Home / A Day in the Life of a Sales and Marketing Specialist

A Day in the Life of a Sales and Marketing Specialist

Dubai, Marketing, Sales And Marketing, UAE

Nour Chaalan, Sales and Marketing Specialist in Dubai, tells us about her unique journey into the aviation industry, where at just 22 years old she has pursued various lines of work from engineering to aircraft maintenance, to her current role in sales and marketing.

Could you share a bit about yourself and your background in aviation?

My name is Nour, I am originally Lebanese, but I was born and raised in the UAE. I’m currently 22 years old, turning 23 in October, but I have been working since I was a student. I have always been passionate about aviation, and I wanted to have some hands-on experience throughout my studies. I have been doing on the job training, volunteering work, and many internships, so in total I have around four years of experience. I started a three-year bachelor’s in Aerospace Engineering in 2016 from Coventry University before working as an aircraft mechanic on Cessna aircraft. Towards the end of my degree and my work experience, I decided to pursue my education and get my Master of Science in aviation safety, which I completed, in April 2022. I was not able to attend my graduation in Coventry due to the pandemic, so I took my graduation pictures at our site in Dubai to have as a memory because I completed it here!

What is your story of coming to work at Jet Aviation?

I’ve been with Jet Aviation for almost 1 year and 9 months now. I joined Jet Aviation in December 2020 as an intern in Sales. There’s a big difference between fixing aircraft and selling them. But I wanted to try a bit of everything to see where I fit in best. Following my internship, I was offered a permanent role that combines Sales and marketing the Middle East region. 

What is a day in your role like for you?

We can split it into two because I do both marketing and sales.

In my sales role, I support the sales regional director here in Dubai with customers. For example, when there is an aircraft coming for maintenance to Jet Aviation Dubai, we need to contact this customer to get the scope of work and provide the customer with a quote. We also need to do an evaluation, which the quotation team does. As I learned this process during my internship, I am very familiar with it, and I understand the technical side because of my knowledge of maintenance.

My role also includes contacting customers to receive updates. We want to be sure that we can tailor our service to their specific needs, so we follow-up to ensure that the quotations are meeting their needs. I also help in identifying potential new customers.

Marketing is very new for me, and I have to admit, I was not very familiar with it, but I’m really enjoying it. It’s very out of the box for me – completely different to changing oil filters as a mechanic! I am still learning every day, but it has been interesting to learn the marketing strategies and channels and how it helps promote Jet Aviation. I’ve also found that sometimes if you have a good connection with your customer, they will even point things out to you, perhaps asking, “why don’t you have this and this here,” and I will keep this insight in mind and use it to ensure we are as effective as we can be.

A lot of my current role in the marketing team is around creating content that is tailored to the region and supporting the team in interacting with their customers through strategic giveaways and events. For me this is where sales and marketing are connected, as I may meet with a customer when they come to the facility for maintenance, and I absorb whatever I think is useful or good for us to use in future scenarios.

What inspired you to make the move from engineering to sales?

I tried engineering, discovering what it is and how you do it, and gathered a lot of experience and it was an incredible experience. But then I wanted to try doing office work because my previous experience was technical, and I didn’t have much office experience. I was really lucky to have the opportunity at Jet Aviation to start with no knowledge of this aspect of the business and learn how to do many different things, from setting up the computer, to calling customers. At first, I was nervous speaking to a customer but now I have learnt how to do that.

The reason why I pursued sales and marketing is because it is something you learn from every day; you don’t ever get bored of it. I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone. I started as a very shy person, but this has changed. I remember when I first began, I was asked to call a customer to check for an update on a quote and I panicked! I thought, “I can’t do that, that’s scary!” and then I challenged myself. Mechanics and engineers are always behind the scenes, experts in our field and I was comfortable with that, but sales has enhanced my communication skills, my experience, and my relationship with people even outside of work.



 

Nour 2.jpg

The reason why I pursued sales and marketing is because it is something you learn from every day; you don’t ever get bored of it. I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone. I started as a very shy person, but this has changed.

What do you enjoy about life outside work? Do you have any favorite hobbies?

Airplanes and horses are my ultimate duo. I love those two things. I’ve been horse riding since I was eight years old. I go to competitions and that’s something I love doing. There are famous races in Dubai called endurance race where you ride 40km straight. I’ve done that four times and it’s incredible. I ride almost every day before or after work. In Dubai it’s very hot in summer so we try to go out later when the sun is not too bright. I find my stress goes away just by horse riding and being with the horses – being an engineer is stressful, an aircraft might need to depart, and we may have to finish a task very quickly to very high standards. It’s not an easy job but it’s something that I’ll never forget, and it was an amazing opportunity to be a mechanic for almost 11 months.

What has been the greatest challenge in your career so far?

In my previous employment as a female mechanic, I did encounter some resistance. People would look at me and ask me what I was doing and would always underestimate me because I was a woman. I just had to prove to them that I could do what they could do. However, it was a challenge, but at the end of the day I took this path for myself.

To be honest it was even a shock for my family and friends. I said I’m going to be an aircraft engineer and they were surprised. I said, “no I can do it, just watch me!” ??????

To contrast the challenge, what have you found to be the most rewarding, or the biggest benefit, from your career so far?

My colleagues. Jet Aviation people are always willing to teach you. My manager would be in the middle of something, but he would always manage to have time to explain something to me because he wants us to learn. When I was an intern, I was not just doing sales, I was going to the hanger, I was going to the engineers and asking them questions, and everyone is willing to give you information, and everyone is willing to help one another even though they are in different teams or doing different jobs.

You don’t feel like you’re a stranger or being judged by people, in fact I always felt that people listened to me and respected my opinion.

When I was doing my masters, I was an employee at Jet Aviation. When you do a masters, you have to submit a survey, which includes 100+ people, but everyone in Jet Aviation was happy to help me out. I did not even need to ask for help from outside of the company, because I spoke to everyone from technicians to the high management. That’s something I will always cherish and be thankful for.

Would you like to share any final comments?

The last thing I would want to add is a message to young women who want to pursue a career in aviation: just go for it and never let fear stop you from exploring new opportunities and new things in life. Always keep on learning and don’t ever limit yourself. Explore new things and see where you fit in. I would never have expected to be working in an office but now look at me. I’m at an age where I can still give and I can still do, and I don’t want to regret things later and wish I did things that I was too afraid to try. If I’m able to try it, why not?

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