Celebrating Role Models – Day 17

Brands Intern and winner of IDEATORS 2011 (season two) , MUNAZZA RAFEEK

I’m just an ordinary 23 year old with big dreams.

After successful completion of my O/Ls I started doing maths subjects in the local A/L stream. Being a proud Bishopian, I did well in my senior years in school serving as Prefect, House Captain and lead few other clubs and associations. My dreams were quite shattered however when I got just marginal passes for my A/L examinations. For a few days I felt quite lost and confused. All this changed after I got to know about the world of marketing. I began to understand the immense interest I had towards identifying consumer needs and being able to satisfy them. I felt excited about the whole idea that if I’m a successful marketer I will be the individual responsible for bringing in the profits to the company I work for. Here I would like to cite one of the quotes I live by; “Our attitude towards life, determines life’s attitude towards us.”

So with a positive attitude I looked towards a fresh start and changed my career path. I completed CIM within two years and hold ACIM DipM. I graduated with a first class and topped the batch at the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology in the BBA (Hons) degree in Business Management from Sheffield Hallam University UK. I guess the key highlight in my life however was when I won IDEATORS Season 2. IDEATORS is a reality TV enterprise competition organized by British Council Sri Lanka. Here 12 contestants, six undergraduates from Sri Lanka and six from UK compete in various enterprise challenges ranging from diverse industries.  Yep it kinda felt like being on the acclaimed TV show “the Apprentice” with the cameras following your every move and the extremely intense boardroom sessions. Here I learnt that while working as a team is vital, I have to play my individual role to perfection and ensure I communicate it well in the boardroom.

Through IDEATORS I was able to develop various business networks and meet lifelong friends both from Sri Lanka and UK (we stayed for a whole month together – so yes despite the heaty debates in the boardroom and while brainstorming, obviously we bonded J ).

Winning IDEATORS gave me the opportunity to travel to UK for a study tour at Plymouth University. Here not only was I able to interact and make friends with postgraduate students from around the world but I also met respected individuals in the Plymouth business fraternity. Furthermore I was given the honour of participating at FLUX 2011 for graduates at Plymouth University which is a business projects competition for the students as one of the 16 business experts. Very recently I took part in FLUX 2012 in Sri Lanka which was done by Kelaniya University in collaboration with Plymouth University as a Business Expert as well.

Ofcourse I’ve still in the very early stages of my life and have many more goals to achieve and countless dreams to make come true. Currently working as an Intern in marketing for a company I love, I do the best I could to help ‘add vitality to the lives of millions of consumers.’ So my next goal will obviously be to commence my career in the junior brand management level and progress in my career ladder, growing myself along with the growth of the brands I work for.

I know I will get there. Not because I topped my batch in university or because I won IDEATORS, but because I love what I do. I love the feeling I get when I hear consumers being delighted on my brands. And somehow I truly believe that this love, passion and confidence I have about what I do and who I am will just drive me towards making my dreams come true.

Photograph by Pavithra Jovan De Mello

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