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.

Weekly Events

Mondays in the Chapel: RESILIENCE

When: Oct 2 – Dec 11 every Monday from 12 PM – 1 PM
Where: MIT Chapel
A time of reflection and inspiration | Bridging the sacred and secular
Mondays in the Chapel offer a needed pause in the often-frenzied pace of daily life to consider the topic of resilience. Lunch is provided from 12:00-12:30pm in W11; Music and remarks take place in the Chapel 12:30-1:00pm. Music is provided by MIT Chapel Artist in Residence Nedelka Prescod. Free and open to all.

iREFS Office Hours

When: Thursdays 1-2pm
Where: 4-146
Walk in & directly access an iREFS member to talk to – no sign up required! The iREFS will immediately take you out to coffee for a confidential conversation. iREFS is a graduate student group that provides peer support for all graduate students across the Institute. iREFS is comprised of graduate students who undergo a 40 hour training in conflict management at MIT. iREFS members can make informed referrals to other resources and offices at MIT.

Regular Events


When: Now!

Join the Working Group on Graduate Tuition Models! The group began last fall to help identify better ways to support graduate students throughout their time at MIT. Help assess competitiveness including tuition, stipend, medical insurance, fees, indirect costs, employee benefits, and fellowship support. Review tuition models, including all-but-dissertation, non-resident status, terminal graduate registration, and reduced tuition models of our peers. Contact if you are interested or have questions!

2018 Fall Career Fair Committee Application Open

When: Deadline November 24th at 11:59 PM

Applications for the 2018 Fall Career Fair Committee are now open, and are due 11:59PM Friday, November 24th. The Fall Career Fair is the largest MIT career fair, and is one of the largest student-run career fairs in the country. Applicants should send their name, resume, and cover letter to cf-directors by deadline to be considered. Details on cover letter and Career Fair Committee positions can be found at the following link.

GEMS Certificate Program Info Session

When: Application Deadline: November 27
Turn your vision into reality! All undergraduates and graduate students are encouraged to apply. Leadershape is for participants committed to taking their leadership abilities to the next level. The program is a six-day immersion program that challenges participants to lead with integrity while working towards a vision grounded in their deepest values. Participants explore what they want to do and who they want to be.

LeaderShape Institute MIT 2018

When: Application Deadline: November 27, and January 16

4-day, off-campus retreat in Sharon, MA during IAP 2018 (January 14-17) Application available 10/2- 11/27, 2017 and takes only 10 minutes to complete. Historically has only been open to undergraduates but this year it is open to graduate students for the first time! The LeaderShape Institute’s mission is to produce a breakthrough in the leadership capacity of its participants. Conducted more than 70 times a year at campuses and organizations nationwide. A group of highly respected MIT staff and faculty facilitators leads 60-70 participants through intensive activities, discussions, and group exercise

Brian Dear and Justin Reich discuss The Friendly Orange Glow

When: Nov 28 from 6 pm – 7 pm
Where: The MIT Press Bookstore, 301 Mass Ave
URL: eventbrite

MIT CMSW faculty Justin Reich discusses The Friendly Orange Glow with author Brian Dear. When Steve Jobs was only a teenager and Mark Zuckerberg wasn’t even born, a group of engineers and designers created a computer system called PLATO. In the 60s and 70s, this pioneered what we now collectively engage in as cyberculture and became a model for every online community that followed. Join us to hear new perspectives on the origins of social computing and our internet-infatuated world. This event is free and includes a book signing. Copies of the book will be available at a 20% discount.

Out And Out: Ex-Muslims Normalizing Dissent

When: Nov 30 from 7 pm – 9 pm
Where: 2-190
URL: eventbrite

The Secular Society of MIT’s “Out And Out” series of events in support of ex-theists of diverse communities returns for its fourth episode. We host an ensemble panel of ex-Muslim atheists on a continental tour, discussing equality, Islam and human rights from an apostate perspective. The panel comprises prominent public ex-Muslim activists Sarah Haider, Muhammad Syed, and Maryam Namazie. Refreshments will be provided. Registration on Eventbrite is free, and required for entry. In collaboration with Ex-Muslims of North America (EXMNA).

