On January 12 and 13, 2012, the MIT Office of Resource Development and the MIT Alumni Association held an Institutional Intelligence Forum to create a foundation of knowledge for their vital work to encourage philanthropic support for the MIT community, including graduate students. The plenary session “The MIT Graduate Student Experience” featured graduate students Adekunle M. Adeyemo (Chemical Engineering, from Nigeria), Steve Cranford (Civil and Environmental Engineering, from Canada), Ellan Spero (Science, Technology, and Society, GSC Vice President, from US), and Chanikarn “Mint” Wongviriyawong (Mechanical Engineering, from Thailand). The students discussed where they were (country, university, field of study etc.) when they first found out they were accepted to MIT, and why they choose to come; the differences and similarities of their undergraduate experience vs. their MIT experience; some of the highlights of their time at MIT; what they have learned the most so far from being at MIT; their greatest accomplishments so far; their post-gradsuation plans; and their interactions with alumni. They provided wonderful insight into the graduate experience, and beautifully articulated the value of their graduate education. The session was moderated by Dean for Graduate Education Christine Ortiz.
Other sessions included a vision for the future by Judith Cole, Executive Vice President and CEO of the MIT Alumni Association, and Jeffrey Newton, Vice President for Resource Development; an exploration of “Advancing Philanthropy to MIT”; a conversation with President Susan Hockfield; breakout sessions; and a discussion of “Going Global: MIT’s Growing Role in the International Community.”