Intelligent, young, passionate and persistent. These are the words we use to describe Abdulaziz AlDawood, the new head of Jadarah. As a Strategy Assistant Manager at Seera Group, Abdulaziz was one of the key change-makers in the transformation journey that the group is currently undergoing. This fierce 25-year-old has consulted on several projects with GCC governments as well as instituting and initiating different strategies and frameworks to public and private sectors alike in his job at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
We wanted to really get to know Abdulaziz AlDawood, so we asked him some questions for the Jadarah blog. Check them out below:
- Why did you choose to study engineering?
I always loved maths and physics in school, which drove me to study engineering to continue studying something I’m passionate about.
- Why did you then decide to take a different career path?
I had an internship in Germany during my last year of college in Summer 2015, which was an eyeopener to the business world. I saw business being conducted for the first time, marketing a great story, casting a vision, believing in it and motivating people to build on it.
This internship introduced me to business consulting where you are instantly involved in several projects and have an accelerated career path. I saw for the first time what business consultancy is all about. You can be young and yet influential to senior management in the most prominent companies.
We are now living in a great time with so much enablement. During the times of the industrial revolution, everyone used to do only one necessary and specific job, but now we have so much technology, education and opportunities that give you control over your life. You can incorporate what you’re passionate about, and translate that into what you do.
- When and how did you start your professional career?
I started my job at BCG as a Business Analyst right after college in 2016. I gained experience here in the realm of digital transformation, worked on reorganisations, and public sector strategies until September 2017.
I joined Seera Group (back when it was Al Tayyar Group in 2017) as part of an unannounced team back then, later known as the Transformation team.
- What was your reaction when you heard that you’re the new Head of Jadarah?
It is still till this very moment, a mixed feeling. I feel it is a huge responsibility that I have to dedicate myself to, but also an opportunity to work on something I have a strong belief in and enjoy doing.
- What is your vision for the future of Jadarah Talent Accelerator Programme?
The first year of Jadarah Talent Accelerator programme was terrific! Twenty graduates were exposed to some of the world’s most well-known companies and institutions and have used the programme to springboard their careers in the region.
90% of Jadarah 2018 graduates have landed jobs in key tech organisations & beyond.
Everything we will continue doing at Jadarah is meant to be a stepping stone for Saudi and Arab youth to maximize their career prospects in the regional business and technology landscape. This year, we identified three key challenges for fresh graduates and early professionals that we are focusing on in our training and work experience for each candidate:
- how to kick-off their career path
- A fulfilling on-job training & work experience
- Getting valuable networking and exposure opportunities
I believe that if we give the new generation of Arab youth the opportunity, the tools and the direction they need, they will excel dramatically.
We also aim to have a more substantial impact through social media, to expand our impact and tackle those challenges even further!
- Who was your idol when you grow up? How have they influenced you?
When it comes to the business world, my idol is Steve Jobs. He was able to create a unique vision for his company. He was hugely successful in that regard in a noisy world and a very competitive market. I was influenced by his “Think Different” campaign in 1997 when he said “This is a very complicated world, it’s a very noisy world, and we are not going to get a chance to get people to remember much about us so we have to be really clear on what we want them to know about us.”
- Speaking of mentorship, If you had a chance to be mentored by somebody (dead or alive), who might that be?
The first choice is Steve Jobs. I would have asked him to teach me his presentation skills, his ways of understanding customer behaviour, and how to be as charismatic as he is!
I personally consider Abdullah Aldawood (CEO of Seera Group) as my mentor. Since I joined Seera, we have had endless talks about career growth, career opportunities and businesses.
- You refer many times in our discussion to “career growth”, so what is it for you and how is it manifested in Jadarah?
I think to succeed in a programme like JAdarah you need to have two key characteristics:
First: You need to have a dedicated and disciplined attitude.
Second: you need to have the right capabilities. Ask yourself: can you do this even if you dedicate the time and effort? You have to have both to succeed in an accelerator programme like Jadarah.
We have a rigorous filtering processing in Jadarah, in which we narrow down those 2500 applicants to only 25 people that we believe they can or they can survive in this challenging environment. We then trust that they would dedicate that time to invest in their career growth.
- Do you have any advice you would give to any new college graduates?
First: Be punctual, committed, and take feedback seriously. You must not get offended or take things personally and to focus on becoming objective.
Second: Build the essential skills for positions you aspire to hold in the future. Once you acquire these skills, you will increase your chances of getting into the positions you aspire to hold, and once there is an opportunity, you will be ready to seize it.
We hope you’re as impressed as we are with all the valuable lessons Abdulaziz brought to the table! We cannot wait till Jadarah starts soon and we see all these fantastic thoughts come to life!