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Interview with Isabella Morris ~ Author & Chief of Staff to the Democratic Alliance’s Mayoral Candidate for Johannesburg 2016

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INTERVIEWER: MAHMOUD MANSI

1-HR Revolution-Middle East: How did you start your career as a writer?

Ms. Isabella Morris: I had always enjoyed writing at school, but when I went to university I studied education. It was only after I had my children that returned to writing. In 2007 I did a master’s in creative writing at Wits University, and it changed my career.

2-HR Revolution-Middle East: What were the obstacles that opposed you?

Ms. Isabella Morris:The only obstacles that have ever opposed my writing have been those in my mind.

3-HR Revolution-Middle East: As the Chief of Staff to the Democratic Alliance’s Mayoral Candidate for Johannesburg 2016, how do you describe your job description?

Ms. Isabella Morris: My job is really to support the mayoral candidate to achieve the party’s objectives in their attempt to ensure he wins the local municipal election in Johannesburg.

4-HR Revolution-Middle East: How did you shift and start this new career?

Ms. Isabella Morris: I look at it as a detour. I took the position to support a client, Herman Mashaba, who became a friend. He is standing for mayor because he believes that we have to stand for the change we want to see.

5-HR Revolution-Middle East: What are the obstacles that you face in this field? And how do you overcome them?

Ms. Isabella Morris: It’s a position in a political party. Most of the obstacles are internal. I have to focus on the mayoral candidate. He has seconded me into the position as his chief of staff, he has certain expectations of me, and it is my responsibility to ensure that I deliver on those expectations. I’m not in this position to be popular. I’m here to ensure that the candidate has the best support to help him win the campaign, and I’ll do whatever it takes to ensure that.

6-HR Revolution-Middle East: What was the title of your first article / story that was published in South Africa? How did you take this first step?

Ms. Isabella Morris: The first article I published was called “Hair it is”. It was a humourous piece about women and their hair.I think it was published because every woman can identify with a bad hair day!

7-HR Revolution-Middle East: Can writing become a profitable career in South Africa?

Ms. Isabella Morris: Writing can be profitable anywhere in the world. It’s always a case of finding your niche. Sometimes you need to experiment until you find where you fit in and where you can make a living.

8-HR Revolution-Middle East: How did you establish an international career and name in writing?

Ms. Isabella Morris: I wrote for foreign publications, I engaged with writers in other countries. I won awards that elevated my position in the literary community.

9-HR Revolution-Middle East: What is the best way to brand your name as a writer?

Ms. Isabella Morris: Apply common sense. Don’t tweet. Be consistent. Publish regularly.

10-HR Revolution-Middle East: You won several writing awards. Did this help you further in your writing career?

Ms. Isabella Morris: Yes, to a degree. Awards raise your profile; you find your name popping up on Google. It’s a great feeling, but it’s got a life-span. However, you can’t rely on awards from a couple of years ago to sustain interest in you as a writer. You’ve got to keep on writing, and more importantly, keep on publishing. Sometimes I take work on, not for the pay, but for the publishing credit or credibility in a genre.

11-HR Revolution-Middle East: You have a passion for education and you worked as a teacher. What are the qualities of a professional teacher?

Ms. Isabella Morris: I am passionate about education, I’m less excited about public education systems and for that reason have usually only taught adults privately. A professional teacher needs to remember she is there to raise her students to awareness. Sadly, so many teachers enter the profession for job security and have no interest in the responsibility they have towards the lives they are helping to shape.

12-HR Revolution-Middle East: You also work as a ghost writer. Can you please tell us more about that? And what are the struggles you go through in this job?

Ms. Isabella Morris: I have worked extensively as a ghostwriter. It has been a very profitable genre. Earlier I mentioned that to make a career out of writing you have to find a niche.

Ghostwriting was a niche that found me and it has been very lucrative for me. It’s given me the opportunity to be a freelance writer, to dictate the terms of my career. It’s not without its pitfalls.

I’m interested in writing stories about business tycoons.Their stories are usually a combination of personality and business acumen and risk. When you deal with successful people you deal with big egos. It’s a bit of a balancing act. I have to take charge of the book-writing and remind them of who is in charge of the writing and insisting in what goes in the book and what doesn’t. The nicest part is that you become friends with your subjects.

