The Infinite Careers Alumni Speaker Series — a collaboration between CAPD and the MIT Alumni Association — hosted its final event of the school year featuring Karin Goodfellow, MBA ’14, who spoke with students about her experience leading public art initiatives and policies for the City of Boston. Leading up to Karin’s event, the Infinite Careers series hosted seven speaker events and one student-alumni networking event. This year’s alumni speakers have pursued a wide range of careers, from transforming the K-12 experience to overseeing terrorism investigation for the FBI. Each speaker shared their experience navigating their own career paths and valuable advice such as ways to find a mentor, how to find a career that aligns with one’s values, and how to make the most out of one’s time at MIT. This is the first year a student-alumni networking event took place. Forty-five students from different departments across MIT had the opportunity to connect with alumni as well as students from other academic programs and school years.
Overall, 119 people attended Infinite Careers events, of whom 49.4% were undergraduates, 40.5% were graduate students, and 10.1% were other MIT affiliates. According to event feedback, many students appreciated the opportunity to have conversations with alumni in a small-group setting. In their post-event survey, one student reflected that “I could ask any questions” during the event. Indeed, most of our events do not need a moderator to facilitate the conversations between students and the alumni. This format allows everyone in the room to engage, ask questions, exchange ideas, and get to know each other at their own pace.
Surveys also reveal that career exploration programs remain essential for students to map out their own career paths. Among respondents, 38% claimed to be only somewhat (29.1%) or not-at-all (8.9%) confident in their ability to determine the steps they need to take to be successful. In our feedback surveys (a 66.3% response rate), 88.6% of participants found the content of the events to be either helpful or very helpful, 100% would recommend the event to a friend, and 65.8% found the events to be useful in terms of exploring majors or careers. Their personal uncertainty — and their positive response to the Infinite Careers Alumni Speaker Series —further highlighted our student community’s continued need for this series in the years to come!
If you would like to collaborate or recommend a speaker for next year, please contact Tianna Ransom at email@example.com.
— Mai Nguyen, CAPD and Department of Mathematics