Host companies for the MIT Practice School program have the benefit of working with some of the world's brightest and most enthusiastic Chemical Engineering students. While it is an honor for these promising professionals to work side-by-side with company experts, the companies also profit from this unique and highly rewarding educational experience.
Hosts will experience the entire project as if contracting with a small consulting firm that has a proven track record of excellence. Project sponsors will give the student teams specific tasks with defined objectives. Skillful sponsors will realize a substantial return on results for the time invested in guiding the team accordingly. The team will get continuous feedback from both the project sponsor and the MIT team leader to ensure that tasks are successfully completed.
Initially, hosts may view the students as inexperienced. However, what students bring to the project in terms of energy, focus, and brainpower will more than compensate for their lack of business exposure. It is also important to keep in mind that part of the students' learning experience and final project grade is to learn how to excel within a professional setting. Therefore, the students will strive to meet your company's highest standards.
Hosts may think that four weeks is not enough time for an MIT student team to accomplish anything meaningful. However, throughout the history of the Practice School, both MIT faculty and host company executives are repeatedly surprised and impressed by what the students achieve. Because they are undistracted by other duties and concerns, they will exert an enormous amount of effort on your team projects.
Given the international reputation of MIT and the Practice School, hosts can feel confident that a student team will bring excellent technical skills to the job at hand. The students learn very quickly, and are invaluable for approaching tasks with a fresh perspective on what may be a known - but not yet obvious - problem within a company.
Permanent stations have MIT Station Directors resident within the company. The advantage to becoming a permanent station is that directors know the company culture, its staff, facilities, and procedures, and can be of direct help in organizing and executing projects in connection with current operations and research. Directors choose problems for group projects that have the highest educational value, provide the broadest exposure to modern technology, and can yield useful results within the time allotted.
MIT students and staff sign agreements to protect the host company's proprietary information. Final reports and other project material remain the property of the company and are never delivered to MIT. There is no expectation that the students will publish any of their Practice School work unless the host company so desires. Any patents that might result from Practice School work remain the property of the host company.
It is required that host companies provide appropriate safety training and equipment to the student teams. As such, students are required to abide by all applicable company safety practices. In order to ensure full compliance, the project sponsor and the MIT Station Director will review any specific regulations and guidelines.
If you would like to explore the costs and benefits of hosting an MIT Practice School station, please contact the Director of the Practice School by calling 617.253.6600 or by Email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
USA Host companies for Practice School stations in recent years include:
General Electric Plastics, Mt. Vernon, Indiana
Dow Chemical Company, Freeport, Texas
Merck, Inc., West Point, Pennsylvania
Cargill Central Research, Wayzata, Minnesota
Alkermes, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts
M&M/Mars, Inc., Hackettstown, New Jersey
Cabot Corporation, Billerica, Massachusetts
Koch Refining Company, Corpus Christi, Texas
Dow Corning Corporation, Midland, Michigan
General Mills, Minneapolis, Minnesota