Vatican Hack

When: Deadline to apply: November 30, 2017
Where: The Vatican, Rome, Italy
URL: vatican hack

Leverage technology and innovation to create solutions that will help the world as part of an MIT student team. Apply to take part in this unique hackathon opportunity at the Vatican in Rome on March 9-11, 2018. The MIT Innovation Initiative is looking for 5 students to work together across disciplines (software engineering, design, business, and other). Solve problems in 4 thematic areas: Social Inclusion, Compassion, Interreligious Dialogue, Migrants & Refugees. All expenses to / from Rome will be covered! The best ideas from the hackathon will be awarded prizes and offered long-term professional support.

Making the Most of Your Postdoc – Practical Advice and Lessons Learned

When: Friday, December 1
Time: 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Where: Singleton Auditorium, 46-3002
URL: Registration link

A postdoc is a truly precious time in a researcher’s career. The ultimate goal of a postdoc is to develop additional skills needed for the next phase of one’s chosen career. How does one make the most of his or her limited time as a postdoc?

In this panel, seasoned postdocs and junior faculty will discuss what steps they took during their postdoc that proved successful, and reflect on what they wished they had done (or started to do) earlier. Additionally, they will discuss what skills and training have provided the greatest advancement in their careers. Audience members will have the opportunity to ask questions and seek advice from the panel.

Whether you are just starting your postdoc, a graduate student preparing for a future postdoc, or even a seasoned postdoc, the advice from this inspiring set of panelists will give you unique perspectives into how to make the most of your postdoc experience.

GSC Winter Funding Application Deadline

When: Deadline : Friday, December 1, 11:59 PM
URL: Apply

Apply for GSC Funding for January, February and March (Winter cycle) using the link above! Student Groups can apply for funding board, sustainability, & public service funding. Individuals can get funding for sustainability, public service, and athletics & performance events. Questions? Contact GSC Treasurer Krithika Ramchander at


Application deadline: December 1
URL: apply to MISTI

Travel abroad in summer 2018 for 6 – 8 weeks to support student entrepreneurs in developing their mobile/web application startups.  Apply to the MISTI Global Startup Labs to become a technical lead or assistant on a team of four MIT students. MISTI is currently seeking candidates with experience in mobile/web app development and interest in entrepreneurship.

The program is open to undergrads (including graduating seniors) and graduate students. All program expenses are covered. No language requirements. Program dates depend on  location. Usually GSL programs run for 6-8 weeks and start in mid-June/early July. Please apply to MISTI or contact us with any questions at

Locations in 2018 include:

  • Azerbaijan
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Germany
  • Mauritius
  • Mexico
  • Nepal
  • Peru
  • Rwanda
  • South Africa

Global health & Ethical Challenges

When: December 5, 12PM, Tuesday
Where: 3-133

What are common ethical challenges in global health experiences? How should a student prepare in advance, act while in-country, and work with program advisors? Join a workshop in which we address some of the ethical issues that arise when students participate in global health experiences in resource-limited settings. Students, hosts, MIT program staff, and faculty all need to examine potential ethical dilemmas, power dynamics, safety issues, and cultural context.

Jorge Cham from PhD Comics: Communicating Your Research

When: Dec 5 from 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM
Where: 34-101

Pre-registration is requested (but not required) via CareerBridge. Jorge Cham will relay his experiences creating successful science communication projects (videos that have been viewed by millions of people and a book release from Penguin Random House). He will convey how he communicates his passion for engaging with the public and exploring the unknown. Jorge holds a Ph.D. in Robotics from Stanford University and is the creator of Piled Higher and Deeper (PHD Comics), the popular comic strip about life (or the lack thereof) in Academia. Often called the “Dilbert of academia,” PHD Comics appears online where it is read by over 6 million visitors a year from over 1000 universities worldwide. Sponsored by the MIT Graduate Student Council (GSC), Global Education & Career Development Career Services (GECD), and the MIT Office of the Vice President for Research

Cracking Cancer 2.0

When: Thursday, December 7, 2017, 8:30-11:30am
Where:  MIT campus
 Meeting Opportunity, Presented by MIT Startup Exchange & MIT Koch Institute

We have never been closer to cracking cancer. MIT Startup Exchange, in collaboration with the MIT Koch Institute, is convening the 2nd annual Cracking Cancer event to discuss the latest advances in cancer innovation from the perspective of industry, academia, venture, and startups in the MIT ecosystem. The workshop will cover innovation models, technologies, collaboration patterns, and partnerships and trends in genomics, personalized medicine, immunotherapy, CRISPR , artificial intelligence, nano medicine, knowledge discovery, and analytics.

