Applications open for McKinsey-backed Qimam Fellowship in Saudi Arabia

06 February 2019 3 min. read

Aspiring Saudi university students have until the end of the month to submit their applications for the second edition of the McKinsey-backed Qimam Fellowship.

Following a successful inaugural programme last year, the Qimam Fellowship – a high-level professional development and mentorship programme backed by global management consulting leaders McKinsey & Company – has opened applications for this year’s intake, with eligible Saudi students having until the 28th of the month to apply online. Last year, the programme attracted 13,000 applications, with just 50 hopefuls selected.

Established by former McKinsey engagement manager Annas Abedin with the support of McKinsey and a cross-industry network of two dozen leading local and international companies, the Qimam Fellowship aims to identify and nurture local young talent through an intensive programme of career training, skills development, company visits, networking and mentorship from senior public and private sector leaders.

McKinsey-founded Qimam fellowship opens applications for 2019 KSA intake

Among the more than 100 executives to have participated to date, from programme partners such as Microsoft, Unilever, General Electric, Cisco, and SAP, are Careem co-founder and Chief People Officer Abdulla Elyas, and McKinsey Middle East managing partner Gassan Al-Kibsi – along with former Middle East managing director and senior partner Tarek Elmasry. Graduate fellows will also have their profiles shared with leading human resources executives, such as those from another of the programme partners; human capital consultancy Korn Ferry.

To be eligible, applicants must be studying a bachelor or masters’ degree in the Kingdom, or be of Saudi nationality studying at a university abroad, with a graduation date not before the 22nd of June this year when the in-person 12-day leadership and career-building training component of the fellowship concludes with an awards ceremony in Riyadh. Applicants will also need to possess minimum conversational and comprehension skills in both English and Arabic.

The selection criteria for the fellowship revolves around the three pillars of academic performance, initiative – such as accomplishments or activities beyond school or university – and social responsibility, or providing a service to society through for examples volunteering at charities or mentoring other students – with short-listed candidates going on to in-person interviews toward the end of March and admission offered in early April for those successful.

“Last year, we met some incredible young leaders full of tremendous potential – we were fascinated by their stories and inspired by their personal commitment to creating a vibrant future for the Kingdom,” said McKinsey Middle East partner Tom Isherwood. “We are thrilled to continue to lend our support to a program that we really believe will play a significant role in shaping their journeys.’’

Meanwhile, 2019 applications have now closed for another of McKinsey’s professional development programmes, the global Next Generation Women Leaders award, which provides outstanding female students with a scholarship toward tuition or career development activities together with opportunities for mentorship from McKinsey consultants. Participating regional offices include the firm’s branch in Riyadh, along with Doha, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Kuwait City.