Top Prize and Internships for Innovative Marketing Team

LAU students snag first place in the “Unleash Your Creativity” contest and win internships with their innovative marketing strategy.

By Lara Younis

The winners (from left) Yorgo Azar, Lynn Azar, Rayan Khaled, Christa Ghayad and Karl Boyajian (©Unleash Your Creativity Contest)

Lebanon is, to say the least, in dire straits, and as young minds long to escape the problems around them, small initiatives aim to give students and fresh graduates incentive to stick close to their roots.

The “Unleash Your Creativity” contest is a corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative organized by Fernand Hosri Group that serves this purpose well, as it engages the youth socially and economically by giving them hands-on experience in the marketing world.

Every spring, the students have the opportunity to enter the competition as part of the “Integrated Marketing Communication” (MKT302) course at the Adnan Kassar School of Business. This year, the challenge involved promoting the launch of 7express – an online supermarket shopping application – and the development of dark stores, and maximizing awareness and usage of the application, said Dr. Joelle Majdalani, assistant professor of marketing.

“This initiative is very important as it teaches students how to work in groups, be competitive and perseverant,” said Dr. Majdalani. “The competition is also an added value for their CV, especially for the ones who win the internships,” she added.

Of several competing teams from nine universities across Lebanon, including LAU, only 10 were selected. The three groups nominated from LAU participated in nine coaching sessions and earned certificates of participation.

“The coaching sessions helped us acquire skills and knowledge in pitching, brand key, digital transformation, entrepreneurship creativity and innovation, problem-solving, intellectual property, copyright infringement and return on marketing investment, among others,” said one of the winners Christa Ghayad.

For her peer Rayan Khaled, “the workshops not only enhanced our marketing skills but also provided valuable life lessons.” They also allowed the students to refine their strategy and exposed them to perspectives they would not have considered otherwise, she added.

Following this achievement, the students pitched their strategy to a wide audience that included industry experts and judges at the MEA Training Center. “They loved our strategy, and we were awarded first place,” said Khaled. The winners – Karl Joe Boyajian, Lynn Azar, Yorgo Azar, Rayan Khaled, and Christa Ghayad – were offered internships at TBWA/RAAD, an advertising agency in Dubai.

“I believe it was a great opportunity for me to experience working on real projects with the potential of being implemented in the market,” underscored Boyajian. “I was able to network extensively with my fellow participants, coaches, and guests; this experience truly integrated me into the local job market.”

Thanks to the MKT302 course, said Khaled, she and her classmates have gained knowledge and experiences that are indispensable as well as personal growth and development opportunities that were, thus far, unmatched.