Out of 19,000 applications, Qimam Fellowship selected just 50

02 August 2021 Consultancy-me.com 4 min. read

Since launching four years ago, interest in McKinsey & Company‘s Qimam Fellowship has reached remarkable heights. This year’s edition saw 19,000 youths in Saudi Arabia apply for the programme – out of which just 50 have been selected. 

The fellowship was founded in 2018 by Annas Abedin, a McKinsey alumnus and entrepreneur, with the support of McKinsey & Company and a cross-industry network of three dozen leading local and international companies in Saudi Arabia. The goal of the programme: to nurture local young talent through an intensive programme of career training, skills development, company visits, networking and mentorship from senior leaders. 

The past four editions saw an increasing number of young professionals in the Kingdom apply for a spot in what has become one of the most competitive career competitions in the Middle East. In its first year, the Qimam Fellowship received 13,000 applications, a number that has risen to 19,000 for this year’s edition (up 12% from the previous year). 

Qimam Fellowship Program

Just 50 have been admitted into the Class of 2021. One of those is Shukrya Kenkar, who was well aware of the competition she was facing. “Being accepted to this prestigious program was a proud moment – I know how competitive it is to get in.” 

The privileged group of selected youths (all are bachelor and master students) come from a variety of background and from all over the Kingdom, with around half of the candidates women. 

Having kicked-off early June, the programme currently is in its final stages. Participants have received training sessions by experienced professionals, one-on-one mentorship from senior public and private sector leaders, and have visited the Saudi Arabian offices of national and international companies. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, for the second year running all activities took place in a fully online and digital format. 

According to Abdullah Saidan, an Associate Partner at McKinsey, “It was clear very early on that moving to a virtual format wasn’t going to get in the way of this being an important learning experience. The fellows were highly engaged and open about their personal commitment to grow and develop meaningful relationships to support their journeys. And that’s exactly what this is all about.” 

May Alkhaldi, Qimam Program Manager from McKinsey & Company, added: “While the Qimam Fellowship was conducted virtually again, we continue to be amazed and proud by the level of enthusiasm and professionalism of our fellows – for being fully present and creating a strong sense of community despite the virtual setting.” 

Reflecting on her experience, Kenkar said: “The intense training, access to leaders, and personal mentorship was unlike something I’ve ever experienced.”

Upon completion of the program, participants are recognised with an award for their distinctiveness during a high-profile ceremony, and their profiles are shared with leading human resources executives in Saudi Arabia to facilitate their career opportunities. 

A full list of the students selected for the Qimam Fellowship Class of 2021:
Abdulaziz A. Alogyel
Abduljabbar A. Alhamood
Abdullah A. M. Almansour
Abdullah J. Alghanim
Abdulrahman W. Alrumaih
Ahad A. Alnemari
Ahmad A. Alhesyani
Ahmad H. Alabbasi
Ali M. Aburub
Arwa A. Karim
Bashayer F. Alfuraikh
Bayan S. Alshuhayb
Fahdah A. Alsubaihin
Faisal A. M. Albizioui
Faris M. Alwasel
Fatimah A. Alsaad
Ghassan A. Aljawi
Jaber I. Mohamed
Jumanah T. Qedair
Khaled O. Alqahtani
Lama K. Alothman
Maryam D. Alharbi
Mashael M. Alzahrani
Mayyaz M. Alqubays
Mohammed S. Alramadan
Muhanna A. Alanazi
Najla A. Ali
Nawaf M. Alahmed
Nawar T. Alhaddad
Nizar S. Noor
Nora N. Aldossary
Norah A. Alturaiqi
Nouf A. Alsoghyar
Nouf A. Alaslani
Ohoud A. Alreshidi
Omar A. Alsughayer
Raghad A. Altaleb
Raghad M. Aljondi
Raha S. Abuznada
Ranyah Y. Aljamal
Reema A. Aldawsari
Roaa E. Morya
Rynad M. Alsaif
Sarah W. Albaiz
Sheikhah I. Altamimi
Shukrya Y. Kenkar
Sultan A. Alqasim
Youmna M. Alnasrallah
Zaid R. Idris
Ziyad A. Abdulmatin 

The Qimam Fellowship has around 150 alumni, who have gone on to explore a wide variety of professions including entrepreneurs, data scientists, medical residents, researchers, legal trainees, venture capital professionals, management consultants and more. The fifth edition of the Qimam Fellowship launches in January 2022.