A Millennial VS. Omar Shoeb

A Millennial VS. Omar Shoeb

Noticing that there is a growing rift between hiring managers and millennial fresh graduates, we decided that something must be done to make peace before things get out of hand. So we brought together a millennial and a manager and put them on several rides together in a children’s play area to work it out, HireHunt style.

Our #CareerGuru this week, representing cool bosses everywhere, is none other than Omar Shoeb, Nile Radio Productions Digital Director.

Our millennial is some guy we found looking confused outside of a closed Starbucks, who agreed to be a part of this in exchange for candy crush credits.


You and HireHunt have one thing in common. The hate of CVs. What are the worst five things you saw on a candidate’s CV.

I can list a hundred, but some take the cake.

-I think my biggest issue remains to be the lack of proofreading. Typos just kill whatever chance you have as a candidate. It’s 2017, even if you don’t possess the highest degree of language proficiency, you can search online for proofreading tools and you can always double check if you’re not a hundred percent certain how a certain word is written (not even going to mention MS Word proofreading tools).

-Hobbies. I mean, if you’re an acknowledged musician, or athlete, or will include a hobby that really defines you as a person, writing your hobbies in a professional resume serves no purpose but comic relief for hiring managers. Tell me more about your really unique hobbies like “walking”, or “reading”, or “surfing the internet”.

-Lack of relevant experience to the vacancy announced.

-“Military Status: Single”.

-“Tweet D*ck” as opposed to Twitter’s Tweetdeck.


If you were to ask one question in an interview that would make you identify the right candidate, what would it be?

“Tell me more about what you think this vacancy entails.” This helps me narrow down a shortlist since lots of people who apply and are interviewed don’t do their homework.


Millennials this. Millennials that. You work with a lot of employees within this age bracket. What’s your take on the work ethic of the new generation joining the job market?

You know the saying “stereotypes have some truths to them.” Well, that saying is kind of true. From a broader perspective, there are generational classifications and traits, and I do believe that my generation (Generation X) was more committed to the system. It would be unfair to say that young millennials are generally uncommitted, but I think their interests are different. The candidate pool is much bigger than how ours was, the markets have changed, and the work-life balance is now skewed more towards life rather than work, with the ongoing onslaught of social media messages that hammer constantly on the idea to just drop it all and journey around the world and be your own manager and your own leader.

I mean, it’s inspiring as a message, but I don’t think it helps you understand that life and career are about persistence, training, patience and building, and that you have to go the distance to make sure you’re on the right path. I remember my generation toiling at the beginning of our careers, working the extra hours, giving our hearts and souls to achieve what we wanted to achieve, and without a doubt, there are plenty of young millennials who share that ideology, but I interview a lot of them who simply don’t have that level of commitment. In short, I think every generation has its pros and cons, and maybe it’s our generation that doesn’t really understand the mindsets of the younger generations.


You’ve just launched the new Creative Digital Agency, NRPD. How are you planning to set yourself apart from all the digital agencies in the market?

We’ve done some miracles with Nile Radio Productions (NRP)’s radio (NogoumFM and NileFM) and music (Nogoum Records and NRP Music) brands with minimal costs and high yields. I believe that our expertise in strategy, content and product development will set us apart.


“The work-life balance is now skewed more towards life rather than work, with the ongoing onslaught of social media messages that hammer constantly on the idea to just drop it all and journey around the world and be your own manager.”


Who are five professionals you know you would have loved to have on your team but can’t for one reason or another? 

Con O’Donnell, Mohamed Sabe, Wael El Fakharany, Ahmed Naguib and Tamer El Mahdy.


If you had to choose another career, what would it be and why? 

It’s interesting to me that I’ve never really thought about choosing another career. I’ve shown interest in media ever since I was in the seventh grade, and everything I’ve done since then had to do with media in one form or another. Apart from that, maybe a chef!


As a Mass Communication graduate, you have done so many things along the way; writing, TV production, reporting. Now you’re the NRPD Director. Were you lost at the beginning because of the so many things you can do, and what helped you choose your path?   

Totally. I originally wanted to pursue a career in documentary filmmaking coming out of college, but I was quickly shown that it wasn’t in the market’s interest at the time. So, I ended up as a sports journalist at FilGoal.com and funnily, I’ve never been interested in football, nor did I have any knowledge of it, but I had the gift of writing and for the next year and a half I wrote articles about local and international football. Later I travelled to the US to get a Master’s Degree in TV Broadcast Journalism before returning to Egypt to work as an editor at an English newspaper and teach at the Modern Sciences and Arts University. A year later, I took my first official television job at OnTV and did some writing and directing before settling on becoming a producer. Four years later, it was apparent to me that digital media was the way to go and that sooner or later, all types of media would converge into digital. It was a massive leap of faith, but it paid off.

When you take a look at those 12 years from a distance, you could say I was a bit lost, but to me it feels like I’ve never swayed away from a coherent media career. I just adapted with the market and what I thought would benefit my journey, and I think it all boils down to having some sort of vision of where you’d like to go and lots of flexibility and adaptability to navigate to your destination.


What’s one piece of advice you’d give someone looking to start a career in digital marketing?  

Digital marketing is a whole plethora of disciplines mashed up together, so my advice is to learn something new every day and take massive chances. It’s ok to move around for the first couple of years after you graduate and to explore until you’ve figured out an interest, at least. Also, specialization is for insects, so the more knowledge and skills you have, the higher chance of progress you make.


What’s a very stressful situation that happened to you in your 20s, that you now understand prepared you for the managerial position you now hold?

Managing a full production crew during the first year of the Jan 25 revolution was an incredibly lengthy, challenging and stressful situation. Between understanding and navigating internal politics, coverage politics, and dealing with a constantly overwhelmed team, I’ve acquired thicker skin and a general trust in the process, and I believe this prepared me in many ways for a managerial position.


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