Dina Faour, Professor of Advertising at The American University in Dubai, IAAUAE Board Member and MEDEA Vice President

It has officially been 10 years since I decided to switch from the industry to academia. With every graduate I saw to stage, this decision has been validated.

Today, as I complete my decade of teaching, I reflect on my journey and I look for my alumni to assess their career choices. It seems rather evident, year after year, that a good portion of our young creatives are building their own paths and bravely migrating away from the typical design house/agency setup. In this piece, I am trying to understand this phenomenon.  

When we teach our students, we help them realize that creativity is not optional. Creativity is the only solution and to achieve this, students of design and advertising learn 5 key components:

I call them my take on the five P’s: Purpose. Practice. Proactivity. Patience. Passion. Now juniors at your business, these grads are seeking the same P’s.


As students, your juniors learn to identify their purpose at all levels, from the academic major, to each course and to individual assignments. They have a clear purpose that helps them direct their efforts and achieve the set tasks.

Purpose brings focus and draws the bigger picture, so juniors comprehend the significance of their roles in the whole creative process. They need a clear understanding of how will they grow. You need to identify a solid purpose for them within your institution and a solid purpose for your institution to accomplish through them. That purpose is only solid when it is ethical, inclusive and transparent.


Students are taught to learn independently through deliberate practice. Practice, for them, is play. They explore, expand, fail and try again, with more deliberation, until the right result is reached.

Juniors are the same. Seeking to learn, wanting to practice. Allow them to do so and you will be rewarded with beautiful, insightful work. Force them to stop playing and you will kill that beauty.


Students are encouraged to think critically and solve problems effectively. These solutions often achieve beyond the required and this is where proactivity is nurtured. If you include your juniors and encourage them to be proactive, they might find you solutions that score better results. Most importantly, this will build such strong confidence in themselves and in the institution that entrusts and encourages them to create further.


Students learn to fail, learn to learn from this failure, and learn to try again. This is the deliberate practice I already mentioned but with practice there must be perseverance. Students learn to trust that the next trial will be better. Be patient with your juniors, help them persevere and be certain that the next trial will be a success.


This is the secret. In any discipline they choose, with every course they take, students learn to fortify their passion for creativity. This passion drives them to seek their purpose, to do their practice, to be proactive and to persevere throughout the whole process. This is a passion they are trained to protect and grow as they start their careers. Juniors will look for this passion in you, your team and your institution.

Remember, fresh grads or juniors are never naïve. They can easily identify abuse and exploitation.

Accepting wrong feedback, making unethical decisions and requesting support from juniors is definitely not a purpose worth following.

Offering endless internships with no compensation, acknowledgement or even any real learning cannot be identified as deliberate practice.

Late nights of work alone to finish the work of others or to meet poorly planned deadlines with no team support do not fall under perseverance.

Subjective, unjustified criticism without that constructive dimension is not patience.

Intolerance, discrimination, favoritism or stereotypical comments definitely do not belong to an inclusive environment.

Worrying about strictly meeting the required, dismissing exploration and discouraging proactive input and demanding and accepting safe mediocrity is definitely not passion.

To conclude, when you recruit your fresh juniors who are ready to help you build your next brand, solve your next brief or win your next award, please do remember this: juniors seek an inclusive environment of shared passion for creativity where purpose is solid, practice is deliberate, proactivity is a need and perseverance is relentless. Offer them this and they will offer you the world.