham, I moved to Dubai to take on a new challenge as one of the leads on the L’Oréal account.
How do you compare your work life vs what you imagined it would be?
Inspired by my father, I always knew that I would be dedicated to my work life; always taking the opportunity to learn, grow, and climb up the career ladder. I had imagined this to be more stressful and forced, but as it turned out, it was in my nature to be career-driven and to find my way through long overnights to a healthy work-life balance.
What do you wish you had been told before you started working?
A major misconception I had was how normal it is for someone to dislike their job and force themselves out of bed each morning. I wish someone had told me that when you find the right job, it can be effortlessly enjoyable.
What is the best thing someone could tell you about your work?
It’s that my work is smart and insightful. Nothing beats being efficiently clever.
What is the worst thing someone could tell you about your work?
Probably that my work doesn’t have a clear objective and doesn’t solve a problem; even worse, there would’ve been an easier and faster way to have the same output.
What’s the most valuable lesson you have learned at work so far?
To be kinder to me and to allow myself the time to understand and learn before setting high expectations. I started my career with a zero-mistake mentality but now, I’ve accepted our human norms and learned to be a problem-solver instead.
Who’s your role model?
I proudly say that my dad is my role model. His dedication to his job brought us where we are. He raised six of us and worked hard until the very last minute before his 64th birthday to give us equal opportunities and chances, all while ensuring that we are independent, well-off, and always thriving.
If not this, what would you be doing?
If not media, I would definitely be in brand strategy for a luxury brand with my recently developed fondness of the industry.
What do you see yourself doing in 10 years?
In 10 years, I want to be a well-established individual and grow into the role of a brand lead, taking care of the business beyond media and more towards brand strategy, marketing, commerce, and much more. I, of course, also aspire to build a family and give back the opportunities that I had to my children, and become a proud mom, a role model, and an inspiration.
The 30 Under 30 ranking was first published in Communicate's Q1 2023 print issue.