Blogs: Relationships and Networking

Ladies Lunch

How I helped form a group by and for female scientists

SPRING 2017
Biology
First-year students in the biology department take classes and do rotations. Since we don't join a lab until the end of the academic year, we have a designated room — “The Pit” — where we have access to books, computers, printers, lockers, and a relaxing lounge area. During my first year in...

Modern Love & Job Hunting

The similarities between online dating and building a career

SPRING 2017
Technology and Policy Program
This email isn’t quite right. I think I just need to read through it one last time and tweak that description of myself at the end. Is he going to be interested in talking to me? Is this a truthful description of who I am and what I’m looking for? Ok, I just want to read through his profile one...

Out and About at MIT

Coming to terms with my sexuality

Spring 2017
Chemical Engineering
In graduate school I explored and developed a new side of myself. And no, I’m not talking about academics or hobbies, this was far more personal. This was about coming to terms with being gay, finding a partner and telling my friends and family. I want to share this story and how the awesome people...

Can You Get a PhD Without an Advisor?

How I learned to take charge of my education and ask questions of the world

SPRING 2017
Nuclear Science and Engineering
I applied to MIT to study nuclear power policy with three top experts in the field. Any of them would be great advisor, so I decided to come to MIT. In the six months between when I visited campus and the start of classes, the first professor retired, the second was promoted out of the department...

An Unexpected Mentor

The value of informal networking and human connections

SPRING 2017
Media Arts and Sciences
“You win some, you lose some. Well… you lose most,” Sunny said, reacting to our latest unsuccessful experiment. We frown at the lab bench briefly before laughing at the silliness of the situation. Sunny shrugs, standing by his statement and commenting on the nature of grad school as he reminds me...

Human Touch

Embracing what you need in graduate school

SPRING 2017
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
As native Californian, choosing to attend MIT came as a shock to my family. When I moved to Boston, they started placing bets on whether I would stay past the first blizzard, and how long I would last in general. Luckily for me, I moved to the east coast during one of the tamest Boston winters. For...

It's a Match!

The eerie similarities between online dating and finding an adviser

SPRING 2017
Materials Science and Engineering
One of the best feelings as a student is receiving that acceptance letter from a school or program you thought was nearly impossible to get into. However, for graduate school, getting in is only the first step. The next step is to find an advisor, which can be difficult. For programs that don’t...

Community Health

Community as an essential component of mental health support

SPRING 2017
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
This past October my wife lost a family member—someone who was very close to both of us. We quickly jumped on the first plane to California. I hastily composed an email to my advisor, letting him know that I would have to leave town for a few weeks. His message back was succinct—short enough to be...