MIT Faculty Newsletter  
Vol. XXI No. 1
September / October 2008
Silence of the Lions
MIT's New Supercomputing Network
Problems in Evaluating
Four-Year Colleges
Agenda Items: New and Old
An Update on the Educational Commons Subcommittee
Teaching this fall? You should know . . .
Moving From Two Degrees to
Double Majors
MIT 4th Best College,
Top Engineering School
Darwin Bicentenntial Events
Planned at MIT
What is the Global Education and Career Development Center?
The First Step Toward Solving Global Warming: Getting MIT to Listen
MISTI Announces the
MISTI Global Seed Funds
Workplace 2.0: Improving Generativity, Creativity, and Faculty Quality of Life
Why So Few Faculty
are Involved in Service
Research Expenditures by Primary Sponsor (1999-2008)
Printable Version

What is the Global Education and
Career Development Center?

Daniel E. Hastings

In July, the Office of the Dean for Undergraduate Education (DUE) announced the formation of the Global Education and Career Development Center (GECDC). This realignment of the Study Abroad and Distinguished Fellowships Office and the MIT Careers Office into a more integrated organization enhances our ability to impact student development of key global and career competencies.

Cross-cultural knowledge and skills, as well as key career management skills, are foundational to success in today’s global economy. As stated in the Report of the Task Force on the Undergraduate Educational Commons:

It is imperative that every MIT undergraduate understand the global context in which their future lives and careers will unfold. Students must also be comfortable working and living in settings in which they must adapt to differing values, traditions, assumptions, attitudes, and norms that will arise from cross-cultural contact within a new global economy.

Through the synergy of global educational experiences and holistic career development services, the GECDC will contribute to student learning in these areas.

The GECDC is comprised of two offices, the Career Development Center and the Global Education Office. While each office will offer the distinct services to students and faculty described below, they will operate in a coordinated and seamless way that will create a “one-stop” organization guided by a mutual vision and mission.

This collaboration will create a powerful new organization for students to increase personal, academic, and work skill sets and realize their career goals. At the same time, the faculty and others in the MIT community will find active partners for their career development and global education endeavors while student employment opportunities will be better aligned with MIT initiatives and priorities. The end result will be an even greater impact on the nation and the world. [Click here to view the GECDC Vision and Mission.]

The Global Education Office

The Global Education Office (GEO) incorporates the programs and services of the Study Abroad and Distinguished Fellowships Office but is broader in scope. The mission of GEO is to advance global education at MIT. The office, in concert with the diverse international programs at MIT, will support a seamless experience for our undergraduates as they prepare for, proceed on, and return from a global experience. As part of this mission, the Office will help MIT meet the goal set by the Task Force on Undergraduate Educational Commons: “ensure that within five years any MIT student who wishes to undertake meaningful study, work, or internships abroad may be able to do so without financial or academic penalty.”

GEO will have two associated faculty advisory committees. The Global Education Faculty Advisory Committee, chaired by Prof. Kim Vandiver, provides advice on expanding the number of global opportunities in a sustainable, safe way and integrating them with our curriculum. The Committee on Foreign Scholarships, chaired by Prof. Linn Hobbs, plays a key role in recruiting and advising candidates for the distinguished fellowships.

As a central force in implementing MIT’s strategy for global education, GEO will:

  • Provide leadership in facilitating collaboration among MIT programs and offices engaged in international education as well as a focused direction to address barriers to student global experience.
  • Develop infrastructure that can benefit all global education programs. This will include:
    • - Policies and guidelines on global education issues and global education best practices

    - Participant tracking system

    - Travel risk management support

    - Cultural preparation

    - Assessment of intercultural competence as a primary student learning outcome for global education experiences

  • Raise awareness and excitement among students about the importance of global education and opportunities to go abroad. It will provide the first point of contact for students who are exploring the possibilities to go global.
  • Support the expansion of existing programs, such as MISTI, International Research Opportunities, and D-Lab/International Development Initiative, as well as the development of new programs.
  • Manage key study-abroad programs as well as provide advising and support services for all MIT students pursing study abroad:

    - GEO managed programs:

    • Cambridge-MIT Undergraduate Student Exchange (CME)

    • MIT-Madrid Program

    - Study abroad advising and support for students in:

    • Departmental undergraduate student exchanges

    • IAP language programs (IAP-Germany and IAP-Madrid)

    • Study abroad through outside providers

    • Study abroad through direct enrollment

  • Work with the Committee on Foreign Scholarships through the Distinguished Fellowships program. This includes recruiting and advising students interested in pursuing prestigious scholarships for study around the world including the Rhodes Scholarship,  Marshall Scholarship, Gates Cambridge Scholarship, Fulbright Awards, Chateaubriand Fellowship, Kawamura Scholarship, Merage Foundation for the American Dream Fellowship, Udall Scholarship, and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Fellowship.
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What are the collaborative opportunities with the Global Education Office?

