I am the first woman to become an officially accredited business valuer in Saudi Arabia. I am also a financial planning and analysis senior at the Qiddiya Investment Co. in the Kingdom.
Ever since I was a child, my parents made me feel that nothing was impossible. I grew up within an ambitious family, as my mother created her own small business while my father excelled in his career. I was taught that success comes to those who work hard and chase it.
I started out pursuing a career in medicine but soon realized it was not for me.
During my high school years, I was made to believe that medicine was the choice to make to succeed in life. So, I studied, applied and got into medical school. But for some reason it felt completely wrong.
With the advice of the people closest to me, I realized that I should do what I wanted and what would make me feel happy and satisfied, regardless of what others said or thought. This was a huge turning point in my life. I decided to study finance at Prince Sultan University and graduated in 2016 with first-class honors.
Throughout my journey at PSU I was an active student, the annoying type you would see at every event the university hosted. I had a desire to say “yes” to every chance I got, and because of this I got the chance to travel, explore and be who I am today.
Saying yes introduced me to a side of myself I did not realize I had. For instance, my love of public speaking came after I joined the Toastmasters club, which helped me shape the young leader in me.
After graduating, I joined the company EY (Ernst and Young) as a trainee in its transactions team.
While rotating between subservice lines, valuations appealed the most to me.
Valuation is an art and that is what makes it unique in the world of numbers and structured processes. It is all about subjectivity and uncertainty; there is no one right answer as your intuition and understanding are key.
Every case is different, so you learn new things every day as you are exposed to various sectors, economies and practices.
With the help of my colleagues and family, I started to study for accreditation in the field of business valuation.
After completing the exams, I officially became the first female accredited business valuer (Taqeem) in Saudi Arabia. In all my courses, except for one, I was the only woman in the room, but it never felt wrong or awkward. I was never shy to ask questions and participate. I gained a great network and knowledge.
Our voice is a gift that we should embrace and use. It will take us all the way if we stand up and let it be heard.