I’d love to write the biography of Samih Sawiris or the Sawiris family, both he and his family’s successes fascinate me. I’m African and I love writing about people on our beautiful African continent. I don’t think business is anywhere as exciting as it is in Africa. I find it so compelling that my next book may be on the Chinese economic migrants into Africa.

13-HR Revolution-Middle East: What is your advice to young writers who try to approach publishers?

Ms. Isabella Morris: The most important thing is to approach the publishers who publish the type of writing you write. If you write horror then don’t approach a romance publisher; if you write historical non-fiction, then don’t approach a contemporary political publisher. This is the major reason why publishers turn down so many writers, simply because the writer is not approaching the publisher that publishes in the writer’s genre.

14-HR Revolution-Middle East: You also work as a freelancer. What is your criticism regarding management in newspapers and magazines? And what can the management do to support the freelancers?

Ms. Isabella Morris: Newspaper and magazine editors really give freelancers a raw deal. They underpay them or offer exposure instead of payment. Exposure doesn’t pay the writer’s bills. As a writer I refuse to give my work away for nothing. I’ll keep on pitching the piece until someone picks up on it. Management are unlikely to change, they’re under the whip from the bean counters. If it’s not profitable it’s not going to happen, that’s the bottom line.

15-HR Revolution-Middle East: Have you ever dealt before with an HR department? Can you please tell us the situation? And what advice do you have for them?

Ms. Isabella Morris: Yes, as a freelancer I constantly deal with HR departments. They usually treat freelancers pretty grimly. They want every possible piece of personal information, and even if you have worked for them the previous month, they need you to fill out the same details on the same lengthy forms for every freelance task undertaken for the company. It’s infuriating. They need to do something to streamline their dealings with freelancers and make it more user-friendly.

16-HR Revolution-Middle East: You traveled to many countries. How did this affect your career in general?

Ms. Isabella Morris: Well, you get primary, secondary, and tertiary education, but I’d call travel global education. It affected me on almost every level. Probably the most important aspect of world travel is that it stopped methinking in a vacuum, it exposed me to new ways of looking at situations. Travel also helped me to expand my writing career, it has been great for freelance travel articles and has also given me wonderful settings for my fiction writing. Writers who travel win every which way.

17-HR Revolution-Middle East: One of the countries you visited was Egypt. What is your opinion regarding journalism and writing there?

Ms. Isabella Morris: I think that the Egyptian journalists and writers who write with the depth and passion they feel about their country are under appreciated and undervalued, and very often endangered by ignorant and fearful officials. However, I’ve read much contemporary Egyptian writing that has been translated into English and I’m absolutely blown away by the way expression has been informed and shaped into beautiful metaphors as a result of the politics. I empathise with writers in Egypt because for 46 years, South African writers were imprisoned, beaten, banned, and murdered. It’s one hell of a price to pay, and brave men and women across the world write every day in the name of freedom of speech.

18-HR Revolution-Middle East: From your experience and observation, what advice would you have to Egyptian employees?

Ms. Isabella Morris: I’ve always been impressed at the level of linguistic excellence in Egypt, many urban Egyptians speak more than their home language of Arabic, some of them speaking two or three additional languages. Being multi-lingual is a great asset, but they should attempt to really master one additional language so as to give themselves employment opportunities elsewhere in the world. We live in a global society, so few people are choosing to remain in the countries they’ve been born in, and travel globally to expand their employment experience.

19-HR Revolution-Middle East: If you were given the chance to become the Minister of Arts & Culture in South Africa, what are the first actions you are going to take?

Ms. Isabella Morris: I’d really prefer the job of Minister of Tourism, but if it was to be Minister of Arts & Culture, the first thing I would do is establish a directory of working artists and writers and cultural performers. I’d attempt to tie them to business ventures where their skills would be an asset to the company and the artist would be paid. Nando’s, is an international brand of chicken take-away food that was founded in South Africa, and they are a brilliant example of how to integrate business with art. Every piece of art that adorns the walls of their international stores is made by South African artists who are paid well for their paintings. Every piece of beautiful furniture in their international stores is made by South African craftsmen.

20-HR Revolution-Middle East: As a feminist, what are the common struggles that face working women in South Africa? And what are your suggestions to top managers and HRs to work on this problem?

