At the end of January, the KGSP hosted its annual Engagement Event in San Diego, California. This unique event brought together all students from across the three KGSP programs to network with one another, meet with KGSP advisors and management, participate in academic and pre-professional workshops, presentations, and trainings, learn from KGSP alumni and current KAUST students, as well as interact with more than 30 members of KAUST faculty and leadership who generously traveled from Saudi Arabia for the three-day conference. This event gave students the chance to learn about the many opportunities available to them as KGSP students including enrichment, summer internship placements, future academic studies at KAUST, and future career paths.
During the event, all undergraduates met with KAUST faculty to discuss their academic paths, potential research opportunities, and other areas of interest during one-on-one mentoring sessions. With research being at the heart of KAUST, these meetings with faculty are instrumental in helping students determine the type of research they would like to pursue.
Foundation Year students learned about summer Pre-Freshman Programs, and were advised on next steps in their undergraduate placement process.They also learned about the proper methods to secure research opportunities prior to entering college next academic year.
ESL students participated in roundtable discussions and workshops where they focused on the college application process. They had the chance to hear presentations from seasoned KGSP students on leading STEM research they conducted while on campus at MIT, Purdue University, University of Wisconsin-Madison and KAUST.
KAUST faculty addressed students in smaller breakout sessions highlighting university accomplishments and current research being done at KAUST. Additionally, KGSP alumni offered advice to students during a panel discussion with tips on how to succeed in their undergraduate programs and eventually at KAUST.
Finally, students had the opportunity to engage in professional network-driven activities like academic preparation, exchanging business cards, and engaging in professional conversations amongst their peers, KAUST faculty and management. These activities help prepare the students beyond their current academic goals for post-study research and work opportunities.
From the fostering of student, faculty, and management relationships to the academic and enrichment workshops, the Engagement Event was not only an overwhelming success, but a representation of the unique opportunities KGSP provides to talented Saudi students. KGSP is looking forward to hosting the Engagement Event in 2016.