The KGSP alumni network spans over 450 alumni total. With majority of KGSP students matriculating to KAUST following their undergraduate studies, the Program's Alumni Council and Lead works to facilitate and maintain connections between the alumni body.
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KGSP Alumni Company Talks
During fall 2023, the KGSP launched the “Alumni Company Talks” monthly webinar series featuring former KGSP students discussing their roles and experiences at their current employers and offering insights to current KGSP undergraduates on career development and professional growth. This direct interaction between current students and program alumni is beneficial as undergraduates form plans for their own career paths and pursue enrichment opportunities such as internships, fellowships, and research placements. So far, Company Talks have featured KGSP alumni working at Aramco, Google, and IBM.
Image 1: Mayadah Alhashem
At the first installment of the Company Talks series in October, KGSP students had the opportunity to hear from alumna Mayadah Alhashem, currently an Artificial Lift Engineer at Aramco. “This webinar series offers invaluable insights into career trajectories across various industries and roles,” Mayadah said. “By learning from alumni experiences, students can expand their perspectives on potential career paths aligned to their own interests and strengths. My journey from undergrad to Saudi Aramco via KAUST highlights how opportunities can unfold in unexpected yet fulfilling ways.” Mayadah graduated with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara in June 2015. She later earned a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from KAUST in October 2018. At Aramco, Mayadah utilizes AI and Machine Learning to solve engineering problems.
Image 2: Alya Nowality
KGSP alumna Alya Nowality discussed her employment at IBM Technology Export Labs as a Data and AI Consultant at the Company Talks session held in November 2023. “I felt it was a great opportunity to reconnect with the KGSP Community after spending some time apart from it following the pandemic and graduation from KAUST,” Alya noted on her motivation to participate in the Company Talks. “In my time as a KGSP student I had the honor of listening to older alumni speak about their journeys within the program and beyond. I didn't realize how much their advice resonated with me until much later. I still carry their words and wisdom with me as I grow, and really, I felt that if I could impart just a fraction of the wisdom they shared with me to a newer generation of students, then I would've done my part.” Alya graduated from George Mason University in May 2018 with a B.S. in Computer Science. She later obtained a master’s degree in computer science with a focus in AI from KAUST. From the Talks, Alya said she hopes current students takeaway the importance of not limiting themselves in their career searches, adding, “Everyone wants the internship at Google, but that's not the only way to enrich your professional and personal experiences… Take risks and find a way to apply your personal brand to everything you do! Be open-minded when looking for opportunities, advocate for yourself because you cannot expect anyone else to, and finally, remember to be kind to yourself.”
Image 3: Abdullah Aldalaan Image 4: Ruba Aldossary Image 5: Yousef Alowayed
Other KGSP alumni featured in the Company Talks series include: Abdullah Aldalaan, an Associate Auditor at Aramco, graduated from Purdue University with a B.S. in Computer Science in May 2020, and got his master’s in Computer Science from KAUST in August 2022; Ruba Aldossary, a Product Development Engineer at Aramco, graduated with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Irvine in December 2021; Yousef Alowayed, a Software Engineer at Google, graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Computer Science & Physics, and obtained his M.S. in Computer Science from KAUST in December 2018.
The Alumni Company Talks initiative is just one example of how the KGSP fosters opportunities for networking and engagement across Cohorts to promote student connections to other like-minded individuals as they explore career trajectories beyond the Program. With insight from Program alumni, students find themselves even more equipped to tackle the job market and achieve their goals. The KGSP looks forward to the continued bridged gaps across generations, and to the future achievements of students as they become leaders and experts in their career fields.