Academy highlight: Q&A with Amin Nasser
President and CEO encourages young professionals to seize the opportunity.
Aramco president and CEO, Amin Nasser, encouraged the company’s youth to seize the huge number of opportunities available to them at Aramco, as he addressed the 60 finalists in the selection process for next year’s cohort of the Young Leaders’ Advisory Board (YLAB).
Thousands of aspiring leaders applied to join YLAB, which connects the company’s executive leadership with its young professionals. First established in 2011, YLAB plays a vital role in amplifying the voices of Aramco’s employees that are aged 35 and under, and who account for more than 60% of the total workforce globally.
From over 2,000 initial applicants, just 120 young professionals were selected for face-to-face interviews, with the final 60 individuals invited to take part in the YLAB 9 Academy — an event held at Dhahran’s Upstream Professional Development Center (UPDC) in early September.
The finalists were placed into 12 teams of five, and put to the test in a three-day series of challenges. A panel of judges monitored each candidate’s performance before selecting the winning candidates for the 2024 YLAB cohort. In total, 16 new members will be selected — four full-time and 12 part-time.
Opening with the keynote speech by Fahad M. Al Abdul Kareem, senior vice president of Industrial Services, the event included presentations on Aramco’s corporate strategy and YLAB’s numerous accomplishments to date. Finalists then set to work in preparation for their presentations on day three.
The highlight of the event, however, was an hour-long Question and Answer panel session with the CEO. Speaking on the opening morning of the YLAB 9 Academy, Nasser said he was delighted to be surrounded by “the future of the company,” and stressed the importance of YLAB in identifying and empowering the leaders of tomorrow.
Nasser explained that with both Aramco and the Kingdom aligning rapidly with Vision 2030, and given the company’s ambitious plan for growth, it was important to lay the appropriate foundations for the future. “This includes the leaders of tomorrow and that is why YLAB is so important to me personally and to the company as a whole,” he said.
Nasser continued: “Your willingness to join YLAB shows how dedicated you are. Not only to your own professional development, but to the success of Aramco for years and decades to come.”
Importance of resilience
During the YLAB Town Hall last June, Nasser had shared three key pieces of advice from his decades-long career at Aramco. He encouraged attendees not to fear failure or taking risks, but rather expose themselves to new ideas and explore new ways of working; all of which contribute to developing an essential capacity for resilience.
Reflecting on and underlining the vital importance of resilience during the panel session at UPDC, he delivered a pivotal message to this year’s finalists: “Throughout your career, you will go through setbacks, challenges, and disappointments. But it’s how you respond to these moments that will decide whether you succeed or not.”
Nasser continued: “I have seen a lot of people that have gone through disappointments in their career and it has impacted their work. Resilience is putting that disappointment behind you and also having the ability to learn from mistakes.”
The CEO also had an inspiring message for the unsuccessful candidates, saying: “Even if you do not succeed in becoming a YLAB member this year, do not see that as a failure. See it as an opportunity for further professional development and personal growth.”
CEO’s advice to next YLAB cohort
When asked what guidance he would give to young employees and next year’s YLAB cohort, Nasser stated that “the focus should be on adapting and learning.”
He advised, “The best thing you can do is to continue to learn, because if you don’t keep learning, you won’t advance within the company.”
Nasser also underscored the importance of the next generation taking a leading role in innovation, particularly with new and AI-based technologies.
“The company will offer you a huge number of opportunities,” he said, going on to emphasize that it is up to this next generation to seize them.
Caption of the top image: Amin Nasser said he was delighted to be surrounded by the “future of the company.”