Against the backdrop of COVID-19, the program was moved to a completely virtual format – including one-on-one mentorship from senior public and private sector leaders and leadership training by professionals from industry-leading companies.  Virtual visits to the Saudi Arabian offices of leading national and international companies were also facilitated.

Since its inception, 200 fellows have been admitted into the fellowship to date. Qimam alumni 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 fellowship was founded by McKinsey & Company and Dr. Annas Abedin, a McKinsey alumnus and entrepreneur. It is supported by more than 300 senior leaders from the public and private sectors, and 37 leading national and international organizations in the Kingdom.

Abdullah Saidan, Associate Partner at McKinsey, said: ‘‘’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.’’

Shukrya Kenkar, a fellow of the Class of 2021, stated: “Being accepted to this prestigious program was a proud moment – I know how competitive it is to get in. And as soon as the program began, I could tell why. The intense training, access to leaders, and personal mentorship was unlike something I’ve ever experienced.’’

Farooq Awad, Qimam fellow who recently joined McKinsey & Company as a Business Analyst, said: “I am a 2018 Fellow, I have seen the benefits of the fellowship first-hand. My experience was filled with mentorship, leadership and networking opportunities that had a direct impact on my career. I have also been privileged to be part of the organizing team of the program over the last few years – it’s terrific to see our growing community of alumni. It’s truly a special group and I’m humbled to be a part of it.”

May Alkhaldi, Qimam Program Manager from McKinsey & Company, stated: “While the Qimam Fellowship was conducted virtually for the second year, 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. And we are especially grateful to all of our partners for their commitment in maintaining the high bar for the Qimam fellowship experience.”

Qimam will open for applications next year and dates will be announced on social media The application season for the Class of 2022 will be announced in January 2022, where the next year will mark the 5-year anniversary of the Qimam Fellowship program

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