One thing that sets KAUST apart from many of its peers is resourcing. I had an opportunity to travel and participate in academic conferences and workshops that many of my colleagues in other schools could only dream of.
Juho Häppölä Alumni, Ph.D.' 17 in Applied Mathematics and Computational Sciences

Mountains, Monkeys and Management (Consultancy)

Born in Finland, Juho is another example of a scientist snapped up by the large management consultancies.

With Finland very different to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, we just had to ask Juho what he remembers most about his time at KAUST?

''There are a lot of good memories, from hiking in the surrounding areas, especially accidentally intruding into the territory of a screaming pack of baboons somewhere on the mountains of western Saudi, a memory that I will not forget easily.''

He then added, ''There is a lot to see outside the gates. I would advise anyone to get out and see the mountains.''

Juho's current role at Bain & Company has him working across multiple industries. The specific content of his projects varies a lot. He deal with clients that are leaders in their industries to help them solve complex challenges. As a senior associate consultant, he manages and owns a component of the project and reports to the case team leader or manager. For example, his work can involve developing and maintaining a model of the client's financials.

We were keen to know how Juho succeeded in being hired by Bain & Company.

''About 18 months before my graduation, I started contacting companies to inquire about career opportunities. I think it is good to create a relationship with prospective employers well in advance; this enables you to enter the formal application process with an appropriate mind-set.''

He added, ''I knew to expect a thorough interview process so I prepared for the interview and testing well in advance. There are many excellent free materials available. Having spent a good amount of time preparing myself helped a lot in securing offers.''

We wanted to hear his views on KAUST.

''I have a friend who did an internship at KAUST and told me a lot of amazing stories about his experiences. Looking at his photos and listening to the stories he told, made me think, "I wish I was there to experience that." KAUST was very young at the time and a lot of the structure that exists now was not in place yet, but I was attracted to this new venture,'' he recalled.

 We asked Juho how did KAUST helped him with his studies?

''One thing that sets KAUST apart from many of its peers is resourcing. I had an opportunity to travel and participate in academic conferences and workshops that many of my colleagues in other schools could only dream of,'' he replied.

And his advice to anyone?

''I would suggest people consider the steps after KAUST more thoroughly than I did because Saudi Arabia and the Middle East offer some unique job opportunities. They should assess if those opportunities fit their goals.'' he answered.

Juho went on to say, ''Now that KAUST has matured, there is already an emerging record of alumni accomplishments to review. I would advise a close look at what the average alumnus is doing after graduating from your program of choice.''