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

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:

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

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

Success & Failure TED Talk

Date: April 27th, 2016

What does it mean to be successful? Come join us on April 27th from 5:30-6:30 pm in 32-155 to watch a selection of TED Talks about success and join us in discussing what success and failures mean for us in life, grad school and careers. Pizza , snacks and drinks provided! Contact with any questions!

CAP Lunch & Learn for PhD students and post-docs: Data Analytics and Machine Learning for Powering Job Search Engines

Date: April 27th, 2016

Join us on Wednesday, April 27th, 2016 at 1pm in Room 32-G449 of the Stata Center for a discussion on:

  • Taxonomy of the kinds of jobs people can get after they graduate and an outline for deciding which ones to focus on.
  • Career path from Course 16 (Aeronautics & Astronautics) at MIT to appointment as the head of a Data Analytics and Machine Learning group at Jobcase, a late-stage social media startup in Kendall Square.
  • Current focus: Full reengineering of core job search technology that powers over 100 jobsites. Jobcase applies analytical expertise in user behavior modeling, data quality, and search result scoring to create a total registration membership to date of 48 million+ Americans.

Preregistration is required.

Terran Melconian (’00, SM ’01) manages the Data Analytics and Machine Learning team at Jobcase. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Course 16 at MIT, where he researched the robustness of airline schedules to adverse weather. Terran subsequently worked on Image Search at Google and on reliability and big data at TripAdvisor. At Jobcase, the analytics team focuses on user behavior modeling, data quality, and search result scoring.

Fred Goff (SM ‘01) is an entrepreneur and workers advocate building technology to better serve working men & women to achieve success.   In 2009 he reorganized a machine learning asset management company to launch – a company now considered the only social media site dedicated to empowering the American workforce.   Jobcase, a CSAIL affiliate member, harnesses the power of big data to effectively provide tools, and to connect and empower America’s workforce on a local level, matching the right candidate with the right mentors and career opportunities at the right time.

Previously, Goff was a proprietary trader and hedge fund manager of various companies, successfully managing up to $1 billion. Fred Goff holds a MS in Management of Technology from MIT, as well as a MS in Public Policy Management and BS in Managerial Economics & Industrial Management from Carnegie Mellon University.

What is the CAP Lunch & Learn?

The CAP Lunch & Learn (L&L) is an informal lunchtime event planned for a small group of MIT Ph.D. students and postdocs who are thinking about an eventual career in industry. It is hosted by CSAIL Alliances and a guest from one of CSAIL’s affiliate companies. The event is highlighted by a short talk given by a senior corporate executive who presents a technical topic, explains how research in industry differs from academic research and shares personal experiences and a candid account of their own career path for the benefit of the participants. The speakers are encouraged to share honest perspectives about their career path and refrain from recruitment “pitching” and there will be ample Q&A.

financial planning

Date: April 28th, 2016

Join us on Thursday, April 28, 7:00 p.m. in 4-370 for an enlightening seminar on financial planning.

  • Seminars’ Topics: Establishing Goals, Cash Reserves, Debts & Insurance, Investments, Taxes, Estate Planning, and Finding Help
  • Financial Planner, Mark Porter ’05, offers advisory services through Northeast Planning Associates (NPA), a registered investment adviser.
  • Securities offered through LPL Financial, member FINRA/SIPC. NPA and LPL Financial are not affiliated. He holds a degree in finance from MIT with a minor in economics.
  • Register for this free event!

Contact with any questions!

 Impostor Syndrome talk with Valerie Young‏

Date: May 3, 2016

Join us on May 3, 2016 from 6:45pm-9:30 pm in 32-123 for “The Impostor Syndrome: Why Capable People Suffer from It & How to Thrive in Spite of It.” Registration required-limited tickets.

