Empowering High-
Potential University
Students in Saudi Arabia

About QimamApplication deadline passed


30 Companies

300+ Executives

6 Benefits

Founding Partner: McKinsey & Company

Qimam is a fellowship program supported by a coalition of leading national and international companies that aims to identify, develop, and empower the most promising and distinguished university students in and from Saudi Arabia to achieve their full potential.

Qimam provides its fellows with one-on-one mentorship from senior public and private sector leaders, leadership training by professionals from renowned companies, visits to the Saudi Arabian offices of leading national and international companies, membership in the Qimam Alumni Network, and an award for their distinctiveness upon completion of the program during a high-profile ceremony. It will also share profiles of fellows with leading HR executives in KSA to facilitate their career opportunities.

The Qimam Fellowship was created based on the belief that Saudi Arabia is rich with extraordinary talent and that developing such talent is one of the best investments for a brighter future. In its inaugural year in 2018, more than 13,000 candidates applied to the program, of which 50 were admitted following a very rigorous evaluation process, including two in-person interviews by senior leaders from the public and private sector. More than 18,000 candidates applied in 2019. Profiles of our first Alumni batch from the 2018 program can be reviewed here and our second Alumni batch from the 2019 program can be reviewed here. Thoughts of our executive partners and our Alumni about their experience with the Qimam Fellowship are available here.

Qimam was founded by McKinsey & Company and Dr. Annas Abedin, a McKinsey Alumnus and entrepreneur, and it is funded by McKinsey & Company.


Corporate Partners

30 leading national and international companies across different sectors have partnered up with the Qimam Fellowship to support it in its mission to identify, develop, and empower the most promising and distinguished university students in and from Saudi Arabia to achieve their full potential.

Founding Partner: McKinsey & Company

Executive Partners

Since 2018, more than 300 senior leaders from the public and private sector have generously volunteered their time to provide one-on-one mentorship and career guidance to our fellows, or to conduct in-person interviews with shortlisted applicants. These executives include:


The Qimam fellowship program in 2020 takes place over a 12-day period in-person in Riyadh, during which all of the benefits outlined below will be provided. All of these benefits will be provided by Qimam completely free of charge, including all costs for travel and accommodation.


In-person leadership training by executives and accomplished professionals from leading companies as well as workshops on how you can build a successful career in the area of your choice.


One-on-one sessions with at least three leading executives to get personalized input and guidance for your career plan. In addition to that, numerous other opportunities for you to directly engage and network with outstanding leaders (e.g., during the training sessions, the company visits, or the award ceremony). Click here for an excerpt of leaders who have volunteered to support the Qimam Fellowship since 2018.

Company visits

Field visits to leading companies in KSA, including Seera Group, Al-Khaleejiah, Careem, Cisco, General Electric, Ma'aden, McKinsey, STC, and others, which will provide you with a behind-the-scenes look at how these companies operate, an opportunity to engage with and learn from their top executives, and a perspective on career paths in these companies.


Recognition with the Qimam Award for High-Potential Leaders. The awards will be given at a high-profile ceremony on the final day of the program and will be attended by our corporate partners and other dignitaries from the public and private sectors (thoughts of our executive partners about their experience with the Qimam Fellowship are available here).


Building important and long-lasting connections with other program participants who share your ambitions and passions. After graduating from Qimam, you will all become a member of the Qimam Alumni Network, which will enable you to remain connected with each other as you go on to become leaders in your respective fields. The network will keep growing year after year with each new incoming class of Qimam fellows (click here to review the profiles of the Qimam Alumni of 2018 and here to review the profiles of the Qimam Alumni of 2019).

Career opportunities

After completing the training, we will publish your profile on the Qimam website and share it with leading HR managers and executives in Saudi Arabia. This will enable them to learn about you and reach out to you for potential internship or job opportunities. See here the profile book that we shared with top executives for our Class of 2018 and here for our class of 2019. The profile books are also available on our website here for our our Class of 2018 and here for our Class of 2019.

How to Apply

Submit online application

Deadline: 27 February 2020

The application should take 30-60 min to complete. Click here to apply: www.qimam.com/apply

Conduct in-person interviews

21 March 2020

Shortlisted candidates will be flown into Riyadh for interviews with our executive partners. Travel expenses will be covered by Qimam's Founding Partner, McKinsey & Company.

Application results

31 March 2020

Successful applicants will be informed about the status of their application.


You can apply to the Qimam Fellowship Program if you meet the following three criteria:

You are currently a bachelor’s or master’s student at a KSA university, or a KSA national studying for a bachelor’s or master’s degree at a university abroad, and your graduation date from your current university program is after 13 June 2020.

You are committed and able to travel to the in-person interviews in Riyadh on 21 March 2020 and to attend the in-person training (2 June to 13 June 2020 in Riyadh). If you are studying outside KSA, video interviews may be arranged.

You have minimum conversational and comprehension skills in both English and Arabic, since the training curriculum will include content in both languages.

Selection criteria

We will evaluate applicants and decide on admission to the fellowship based on three criteria:

Academic performance. Have you performed well academically in high school and university?

Initiative. Do you have any accomplishments or activities beyond school or university? Examples may include any interesting skills acquired, working experience gained, or initiation of or participation in a club at your university.

Social responsibility. Did you engage in activities providing service to society? Examples may include volunteering at charities, independent activities (e.g., mentoring other students), engagement in a university club, or any other activity that has direct benefit to society.

If you are distinctive in at least one of our selection criteria, we strongly encourage you to apply. Candidates that score high on all three dimensions have a higher chance of being selected to the fellowship program. However, a particularly strong performance in just one of these three areas may also be sufficient.


  • 27 Feb 2020
    Application deadline
  • Candidates short-listed for in-person interviews will be notified via email, which will include exact interview time slots and details about travel
    08 Mar 2020
  • 21 Mar 2020
    On-site in-person interviews will be conducted in Riyadh with all short-listed candidates
  • Candidates admitted to the fellowship program will be notified via email
    31 Mar 2020
  • 2 - 8 June 2020
    Virtual leadership and career building training
  • In-person leadership and career-building training in Riyadh, plus mentorship sessions and company visits


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