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9 September, 2011

Bethlehem University Team Wins International Google Adwords Campaign

Google adwordsDetermination can turn a vision into an actuality. The vision was that of the class of Ms. Nadira Alaraj a group of students enrolled under her supervision to take on the huge task of competing in the Google Online Marketing Challenge. This challenge wasn’t one of the usual local competitions, among a few schools, but was one that included teams from four regions of the world, the Americas, Europe, Asia/Pacific, and the Middle East /Africa. When Ms. Nadira Alaraj — Bethlehem University lecturer and enthusiastic proponent of online education, social networking and e-business — heard about this competition she immediately thought about her students and how she could introduce them to the world of “AdWords”.  The competing students are all business majors, currently taking marketing courses. They had a good feeling about their chances in this challenge — and their feelings were right on the money. See Google results here.

The student competitors were Farah Abu Sahliya, Firas Nofal, Ramzy Zreineh, Saher Qawas, and Jack Mikhail, who implemented what they learned from the various marketing courses that they learned, and gathered their experience for this competition. “It felt like a real life hands on experience” said one student.  “Not your daily homework,” commented another. “It was a real life experience full of challenges, hardships and obstacles, but with the help of our mentor, we had a great deal of support.” Her encouragement and daily follow-up with the students was what pushed these young students to the edge of their limits, ultimately paying off.
“We took marketing courses and this was an opportunity to implement marketing campaign, advertising”, say the students. “We gathered our experience during our studies and put it in this report. This was very informative that we had to do this through hands on.” The students explain that unique thing about the competition was that this was tested based on the response of the consumer. “The entire projects in the courses were for a teacher but this is the first time we do a real life time experience that was judged by international professionals in the field,” say the students.

“The patience and the encouragement of our mentor Ms. Nadira, was one of the main ingredients to our success. As our lecturer, guide and supporter throughout this entire ordeal, she pushed us to our limits and had faith in our abilities,” say the students. They explained that the competition wasn’t all fun and games and that at times was difficult. They mention the time when the website of the client used for our competition sometimes had technical difficulties, being that it could handle very few clients at once and would at certain occasions even deny access.

The students’ goal was not just to complete the challenge as a course but became something bigger, as they aimed to make their mark. They did so, becoming the group that were in the top five and the first in the Middle East/Africa; a distinct and honorable accomplishment for a group of young students. This was the first year Bethlehem University participated in this program and while other universities have participated, in the past, Bethlehem University was the first to win this award.

On a side note, another team from Bethlehem University and in the same course also competed, reaching the semi-finals. Those team consisted of Dunia Sabbah, Salam Khalel, Duaa Abu Mufreh, Maryam Sulieman, Jamileh Shokeh. Their client was


Bethlehem University Foundation
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Beltsville, MD USA
Bethlehem University in the Holy Land
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Bethlehem, Palestine