After graduating with a BFA in graphic design, Nada gained her first job experience in a position as junior graphic designer in VCUarts Qatar’s Creative Services Studio. There, the majority of her responsibilities focused on generating a diverse range of print-based design material for her alma mater. She credits the experience as invaluable in the development of her professional self, stating, “This was a great transition for me, because I was asked to implement and respect what I studied at VCU. The process, research, detail, all of these things were valued and applied.”
After a year at her post in the Studio at VCUarts Qatar, Nada next found herself inspired by recent events in the Arab World. She chose to pursue an opportunity at the Arabic language branch of the Qatar-held news station, Al Jazeera, explaining, “During the revolutions, I was watching Al Jazeera a lot and seeing branding and promos regarding Egypt, Yemen, and the rest. I decided as a designer I wanted to try something different. I still love print, but I thought I’d try motion.” While Nada looks forward to an opportunity to try her hand at motion graphics for the station, her current project is centered on interior branding for the new extension of the Arab-language headquarters—a project that allows her diverse design background to be applied in a variety of exciting ways.
When interviewing for the job, she found herself in a unique situation, speaking to a fellow Qatari designer for the first time about her profession in their native language, Arabic. She was brought on in their Creative Department and found herself increasingly energized by the idea of working in an environment of such importance to the professional future of her country. Nada says, “The new generation is understanding the past and the older generation is trying to be more open to our way of thinking and process. VCUarts Qatar has student interns working at Al Jazeera as well, and when our supervisors are informed and involved in our design process, they feel a part of it and see it for its possibilities.”
Nada credits her academic experience at VCUarts Qatar as one that enriched her understanding of design’s scope while leaving her enough room to define her own identity as a young creative. She says the school “made me discover things within myself that I didn’t know I had. I loved how it started right away during freshmen year when you are allowed to explore mediums and not limit yourself. And the more you go on in the school, the more you use this creativity and outside-the-box process, but it’s directed. Limitations make you more creative, create a challenge. This is where you use design thinking.”