Saudi Aramco

Saudi Aramco (worlds largest oil co.) is heavily recruiting CFA and corporate finance types to work in Saudi Arabia? From what I understand these jobs can be very luctrative. Has anyone applied at Aramco or considering applying?

I don’t know anything about the recruiting process but I have a good friend who grew up there as her dad worked for Aramco. It sounded like an interesting experience. The benefits were awesome, too. I would think it would be better experience if you are a male though. I also thought they were trying to get away from hiring Americans. (sorry - not trying to offend in any way, only trying to be honest. Obviously I have no idea if you are male or American).

Let’s see, political uncertainty, deserts, woman covered head to toe. No thanks. They’d have to pay pretty damn good! Working for a say Chinesse soverign wealth fund, now that would interest me!

ha, that’s funny. My parents work for aramco and i lived in aramco towns for the first 15 years of my life (in saudi). they offer you amazing pay and benefits and a great quality of life, but they have to to get you to go work over there. they compoud life is quite nice actually, but still you are in an strict muslim country with generally oppresive laws. aramco employees are shielded from saudi laws for the most part in day-to-day life, but still, regional politics are obviously unstable. i really have very little insight into finance jobs there, however. i personally wouldn’t move there to work in finance. one, probably not much there in my direct field, and two I already grew up there and got to travel the world and stuff, so I’m happy living in the US. but really the opportunity to travel is one of the big benefits of working overseas. they give a ton of vacation time and subsidize your flights.

One of the guys with my current employer did a 5 year stint with aramco. They had a program on at the time where if you agreed to sign up for a 5 year term, they would pay you very well for those 5 years and then give you a $1 million bonus at the end, net of taxes. He said he enjoyed the money alot (obviously) but living in saudi could be trying at times. He is a reservoir engineer, keep in mind, but that type of arrangement is not unusual for them in many fields. If you’re young and flexible, I’d definitely consider doing it.

A million buckeros isn’t bad

watch “The Kingdom” before you go over there…

guest Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > watch “The Kingdom” before you go over there… Anything with Chris Cooper is boss.

Actually I had an interview a couple weeks ago via of video for a financial analyst position in SA. It does sound very appealing will probably accept if I receive an offer. After the interview and orientation (they tell what it’s like living there & what to expect) they showed me an estimation of compensation package if I receive an offer. My take home pay would increase by ~100% (I currently make $72K before US taxes). My cost of living would be cut in half (they pretty much pay for your housing) 25 to 35% sign on bonus 9% 401K matching plus a pension $25K per year for traveling back to my place of origin or wherever I want to go. 5 weeks of paid vacation

WOW. Can your provied anymore info Poncho. That’s pretty impressive are you a candiate or a charterholder? Watch the recruiting video - its pretty good. Descriptions of the jobs are under the ‘job opporturnities’ link this link also has a link to the recruiting process. I have CPA, MBA, and level II canadidate. I was interviewing for a corporate finance position. They are looking for CFA’s to manage thier Pension fund, however most of experience in corporate finance and accounting. They do require 10 years of professional work experince.

Very cool stuff. Thanks. Now I want to see the Kingdom lol.

Poncho, Do you have kids? I lived on year in SA, it was very hard on my family. It’s excellent money since it’s tax free but like everything it comes with sacrifices. I had a similar arrangement but I don’t remember the traveling allowance being that much, it was just airline tickets for me and my family once a year.

Poncho, thanks for the information. However, I just can’t fathom why a person with your background (>10yrs exp, CPA, MBA, L2) would be PRESENTLY making anything less than six figures ? Unless you’re living in some really remote location where the cost of living is very low. Poncho Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > > > Watch the recruiting video - its pretty good. > Descriptions of the jobs are under the ‘job > opporturnities’ link this link also has a link to > the recruiting process. > > I have CPA, MBA, and level II canadidate. I was > interviewing for a corporate finance position. > They are looking for CFA’s to manage thier Pension > fund, however most of experience in corporate > finance and accounting. > > They do require 10 years of professional work > experince.

Yes, I have two little ones (ages 4 & 5), so the traveling allowance is for four people. I realize we would be giving up some of freedom and there would a culture shock for the family, however the experience does seem some what interesting. The town where we would living is mostly made of westerners, which I understand is like a medium size US mid-western town. My wife thought I was crazy at first but after seeing we would be pretty safe living there and of course the economic benefit is outstanding, I think she is on board for going if I get the offer. Did you work for Aramco?

No I didn’t work for Aramco. One problem we had is that there was nothing to do with the kids on week-ends, you can’t do anything outdoors unless you’re OK with 120 degrees weather. Also schools were not great ( I have a 6 years old and now a one year old), my son spent a year in a private school there, when we moved back to California he was very much behind his peers in public schools. My wife found a job, but not being able to drive depressed her very much. Work itself is very relaxing compared to the US, the expectations are very low, and they are laid-back (they can afford it I guess) and work very little. We just figured it would be nice going there later on (maybe 10 years from now), but for the time being, it was not worth it.

That sounds like a very different experience than in an aramco town mo. While I would never argue that life is action-packed over there, in an aramco community there is plenty of stuff to do for kids. Great recreational facilities and sports programs, close-knit and fairly large western community, and generally very large compounds (20-30K in Dhahran). The weather is of course an issue, but like I said I grew up there and never felt totally cooped up. The aramco schools are also excellent, in my experience considerably better than your average US public school. And women can drive on aramco compounds. HOWEVER, and this is a big however, you must think long and hard about potential risks before you move your family to Saudi. My parents still live there so obviously they are ok with it (in fact it’s possible my mom could teach your kids if you move there), but the risks of terrorism are real. The compound is surrounded by a barded wire fence and gates are manned with armed guards. The schools are surrounded by 15 foot blast walls. While aramco is well-protected, no one can deter a suicide attacker intent on killing. There have been attacks at aramco / aramco-related facilities (google Abqaiq and Oasis Compound for examples – also keep in mind the press accounts that come of out Saudi are not always fully accurate). None have been hugely successful and things have quieted down, but it is always there in the background.

Big Nodge, You must be what is referred to as an “Aramco Brat”. Everything you’ve said is what I envisioned about living in SA and working for Aramco. Believe me, I’ve done my research and have spoken to other expats and mostly have only heard positive things about living the Aramco life style. The threat of terrorism obviously is a concern for me about my family living in SA. Then again I live in a very large US city and every night on the news you hear about the murders, robbery, rape, drunk driving deaths and etc., which I foresee very little of that happens in SA. I admit I do live in a nice bedroom community away from most of the big city crime. I guess my point there is no place on this earth that is 100% safe. I greatly appreciate you sharing your thoughts and experience living in SA. I will let you know if I get an offer and decide to go.

Yup, I am the quintessential Aramco brat. No question, you are probably still far more likely to be killed in a car crash than by a terrorist, even in Saudi (actually once you’ve driven off a compound in Saudi that isn’t really surprising! those guys are crazy on the road). And, for what it’s worth I wouldn’t trade my time growing up there for anything. Lived an amazing life and was lucky enough to travel to more exotic places by age 15 than most will see in their entire lives. Good luck, let me know how it goes, you can get me at Any questions feel free. My parents have lived in Saudi for a looooong time (since the late 70s) so can probably offer some words of advice. They tell me that there are lots of American joining Aramco now. Even a few years ago it had really slowed down and was mostly Muslim / Arab Americans who would move there, but lately many non-Muslim Americans have been making the move.