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Entrepreneur Middle East's Achieving Women 2016: Maya Hojeij A look at Maya Hojeij's professional bio is reflective of the way she has built her media career: brick by brick.

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Maya Hojeij
Maya Hojeij, Editor-in-Chief and Presenter of Mal, a daily business news show for Dubai TV

"Journalist, Presenter, Media Trainer and Public Speaker." A look at Maya Hojeij's professional bio is reflective of the way she has built her media career: brick by brick. As the Editor-in-Chief and Presenter of Mal, a daily business news show for Dubai TV, Hojeij's ascent to her current role did not come easy, for she worked her way up the broadcast ladder, working in video editing, directing, writing, reporting and other areas over the past 16+ years. Armed with her first break as a newscaster for Abu Dhabi TV, she went on to be an integral part of the launch of MBC Group's Al Arabiya channel as one of the first faces on air for the channel, and this also placed her in the elite club of the earliest stock market reporters in the Arab world. Since then, she has gone on to teach journalism at the American University of Dubai, and is regularly also called upon as a moderator for events conducted by regional and global organizations such as the Dubai Press Club, World Economic Forum, and others.

Speaking about the trajectory of her career, Hojeij says, "A professional journalist should work hard on their skills academically, socially and professionally. I always chase opportunities to continuously improve myself, like taking classes in oral interpretation or courses about the stock market. Teaching at university was the best thing that happened to my media career, as it helped me see things in a more professional, academic light and eventually gave me the tools to build my media persona." Hojeij's fierce focus on continuous learning is best seen in what she considers a personal career challenge: "To stay updated all the time has been the biggest challenge -mainly when it comes to new technology and new media… The medium is ever-changing, and keeping up with it is making it more and more of a challenge," says Hojeij.

Image credit: Maya Hojeij.
Drawing from her own experience, Hojeij tells women looking to take control of their careers to set a goal and prepare a plan for themselves- and also redefine these plans when necessary. "Perseverance, persistence, determination- they all might mean the same thing to you, but at the end if you want to reach your goals you'll need to focus on all three," she says. In terms of tips for women wanting to make their presence felt when speaking, Hojeij, a professional executive media trainer, listed the following: "First, when it comes to the message you are relaying, focus on your message- try to maintain the length and the structure of the sentences you are using. Second, keep still: do not fidget. Third, make eye contact, don't stare or gaze at an unseen point. Fourth, body language like sitting up straight, but don't be stiff. Fifth, don't get preoccupied with your mistakes, just move on. Finally, make sure you project and articulate; don't be monotonous nor act like a robot- use your personality."

Maya Hojeij is the moderator for Entrepreneur Middle East's Achieving Women Forum 2016 #EntMEWomen, to be held in Dubai on May 11th. For more details about the event, click here.

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