Ms. Isabella Morris: Women in South Africa face extreme hardships. Very often they are single parents. There is no access to daycare for poor South African women. Women travel far to their places of employment and have to wake up well before dawn and travel in darkness both to and from work, making them vulnerable to physical violence. I’d suggest that top managers and HR departments work with women to find what would make them happier at work. Could a form of daycare be started on-site so that working mothers don’t have that concern? Could the company employ a taxi-driver to meet employees at a certain point and bring them to work? Could the company be flexible about working hours to facilitate mothers who have all the responsibilities of parenting?

21-HR Revolution-Middle East:What is your comment regarding unemployment in South Africa? What are your suggested solutions?

Ms. Isabella Morris: Currently South Africa has the highest rate of youth unemployment and one of the highest unemployment rates in the world. I hang my head in shame. There is only one solution. The legislation that frustrates the ease of starting a business needs to be removed so that anyone who has a business idea can start their own business. Business licenses should be cheap enough for anyone to afford them. Let people be responsible for themselves. I also support eliminating the minimum wage to allow people to negotiate terms of employment. Some people don’t have skills, some of them are prepared to work for less than the minimum wage to learn a skill. These people won’t continue working for a low wage once they’ve learned the skill, they’ll move on, up and up the employment ladder, and that’s a great thing.

Thank You 🙂

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Corporate

Q&A with Yasmine Yehia | MEA Employer Branding Manager at Schneider Electric, Life Coach & Consultant

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Interviewer: Mahmoud Mansi

“To be able to have a strong brand, you need to start from within – you need to have an attractive story to tell so if this is not there, it won’t be the right time for employer branding. I always tell the people I teach employer branding – fix internally first and then you will have something to say externally.”

Yasmine yehia

HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: How would you introduce yourself to the audience?

Yasmine Yehia: I am an Employer Branding expert, a certified life and career coach from the ICF, a public speaker and a certified trainer!

HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: How do you define Employer Branding in your own words?

Yasmine Yehia: Employer Branding is the art of story-telling, each employer has a story to tell, and this story is very useful for those who are interested in the company. A story about values, a story about culture, a story about care – a story about authenticity and uniqueness.

HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: What does an Employer Branding Manager do?

Yasmine Yehia: An Employer Branding Manager is someone who is an expert in storytelling, someone who is also an expert in the employer strategy and people vision and who is talented in showing what differs the employer from any others in the market.

HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Employer Branding is one of the new global trends in HR, yet still not implemented in several countries and among many organizations. Why do you think some organizations have concerns regarding implementing Employer Branding as a comprehensive initiative?

Yasmine Yehia: I don’t think it is a matter of a concern at all – I think it is a matter of time and maturity. To be able to have a strong brand, you need to start from within – you need to have an attractive story to tell so if this is not there, it won’t be the right time for employer branding. I always tell the people I teach employer branding – fix internally first and then you will have something to say externally.

HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: How do you measure the ROI of your Employer Branding initiatives?

Yasmine Yehia: Oh God, there are zillions of ways to measure the ROI of our initiatives and campaigns, as sophisticated as a brand awareness analysis to as simple as the quality of CVs we’re receiving for open vacancies. Measuring the pride and engagement of employees, measuring engagements and reach on our employer branding social media posts.

HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Who are your main stakeholders and partners in the Employer Branding process?

Yasmine Yehia: And like I teach in my workshop – Employer Branding is never an independent function, actually we cannot even function or deliver alone, it is a collaborative work between us, HR and Marcom.

HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Can you share with us one of the challenges you have faced in your current job and how you overcame it?

Yasmine Yehia: Managing a complex region like MEA is quite tough and I think the deep knowledge of each country in the region was my main challenge – what is it that my target audience in each country look for in an employer? I overcame it with loads of study and education and also with using the help of specialized agencies to provide me with the needed reports.

HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: What pieces of advice would you give to organizations who want to empower their employer brand?

Yasmine Yehia: Be authentic! Start from within and have an authentic story to tell. You will reach the hearts of your target audiences effortlessly.

HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Jessie (if we may call you with your nickname), we are curious what is the first job you ever had and what is the most valuable lesson you have learnt from it?

