Celebrating its fifth year, the annual Qatar Career Fair (QCF) is currently in full swing. Held at the Qatar National Convention Centre, the event is expected to attract around 50,000 visitors over five days. Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), one of the Fair’s main organisers, is showcasing its diverse array of job opportunities, with select QF employees available to share their stories with potential applicants.
As part of its mission to help Qatar move away from a carbon dependency, QF is building human capital in the field of research through exceptional training programmes. Abeer Al Hammadi has benefited from this commitment. She will be at QCF to discuss her work as manager of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer at QF’s Research Division.
“The Qatar Career Fair is a great opportunity for people,” she says. “It’s not only about getting a job, it’s about seeing what else is out there and what’s available. You can learn, and you can see where you fit.”
After graduating from Al-Bayan Scientific School for Girls, Abeer enrolled in the first ever class of QF’s Academic Bridge Program in 2001. The following year she became one of the few pre-medical students of Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (WCMC-Q), which has now expanded to include world-class laboratories.
Upon completion of her studies at WCMC-Q, Abeer spent time at Cardiff University in the U.K. While working towards a Bachelor of Science degree in Biotechnology, she realised her true ambition was to pursue a career in research management.
“I knew I didn’t want to work in a lab, I wanted to work in a place committed to research, just more office related,” says Abeer. She finally discovered the job of her dreams at QF’s Research Division. Hired as a trainee, she initially enrolled in the Qatar Science Leadership Program (QSLP), an initiative designed for Qataris interested in exploring a career in science and research.
“Even in the interview for the training position, I remember telling myself, ‘Wow, this is exactly what I am looking for, research management and management of science’,” recalls Abeer.
Upon joining QF in 2008, she was one of only three trainees in the first class of QSLP. Today, that number has grown to nearly 30 enrolled participants, as scientific pursuits at QF have become increasingly popular.
“There are many opportunities at Qatar Foundation, and the plans in the Research Division are already big. But they need human capital, they need people to work on these plans, and that’s why there are so many new jobs available,” explained Abeer.
Qatar’s aim is to transfer to a knowledge based economy, but without on-going research projects, the nation will be at a disadvantage. To help broaden expertise in the fields of science and research, QF staff members are encouraged to work in a variety of centres as part of their training. Abeer is one of many employees to have benefited from this approach, having spent time at QSLP, WCMC-Q’s Office of Research, WCMC-Q’s Finance Department and Qatar Science & Technology Park, as well as in the Research Division.
“I am better trained and prepared working at QF because there are so many opportunities to take advantage of. I always tell my friends that I feel very lucky to have joined. They don’t have the training opportunities that I do,” said Abeer. “I love Qatar Foundation, I believe in it, and I really want to encourage the young generation to join us.”