Riyadh, 5th July 2018: More than 100 senior industry leaders from the private and public sectors as well as noted KSA academia attended the graduation ceremony of the inaugural class of 50 Qimam Fellows yesterday. They commended the quality of Saudi talent represented by Qimam’s inaugural fellowship and the rigorous program that helped develop their leadership skills and build their network.
Launched in February 2018, the Qimam Fellowship Program attracted more than 13,000 applications. Of these, 150 applicants were invited to Riyadh for two in-person interviews conducted by more than 50 senior leaders from the public and private sector. Based on the interview outcomes, an admissions committee comprising members of Qimam’s partner companies selected 50 students as Qimam Fellows.
The 50 Qimam Fellows originate from a variety of backgrounds and fields of study from more than 25 universities in KSA and abroad. Fifty-six percent of the graduating fellows are female and 44 percent are male. They underwent an intensive and transformative program that comprised six key components:
Mentorship with 3 senior leaders recognized for their outstanding professional track records to help fellows with personalized career advice, training by world class experts in critical skills to help them succeed in their careers, visits to leading public and private sector organizations to engage with their leadership and learn about how they operate, networking and team-building to help them build long-lasting relationships, and sharing the fellow profiles on the Qimam website and with HR professionals across the Kingdom for career opportunities. At the graduation ceremony, the 50 fellows were presented with the ‘Qimam Award for High-Potential Leaders,’ an honour bestowed by Qimam and its partners to recognize their achievement and distinction.
Tom Isherwood, partner at McKinsey & Company, stated: “We believe that Saudi Arabia is rich with extraordinary talent and were delighted to take the concept of Qimam under our wing when it was still just an idea. We are a member of this community and incubating and launching the Qimam Fellowship Program is a demonstration of our commitment to the Kingdom through identifying and developing future leaders. I congratulate the first batch of the very talented Qimam Fellows on their graduation.”
Abdullah AlDawood, Group CEO of Al Tayyar Travel Group, stated: “The Qimam Fellowship is a ground-breaking initiative and effort and Al Tayyar has been its strategic partner from day one. I am proud to see that it is now a viable initiative that promises to become an institution with the potential to enhance the quality of leadership in the entire region. It is a first of its kind and Al Tayyar is truly happy to support not only Qimam, but the individual fellows themselves.”
Dr. Annas Abedin, founder of the Qimam Fellowship, stated: “Qimam aims to identify, develop, and empower the most promising and distinguished university students in Saudi Arabia. Working with 50 of the brightest talent for the duration of the fellowship has been a great experience. I am humbled by the outstanding potential we have on our hands and confident that our fellows will have a tremendous positive impact on our future. From day one, the Qimam Fellowship has been a true group effort and would not have been possible without the support of all parties involved.”
Fahad Alabdulaziz says, 'I have partaken in many programs and I've been a delegate to many conferences in my life both locally in KSA and internationally, but nothing comes close to matching the 12 days of Qimam. It has singlehandedly been the most amazing experience I have ever been a part of in my life. I really want to thank the Qimam organizers for fostering an environment that was conducive to personal and professional growth. I have benefited tremendously and I am excited to contribute next year as an organizer myself.'
The Qimam Fellowship was supported by:
- More than 100 senior leaders who helped select and mentor the fellows.
- 14 corporate partners (Al-Khaleejiah Advertising & Public Relations Company, AlTayyar Travel Group, Careem, Cisco, Bab Rizq Jameel, General Electric, Saudi Arabian Mining Company “Ma’aden', McKinsey & Company, Oqal, Pearson, Saudi Telecom Company - STC, Rocket Internet, Aberkyn, and SMAAT), who trusted and supported the program from day one.
- 13 large Saudi organizations opened their doors to Qimam Fellows so they could learn more about them and engage directly with their leadership (Adaa – National Center for Performance Measurement, Al-Khaleejiah Advertising & Public Relations Company, AlTayyar Travel Group, Banque Saudi Fransi, Careem, Cisco, General Electric, King Fahad Medical City, King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre, King Khalid Foundation, Ma’aden, McKinsey & Company, Saudi Telecom Company - STC).
- Aberkyn and Korn Ferry whi provided Qimam Fellows with professional training on self-leadership andhow to manage a professional career
- McKinsey & Company, who took the idea under its wing by providing strategic guidance, the funding required to set it up and operate it, and a full-time operational team that supported it throughout the whole process.
- AlTayyar Travel Group, Qimam’s official travel partner, covered all travel related expenses of the program (including flights of students to the interviews and the training, the venue of the in-person interviews in Riyadh, accommodation of fellows during the training, transportation during the training program, and the award ceremony).