The students, currently in different countries, were participating in the chat from their rooms or dormitories across a video screen. It gave Nasser the opportunity to hear firsthand the remote care and support they are receiving from the company during the coronavirus crisis.
Set up in mid-March, the 24-hour COVID-19 Support Center is providing needed assistance resulting from the pandemic to thousands of Saudi Aramco-sponsored students in locations Kingdomwide and around the world.
Through a three-pronged approach, the center has established contact with all students, addressing any specific requirements they may have in their current locations and looking into assistance such as relocation, or even repatriation to the Kingdom.
A virtual chat with the CEO
Emphasizing to the assembled group of international students that Saudi Aramco is here to help them, Nasser said: “We care deeply about your health and well-being. You need to keep your spirits up, and despite what’s going on, I hope you can keep your focus to complete your programs.
“It is very important for us to manage the situation of all our students, while keeping them on track for their education.”
Reassuring them that their health was the company’s first priority, he urged the students to follow the COVID-19 precautionary guidelines in their respective locations.
He also spoke about how the company is navigating through the crisis and how he greatly appreciates the personal experiences of the students to stay positive.
Nasser expressed his appreciation for the work of the COVID-19 Support Center staff to make thousands of phone calls to students, saying a phone call to someone studying in a foreign country can “make a big difference.”
The CEOs’ visit included an illustration for the virtual delivery of the College Preparation Program currently delivered to about 360 students.
Saudi Aramco has 80 proud years of educational history and runs a diverse array of training and development, covering apprenticeships, tertiary qualifications, and Kingdomwide partnership agreements with 16 training centers and 14 centers.
In their words
After the international students’ group conversation with the CEO, The Arabian Sun spoke to Saudi Aramco-sponsored students.
Speaking from an apartment in New York, Industrial Security Support Department engineer Hesham Masoudi said he felt a lot of care coming from Saudi Aramco.
In the second semester of his company-sponsored Masters in Management Science and Engineering at Columbia University, his wife and two children are with him, and the young family have not left their Manhattan apartment building for two weeks.
“COVID-19 is an unprecedented situation. We are following the advice to isolate ourselves, and I am now doing my studies online,” said Masoudi. “Saudi Aramco is looking at the situation closely, and we feel our Aramco family is doing everything it can to help us.”
Mohammad Alsemari, a New Business Development representative, has been studying in Spain for almost 18 months.
Completing an MBA with the IESE Business School, Alsemari was delighted to have a Skype chat with the CEO.
“It was very comforting and uplifting to hear from our CEO, which shows the culture of our leadership in Saudi Aramco, especially during such times,” said Alsemari. “Taking the time to ask us about the care we are receiving from the company, inviting us to say what other support we need, shows Saudi Aramco’s embedded values of supporting and caring for its people.”
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