Dr. Valerie Young, one of the leading experts in the study of The Impostor Syndrome, will speak on her years of research on the topic which examines and discusses the millions of professionals who experience the confidence-zapping feeling about themselves and their success. She will share her empowering plan to overcome the needless self-doubt that keeps individuals from feeling as intelligent and competent as everyone else knows they are.

Key Take Aways:

• Why the impostor syndrome is not “just low self-esteem”
• Creative ways “impostors” discount or minimize their success
• 7 perfectly good reasons why smart people feel like frauds
• How your personal Competence Type may be setting you (or your employees) up to fall short
• Procrastination, perfectionism and other unconscious coping strategies “impostors” use to avoid being found out
• The cost of the impostor syndrome on organizations
• Why women are both more susceptible to and held back by impostor feelings
• Practical steps to help yourself, your employees, or high achieving children to interrupt the impostor syndrome and end needless self-doubt.

Make the Leap — Transitioning into Consulting

Date: May 5th, 2016

Join us on Thursday, May 5th, 2016, 6pm in E51-115 for Make the Leap. Make the Leap brings together a panel of consultants from premier consulting firms. They will discuss why and how they made the transition from academia into consulting. They will also discuss the application process and the interview tips. The panelists this year are from McKinsey, BCG, Simon-Kucher, Clarion, ClearView. Please RSVP! Contact with any questions.

ASML phd master class‏

Date: May 19-21, 2016

ASML is hosting the fourth edition of the master class at our head office in the Netherlands. We have room for 60 excellent (technical) PhD students who are in their final year or have max two years of experience (industry or academia) after completion of the PhD. During the PhD Master Class, we will be showcasing some of the fascinating and extreme technology challenges that we are currently facing. They will experience our way of doing things and get a strong impression of the ASML culture. For three days, they are invited you to use their “brilliant mind” in a team-based workshop aimed at cracking those challenges. We will also be setting up personal exploration interviews to get them  acquainted with ASML and they will meet peers from all over the world.
More information on the event can be found at the website. 
Deadline for registration is February 28th.

MIT-SUTD Collaboration and LeaderShape Institute

May 31 – June 5, 2016

The LeaderShape Institute is an intense 6-day leadership program guaranteed to expand your skills in leading with integrity. The Leadership Institute is interested in recruiting Cluster Facilitators and an On-Site Coordinator for May 31, 2016 – June 5, 2016. This is a wonderful opportunity to work with students from MIT and the Singapore University of Technology and Design. Room and board provided plus competitive compensation.

The On-Site Coordinators serve as an important member of The LeaderShape Institute team. They will carry out logistical and conference management tasks which are crucial to the success of the program. The On-Site Coordinators will work alongside the facilitators to help ensure success while staying one step ahead of the curriculum so that all of the details are organized at the beginning of each program piece. He or she works in partnership with Lead and Cluster Facilitators to ensure the success of the program and is responsible for organizing the materials for both faculty and participants. If you are interested, please contact with your resume.

You can read about our latest alumni working at the New York Times or Palantir.  For additional information, checkout our blog, Venture Beat article, or Harvard Business Review piece.

Summer Data Science Fellowship Opportunity

Date: June 6th-July 29th, 2016

The Data Incubator is an intensive 8 week fellowship that prepares Masters, PhDs, and postdocs in STEM + social science fields seeking industry careers as data scientists. The program is free for Fellows and supported by sponsorships from hundreds of employers across multiple industries. In response to the overwhelming interest in our earlier sessions, we will be holding another fellowship. There will be both an in-person (in NYC, DC, SF) and online section of the fellowship. There is a common application for both the online and in-person sections. Dates: All sections will be from June 6th-July 29th, 2016. Anyone within one year of graduating from a masters or PhD program or who has already obtained a masters or PhD is welcome to apply. Applications from international students are welcome. Everyone else is encouraged to sign up for a future session. You can read about our latest alumni working at the New York Times or Palantir. For additional information, checkout our blog, Venture Beat article, or Harvard Business Review piece.