Join MIT Startup Exchange, the MIT Industrial Liaison Program, MIT faculty, MIT-connected startups, investors, and corporate innovators on Thursday, December 7, 2017, 8:30-11:30am, to explore how cancer innovation. The target audience is the MIT innovation ecosystem, including faculty, students, startups, and ILP member companies. We have reserved 10 seats for MIT-connected startup founders who can apply for a Lightning Talk. Complimentary for MIT students.

Tufts Teaching Opportunity for Fall 2018

When: The deadline to apply is: Monday, January 8, 2018
Where: Classroom setting at the Tufts Medford/Somerville campus

The Experimental College invites professionals and graduate students to apply as Visiting Lecturers for the Fall 2018 semester.

Graduate students in particular are always looking for opportunities to teach in their area of expertise, and the Experimental College at Tufts University is a place where that can happen. If this opportunity sounds like a good fit for someone you know, please help us spread the word by including the announcement in departmental newsletters or other communications.

Applicants will:
Design an undergraduate elective course
Explore interdisciplinary subjects
Examine contemporary issues and ideas
Use innovative teaching methods
ExCollege courses seek to complement – rather than duplicate – classes being offered in the traditional departments.

Up to fifteen courses will be chosen from a very competitive pool. Classes meet for 2.5 hours in the evening, once a week, over thirteen weeks. They are usually kept to less than twenty students and are discussion/participation oriented. Courses are usually taught in a classroom setting at the Tufts Medford/Somerville campus.

In the past, each Experimental College course has carried an honorarium of $4,500.00 per course, whether individually or team-taught.

The Fall 2018 semester begins September 4, 2018 and classes end on December 10, 2018.

Read the complete job posting and apply via Interfolio at:

Applications must be uploaded through Interfolio with these four documents: a biographical statement, course description, syllabus, and resume/CV.

The deadline to apply is: Monday, January 8, 2018.

For more information, and examples of courses offered, go to, or call 617-627-3384, or email us at

IAP Course 15.339: Distributed Leadership Workshop

When: Anyone of these three sessions: Jan 8 – 10, Jan 16 – 18, Jan 23 – Jan 25
Where: E62-233
Interested developing your leadership capabilities through group discussions, exercises and reflection? Come to the same course offered to senior executives through Sloan executive education! Open to graduate students from all MIT departments. Learn more: 8:30am to 6:00pm on Days 1 & 2; 8:30am to 3:30pm on Day 3

IAP Graduate Workshops, “Developing Leadership in Yourself and Others”

When: Anyone of these three sessions: Jan 18, Jan 23, Jan 25,  Jan 30

Instructor: David Nino (

Join us for this workshop series designed for MIT graduate students interested in “making a positive difference” in their chosen fields. Grounded in research but experimental and engaging in delivery, these workshops will build practical skills that apply to engineering and technology environments. See attachment for more detailed course descriptions.

* Schedule:

Leading New Teams
Learn to mobilize and launch “real teams.”
January 18 (Thursday), 12:30-4:30pm, 4-149

Motivating and Developing Others
Gain tools for “bringing out the best” in team members.
January 23 (Tuesday), 12:30-4:30pm, 3-442
Mastering Constructive Conflict
Learn how to leverage conflict to create positive team outcomes.
January 25 (Thursday), 12:30-4:30pm, 4-149
Discovering and Developing Your Leadership Strengths
Build self-awareness for inventing your unique leadership paths.
January 30 (Tuesday), 12:30-4:30pm, 4-149This series is offered through the Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership (GEL) Program in collaboration with the Graduate Student Council. Students are welcome to attend some or all of these workshops. Those who attend the entire series will receive a special acknowledgement from the GEL Program.*For more information, please visit our website.To Register: Email Lisa Stagnone (

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