Mohammed Al-Rayahi - Contributing to your country
After graduating from the University of Manchester in England, Mohammed Al Rayahi wanted to move back home to Qatar and work for a company that helped him support his country. Shell offered him the perfect opportunity.
In 2007 Mohammed Al Rayahi joined Qatar Shell’s Graduate Programme with a degree in Mechatronic Engineering from the Institute of Science and Technology at the University of Manchester (UMIST). Immediately he was attracted to the company’s unrivalled development opportunities and commitment to diversity. Today, Mohammed is Utilities Maintenance Manager at Pearl GTL, the world’s largest gas-to-liquids plant.
“Shell offers a unique working culture where creativity and innovation is encouraged,” he said. “The level of expertise is great and I get to work with people from all over the world who are keen to share their knowledge. Also, people are clear about how their roles tie in with the wider business, which creates a clear sense of ownership and belonging.”
However, when Mohammed first graduated, his career goals weren’t quite as clear. “I had no idea how to transfer my university education into the real world. I was unsure where I would fit, but thankfully Shell offered the flexibility to try a few things out. Even today I am in a position where I can continue to look for challenges and opportunities to build my career,” he explained.
For Mohammed, some of these opportunities included short-term assignments in the Netherlands and Malaysia, as well as a long-term assignment in Singapore. “This proves Shell’s commitment to develop its staff,” said Mohammed. “These assignments gave me a completely different perspective on how my role fits into the bigger business. I also acquired a lot of knowledge that I have been able to bring back to Qatar.”
Passionate about his home country, Mohammed has also been involved in encouraging local men and women to embark on a fulfilling career with Shell: “I’m inspired by how managers are developing the Qataris in their teams. It’s beneficial for any company to tap into local talent – a company representative who understands the local language and culture can only give positive input. There are so many opportunities for Qataris as the diverse Shell culture keeps growing.”
However, it’s not only the diversity that appeals to Mohammed. Shell offers a lot of flexibility, allowing him to maintain a healthy work-life balance. “My wife and I have three children under the age of five,” said Mohammed, “and as my father’s oldest child I have a lot of responsibilities, like helping to take care of my family matters. As a religious man, I make time for prayer every day and I stay active by regularly playing squash and basketball. Without the opportunity to work flexibly, it would be very difficult.”
For Mohammed, Shell’s flexibility and multi-cultural environment is the secret to its long-lasting success. He explained: “I'm part of a multi-national team and even though we have different cultures and ideas, we are all working towards the same goal. Our differences are what make us stronger as a team.”
Mohammed believes the supportive team environment is something that would appeal to anyone: “Shell offers fantastic opportunities for Qataris. If you want to be involved in a project that heavily contributes to your country’s economic development while feeling appreciated as an individual, Qatar Shell is the place to be.”
More remarkable stories from our Qatari employees
In 2010, after graduating from Georgetown University, Ibrahim Al-Derbasti joined the Shell Graduate Programme in Qatar as a Contract Engineer because he wanted to be part of an international company, but still be treated as an individual.
Osama Ahmad quickly rose through the ranks after joining Shell as a graduate, and is now the Site Reliability Manager at Pearl GTL, the largest Gas-to-Liquids plant in the world. He explains how Shell has offered him countless learning and development opportunities.