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New center prepares students for global success

Earlier this fall, three MIT juniors walked into the new Global Education Office (GEO) in Building 12 and asked: "Is this the office that knows about all things global?" These students were looking for help in understanding what global opportunities exist at MIT. With the formation of the Global Education and Career Development Center, which incorporates the GEO, the response to the students was "yes." In the past, the students would have visited several offices to get the answers they needed. Now, GEO can be a first point of contact for students who are exploring the possibilities to go global.

In July, the Office of the Dean for Undergraduate Education announced the formation of the Global Education and Career Development Center (GECDC), which comprises the GEO and the Career Development Center (CDC). While GEO and the CDC will offer distinct services for students and faculty, they will also operate as a one-stop organization, providing more expanded and unified programs and services. Their mutual goal is to help students and alumni develop the self-awareness and skills to become effective leaders in a diverse society and prepare for the globalized world of work.

The Global Education Office 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. At the same time, the Career Development Center continues to provide career planning and employment search services similar to the MIT Career Office. Moving forward, the CDC will develop a more holistic and competency-based career development program that incorporates a global perspective.

In bringing together GEO and the CDC as a more integrated and collaborative organization, the GECDC will leverage the natural synergy between global educational experiences and holistic career development services. Through global education and internship experiences, counseling, workshops, classroom instruction, events, pre-professional advising, and connections to employers and graduate school, the GECDC will help student prepare 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 question specific to GEO, please contact Malgorzata Hedderick (x3-9358,, associate dean, Global Education Office.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on November 5, 2008 (download PDF).

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