Yasmine Yehia: My very first job was an IT Recruiter for fortune 1000 companies in USA – I learned the art of assessing and dealing with people, if there is one thing recruitment has given me, it is the strong people skills!

HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: You are also a certified Life Coach, how does this help you in your role in HR?

Yasmine Yehia: In both HR and Employer Branding your main customer and target audience is people, right? A life coach listens to so many people, to their issues and struggles, it makes you a people person by heart – it gives you the perfect listening skills and it strengthens the way you interact and communicate with people, and this is exactly what you need as an HRian!

HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: As a Life Coach, what advices do you have to professionals who want to sustain a work-life balance? Do we all need to have a work-life balance?

Yasmine Yehia: YES, we all need a work life balance definitely – you need time for yourself, to recharge, reflect and develop. I’d tell them, make the time for yourself a priority – do not miss it, this time is actually good for your work too because you will always have the right energy to continue. If there is a learning lesson from 2020, it is the importance of our mental health. Have a routine and this routine must include time for yourself!

HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: As a Career Coach, how do you think Covid-19 impacted the employment market?

Yasmine Yehia: Well, from what I see from my clients – so many people are thinking to shift careers post covid-19. Some of them must because they lost their jobs and some of them realized the importance of mental health, so they decided to leave a very stressful career. I think moving forward companies will have to learn to be flexible in their hiring process and start accepting candidates having the right skills for a job rather than a big number of years of experience! It is hiring for talents not years! People also need to be more resilient and smart in using their skills.

HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Finally, as a Trainer – why do you think personal branding is very important? We know you teach the topic.

Yasmine Yehia: In a world that has gone totally virtual – people need to learn how to build a strong personal brand online, it is how you will smartly use your skills and get paid for it! You no longer have the big chance to meet your recruiters face to face, following the new ways of working, we are heading towards working from home and flexible hours more, your personal brand is the only thing that will differentiate you in the market and open doors for you.

HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Thank you for your time, would you like to say anything?

Yasmine Yehia: Thank you for having me – I hope I continue inspiring those interested in the employer branding career!

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Civil Work

مقابلة صحفية مع إيناس عبدالقادر – مهندسة نسيج ومتحدثة في مؤتمر تيدكس وادمدني بالسودان

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صحافة: محمود منسي

ثورة الموارد البشرية: إيناس لديك العديد من الخبرات في مجالات مختلفة، هل يمكن أن تعطينا نبذة عن نفسك وأعمالك؟

مهندسة نسيج حاصلة على درجة الماجستير في هندسة النسيج (إعادة تدوير مخلفات النسيج)، من جامعة الجزيرة بالسودان.. عملي مستقل كموظفة ذاتية في مجال التصميم والبحث العلمي.. بالإضافة إلى أنني أعمل في قسم التسويق في مصنع لأكياس القماش غير المنسوجة.. وقد أصبحت القضايا البيئية جزءًا من شغفي نتيجة لذلك قمت بتأسيس شركة ريتيكس التي تعمل في إعادة تدوير مخلفات الملابس، حيث أثر فيروس كوفيد على العالم كله.

وأنشأنا مبادرة

(SudaHope)

و كانت نتيجة لتغيير جزء من خط الإنتاج لدينا إلى إنتاج أقنعة الوجه… وبالمزيد من التفكير في ريادة الأعمال كأداة يمكن أن تساعد الناس في تحسين حياتهم ، شاركت في تأسيس مبادرة

 (Business Master)

 لمساعدة أصحاب (الأعمال الصغيرة).. حظيت بالتحدث على منصة تيدكس ودمدني في 2019.. أعتقد أن أي شخص في هذا العالم يمكن أن يوفر تأثيرًا اجتماعيًا أو بيئيًا وأنا أفعل ما بوسعي للمساعدة في نجاح المبادرات المذكورة أعلاه.

ثورة الموارد البشرية: كيف يؤثر عملك على المجتمع والبيئة؟

أنا اعمل في مجال إعادة التدوير لمخلفات المنسوجات والأقمشة، ولهذا المجال العديد من الآثار على البيئة والمجتمع حيث نعمل علي خلق فرص عمل جديدة وتحسين مستوى الاقتصاد المحلي. ونظراً لمشاركتي في عدد من برامج تنمية وتطوير المجتمع أهمها (برنامج القيادات الشابة من الأمم المتحدة وعدد من برامج ريادة الأعمال من المجلس الثقافي البريطاني)، فأنا الآن اعمل على نقل هذه الخبرات التي اكتسبتها من تلك البرامج إلي عدد كبير من الشباب والعمل على تطوير مهاراتهم ليكونوا جيلاً مهتماً بريادة الأعمال ومشاريع تنمية البلاد.

