My name is Maryam,

and I say these four words for a living.

Watch me in action

I’m constantly on stage, in front a large crowd, with cameras and spotlights pointed directly at me. I get blinded just thinking about it, even though I have been a Master of Ceremony (aka MC, or emcee if used as a verb) for the last 18 years straight.

The first event I had ever emceed was my high school’s senior graduation. I was a junior at the time and giddily took on the role that entailed telling the seniors how to behave. Admittedly, I agreed to emcee without understanding the full magnitude of my role, but what was clear was that I was responsible for engaging the audience, setting the right tone for the event and ensuring that the program ticks along on time.

Echelons of events later and these responsibilities are just as valid today as they were on that bright sunny day in my school gymnasium.

For the last couple of decades, I have been presenting to Royalty, Heads of State, Fortune 500 Companies, in addition to company employees, industry players and students. What started as a job has now become a dream come true.

Initially, I did what Emiratis excel at; pursue my passion “on the side” while holding a government job. During that time, if you had asked me which role did I enjoy more, my answer would have confused us both (because I didn’t really have an answer) But as any enterprising millennial knows, your true calling will surface when it’s meant to. So, after a decade of working what’s known as a 9-5, I took a leap of faith and left a thriving corporate career to help people like you find your voice.

Did I make the right decision?

Will I come to regret it

I honestly don’t know. But irrespective of the outcome, I’m optimistic that I will at least get some really good stories to fuel my talks with.