Three Georgetown University Qatar (GU-Q) students recently returned from New York City, following the completion of a three-week Qatar Foundation internship program that ran from August 10 - 30, designed to allow participants to take on the roles of working professionals at The Economist Group, one of the world’s leading media companies.
The Qatar Foundation invited university students to submit their applications to take part in this educational links program by submitting an essay that answered the question “How can you contribute to the achievement of Qatar National Vision 2030?” Hundreds of applications poured in, but only four students were chosen. And of those four, three winners - AsmaaFikree, FahadAlkhater, and Natalie Diong - are students at GU-Q.
The choice for an essay topic was a natural one for Natalie, who is from Singapore and currently a junior majoring in Culture and Politics with a certificate in Media and Politics. “We were told to choose just one of the four pillars of the Qatar National Vision 2030. In my opinion, human development is the most important form of development, because investing in the individual, or human capital, will eventually make way for further forms of development within the other three pillars of the National Vision.”
Qatari students FahadAlkhater, majoring in International economics, and AsmaaFikree, majoring in International Economics with a certificate in Arab and Regional Studies at GU-Q, also wrote winning responses to the question, and joined Natalie along with a fourth student from Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, in the internship activities that culminated in the successful organization of a media event.
“Our goal was to create a simulated event for the events team at the Economist offices in New York. We were formally trained to organize it from scratch - from deciding on a theme, to coming up with profit margins, a marketing plan, and revenues.” explained Natalie.
The students collaborated with staff working in operations, programming, marketing, and sales, as well as having the opportunity to speak with the editors, creative directors, and a whole host of other representatives of The Economist Group. At the end of the internship, each team of 2 presented their final projects to senior management, which included the CFO.
For the Education City students, the international affairs curriculum at GU-Q equipped them with the right skill sets to tackle the challenges of the media internship. “When creating an event, you need to be aware of current events that are occurring globally,” said Natalie. “Having said that, a background in foreign affairs provides me with the ability to focus on global trends, which I found to be very important when trying to create a theme or a program which showcases something new, an event which is forward thinking.”
The strategic partnership between Qatar Foundation and TEG that resulted in this work-placement project, was, for Natalie, “an opportunity to intern with such a respected company internationally and locally. It was also a great chance to interact and work closely with other Qatari interns that were on the trip with me. Being part of the Georgetown community, which fosters an importance in building up “Men and Women for Others” is one of the values that definitely played a big part in my participation.”