ثورة الموارد البشرية: من خلال خبرتك ومن منظورك الشخصي ما هي التحديات التي تواجه بيئة العمل بالسودان؟ ما هي مقترحاتك للتعامل مع تلك التحديات؟

إن من خلال تعاملي مع عدد من المؤسسات الحكومية والخاصة في السودان لاحظت أن معظم المشاكل التي تواجه هذه المؤسسات هي عدم الاختيار السليم للموظفين بمعنى عدم وجود الشخص المناسب في المكان المناسب، ويرجع ذلك إلى عدد من الأسباب أهمها الوساطة والمحسوبية وعدم وجود تعريفات محدده للوظائف، كما أن من التحديات التي تواجه مكان العمل عدم احترام الوقت في بعض الأحيان وعدم وجود توافق بين الموظفين في المكان الواحد.

يمكن التغلب على هذه التحديات بتوظيف الأشخاص حسب تخصصاتهم وخبراتهم في المجال المعين، وكذلك التوعية بالحفاظ على الوقت وزيادة الوعي بأهمية روح الفريق الواحد ونتائجها على العمل.

ثورة الموارد البشرية: كنتي من ضمن المتحدثات بمؤتمر تيدكس وادمدني بالسودان، ماذا كان محور موضوعك؟

في عام 2019 كنت أحد المتحدثات في مؤتمر تيدكس ودمدني، وقد كان أحد أهم أهدافي أن اصعد على مسرح تيدكس ودمدني وأشارك الجميع موضوعاً يعتبر من أهم المواضيع في السودان ولكن لا يتم التطرق إليه إلا وهو موضوع نفايات؛ الأقمشة والمنسوجات وأهمية إعادة تدويرها، تكمن أهمية هذا الموضوع في انه يؤثر بصورة مباشرة على الإنسان والمجتمع ككل والبيئة المحيطة.

وعندما يتم إعادة تدوير هذه المخلفات والاستفادة منها فإنها تنتج لنا بيئة نظيفة وصحية خالية من النفايات كما أن هذا المجال يوفر عدد كبير من فرص العمل للشباب، كما أن مثل هذه المشاريع تدعم الاقتصادي المحلي للدولة.

ثورة الموارد البشرية: ما هي النشاطات الأكثر شغفاً لكي؟

من أهم النشاطات التي أحب القيام بها هي مساعدة الآخرين في تطوير أنفسهم وتحفيزهم على ذلك سواء كان ذلك عن طريق المساعدة بالتدريب أو التوجيه والإرشاد أو التوعية أو حتى عن طريق منحهم الطاقة الإيجابية التي تمنحهم ثقة في أنفسهم.

ثورة الموارد البشرية: من وجهة نظرك الشخصية ما الذي يجعل منصة تيدكس مميزة؟

تيدكس من أهم المنصات العالمية التي يجب على الجميع أن يكونوا على دراية كاملة بها لما تقدمه من محتوى يفيد الجميع في حياتهم، خاصة أنها لا تنحصر في مجال معين بل إنها تشمل العلم والتكنولوجيا والإبداع والترفيه والكثير الكثير من المجالات التي تهم الناس وتجعل حياتهم أفضل، أنا أرى أن تيدكس هي منصة التعليم الإلكتروني الأولى في العالم.

ثورة الموارد البشرية: هل يمكن أن تقصي علينا تجربة أو موقف قد مررتي به وتعلمتي منه درساً في الحياة؟

في حياتنا اليومية نقابل عدد من الأشخاص ونخوض العديد من التجارب وبالنتيجة يؤثر كل ذلك علينا ويغير طباعنا وطريقة تفكيرنا وحكمنا على الأشياء والأشخاص، ومن أعظم التجارب التي مررت بها هي تجربة مشاركتي في مؤتمر تيدكس ودمدني حيث أنني كنت من الأشخاص الذين تنتابهم الرهبة والخوف من الجمهور ولكن وبعد الصعود على المسرح وبمرور أول دقائق شعرت بتقبل الجمهور لي واستماعهم لي بعناية كبيرة ومن بعد تلك التجربة أصبحت أكثر ثقة في نفسي وزادت مقدرتي على مواجهة الجمهور وبدأت بتدريب وتحفيز العديد من الأشخاص في عدد من المجالات وأهم ما انصح به دائماً أن يواجهه الإنسان مخاوفه ويتحدي نفسه وعندها سيندهش بالنتيجة.

