McKinsey-backed Qimam Fellowship returns for third edition in KSA

03 February 2020 3 min. read

McKinsey’s Qimam Fellowship youth development programme is welcoming applications for its third cycle in Saudi Arabia, with the window open to the end of the month.

The McKinsey-backed Qimam Fellowship development programme for aspiring Saudi Arabian youth has returned for another year – following its establishment in 2018 and successful second edition last year. Applications are now open to local students completing university or graduate studies in Saudi Arabia or abroad, with submissions accepted until the end of this month for a programme start-date in June.

“Given the vast pool of intellectually-curious, emerging talent in Saudi Arabia, the country’s youth has immense potential to have a direct impact on the transformations underway,” said McKinsey Middle East associate partner Abdullah Saidan, who joined the firm in 2015. “Strategic initiatives like the Qimam Fellowship have highlighted the many reasons the nation should be optimistic for its future.”

McKinsey-backed Qimam Fellowship returns for third edition in KSA

Echoing recent statements from his boss – McKinsey & Company regional managing partner Gassan Al-Kibsi, who last month spoke of his passion for youth development as a reflection of his childhood in Yemen – Saidan added that nurturing young talent in the Kingdom is an obligation the firm takes to heart. In addition to the Saudi programme, McKinsey recently set up a similar initiative in Abu Dhabi.

With only the 50 placements on offer however, the competition for spots is heating up. The first iteration of the programme managed to draw 13,000 applications, with that figure growing to 18,000 last year. According to the firm, bachelors and masters students with a wide variety of scholastic interests and experience apply from all over the Kingdom, while half of the candidacies last year went to women.

Those who are successful for the latest intake – with selections to be based on academic achievement, initiative-taking beyond the classroom, and the applicant’s efforts or ideas related to social responsibility – will be notified by the end of March, with a two-week intensive training programme set to take place from the start of June in collaboration with a 30-strong network of public and private enterprise partners.

“Qimam offers high-potential university students access to some of the Kingdom’s most prominent industry leaders,” said Annas Abedin, a McKinsey alumnus and entrepreneur who was the inspiration behind the Qimam initiative. “The one-to-one mentorship, counsel and professional advice they receive will give them unique perspectives and opportunities to achieve on their tremendous potential.’’

In addition to receiving guidance from leading business figures from the public and private sectors, participants will also visit the offices of some of the top national and international companies operating in the Kingdom – and will of course get to experience invaluable networking opportunities, including via a high-profile graduation ceremony and exclusive membership to the Qimam Alumni Network.