Ed Bertschinger, newly appointed Institute Community and Equity Officer (ICEO), kicked off the session, which featured the participation of staff from across the Institute, including: Michelle Coleman, administrative officer, Department of Biology; Mary Grenham, administrative officer, Linguistics and Philosophy; Ken Hewitt, assistant director, Human Resources and Facilities Lab for Nuclear Science; and Eileen Ng, assistant dean, Finance and Human Resources in the School of Engineering.
Coleman recounted that after many years as a senior-level administrator in biology at Columbia, NYU and Harvard, coming to MIT was a surprising new experience. “I thought that at this point in my career, I was a subject matter expert, but I quickly found that there were people here who had been in the field and at MIT far longer than I had. I no longer knew all the answers so I had to take a different approach and give myself the time to learn and listen.”
“Building a peer network is so important to getting to know MIT," Coleman advised. "After almost three years, I feel I’m just starting to know my way around the campus and The Institute,” she laughed. “MIT used to feel like a vast city to me, now it seems like a small village.”
Participants also learned about the importance of being the best at what they do — adding value; being prepared; building relationships and networking; setting high goals; and taking advantage of MIT’s tuition assistance program and Informational Interview network group on Yammer.