ثورة الموارد البشرية: ربما مفهوم “القيادة” يختلف من عصر إلا آخر بل أحياناً يختلف من شخص إلى آخر، ما هو مفهومك الشخصي للقيادة؟

إن نجاح مفهوم القيادة في الوضع الحالي يتعلق بصورة مباشرة بطريقة تفكير الأشخاص، والطريقة التي يشعرون بها، وتصرفهم بطريقة مسؤولة. فهي أكثر من كونها كاريزما أو شيء يمكن تعلمه بثلاث خطوات سهلة أو من خلال أحد البرنامج. حيث تتطلب القيادة القوية التطوير باستمرار. وليس بالضرورة أن يتمتع الأشخاص الأذكياء بالحكمة. ولكن بإمكانهم أن يتعلموا كيفية إيجاد سبل للتعامل مع التجارب الصعبة من خلال معرفة أنفسهم. كما أن العصر الحالي يعتمد على التفكير خارج الصندوق وإيجاد الحلول الإبداعية لجميع المشكلات التي تواجه الشخص القائد أو فريق العمل لدية.

ثورة الموارد البشرية: هل يمكن أن نتناول أحد التحديات التي قد مررت بها خلال حياتك العملية؟

في بداية هذا العام كنا نعمل على إنشاء ورشة لتصنيع الملابس الجاهزة وإعادة تدوير مخلفات المنسوجات، ولكن ومع ظهور فيروس (Covid19) توقف هذا العمل نظراً لتوقف الأسواق عن العمل ولم نتمكن من شراء كافة الاحتياجات الأساسية لبدء المشروع.

لم نتوقف عن العمل بل بدأنا بتحويل فكرة المشروع وتأسيس مبادرة تهتم بتصنيع الكمامات عن طريق الخياطين الذين توقفت أعمالهم وبذلك خلقنا لهم فرص عمل جديدة ووفرنا للجميع أهم وسيلة للوقاية من فيروس (Covid19).

ثورة الموارد البشرية: من وجهة نظرك الشخصية ما هي التهديدات التي تواجة إقتصاد السودان؟ وما هي مقترحاتك الاستراتيجية لتجنب المخاطر؟

إن الوضع الحالي في السودان غير مستقر في معظم القطاعات خاصة القطاع الاقتصادي وهذا القطاع يؤثر على جميع طبقات المجتمع باختلافها ومن أهم الاقتراحات الإستراتيجية التي يجب أن تطبق على البلاد هي أن نعمل على إصلاح المجتمع السوداني نفسه من خلال تكثيف التوعية والاهتمام بالأفراد وتوفير سبل العيش الكريم لهم، كما يجب أن يراعي أن السودان يحتوي على اختلافات كبيرة جداً بين الناس وعادة ما لا يتقبل أحد رأي الآخر أو توحيد الجهود مع بعضهم البعض لذلك فإن عمليات التوعية للأفراد والمجتمعات تخلق جيلاً أفضل ويعمل على نهضة البلاد.

ومن ثم إعادة النظر في السياسات الدولية للسودان وتحسين العلاقات الخارجية للبلاد، ومن أهم هذه الاقتراحات هي أن يُمحي أسم السودان من قائمة الدول الراعية للإرهاب.

ثورة الموارد البشرية: ما هي نصيحتك لمن يبغى التحدث بموؤتمر تيدكس؟

أنا أحب دائماً تشجيع أصدقائي أن يتابعوا كل الفيديوهات التي تطرح في منصة تيدكس، كما أشجعهم أن يكونوا حضورا لعدد من المؤتمرات وأحداث تيدكس في السودان خاصة تيدكس ودمدني، وبالفعل شجعت صديقتي حتى كانت أحد المتحدثين في المؤتمر السابق والآن أساعد ثلاثة من أصدقائي أن يكونوا متحدثين في المؤتمر القادم.

