Professional & personal development

This section describes the variety of resources available to graduate students for advice and counsel—whether for individual concerns, career planning, support for student groups on campus, or informal discussions about the day-to-day life of a graduate student—with folks “in the know.” Looking for even more resources? See the Professional development page on the MIT Student Resources site.

Upcoming events

To hear directly about many upcoming events, sign up for the Global Education and Career Development (GECD) Graduate Career News list and the Graduate Student Council Professional Development e-mail list.

Become a graduate community fellow for 2015-16

Interested in joining a cadre of graduate students who work on projects and assignments that enhance graduate community in unique ways? Limited openings are still available for 2015-16 Graduate Community Fellows. Receive a monthly stipend while you gain experience. Positions will be filled on a rolling basis. Open positions include:

  • Graduate Orientation: position available for summer/fall 2016
  • MindHandHeart: Initiative Development
  • Violence Prevention and Response Programming Development

For additional information, please see the positions website. Apply now!


Want to know how your professors made their academic and career choices? Come hear their stories at the new faculty talks series. Dates and speakers for the rest of the series:
Robert Langer, Nov. 30, 4:15 pm, 6-120

Getting Published panel

You’re warmly invited to join the Getting Published panel on Monday November 30, from 2-4 pm in the Coffee House Lounge (MIT Student Center) for a conversation on publishing. Hosted by CEE, the event is open to the MIT community and provides a unique opportunity to meet experienced professionals, gain insights into the editorial processes, and discuss where scientific publishing is heading. The panel will also cover aspects of open access publishing, innovative models of peer review and publishing, and related aspects. Join for an exciting networking event and maximize your research impact.

Confirmed panelists:

  • Dr. Stewart Bland, Senior Publisher and Editor, Materials Today (Elsevier)
  • Dr. Amy Brand, Director, The MIT Press
  • Dr. Rosamund Daw, Senior Editor, Nature (Physical, Chemical and Earth Sciences)
  • Dr. Anna Demming, Editor at the UK-based Institute of Physics Publishing (IOP)
  • Dr. Quincey Justman, Scientific Editor, Cell Systems
  • Dr. Corie Lok, Research Highlights Editor, Nature


Do you want to help your fellow graduate students ease their life at MIT? Join the REFS program and learn conflict management skills. REFS (Resources for Easing Friction and Stress) is an umbrella term for peer support programs at the Institute. REFS provide low barrier, informal, confidential services to their peers in conflict management, and no previous experience is required. During a 40-hour Conflict management training you will learn how to support your fellows and mediate during times of uncertainty, stress or conflict. You can find more information at the application form (above), and you can also contact You can access the application form here, and contact to learn more. The application is due by December 1st.

Student Loan Repayment Strategies

On Tuesday, December 1 from 12-1:30 pm in room 76-156,the Work-Life Center will hold a free seminar from geared toward those who are repaying student loans—your own or your child’s.  It will be presented by Jeanne Mahan, M.A., Director, College Finance, College Coach.

This seminar will address:

  • How to choose a federal repayment plan that will best help you reach your repayment goals
  • What federal and private loan consolidation options are available, and whether or not to use them
  • Ways to avoid becoming delinquent and/or defaulting on education debt, even during times of personal economic hardship
  • Strategies for identifying cash flow that can be used to pay—or even pre-pay—education debt

Register for the event here.


The Teaching & Learning Lab is now accepting applications for the Spring 2016 Kaufman Teaching Certificate Program (KTCP).  Registration is NO LONGER first come, first served. This workshop series is for students interested in developing their teaching skills to support their teaching at MIT, as well as those who are planning careers in academe. To earn a certificate, participants must participate in 7 classroom workshops + 2 videotaped teaching/lesson presentations–see program requirements.

Online application forms will be accepted through Friday, December 4th:  Those admitted to the spring program will be notified on or before Monday, December 21st.
The Program kicks off on Friday, February 5th, with the first workshop: Students as Learners, You as Teacher.  There will be six sections offered, with one reserved for students in NON-science/engineering departments.

