Oola Within Oola: Our Design Intern Shares What She Learned at Oola
By Oola Sports   ·    February 22, 2017    ·    Behind the Scenes

College students in Qatar get the opportunity to intern at local businesses. At Oola, we’re proud to be an ongoing host for interns of all experience levels and interests. Our most recent intern, Rabab, joined us as a design intern and worked on many projects ranging from product design to sales.

Here’s what Rabab had to say about her internship at Oola Sportswear, for others interested in getting a behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to work as an Oola (pioneer) at Oola!

Why did you choose Oola Sportswear?

Coming from a background in design and having worked for few major sport events in Qatar, I decided to opt for a volunteering position, for a company that believes in creating modestwear. Passionate about designing, I wanted to experience things that were out of my comfort zone. Oola Sportswear provided me that ideal opportunity, and I ended up volunteering with them for a month, taking the title of Design Intern.

Being an intern at Oola means having a full-time commitment and taking up various work-related roles. Events that Oola participated in involved major sport events in Qatar (such as Qatar National Sports Day and the Doha Triathlon), and these events require us to be proactive. Oola also conducted ladies-only events, which are a series of events lined up to take place during the first half of the year. If you happen to take a glance at how the Oola calendar looks, it is always packed with happenings.

What roles or experiences were you exposed to? And did you enjoy them?

Oola Design Intern SetupI was exposed to a number of experiences, including blogging, sales, customer interaction, and design development. Beyond that, I even ran a 3K for the first time!

The first task for me was to write a blog post on some of the events happening within Oola. Blogging was new to me. I never wrote a blog for an actual company. This was a first (Oola) for me. Although we all read blogs every now and then, becoming the author of one is a different experience altogether. I learned that there are many ways of writing blogs, and this internship opened a path to it. The whole writing needs thinking, planning, and also an enthusiastic commitment. The more you get used to documenting your experiences on a regular basis, the more fun blogging becomes.

Blogging is like talking to one person to another simultaneously or like talking to a friend about your day’s experience. Or sometimes it even feels like talking to yourself! We can find more information to write a blog; the more we interact with people and share the experience. So basically blogs work as networking platforms too, not just as reading platforms. It gives us opportunities to interact with other people on a one-on-one basis. It’s a great tool to document, and although I have written around one or two blogs, taking the role of a blogger made me more observant of blogs on the internet. We can of course learn a lot from bloggers who are experts, and I am thankful to the blog expert in this team for sharing her expertise with me as I learnt from her and her writing.

You also did some sales, right? Tell us about that.

Yes, that’s right. The second task I was exposed to was as Salesperson. I have had customer service experience in the past but what was new here was to actually sell an existing product. It involved learning the names of the products, understanding its making and contents, keeping in mind the costs and combinations. I loved it because what we sold were products that stayed original in value. Oola aims to provide customers with the best clothing that is produced using good fabrics and sold at reasonable prices. Other areas in sales also included setting up booths, recording the stock, interacting with other vendors, and gathering customer feedback. Like most sales-work, some days it was very quiet and other days it was pretty packed!

How much did you interact with Oola customers?

I had a lot of experiences that included customer interaction, in fact. My third task was to be involved in client Interviews. As in any design project, designers or product developers communicate with clients to know more about their requirements. Along with the product development director, I was given an opportunity to interview a client for an upcoming horse-riding project.

What design projects did you work on?

I really enjoyed the design development aspects of my internship. Our team members gathered information from some of the triathletes about what they needed to create the modest trisuit. After reviewing the collected information, my task was to develop design concepts for both the trisuit and equestrians (horse riders).

Based on the need of the triathlete, the concepts of an overlay or jumpsuit or something modifiable were developed. Coordinating with the designer and the product development director, we recognized that the jumpsuit or overlay appeared to be the best options. I was also asked to further develop the concepts into flats, and research fabrics available in the markets of Qatar. We have to now head to the sampling and production phase. And as for the horse riders’ project, the design phase is just at the beginning stages. So far, I have provided a design concept that includes designing raglan or batwing outfits.

Similar to other professions, designing requires its own time, research, concentration and creative thinking ability. At Oola, the design team granted me the flexibility to work at my own pace, which I think worked best with my work schedule.

Oola is a sportswear company. Did you get active while there?

Other benefits of being part of Oola are to try some of the sport activities. Oola conducts a series of cycling events and running events for ladies-only. This was the first (a true Oola pioneer!) time for me to run a 3K. I normally can run only 100 meters at fast speed, but for the first time in my life, I ran a 3K. I am happy to acknowledge this happened because I was part of Oola, and I would like to say Oola made a new mark in my life. I also would like to thank all the organizers for conducting such events for the Qatari community.

What would you like to say to others about your Oola experience?

I would say being an intern at Oola Sportswear gives you the opportunity to experience various roles, and at the same time, it lets you enjoy all the interesting events happening around. At Oola, it’s all about staying active and alert, pushing personal boundaries and challenges, and above all, it’s about enjoying what you do.

Being part of this team exposes you to behind-the-scenes, the everyday errands, daily active communication, organizing multiple tasks, celebrating milestones, and feeling Oola. I am grateful to the team for providing me this opportunity and for opening small but significant paths in my career. I have enjoyed what I did, and I will continue to support them. I hope the very best for Oola in all of their future projects.