Every summer, a group of high school and undergraduate students take part in an exciting KAUST program that exposes them to the world of work. The WISER (Work Internship Student Experience in Research) – Summer Program takes place over four weeks, offering Grade 10-12 and university students under 25 an opportunity to explore a potential future career path.
The work internships are supervised, structured learning experiences in a professional setting, allowing students to gain valuable real-world knowledge and skills. Participants can gain insights into their academic interests, are introduced to the world of research and laboratories, and have the opportunity to visit some of KAUST’s world-class facilities.
“WISER provides High School and University undergraduate students real-world exposure to the world of work – whether they are interning in an academic or research area of the University or working in one of the professional departments. Students can explore a possible future career path or may discover something completely new and different that they decide to pursue. The interns get to work and network with faculty, researchers and staff, and their peers from TKS and universities,” says Nicki Talbot, KAUST-TKS Office of Engagement & Enrichment Director.
In 2022, 104 students participated in the program supported by mentors who included distinguished faculty, post-doctoral fellows, university staff, and graduate students.
“WISE allowed me to network with a variety of students and faculty at KAUST and outline a pathway for my research pursuits after I graduate in May of 2023”, said Kathleen Wing, a university undergraduate who developed her internship project with the Office of Sustainability. “My mentor worked with me to develop a project that was related to my studies at university, opening my eyes to the abundance of career possibilities in sustainable food systems research and nutrition education.”
The program, which has been running since 2016, is a clear example of how KAUST contributes to the SDGs of Quality Education and Decent Work and Economic Growth apart from its traditional role as a graduate-level educational institution. By increasing the number of young students with relevant technical and vocational skills for the job market and fostering networking and potential job opportunities for young adults, the WISER program will continue as a cornerstone of youth development for KAUST.
Learn more about WISER here.