FLAME University


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FLAME University has always nurtured young minds with talent and ambition. One such mind is FLAME alumna Dona Cherian, a prominent journalist and writer. Her career path reflects FLAME’s ability to mold students into successful professionals in their chosen fields.

In a recent conversation, Dona Cherian shared how her journey was influenced by the invaluable role FLAME played in her pursuit of a career in journalism. Dona’s love for books and writing sparked at an early age. However, coming from a middle-class family with a preference for service-oriented careers, she never thought of writing as a lucrative profession. It was only when she joined FLAME that she discovered the myriad opportunities in creative fields. FLAME’s comprehensive curriculum exposed her to the various domains where creativity could thrive, such as advertising, branding, and journalism. Dona realised that FLAME’s curriculum had become a catalyst, helping her transform her passion into a daily vocation.

Today, as online journalism goes beyond mere information dissemination, Dona appreciates how FLAME’s branding-focused education enabled her to engage readers and effectively convey her message. Dona’s journey took an exciting turn when she landed an internship opportunity at the prestigious Leo Burnett Group. Intrigued by the world of TV and radio advertising, which had caught her attention during her first year at FLAME, Dona immersed herself in the experience with great zeal. At Leo Burnett, she observed the entire process of creating and executing ad campaigns for mainstream clients.

Dona’s journey continued with new challenges as she ventured into the realm of Corporate Communications during her tenure as a Business Associate at Tata Consultancy Services. However, she soon realised that corporate communication required a different skill set than she had expected. Although she enjoyed the change of direction and the diverse range of topics, Dona missed the thrill of creating content on a daily basis. This realisation prompted her to make the bold decision to pursue new opportunities by relocating to Dubai.

As a Creative Account Executive at Media Box Office, Dona found a role that gave her immense satisfaction. Working with a small team, she was involved in launching campaigns from scratch and witnessing their execution. Beyond her core responsibilities, she also had the opportunity to learn the basics of office management, engage in high-level client presentations, and participate in government meetings. Despite her brief tenure at Media Box Office, Dona played a pivotal role in major ad campaigns, gaining a deep understanding of the intricate processes involved.

Dona’s association with Gulf News spans over seven years, during which she has witnessed the transformative power of online news. Starting from the basics, Dona had the privilege of entering the online news domain at an opportune moment. Her current multifaceted role involves curating and editing stories for the website’s main landing page, ensuring that readers are both informed and entertained. Using analytics, Dona crafts articles tailored to trending and timely topics. Investigative journalism holds a special place in her heart, allowing her to uncover stories that make a significant impact. One such remarkable story she worked on exposed a travel scam, revealing the deception faced by over 200 individuals. The satisfaction derived from helping people reinforced her passion for journalism.

The exposure to native advertising’s rising importance in journalism further confirmed her chosen path in online journalism. Dona realised that advertising today involves seamlessly integrating content with sales to meet readers’ expectations and needs.

Dona Cherian’s unwavering dedication to journalistic writing stems from the immediate connection it fosters with readers. Unlike traditional print or advertising, online journalism offers real-time feedback, allowing Dona to witness her stories being read, gauge reader engagement, and observe social media interactions. She strives to create stories that inform and captivate readers, and the gratification derived from measuring the response is truly rewarding.

Dona offers valuable advice to students aspiring to embark on a career in journalism. She emphasises the importance of staying updated with the ever-evolving landscape of storytelling, where new trends emerge daily. She encourages students to seize every opportunity FLAME offers to nurture their creativity fully. By participating in a wide range of projects and extracurricular activities, students can discover their true calling. Dona also highlights the significance of embracing failure and discomfort, as they serve as catalysts for personal growth and finding one’s path.

FLAME University’s holistic education provides a fertile ground for students like Dona to explore their creative potential. With the support of an enriching curriculum and a vibrant campus environment, students are empowered to leverage their educational journey and pave the way for fulfilling careers in journalism and beyond.