Dear 16-Year-old me: Syma Nassar, Connected Execution

"Think of your life in reverse,” says Syma Nassar, MediaCom’s Director of Operations: Connected Execution and WW Hubs

Dear Syma,

I will start by apologising as I didn’t address you as ‘Dr. Nassar’. Unfortunately, as you may expect, being a doctor takes patience and discipline – something you didn’t quite have at 16 but would learn to develop over the years. However, rest assured you have plenty of other amazing traits and qualities, which is exactly what I want to tell you! Take a seat and let’s dissect all there is to tell.

You may not know it now but your true strengths lie in business. The commercial world is big and full of unpredictability, just like how you envisioned a hospital. You will find the pull of working with people and building teams just as rewarding.

A degree in Business and a masters in Marketing will develop you in many ways. The learnings you take from both will be the enriching environment you crave. Although it won’t always be easy, academic knowledge can never compare to real life. What university case studies won’t teach you is how to influence change even when you are confident of your decisions; there really is no substitute for experience.

Of course, sometimes you need a bit of luck. After getting an internship at a media agency – in an industry, if I’m honest, you didn’t know existed – you will learn many things, none more than the importance of work ethic and how to make connections to succeed. What’s more, some of those connections will become lifelong friends!

I don’t really have any regrets about your journey to this point. Although, I now appreciate the importance of networking and finding supportive and inspiring mentors – something I wish I could have taken advantage of to develop my career a lot earlier on.

Nevertheless, this is a missed opportunity you will learn from and implement within your own team. Seeing the people you work with grow on a daily basis will really inspire you and keep you loving what you do. With the support of your family, you could not be more proud or grateful for everything you have achieved so far.

One more thing from me, if you ever feel like you’re at a crossroads, or simply moving forward without a clear direction, think to the future and imagine your 70-year-old self sat on a balcony. How do you see yourself?

What you see is what you hope for. So, work out what you want to achieve personally and professionally and work towards that. Never give up.

Best of luck,


Above: 16-year-old Syma, and Syma today.

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