Officially open in 2015, The Nile Ritz-Carlton managed to position itself as one of the top luxury hotels in Egypt in just three years, all due to its reputable top-notch events and overall positive image.
Identity had the chance to interview one of the people who played a leading role in making The Nile Ritz-Carlton stand where it does today – Sara Ibrahim, the Director of Public Relations at The Nile Ritz-Carlton.
It is 2018, and being a boss lady is every girl’s dream. In Egypt we have so many boss ladies that we are very proud of. This is why we wanted to highlight Sara as a role model for young women kicking off their professional careers.
We’ve heard you had quite an experience with your career. Tell us more about it.
I started my career right after I graduated as a Public Relations Coordinator with one of the leading luxury hotels in Egypt. I stayed with the chain for 11 years before moving to Qatar. After a very insightful year in Qatar, I moved to Dubai, where I worked in the regional office of one of the top luxury properties handling the Maldives. It was quite an experience for me as I was the first Arab lady to fill this post. Finally, I returned to Egypt to join the pre-opening team of the legendary Nile Ritz-Carlton.
What did you study, and how did it influence your career?
I studied Journalism and Mass Communication at the American University in Cairo, specializing in integrated marketing communications, and later received my master’s degree from the same university. However, the shift between the theoretical study and the real world is, as you would expect, dramatic. You can never be taught what happens in this career without experiencing it firsthand.
Is your career as luxurious as it seems?
It is not as straightforward as it seems. While you have to handle all of the technical work, the team, the customers, and even the crisis that might happen; you still have to remain calm and face it with a smile and professionalism. This career is all about your attitude, and if you are not positive at all times, it might become a struggle.
At the end of the day, I believe Public Relations is something you either love or hate, and it’s something you will know when you study. You will also learn the technical aspect of the job, but Public Relations is not just about technicalities, it’s so much more than that.
What is your secret to success?
I believe finding the right balance between my job and personal life is the key to my success. Everyone’s life and circumstances are different, and the key to success varies from one person to another, however, this was my personal experience.
As a wife and a mother, I owe my family a lot of my time and energy and I cannot let my career take over my life. Working in Marketing and Public Relations forces you to sacrifice a major part of your personal life since the main tool for this job is you! It took me years to manage my job, yet still, maintain my personal life and balancing both for a more stable life and career.
With that said, I believe that everyone’s secret to success is to have support from their families and loved ones, in my case, my mom and my husband. I could have never done it without their support and patience.
Did you get lucky in your career, or did you really earn it all?
It is a mixture of both, to be honest. I did get lucky to find my passion, but everything else I earned myself. I believe Public Relations and Marketing are my passion, and I got lucky to know that at an early stage of my career. Later on, I worked hard on myself to gain the skills that would turn my passion into an actual career.
It was a lot of sacrifices; from time taken from my personal life to studying, to self-improvement, and even traveling. Of course, luck did guide me to find what I love to do, but hard work and persistence are essential to accomplishing your goals.
Pictures taken by the Identity Magazine Team.