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.”

Upcoming events

To hear directly about 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.

Summer Teaching Certificate Program

The Teaching and Learning Lab will be offering its Teaching Certificate Program this summer in an accelerated format. This workshop series is for students and postdocs interested in developing their teaching skills as well as those who are planning careers in academe. To earn a certificate, students must participate in 7 classroom workshops and a videotaped teaching/lesson presentation. Registration is required and will open at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, April 14th. (Mark your calendars now! Space is limited and all sections are usually full 24-48 hours after registration opens). The Summer Program kicks off on Tuesday, May 27th, with the first workshop: Students as Learners, You as Teacher. There will be five sections offered, with one reserved for students in NON-science/engineering departments. For more information, visit the program website. For any questions about the program, please contact Leann Dobranski (  This program is now waitlist only.

GWAMIT Empowerment Conference – Closing Keynote

Date: Thursday, April 17 | 5:30 PM
Location: 32-155

Ruha Benjamin, Assistant Professor of Sociology and African American Studies at Boston University and Author of People’s Science: Bodies and Rights on the Stem Cell Frontier, will close the 2014 GWAMIT Empowerment Conference with a talk and discussion about subverting systems of power.  She explores how gaming and hacking can serve as competing metaphors for engaging life more broadly.  She suggests that while “playing the game” may benefit us as individuals in the short term, “hacking the system” is a long-term strategy for collective well-being.  Drawing upon the metaphor of hacking, she encourages conference participants to use their positions working in systems of power to write new codes for collective well-being and program alternative futures characterized by greater equity and justice.

Louis G Seigle AWard

Date: Contact Your Graduate Administrator by Friday, April 18 | Nominations due Friday, April 25

The Louis G Seigle award is intended for a graduate student pursuing entrepreneurial activities, or one who has proposed such activities.  The applicant must be a Texas citizen.  First priority will be given to citizens of the Houston, Texas area with a second priority available to other Texans.  The award covers 3 months in the summer with a stipend.  Interested students should contact their graduate administrator by April 18 with their resume and statement of activities, as nominations are due to the ODGE by April 25.  For more information, visit the ODGE awards webpage.

Women Empowered in stem 2014

Date: Saturday, April 19 | 9:45-6:00 PM
Location: Hotel and Conference Center at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign

The 2014 weSTEM conference will contain two keynote lectures, dual-track session talks, break-out discussion forums, and social networking sessions.  The event is open to female graduate students around the country.  Financial support to attend weSTEM 2014 will be offered to up to 20 students. Funding decisions will be made based on the application for attendance, available here.  All students (undergraduate and graduate) in STEM programs are invited to apply.

Spring Dissertation Bootcamp

Date: Monday, April 21-Friday, May 2 | Register by April 19 at 5:00 PM

Enjoy a reserved and quiet space away from your lab and home to write.  Finish your thesis with maximum productivity.  Breakfast is provided each day.  Register  online, and contact for more information.

Alternative Careers in Science – speed networking event

Date: Tuesday, April 22 | 6:00-9:00 PM
Location: BU School of Medicine, Hiebert Lounge, 72 East Concord St, Boston

This event is for men and women within the scientific community (from undergrads to early career levels) who are interested in exploring diverse career options in science.  Participants will have the opportunity to interact with 10-15 experienced individuals who will give insight into their chosen professions.  The event will be held in a speed-networking fashion with participants switching tables every 15 minutes for a total of 5 sessions.  Please, note this is not a career fair.  The main career areas will be consulting, patent law, research & development, technology transfer, publishing/medical writing, academia, business development, competitive intelligence, teaching, medical science liaison, sales and human resources.  General Admission $30, MASS AWIS members $15.  Register online before April 8th for a chance to win a Starbucks gift-card.

Campus to career

Date: Tuesday, April 22 | 7:00-8:30 PM
Location: 32-155

Graduating soon?  Wondering what to expect in your new job?  4 dynamic alumni panelists will be addressing your questions as well as sharing their own experiences in the first years following graduation.  Topics will include: finding, establishing, and maintaining relationships with mentors; how working in teams is different in industry than at MIT; what qualities to develop in order to be a successful supervisor; and the most difficult part of transitioning into industry.  Register for the event online.

NIH Public Access Compliance Hands-on Working Session

Date: Thursday, April 24 | 1:00-2:00 PM
Location: 14N-132

Missing a PMCID? Can’t figure out why a paper isn’t in compliance? Lost in the NIH manuscript system? Join us for a problem solving session. This session is designed to provide an opportunity for hands on problem solving in the systems that need to be navigated in the process of submitting and authorizing manuscripts and reporting progress on NIH Funded Grants (eRA Commons; NIHMS, and MyNCBI). Please bring your NIH compliance problems to this session to work through together. Registration is online and encouraged.

