Networking with a Purpose

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SARAH HANSEN: And speaking of collaborations, what was the role of networking in this experience for Fellows?

ANJALI SASTRY: So students coming here have varying predilections for networking and connecting with others. And many of them really benefit from having a focus to that. So very often we tell students-- you have this gift of being here on campus for a while. Make the most of it. But if you're just trying to meet people to fill up your Rolodex, it's rather self-serving. And it's awkward. And there's no reason to meet. But if you can articulate a really interesting question, this gives students a reason to contact people.

So I really view the two as linked. Develop a great problem statement or research question. Use that to look at what you have access to on campus. That might include faculty, postdocs, research teams. That might include alumni. It includes folks within the MIT ecosystems. You might head over to an incubator or some other-- a venue, an event where people are. And then because we get a lot of people passing through-- as well as invitations to meetings, conferences, and events, globally-- I would shoot those to my students. So say, so-and-so is coming to campus next week. See if you can get on their agenda. And that would often work.

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