SECTION meeting times:
Section 1 – 11:30 a.m.1:30 p.m. (for NON-sci/engg majors only).
Section 2 – 10:00 a.m.12:00 p.m.
Section 3 – 9:30 a.m.11:30 a.m.
Section 4 – 11:00 a.m.1:00 p.m.
Section 5 – 9:30 a.m.11:30 a.m.
Section 6 – afternoon time: TBD

SPRING 2016 Program Meeting Dates:

For any questions about the program, please contact Leann Dobranski (


Breaking The Mold Conference

Breaking the Mold is an initiative to help students develop approaches to managing unconscious biases in the classroom, workplace and board room.  The discussion is split across two conferences: Saturday, December 5, 2015 from 8am-5pm and Friday, February 5, 2016 (half day) in the MIT Media Lab.

The Conference features interactive panels, workshops and keynote speakers: Former President & CEO of the LA Dodgers and Chief Product Officer of OKCupid.

Tickets can be purchased as a bundle (for both conferences) or for the December conference only here.  To learn more about the speakers, the conference and the Breaking the Mold initiative, please visit this site.


McKinsey passionately believes in developing outstanding female leaders. We do so every day, internally and with our clients. We have also published numerous acclaimed pieces that demonstrate the importance of women in leadership positions, including Women Matterand the Centered Leadership project. We’d like to invite you to take the next step of your leadership journey with us by participating in the APD Women’s Leadership Challenge. In this program, we’ll help you:

  • Shape your own leadership style by playing to your strengths
  • Develop your communication style
  • Network with other highly talented women

Our leadership programming and material will be presented via video conference in our local offices. These large sessions allow us to connect every region while our experts present material on leadership topics. After each video conference session, you regional group will meet in person to debrief on the content and practice the new skills you have learned. McKinsey women will lead the debrief sessions to help you practice what you have learned, to help set goals, and to mentor you through the program.

The program is open to APD women (PhDs, JDs, postdocs, medical students, interns, residents, and fellows) currently on campus at Columbia, Harvard, MIT, NYU, Northwestern, and Stanford who will finish programs in 2018 and 2019.
*Your application to this program has no bearing on future applications for full-time or internship roles

This is a year long program that will run January to December 2016. You are expected to participate in quarterly in-person small group meetings on campus.
To apply, please submit your resume by Monday, December 7th. Click here to apply.


The Department of Energy (DOE) Scholars Program is now accepting applications for Summer 2016. The deadline is December 15, 2015.

The DOE Scholars Program offers unique opportunities that introduce students or post-graduates to the agency’s mission and operations. Participants in the DOE Scholars Program gain a competitive edge as they apply their education, talent and skills in a variety of scientific research settings within the DOE complex. Appointments are available in a variety of disciplines at participating DOE facilities nationwide.
Being selected as a DOE Scholar offers the following benefits:

* Career possibilities with the nation’s leading sponsor for scientific research
* Opportunities to learn from top scientists and subject matter experts
* Stipends are a minimum of $600 per week (depending on academic status)
* Travel arrangements to and from appointment site

Applicants must be US Citizens and undergraduates, graduates or post-graduates of an accredited college or university. The program is open to majors in: Engineering; Physical Sciences; Environmental Sciences; Computer Science and Information Technology; Physics; Business; Policy; Program Management; Mathematics; Statistics; Safety and Health; Accounting and Finance; Law; Communications; and other related areas.

Visit the website for more information or to apply. Contact:


Every year Versatile PhD runs an online series of panel discussions in the asynchronous discussion forums on the site. Each discussion focuses on a specific non-academic career that is open to PhDs, and features 4–6 PhDs or ABDs currently working in that career.

Panel discussions coming up in this academic year:

Nov. 16–20: “University Administration for STEM” in the STEM forum
Jan. 25–29: “Careers in Business” in the Humanities/Social Science forum
Feb. 22–26: “Careers in Software Engineering” in the STEM forum
Mar. 14–18: “Careers in Technical Writing” in the Humanities/Social Science forum

Visit this website to access the Versatile PhD online community.