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Graduate Student Development & Career Launch at MIT. Marilyn Wilson. Grad School 101. August 2012. 12-170, 617-253-4733 http://careers.mit.edu/. MIT Graduate Student Population. New Yorker Cartoon. xxx. Goals for this Presentation.

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graduate student development career launch at mit

Graduate Student Development & Career Launch at MIT

Marilyn Wilson

Grad School 101

August 2012

12-170, 617-253-4733

http://careers.mit.edu/

goals for this presentation
Goals for this Presentation
  • Introduce a model for graduate student development – how can it help you here at MIT?
  • Give you tips on career exploration – things you can do during your program to help you have a strong sense of direction – and good options – by the time you are done.
slide6

Three Stage Model of Graduate Student Development *

  • Entry Stage
  • Engagement Stage
  • Exit Stage

Model illustrates some commonly encountered challenges facing graduate students.

* Adapted from Stewart, Donald W. (1995). Developmental Considerations in Counseling Graduate Students. Guidance & Counseling, 10, 3, 21-24.

entry stage 1 st year up to quals thesis proposal
Entry Stage (1st year, up to Quals & thesis proposal)
  • Three Main Goals
  • Maintain motivation
  • Manage academic demands
  • Develop a clear sense of purpose & direction

Find a good mentor!

advice from other students
Advice From Other Students:

Develop a support network within and outside of the department. There will always be hard times.

It's helpful to have somebody who you know is there for you at those times and to know you're not alone.

engagement stage years 2 5
Engagement Stage (years 2-5)
  • Two Main Goals
  • Self preservation
  • Achievement
  • Roles are established, confidence restored, but work load is challenging.
  • Focus: transitioning into the role of independent scholar-researcher

“I’m in this for the long-haul.”

advice from other students1
Advice From Other Students:

Don't put too much pressure on yourself. Success in the PhD isn't about being a genius ... it's about learning how to identify interesting questions, coming up with ways to address them, and then communicating the question and the results to other researchers.

exit stage
Exit Stage

Two Main Goals

Disengagement

Reintegration

“I’m in the home stretch . . . . . . . . . . . . I think.”

advice from other students2
Advice From Other Students:
  • Know *why* you are in graduate school. If you don't know that you really want to finish it, then it's hard to push through the tough times.
do not assume
Do Not Assume:
  • “At the end of my program I will:
  • Know what I want to do next, and
  • I will have a great job waiting for me! because
    • My adoring advisor will find it for me, or
    • Hollywood will call!”
slide15

Your Problem Set:

  • Develop career path hypotheses for yourself
  • Test your hypotheses while here at MIT
slide16

Develop Your Hypotheses:

TALK to people

  • Get in the habit of talking to people about their careers.
  • What is their work like – what do they do week-to-week?
  • What’s the company/organization like?
  • What was their path to where they are now?
  • How did they make their decisions?
  • Are you interested in that company/industry?
slide18

Develop Your Hypotheses: What Are Alumni in Your Field Doing?

Alumni Directory: http://alum.mit.edu

slide19

Test Your Hypotheses: Get Some Exposure While Studying at MIT

  • Small time investments:
  • Company Presentations
  • IAP Externships – alum.mit.edu
  • Career Panels on Industries and Occupations
  • Site Visits to Labs, Industry settings
  • Short Summer Programs in Business
  • Science Policy Initiative Activities (SPI)
  • Conferences at the Institute
  • Talk to people about their careers
slide20

More Hypothesis Testing Opportunities:

  • Larger Time Investments Might Include:
  • Teaching
  • Internships
  • Consulting Activities
  • Volunteer Activities – check out the PSC
  • Competitions at the Institute
  • Organizational Involvement, e.g.
      • Career Fair Organizing Committee
      • Graduate Student Council
advice from other students3
Advice From Other Students:
  • Perhaps, do summer internships or take a leave to go to industry in order to see how important the degree is in the field that the student is pursuing his/her PhD.
gecd services for you beginning now
GECD Services for You, Beginning Now
  • Individual advising appts: Academic career search & Non-academic career search
  • Daily Drop-In hours during the semester: CV, resume, cover letter critiques
  • Workshops, many tailored for Grad Students
  • Mock interviews
  • Internship/job listings & On-campus recruiting
  • Career fairs
  • Prehealth advising
  • Graduate Student ListServ