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We sat down with last year’s winner of the Rising Stars Middle East 2018 award, Fatema Husain, ahead of this year’s MERTC. This is is what she had to say:

Why is it important for the region’s downstream industry to attract young talent?

There is a noticable accelerated loss of experience in this industry due to retirements. Therefore, there is a need to attract young talent, train them and prepare them to master the new technologies and meet the tightening environmental regulations.

What are some of the recruitment challenges the sector is facing?

There is a healthy number of university graduates from science and engineering degrees. The challenge for this industry and its companies lies in meeting the evolving expectations of the young generation from their jobs and workplace environment. It is not only the salary that attracts young talent, but also the opportunity to adopt new technologies, job satisfaction through contribution, work-life balance, and inclusion and diversity in the workplace. These factors are important to attracting and retaining young talent.

As a young engineer, how has your experience in the industry been so far?

Over the past three years, my experience in this industry has been really good. The new technologies and processes that are being adopted are exciting, and I am learning new things every single day. I also gained more appreciation for this industry’s major impact on the economic development of this country and region.

As the winner of the 2018 MERTC Rising Stars competition, what would you say to colleagues thinking of entering this year?

The MERTC Rising Star competition was a fantastic experience. It provided a unique opportunity to share my views and thoughts about the industry in front of the industry’s leaders and experts. I highly recommend all young professionals to put together their applications and apply for the competition, to reap the benefits of this great opportunity.

Think you’ve got what it takes? Click below to apply or nominate today!

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