Patent searching fundamentals

Date: Thursday, April 24 | 5:00-6:00 PM or Friday, April 25 | 12:00-1:00 PM
Location: 14N-132

You won’t come out of this session qualified to be a patent attorney, but you will be able to successfully find patent references from all over the world, and know how to find patent text and diagrams. This will be a hands-on session that will help de-mystify the patent literature and show key resources for finding patents through free resources available on the web. Register here for the Thursday 5 – 6 PM session; register here for the Friday 12-1 PM session.

Make the leap

Date: Thursday, April 24 | 6:00-7:30 PM
Location: 1-190

The MIT Consulting Club is holding Make the Leap, an event that brings together a panel of ex-graduate students who have embarked on careers at top consulting firms.  The event addresses the transition process from graduate school to life as a consultant.  More specifically, the moderated panel will discuss why and how to make the transition, how an advanced degree fits into a consulting career, the application process and interview tips, among other interesting topics.  Participating firms include BCG, ClearView, Exponent, McKinsey & Company, and Putnam Associates.  The panel discussion will be followed by Q&A, so attendees can ask their own questions.  Dinner will be provided.

Going beyond Google Scholar: Using the Web of Science and Other Citation Searching Resources to Discover Articles

Date: Monday, April 28 | 12:00-1:00 PM
Location: 14N-132

Do you usually look for articles by searching keywords and authors? Try tracking ideas back and forth through time by searching citations to and from articles, reports and other scholarly literature. Citation searching started with the Science Citation Index (Web of Science) and now is part of several other information sources such as Scopus, e-journal collections, and Google Scholar. We will look at several places where you can find scholarly literature through citations and the different results you can get.

Collect and Create Your Own Geographic Data

Date: Monday, April 28 | 2:00-4:00 PM
Location: 14N-132

Can’t find the data you need online? No problem! In this workshop you’ll learn how to collect data in the field using GPS units and phone apps and then use it in GIS software. You’ll also explore georeferencing scanned maps, drawing new data layers (like roads or rivers), and mapping points from a spreadsheet based on coordinates or addresses. Prerequisite: A basic knowledge of GIS and ArcGIS software. Register online.

Creating an effective CV for the ACADEMIC Job search

Date: Monday, April 28 | 3:00-4:00 PM
Location: 4-153

The CV is used for the academic job search and in some cases for PhDs seeking a research position in other settings.  This workshop will cover the important elements of a CV, including strategies for how to showcase your particular knowledge and experiences effectively.  We will also discuss some aspects of the academic job search – such as writing a research or teaching statement, or obtaining letters of recommendation.  It’s helpful to bring a copy of your CV or a draft with you to refer to as we go through the material in the workshop.  Register on CareerBridge under the events tab.

University of oxford graduate school information session

Date: Tuesday, April 29 | 4:00-5:00 PM
Location: Boston University, Center for Career Development, 100 Bay State Road, 6th Floor

You are warmly invited to join representatives from the University of Oxford and recent alumni to learn more about the benefits of graduate study at Oxford, graduate life in the UK, the application process, and Oxford’s 850+ fully funded scholarships for entry in 2015-2016.  For more information, visit the website.  To register, please email

MIT Education DesignShop

Date: Saturday and Sunday, May 3-4 | 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Location: Cambridge Innovation Center

We’re bringing together all key stakeholders in education (whether a student, faculty member, staff member, or a non-affiliate to MIT). Work in teams to learn design thinking, and apply it to re-envision the education system! Prizes, food, and a ground-breaking movement in innovation are all included.  Applications due April 16th!

DREAMIT Ventures: Lunch and Learn Info Session

Date: Thursday, May 8 | 12:30-2:00 PM
Location: E62-250

Elliot Menschik of DreamIt Ventures will be coming to the Boston area to hold a “Lunch and Learn” information session and networking event.  RSVP hereDreamIt Ventures is a startup accelerator that invests in and works closely with exceptional teams to create high-growth potential businesses.  They provide capital, coaching, a community of peers, a curriculum tailored to first-time founders, and connections that help these startups increase the likelihood of success.  They do this through three or four month long programs in New York, Philadelphia, Austin, and Baltimore.

2014 Legatum Conference: Elements of Entrepreneurship

Date: Saturday, May 10
Location: MIT Media Lab

This year’s conference will have four panels.  One panel discussion will focus on businesses created from the earth, agri-business in Africa.  We will explore Latin American technology ventures conducting business through the air.  Fire being the oldest form of energy used by man, we will look at some of Asia’s newest innovations in energy production.  Finally, we will learn about successful entrepreneurs and the investment in innovation springing up by the water of the Persian Gulf.  The experts and entrepreneurs speaking at this year’s conference will ground us, breathe life into new ideas, ignite our passion for innovation, and sustain us.  The speakers will include Jeff Hoffman, Founder & CEO, Priceline,, Colorjar; David Auerbach, Co-Founder, Sanergy, Legatum Fellow, MIT 2011; and Dr. Franklin Chang Diaz, Founder, Chairman & CEO, Ad Astra Rocket Company, MIT 1977.  Register online.