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Professional Development Working Group


A team is needed in order to assess and articulate how to provide a robust set of  professional development opportunities for both graduate and undergraduate students at MIT in an ever-evolving landscape here traditional approaches to career development are no longer sufficient. This team will review practices for preparing students for these challenges to ensure they have the appropriate knowledge and skills to be successful in their goals. This team’s work supports the “Enhance the Undergraduate Experience” and “Serve our Gradsaute Students” strategic priorities.

Specific Tasks

  1. Define what professional development entails for MIT undergraduates and graduates;
  2. Determine what stakeholders believe are the professional development skills needed for student success:
    • Overall competencies that every MIT student should possess;
    • Skills needed for a student’s specific goal (entrepreneurship, graduate school, specific industry, government, non-profit, etc.);
  3. Ascertain how students currently gain and develop those skills through engagement with MIT offerings:
    • Examine existing opportunities that purport to teach students these skills;
    • Uncover other MIT offerings that may teach these skills but are not branded as such;
  4. Hold meetings as needed with additional Institutional partners;
  5. Identify the gaps between MIT offerings and student needs, and propose ways to address these gaps;
  6. Recommend measurable outcomes and assessment strategies for professional development;
  7. Develop a strategy to deliver professional development opportunities that ensure a basis in each of the professional development competencies;
  8. Identify members for professional development advisory board that represent broad cross-section of stakeholders

Duration and Deliverables

By summer 2019, the team plans to provide a professional development framework that engages students and campus partners to provide a robust offering of professional development opportunities. The team will provide a strategy for engaging campus stakeholders in collaboration efforts.

Key Milestone Dates

  • Summer 2018: develop core competencies
  • Fall 2018: engage the campus community in discussions around programming wants and needs
  • Spring 2019: develop models that align with the core competencies and community feedback

Working Group Members

  • Sue Acton, Career and Professional Development Specialist, CAPD
  • Kim Benard, Assistant Dean, CAPD (co-chair)
  • Aleisha Carlsen-Bryan, Associate Director, CAPD (co-chair)
  • Heather Konar, Communications Officer, OGE
  • Lauren Pouchak, Director of Special Projects, OVC
  • Libby Reed, Assistant Director, CAPD


If you have any feedback or suggestions about graduate student professional development, please get in touch with one of the co-chairs, Kim Benard or Aleisha Carlsen-Bryan.