Osama Ahmad - Unmatched opportunities
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.
Eight years ago Osama Ahmad joined Shell as a graduate Project Engineer. Now he’s part of the team responsible for ensuring the world’s largest natural gas plant runs smoothly.
Osama had always been attracted to Shell. “I wanted to work for a big company that had established processes. Shell is such a mature, established and well-respected company in the industry and I feel that I'm able to contribute to my country just by working for this organisation,” he explained.
He originally joined the refinery section of Pearl GTL where he spent just over a year with the delivery team, learning the fundamentals of project engineering. This was followed by an assignment where he was responsible for the delivery of a number of projects worth around $300 million. He then joined the Accelerated Development Programme. In this programme he executed an exercise to build an organisation that delivers small- and medium-size projects, valued up to $500 million, for Shell in Qatar. That organisation is now 50 engineers strong and has proven a great success.
Since then, he relocated to the Netherlands for three and a half years before settling into his current role as Site Reliability Manager at Pearl GTL.
“Moving to the Netherlands was a challenging and demanding experience, but I would do it all again in the blink of an eye,” said Osama. “Working at Shell’s headquarters in a different country, where people spoke a different language and approached work with a different mindset, was so rewarding. It taught me to be more open and flexible in my approach.”
“The impact on my personal life was more profound than my professional career. I made more friends than I had back home and I wasn't expecting that. I'm proud of the experience I had. I only returned to Qatar because I felt the need to give back to the country I'm from.”
For Osama, the international experience meant that he could happily work with people from all walks of life. His time abroad even sparked a passion for travelling. “I am addicted to travelling. Meeting new people and seeing different cultures is now a real passion of mine. I love London and Prague; Spain is really beautiful and the US offers so many adventures. Every country or city I've been to has its own appeal. Living abroad allows you to see beauty everywhere – even if it seems strange and unfamiliar at first.”
It’s thanks to Shell that he can enjoy a healthy work-life balance, too. He said: “Shell trusts its employees and, thanks to flexible working, I can work from home or change my hours to suit my lifestyle. I enjoy playing sports like squash or basketball. Balance is important.
“Thankfully work never gets boring – there is such a diverse range of assignments and Shell is a company that truly invests in an employee’s development. There’s room for everyone here. I'm passionate and I like questioning things. There are so many people to learn from; I often speak to people who have worked here for three decades. I respect the visionaries, the game-changers, the dreamers, the explorers, the problem solvers – we all have a role to play.”
And his advice for other young Qataris looking to join Shell? “The sky’s the limit. Pearl GTL is still a fairly young plant and if you drive your own development, Shell is the place for you. But it is important to show commitment and passion – over here, you have to reach out and grab the opportunities given to you.”
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.
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.