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Interviews

Q&A with Germeen El Manadily; TV Presenter | Publisher | Digital Marketing Expert | TEDx Speaker

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Interviewer: Mahmoud Mansi

“After the COVID-19 Pandemic, the world came to the realization that social media has a huge influence on business development, even when real physical marketing was absent.”

Germeen El Manadily

1- HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Germeen, you have successfully worked in many different careers, can you tell us more about your journey?

Germeen El Manadily: I started my journey during college days, I have 12 years of work experience. I have BA from Alexandria University, and currently working on my Master’s degree in the influence of digital marketing on social development.

I worked 6 years as a publisher for a Swiss Publishing House, where I was fortunate enough to be introduced to the magical world of publishing and books. During these years we successfully published for many authors. I published more than 40 books in many languages, my first was the autobiography of the Egyptian feminist “Nawal Elsadawy.” 

I also worked on translation and publishing projects of books written by Egyptian authors, such as Youssef Idris, Salah Jahin, Abdel Rahman el Abnoudi, and Ibrahim Abdel Meguid. I contracted with Dr. Mahmoud Al-Dabaa, to translate his book, “The Culture, Identity and Arab Awareness.”

As for children’s literature, I had the opportunity to translate the original text of “The Brothers Grimm” into four languages. In addition, I worked on the production of the children’s travel literature book, “Adventures of Rouge and the Mystery of the Papyrus.”

I also spearheaded an initiative aiming at discovering new writing talents.

Finally ending my publishing career, I was the chapter head of the Middle East.

My other hat is working as a TV presenter in a weekly show at Orbit TV network, focusing on general social topics, as women rights, and career coaching.

I was chosen to speak as a motivational speaker at TEDxCIC, UN Women & Arab’s League Innovation (Her Story), and the French Institute panel in the women’s international day.

I recently shifted my career to become a digital marketing and communication expert.

My short-term plan is to make my own fingerprint in this challenging field and establish my own digital marketing firm covering Africa and the Middle East.

2- HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Can you please tell us what did you love most in each job and also a lesson that you have learnt from each?

Germeen El Manadily: As a Publisher, I loved the fact of shedding the light on hidden people’s talent in writing, developing their skills, and giving them the opportunity to be introduced to the world. Being a TV presenter, I was introduced to a completely different community which gave me the chance to represent women of my age to the world. Currently, I find the digital marketing field very interesting as you play a major role in business development in a variety of fields; hence, in digital marketing you have the capability to be introduced to multiple fields at the same time, and you have to understand, compete, and plan a strategic map to grow this business in a specific period of time.

3- HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: As a TV Presenter you do a lot of multi-tasking even if on air. Can you please tell us what was the most challenging thing about that job?

Germeen El Manadily: Time is the most challenging thing as a TV presenter. You must be able to communicate your ideas with your audience effectively in a specific period.

4- HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: As you have worked 6 years in publishing, what do you believe are the common challenges facing this industry these days? What are your advice and suggested solutions?

Germeen El Manadily: Translation is a major defect in the field of publishing. Considering foreign literature occupies a big portion of the Middle East market. Professional translation needs to be further developed.

5- HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: As a Digital Marketing Expert, how do you believe this profession is especially important in today’s business world?

Germeen El Manadily: After the COVID-19 Pandemic, the world came to the realization that social media has a huge influence on business development, even when real physical marketing was absent.

6- HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Since your next plan is to establish your own startup, what are the skills, talents, and personalities that you will be looking for in the market to recruit?

Germeen El Manadily: Creativity and time orientation in applicants.

7- HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: At such age you have accomplished many things in your career, what about your personal life? Tell us a personal challenge that you have faced in your life and how did you overcome it and what did you learn from it?

Germeen El Manadily: Leaving my home city and family at my early years of life to start my business journey. Aiming high in my life and trying to hit my targets was my driving force for these challenges. Nothing is impossible.

8- HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Last but not least, as a Leader, how do you work on motivating yourself and sustaining your happiness at work?

Germeen El Manadily: Self-reward is the key in keeping your motivation up and building your self-esteem.

Thank You

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