  • GEO will partner directly with faculty who are currently involved in global education programs or would like to start a global education program. GEO will be able to provide services related to:

    - Program design

    - Institutional agreements

    - Logistical support

    - Student programming, including pre-departure orientations and re-entry

  • GEO will work with faculty and academic departments to foster integration of global education into curricula and academic structures.
  • GEO will reach out to faculty to determine how to best enhance and expand the existing study abroad programs.
  • GEO will work with faculty to determine how to develop innovative study abroad programs that best respond to students’ needs.
  • Faculty can help get students excited about global opportunities and integrate advice on global opportunities into academic advising.
  • Faculty can encourage students to apply for distinguished fellowships and provide information about potential fellowships through academic advising.
  • Faculty can serve on the Global Education Faculty Advisory Committee or the Distinguished Fellowships Committee.

The Career Development Center

Similar to the MIT Careers Office, the Career Development Center (CDC) continues to provide career planning and employment search services for students from their first year through graduation, including graduate students and alumni.  The Office partners with employers offering internships and full-time jobs.

Current services include:

  • Career exploration resources
  • Career counseling and assessment services
  • Preprofessional advising
  • Career workshops
  • Career course for Freshmen (F/ASIP)
  • Resume critiques and practice interviews
  • Internship opportunities
  • On-campus recruiting
  • Online resume database and job listing system
  • Campus-wide career programming, including the Federal Agency Job Fair, networking events, speaker series, and panel discussions
  • Recruiting support services to employers

Following a comprehensive review of CDC programs and services, the organization has identified its purpose as equipping students with career competencies foundational to their lifelong learning and success. 

The CDC will develop a more holistic and competency-based career development program model that incorporates a global perspective.  These new initiatives include:

  • Providing greater assistance to students in exploring career options, choosing a major or career, applying their academic studies in hands-on work experiences, and developing career plans.
  • Maintaining assigned liaisons that will offer targeted programs and services to students within specific disciplines or industries, as well as maintain relationships with key faculty, staff, and relevant student leaders within these areas. 
  • Collaborating with GEO in creating a coordinated system of developing career management and global education competencies in students.  The cumulative effect will be to prepare MIT graduates to be successful in a global economy.
  • Enhancing preprofessional advising efforts under a more sustainable model and expanding the success of the Freshman/Alumni Summer Internship Program to assist a broader population of MIT students in obtaining internships.  
  • Establishing a cross-functional Employer Outreach Team which will implement a coordinated and integrated employer outreach plan to develop relationships more closely aligned with student aspirations and MIT initiatives, such as the MIT Energy Initiative. 
  • Employing emergent technology to enhance student learning and development as well as to provide a more seamless and effective delivery of services.  This technology-assisted delivery will enhance and supplement our services, while removing the barriers of time and place. 
  • Demonstrating evidence of impact through better assessment and data collection tools.

What are the collaborative opportunities with the Career Development Center?

  • CDC will work with departments to understand the career development needs of each department’s cohort and what current or suggested resources would be most beneficial to students and their advisors.
  • CDC has assigned a staff liaison for each school who has knowledge of discipline related career trends. This includes career paths, hiring trends, and salary trends specific to MIT graduates or national trends. The liaison can also provide information on the top skills and personal values employers seek in entry-level candidates. Similar information can be provided about graduate school.
  • CDC can work with faculty to develop customized career related programs and materials for the department's students. This includes consultation on curriculum needs relevant to labor market trends.
  • CDC can provide potential employer contacts for collaboration, advisory boards, internship opportunities, and fundraising.
  • Faculty can encourage their advisees to consider how curricular, co-curricular, and work experiences contribute to their career development, as well as share information on their own career and professional development.
  • Faculty can collaborate with the CDC to integrate meaningful career development and work-based experiences into their instruction to enhance the learning experience, reinforce classroom learning, and help students develop career development and professional knowledge and skills.
  • Faculty can serve as mentors for the Freshman/Alumni Summer Internship Program or as prehealth advisors.

Bringing it all together as GECDC

The GECDC will be working to create a coordinated system that will develop both career and global competencies in students. In time, through cross-training and innovative, joint programming, the staff of GECDC will be able to facilitate both career development and global education through the conversations they have with students. At the same time, faculty, staff, and employers will gain access to more unified and expanded programs and services from one collaborative organization. In the end, MIT students should be better prepared to meet the challenges of the competitive global economy.

If you have any questions, please contact Melanie Parker (x3-7519,, executive director of the GECDC. For questions specific to GEO, please contact Malgorzata Hedderick (x3-9358,, associate dean, Global Education Office. 

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