Hola amigas ye amigos!
The life chapters series continues with what happened after I graduated from University of Bahrain. I basically spent one year at home doing nothing. I did travel a bit and I was trying to figure out my career prospects.
With Business Information Systems being a very new course at University of Bahrain, no one was sure of the career prospects for that study path. It was a combination of IT and Business courses. Neither one or the other.
It wasn’t technical enough to be considered an IT major and it wasn’t business focused either so you couldn’t work in a purely business role. To describe it in brief: it was a total confusion for everyone who took the course.
Working at Saudi Aramco
After a year of doing nothing, I joined Saudi Aramco as a contractor employee at an SAP Portal support team. Extremely technical work, UNIX support systems, system admin support tasks, routine and rigid.
I stayed for eight months in that role, before resigning. Then, I joined the country’s biggest oil company once again as a contractor employee but this time at another IT Help Desk. I was part of a UNIX workstation support team for executive oil and gas engineers at Saudi Aramco.
Despite not enjoying the highly technical and routine tasks, having to wear a call center head piece on top of my head scarf and working at a cubicle from an open space full of very traditional and conservative Saudi men, I actually completed four years in that unfulfilling role!
Looking back, I believe that this chapter was my first exposure to the real Saudi society! It was raw, real and unpretentious. I was being judged for not wearing my scarf tightly and showing a bit of hair at the forehead! Nevertheless, it was a unique, rich and valuable experience.
Exposure to a Real Saudi Society
Throughout my years working at Saudi Aramco, I met a plethora of conservative, liberal, moderate and typical Saudi personalities. Men and women from the country’s diverse backgrounds and social categories filled those days.
Some of those connections lasted until I moved to Dubai even. Until they slowly faded because I had transformed into a new me and there was simply no room for old school, close-minded or extremely conservative souls in my life.
The only connection that I retained from my Saudi days is that of my best friend since I was ten. And even that is intermittent! Depends a lot on my mood.