The Infinite Careers Alumni Speaker series, a collaboration between Career Advising & Professional Development and the MIT Alumni Association, held its final event featuring Alexa Mills ‘08 on April 29.
The purpose of the series is to demonstrate the many diverse and nontraditional paths that alums take after their time at MIT, while offering opportunities for current students to network. The speaker events are in a question-and-answer style that facilitates casual and relaxed conversation between audience members and speakers.
Despite the switch to virtual programming, the series saw steady attendance in all levels of the MIT student body — including undergraduates, graduate students, and postdocs — with 123 different participants across all events. Typically, speakers spent the first twenty minutes of the session describing their personal journey through MIT and beyond, and the rest of the time was left open to questions from participants.
This year, the series hosted 13 speakers across a variety of disciplines, including mathematics; urban studies and planning; journalism; and civil and environmental engineering. The speakers not only discussed their career paths in various areas like teaching and banking, but were also able to touch upon more personal topics like finding work-life balance as a new mother or exploring artistic interests alongside STEM-focused ones. Survey results show that 100% of participants were satisfied with the delivery of the content and would recommend this series to other MIT students and alumni.
The series also allowed incoming first year students to get started on their immersion at MIT early. Incoming students appreciated being able to experience the speaker series, stating that it “helped them connect more with the MIT community” and also “gave them a better idea of MIT life.”
Current students also shared similar sentiments in surveys, with a current PhD student saying that the event with Tiziana Smith SM ’16, PhD ’18 was “honest” and “thoughtful” and “provided context for how [Smith] maximized opportunities available to her as a graduate student.” Other students enjoyed the intimate style of the series since the small group made it “easy to ask questions” and the Q&A format was “effective.”
Overall, this year has proven that the Infinite Careers series is effective both in-person and virtually. The Infinite Careers team are excited to bring in new faces and alums from all kinds of backgrounds in the fall to continue broadening the horizons of current students and demonstrate the many, many paths out there for students to pursue!
— Cami Mejia ’23, CAPD Infinite Career Program Assistant