From the GSC President

Dear Incoming Class,

On behalf of the MIT Graduate Student Council and the entire graduate student body it is my distinct privilege to congratulate you on your acceptance and to welcome you to MIT!

MIT’s mission is to “advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century.” It goes without saying that many of you chose MIT because of its reputation as a world leader in science, engineering, technology, and innovation. Whether it is discovering new cancer treatments through integrative cancer research, developing low-cost clean alternative energy solutions, or launching your own tech startup, for the next few years you will be working alongside world-class faculty and researchers, leading the way using science and technology to address the most challenging and important problems of our day.

During your time at MIT you will be at the forefront tackling some of the world’s most difficult and complex problems. While your unique background and training will serve you well, you will also be pushed, tried, and challenged to expand your intellectual faculties and abilities in new and exciting ways. You will develop the ability to solve complex problems in ways that you could not gain in any other environment. When you leave MIT you will take with you a strong intellectual foundation that will be respected and praised by colleagues, friends, and family for the rest of your life. Yet, if a strong intellectual foundation from years of research and academic study at MIT is all you take with you, you will have sold yourself short. You will have missed out on some of the most important aspects of what makes an MIT education truly special, extraordinary and unique.

MIT also states its mission is “to develop in each member of the MIT community the ability and passion to work wisely, creatively, and effectively for the betterment of humankind.” Although intellectual and academic excellence is a necessary and vital component of the personal and professional development you will obtain, MIT is not just about producing research and publishing results. It is about developing people. It is about developing people who are passionate, driven, and are striving to make a difference in their local communities and world beyond. It is about developing people who appreciate diversity and engage in activities that broaden their understanding and interests. It is about developing people who are enterprising, innovative, and entrepreneurial, and who look beyond traditional solutions and ways of thinking to envision and invent new possibilities and ideas for the future.

As you will quickly discover, the opportunities for engagement outside of research are incredible and the breadth of possibilities will be unlike anything you have ever experienced or are likely to experience again. So how do you make the most of your MIT experience? Get involved! Join a student club active in areas you are passionate about. Meet friends for afternoon drinks at the Muddy Charles or Thirsty Ear Pubs. Advocate about something you are concerned about. Go to a Red Sox game and sing “Sweet Caroline” in middle of the 8th inning. Attend a lecture by a leading expert in your field or another field you would like to learn more about. Attend the Boston Pops and Boston Symphony Orchestra. Take ownership of a cause and turn it into something with lasting impact. Take a run or bike ride on the esplanade. Get involved with student government. Go sailing at the MIT sailing pavilion. Visit the Boston Museum of Fine Art. Learn about the cultures and backgrounds of the many MIT students from all over the world and expand your appreciation of diversity. Make friends. Long after you graduate and long after degrees and GPAs no longer matter, you will not remember the late nights spent on problem sets or writing a thesis, but you will remember the extraordinary people you met, the good times you had, and the relationships made that will last a lifetime.

Wishing you a productive, engaging, and memorable MIT experience!

Caleb Waugh

President, MIT Graduate Student Council



From the Orientation Committee Co-Chairs

Dear fellow graduate student,

Welcome to the MIT family! Congratulations on becoming the newest graduate student to start the MIT journey. Your exciting experience here is just beginning, as you are one of a chosen few placed at the forefront of technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship. We hope that you will Organize, Network, and Enjoy this Magnificent, Innovative, and Taxing place (ONE MIT).

 MIT, is one of a kind. You are probably already aware of the Institute’s fame for its top level classes, laboratories, and lecturers. In addition, multidisciplinary research at MIT allows students to develop their ideas in innovative and original ways. What you might not know is that these are not the only reasons why the MIT grad school experience is one of the best in the world. MIT gathers under ONE huge umbrella a large variety of cultures, socio-economic backgrounds, and intellect, which may be rivaled by only a few other communities around the globe. At MIT, you will not only develop your skills in science, engineering, and/or business, but you will grow as a person. This growth will come from the mosaic of professional and personal interactions that the Institute offers through the innumerable clubs, social groups, and seminars. MIT is a place of opportunities, awaiting to be discovered, and the possibilities are endless as you can create your own. Let yourself get inspired by the MIT spirit.

One of the best pieces of advice for starting out in grad school is to get involved and become interconnected into the “ONE MIT” community. You are one piece of an expanding puzzle on a path that can improve the world. Getting involved in the Graduate Student Council (GSC) is a good stepping stone and offers the potential to improve the MIT community. The GSC strives to be a well-rounded student organization that not only fosters collaboration within the graduate population but also serves as an interface with faculty, administration, staff, undergraduates, post docs, spouses and partners, and alumni of “ONE MIT”. Do not be fooled, MIT is not an easy ride as you “drink from the firehouse of knowledge.” There may be times when you feel like you don’t belong, but you are not alone here and getting interconnected is key. Your fellow graduate colleagues can offer guidance, comfort, or just a friendly ear. “So when the going gets tough the tough get going.” Enjoy the rest of your summer, and we’re here to help you get set for one of the greatest adventures of your life.

As your Orientation Chairs, we are excited to guide you to make a smooth transition into life at MIT. Our graduate orientation program is one of the most extensive and comprehensive student-run orientations in the US. This is made possible by a dedicated team of student coordinators and volunteers and a dedicated support staff from ODGE working for the GSC at MIT. We have over 60 events spanning 4 weeks, broadly categorized into Know the Institute, Know the People, and Know the City. Visit http://gsc.mit.edu/Orientation for more details and a list of FAQs. We urge you to make the most of Orientation, and we look forward to seeing you soon!

Francesco and Kendall

GSC Orientation Co-Chairs