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CAPD’s Guest Lectures Promote Professional Development Competencies

Dan Beaudry presents to MIT international students and postdocs.

In January, Career Advising and Professional Development (CAPD) brought to campus two guest speakers—Dan Beaudry and Jean-Luc Doumont—to present on topics relevant to MIT’s “Career Advancement” and “Communication” professional development competencies.

Over 170 graduate students, postdocs, and undergraduates attended the lectures. Beaudry spoke about tips for international students seeking jobs with US employers, and Doumont discussed principles for communication best practices. The talks were co-sponsored by the Office of Graduate Education and the Office of the Vice President for Research.

In “What Every International Student Should Know about U.S. Employment,” Beaudry shared strategies for securing H-1B employment through networking and informational interviewing as opposed to standard online resume submission. Beaudry, former head of campus recruiting at, emphasized that over 70% of jobs are filled without job postings or advertising. It is especially important for international students to explore these informal avenues for employment.

Scientist and communications consultant Doumont, one of CAPD’s most popular guest speakers, returned with his signature engaging style and more insights on effective communications practices. In “The Three Laws of Communication,” Doumont illustrated the importance for scientists doing journal articles, posters, or PowerPoint presentations to hone a targeted message, adapt to their audiences, craft uncluttered visuals, and reduce distractions that detract from key points.

CAPD will be hosting more invited speakers in March. On March 16, Dr. Cynthia Fuhrmann, who co-developed the widely-used Individual Development Plan for PhD scientists (myIDP) will describe how graduate students and postdocs can use the IDP process for enhancing their professional development strategic planning. On March 31, Nathan Hall, associate professor at McGill University and the founder of the popular Academics Say social media account, will present his research findings on motivation and well-being in academia. Students, postdocs, and alumni interested in attending these events should register on CareerBridge, powered by Handshake.

— Julia Mongo, CAPD