“I am a positive thinker and eliminate any negativity from certain people or situations.”
Tamara Jamal’s popularity as a digital influencer led to her dream career in fashion and TV. But how does she cope with the pressures of life in the public eye and what advice does she have for other budding presenters?
Please introduce yourself to our readers.
I am Tamara Jamal, a digital influencer and TV presenter with a passion for fashion and TV. Born and raised in Dubai, I’m originally from Lebanon.
Tell us about your education.
I grew up studying in an American school and pursued my Bachelor’s in Business Administration from the American University, Dubai. With a focus on marketing and management, I then studied for a higher diploma in Strategic Marketing.
What drew you to media and becoming a TV host?
I always had a passion for TV and presenting and was constantly asking my mother to sign me up with a TV network. Back then, because I was still in school, it wasn’t possible. Luckily, I had the presenting skills and talent to get me on social media and then on to my first fashion segment episodes on MBC.
Sometimes the transition between college and a first job can be daunting. What was your first job out of college? Tell us a little bit about your time between college and where you are now.
I graduated from AUD in 2011, having already applied to companies ahead of time. I got my first job just over a month later. I’ve always been an independent person and very ambitious, always looking ahead. Before I graduated, I called my dad telling him I wanted to move out of the university accommodation and get my own apartment. I also told him I was ready to fund it on my own as I was doing a part-time research job while studying and had managed to save.
Did your parents ever steer you towards other professions?
My mother is a doctor in forensic medicine and always wanted one of us to study and work in medicine. However, that never interested me. Initially, I wanted to study chemical engineering and become an engineer. My parents were happy for me to do whatever interested me the most and three years later, I decided to focus fully on social media and TV.
The entertainment industry doesn’t necessarily provide consistent work. Were you ever faced with this reality? How were you able to overcome times where work was scarce?
I was, and still am, fully aware of this point. It’s important to focus on your work and to get the work. Basically, no work will come through if you don’t actually work for it. Also, always plan ahead, prepare creative content and work continuously on your communication skills. It’s a continuous work effort.
One of the most important things you need in order to be successful as a host is to keep yourself current and updated. What is your favourite way to approach this? How do you apply this to your busy schedule?
I am always connected online. Social media nowadays is a massive resource of information and knowledge; whether it’s staying updated in fashion, beauty, news, TV or events. I always like reading online and being aware of everything happening around me. Being in Dubai also helps as it’s the Middle East hub for all events and grand launches.
What are the most and least exciting things about being a host?
Well, it all started from my Instagram account. As an influencer who produces creative content, including videos, this opened doors to the TV industry. The most exciting thing about it is when the camera rolls and the content is presented. Watching the episodes on the TV afterwards is even more exciting; and receiving positive feedback is the greatest!
There is nothing I would consider as the least exciting.
How do you stay motivated through difficult times?
By nature, I am a positive thinker and eliminate any negativity from certain people or situations. I keep myself motivated by looking through all of my successful moments and watching my fan base grow. I have always been a very proud and hard working person so this drives me to always continue forward.
What struggles have you faced during your career and how did you overcome them?
Everyone faces struggles in their career, or ‘bumps’ as I like to call them. These are completely normal. I always follow the theory that everything happens for a reason. I believe in God’s plan. Always stay positive and surround yourself with positive people who can lift you up.
There are many women who struggle to follow their dreams and transform them into a career. What words of wisdom do you have for these women?
Do not give up! Nothing is impossible if you have the will for it. Grow yourself internally and it will definitely reflect externally on your career, and your life as a whole.
Growing up, did you have a role model you looked up to? And what is one quote you live by?
I always looked up to TV personalities and actors. One quote I live by is: “Don’t let anyone tell you what you’re capable and not capable of.”
What are your hobbies?
I grew up playing basketball in school and university. And I love listening to music, both English and Arabic.
What is your favourite food?
I’m definitely into Italian cuisine, so pasta and pizza! My second favourite is Mexican food.
What is your favourite business tool or resource?
Google and Instagram.
What is your greatest fear?
Losing someone I love.
How would you describe your personal fashion style?
Very diverse – both Western and Middle Eastern. It can range from elegant chic to high street style depending on the occasion and my mood.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
My father told me to always look into the eyes of a person when you want to face them or confront them. It makes a big difference.
What advice would you give to other budding presenters?
Continuously work on your skills and take care of how you carry yourself around and in front of the audience.
Do you have a message for the team at CP magazine?
Keep up the great work of always carrying the right message and content and highlighting key points. Thank you for this opportunity, I am so happy to be here!