Student Spotlights

On their home university campuses, KGSP students take advantage of many fun and educational activities to explore the intersection of their academic and personal interests. Engagement with activities outside the classroom is highly encouraged by the KGSP, as such opportunities allow students to expand their knowledge, broaden their social network, and develop their professional business acumen; qualities that will benefit and enrich their development both as students and as future leaders. 

Student Spotlight: Iliyas Alabdulaal

Iliyas at University of Wisconsin- Madison

Iliyas Alabdulaal, a sophomore at University of Wisconsin-Madison majoring in Computer Science, is currently serving as a Peer Student Guide (PSG) for the KGSP. In this role, he helped in the onboarding procedures for Cohort 13 in May 2021, introducing them to the KGSP community and helping to prepare them for the beginning of their KGSP journey. In addition, the PSGs supported the KGSP staff during this year’s Pre-Departure Programming, held June - August, by actively engaging in the event sessions, posing questions, and providing fun and informative interactions like a virtual cooking lesson and game night with the new students. The PSGs continue to assist the new students through the Fall 2021 term with additional post-PDP sessions.

As a Direct-to-Undergraduate student, Iliyas provided insight and advice on his transition moving from a freshman to a sophomore which was helpful to new students starting the Program as freshman. Iliyas describes the transition into a sophomore as “a significant leap”, especially as classes have returned to in-person from their previous virtual and remote structures.

“Don’t worry so much when starting off. Things won’t always go your way initially, and that’s okay,” Iliyas stated. “As you progress through your academic career, you'll be much more adapted to managing yourself and your studies.” From first-hand experience, Iliyas admits to instantly speaking with his professor whenever he needs more clarification with the subject matter in his class lecture, whether by sending an email or meeting with the professor during office hours. “I would recommend always utilizing your resources. They can be of great value, especially in university,” he advised.

Iliyas has an interest in machine language-driven cybersecurity. He appreciates the KGSP and the support to pursue his education and the support in his search for worthwhile enrichment opportunities. His role as a PSG is influenced by his current development and growth, making him a great leader and mentor for the KGSP’s new cohort who are also participating in their own academic and professional achievement journey.