As part of our project to get to know the women who wear C.Nicol bags a bit more, we caught up with one of our customers in Dubai, Carine Duvignaud.
Carine tells us about herself and her life in Dubai as a communications consultant and university lecturer and how she keeps sane - boxing!
Carine, tell us a little about you:
Originally from a lovely small town in the South of France (Marvejols), I moved to London in 2001. Nine years later, I moved to the UAE where I’ve now been living for 11 years in Dubai. And I've just hit the big 4.0!
As a Communications Consultant, I am always juggling between client projects, events and news stories. It’s a lot of work and it does come with stress at times.
I also teach public relations for first year students (BA Honours Advertising PR and Branding) at Middlesex University Dubai. My partner is a Soldier and that too comes with its own set of challenges and stressful situations.
My secret to keeping sane? Boxing! I felt in love with boxing a few years ago and have attended boxing classes on a regular basis. Boxing has been a great outlet to let out any stress/anxiety but has also provided me with a platform to grow as a person.
Boxing has taught me discipline. It has taught me the value of hard work, respect and humility. And these are values I’ve been able to apply in both my personal but also professional life. I’ve intensified my training regimen over the past 6 weeks and am now training 6 days/week, some days, twice a day. My goal is to get in the ring within the next 6-8 months for my first amateur fight!
My days are now planned around my workouts, (healthy) meals and work assignments. Our managing director has encouraged us to use the extra time to, if we chose to, sign up for an online course. I am currently studying ‘Contemporary Issues in World Politics’ and enjoying learning every week.
How has Covid-19 and the lockdown changed things for you?
The last few months have certainly been interesting! I, like many others, have faced a number of challenges. The agency I work with was hit pretty hard with client contracts being postponed (we had a lot of Expo 2020- related projects in the pipeline), salary reductions and of course, team members we’ve had to let go. Thankfully, we still have a few active clients and have worked on a number of RFP’s which we are hoping will materialise in the next few months.
Early on in the Covid-19 crisis and to ensure we kept all of our team members safe, we decided we would all work from home. Any apprehension we have had were quickly diffused and the team was able to remain efficient and collaborate on a number of projects using online conference call tools such as Zoom or GotToMeeting. Client meetings moved online and suddenly we all adapted to this new way of working.
Working from home full time was a big turning point for me and it suddenly gave me more time! The shutting down of entertainment venues, malls and shopping centres has forced us all to take a step back and gave me an opportunity to take a closer look at my current priorities – a life audit in a way!
I also saw an opportunity to reset, rest (a lot!), refocus, build a healthy routine packed with workouts & healthy meals. I’ve been able to catch up and reconnect with some awesome people, spend quality time with my partner. Of course I’ve had the odd day of doubt and anxiety but overall, this really have been a good experience!