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.

MIT Venture Capital and innovation Conference

Date: Friday, December 12th | 8AM-6PM
Location: Boston

The 17th Annual MIT Venture Capital & Innovation Conference is back with a fresh, new format.  This year, we are re-vamping the conference in a TEDtalks style with hard-hitting keynotes and dynamic panels.  With two female Managing Directors, the conference also has the highest ratio of female speakers in its 17-year history, and also the highest among any student-run investment conference.  This year, we’re featuring seven keynotes, four interactive panels, a Startup Showcase Happy Hour, and an MIT Technology Showcase so you can see and experience first-hand the innovative, disruptive technologies coming from MIT labs!  Tickets are available here.


volunteer consulting group

Apply by: Monday, December 15, 2014
The Volunteer Consulting Group (VCG) is organized by the Consulting Club at MIT (CCM) to give graduate students valuable experience and introduce them to consulting work. You will do a project in a small team with one of three local companies on a real business problem they have. Representatives from these companies will be available to the VCG team as needed. The program will run for 5 weeks starting January 5, 2015. After a first week of preparation (consulting/mini-MBA workshop and meeting with CEO of the company), you will need to commit approximately 8-10 hours per week for the following 4-week period of time, including two weekly meetings, one with the team and one with the host company.

 Any graduate student or postdoc at MIT who is interested in consulting, working with start-up companies or simply looking for a different, interesting experience is welcome to apply.

To apply, please send a 200-word statement of purpose to explaining how you would benefit from the VCG by Monday, December 15th, 2014. Also rank your preference for project #1, #2 and #3 (below). In the mean time you can address eventual questions to the CCM managers responsible for each project (listed below).

Projects for this year:

1. Health care start-up: (concept testing)

A private entrepreneur with previous experience as CEO in a Cambridge, MA biotechnology start-up is seeking to develop a web-based platform with the potential to disrupt current health care service pricing models. This VCG project will assess the feasibility of the concept through market and stakeholder analysis, customer identification and segmentation, and revenue model viability.

2. Best Bet Solutions: (Market and pricing analysis)

Best Bet Solutions uses a proprietary software called MyBestBets to improve post-secondary and career outcomes, especially for young people who have been disconnected from education and/or the workforce. It primarily serves high schools, community colleges, and national youth-serving networks. The company wants to improve connectivity to its end-users and adapt its pricing model. This VCG project will look at the education market and evaluate different pricing strategies based on market demand, competitive landscape, company’s capabilities, and cash flow analysis.

3. ThirdChannel: (Market and pricing analysis)

ThirdChannel (“3C”) is gaining traction as the preeminent retail intelligence network that retail brands use to power their in-store strategies. ThirdChannel’s cloud-based technology parses through the millions of data events coming from its client’s stores and feeds back data that matters most in a clear, streamlined view so that its client can make decisions to effect near immediate sales. 3C technology wants to expand its client base in and beyond retail stores in the US. This VCG project includes analyses of market demand for the technology in and outside of the US, pricing strategies based on location and demand, and job outsourcing opportunities in the case of international expansion.

Additional questions can be addressed to the team organizer of each project:

Project 1: John Ballew (Email:

Project 2: Kartik A Shah (Email:

Project 3: Sabin Dhakal (Email:

2015 HUD Innovation in Affordable Housing Student Design and Planning Competition

Registration Deadline: December 18, 2014

The second annual HUD Innovation in Affordable Housing Student Design and Planning Competition challenges multi-disciplinary, graduate student teams to respond to a real life affordable housing design and planning issue. Multidisciplinary teams must be comprised of a minimum of three students (no more than five) plus one faculty advisor, representing at least three graduate level programs: architecture, planning/public policy, or business/real estate/social entrepreneurship. To learn more and register visit the event website. The competition is sponsored by HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R).


mickey leland energy fellowship

Apply by: Friday, January 2, 2015
Application available here
The Mickey Leland Energy Fellowship (MLEF) Program provides students with an opportunity to gain and develop research skills with the Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy for 10 weeks over the summer.  For 20 years, this program has increased awareness of DOE research opportunities to students pursuing STEM degrees (science, technology, engineering and math).  The goal of the program is to improve opportunities for women and minority students in these fields, however all eligible candidates are encouraged to apply.  Stipends start at $600 per week ($750 for masters students and $850 for PhD students) and eligible Fellows will receive an additional travel and housing allowance.  To be eligible, you must be at least 18 years of age at the time of application, a U.S. Citizen, have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0, and be enrolled full-time at an accredited college or university (sophomore year or higher) or had a Ph.D. conferred on or after January 2nd, 2014 in a STEM degree.