IAP

With a few exceptions, most IAP activities occur on or around campus. But members of the MIT Women’s Initiative have spent most of the past month traveling across the country, encouraging middle and high school girls to pursue degrees and careers in science and engineering.

The goal of the Women’s Initiative is to create personalized interactions between school-age women and MIT female students. This year, the MIT students’ travels include Arizona and Louisiana, and previous visits include Alaska, Indiana, Virginia, and Arkansas.

From “MIT Program Encourages Girls in Science and Engineering:”

Iris Sheu ’14 asked (the girls) what an engineer is supposed to look like.

The girls said they were men, smart men who wear glasses and jumpsuits and are good at math like in the TV sitcom “The Big Bang Theory.”

“Nerdy, right?” Sheu asked.

The stereotype is that engineers and scientists are men, she said, and it’s true that 80 percent of the students in a college engineering class are men. Only 20 percent are women.

“Paula (Angarita) and I are here today because we think that’s a really big problem and we want to change it,” Sheu said. “We want to show you that girls can be scientists and engineers, too.”

The Women’s Initiative in action.

Each visit consists of a presentation where the MIT students discuss different engineering jobs and tips on how to get into an engineering school. The presentations also include experiments like extracting DNA from a strawberry and designing a bridge while staying within budget. (Check out a previous year’s presentation.)

From “MIT brings ongoing engineering effort to St. Mary girls:”

“I like being a motivator to others and to help them see that they’re not at a disadvantage,” Stephanie Ihezie ’15 said. “I hope they start thinking: ‘I can be bigger and ultimately, that they become engineers or scientists.’”

The Women’s Initiative program is supported entirely by sponsors and run by MIT students. No costs are incurred by either the presenters or the high schools. Its 14-women board of directors includes alumnae Sarah Ferguson ’12, Reguli Granger ’12, Janice Mathew ’10, and Zahraa Saiyed ’12.

In 2010, Sandra Chen ’12 traveled to South Bend, Indiana, for a Women’s Initiative presentation. She documented her journey for Slice.

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This is part of a series of posts from two MIT students—Shawn Wen ’13 and Taylor Yates MBA ’14—involved in the 2013 Student/Alumni Externship Program, which connects current students with alumni in workplaces worldwide during MIT’s Independent Activities Period. These bloggers will report on what they learn and how the experience informs their career journeys. Alumni, learn how to get involved as a sponsor.

Guest Blogger: Shawn Wen ’13
Extern sponsor: Jon Glaudemans ’80
Company: Ascension Health, Washington, DC
Externship title: health policy analysis

Preparations for Inauguration Day at the Capitol Building.

Preparations for Inauguration Day at the Capitol Building.

Ascension Health (AH) is one of the largest health systems in the US, operating a network of over 400 hospitals and medical centers across the country, and I am lucky to call AH’s policy and advocacy office in Washington, DC, my home base this IAP. In just my first week, I have been warmly welcomed by a tight-knit office community and have been fully immersed in the excitingly fast-paced world of health policy. Some days, I am in the office in downtown DC, researching and preparing reports on various topics, such as mental health services to be included in the Affordable Care Act’s Essential Health Benefits package and implications of the recent changes in Medicare coverage for skilled nursing and therapy services for chronically ill beneficiaries.

Other days, I am tagging along with AH’s senior VP of policy, and I find myself in boardrooms in the company of some of the most influential thought leaders in health care as they engage in earnest discussions about the key driving forces in the health industry; threats of the upcoming budget talks on Medicaid reimbursement rates; and the necessity of moving away from a fee-for-service reimbursement system, which rewards high quantity of services, to shared savings, which rewards high-quality and coordinated care. Every day, I aim to develop more clarity on the world of complex challenges that bar cost-effective delivery of health care in the United States.

Next time, I’ll cover my thus-far fantastic experience living with an MIT alum and Inauguration Day.

About Shawn Wen ’13
I am a premed senior studying brain and cognitive sciences. The most interesting experience I’ve had at MIT has been working on implementing an electricity-free typhoid diagnostic system in resources-limited health-care settings in rural Nepal as an MIT International Development Initiative Technology Dissemination Fellow. Before beginning medical school, I plan on spending a gap year in Nepal channeling MIT’s fundamental principles of innovation and entrepreneurship into my personal engagement with global health and public service. I’m excited to explore yet another side of health-care delivery this IAP.

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This is the first in a series of posts from two MIT students—Taylor Yates MBA ’14 and Shawn Wen ’13—involved in the 2013 Student/Alumni Externship Program, which connects current students with alumni in workplaces worldwide during MIT’s Independent Activities Period. These bloggers will report on what they learn and how the experience informs their career journeys. Alumni, learn how to get involved as a sponsor.

Guest Blogger: Taylor Yates MBA ’14
Extern sponsor: Yue Cathy Chang MBA ’06, SM ’06
Company: FeedZai, Redwood City, CA
Externship title: business development and marketing associate

From left: Externship sponsor Yue Cathy Chang MBA ’06, SM ’06 and extern Taylor Yates MBA ’14.

From left: Externship sponsor Yue Cathy Chang MBA ’06, SM ’06 and extern Taylor Yates MBA ’14.

I’ve taken a deep dive into my externship at FeedZai, a real-time fraud-prevention tech start-up. Real-time fraud prevention is the art and science—okay, mostly science—of catching fraudsters in the seconds it takes to swipe and approve/decline a stolen credit card. FeedZai thinks it can do this better than anyone.

My role as “our MIT guy,” as the CEO referred to me on my second day, is to identify and analyze the trends in payment processing that will impact fraud and whether FeedZai’s strategy is taking advantage of those trends. It’s a big project that Sloan alumna Cathy Chang MBA ’06, SM ’06 brought me on to tackle.

Every day I am digging through reports, white papers, and PowerPoint presentations to learn as much as I can, and I love it. For me, there are few things more gratifying than learning as much as you can about a topic and being challenged to digest it into useful information. Cathy touches base with me every day and expects me to have weighty questions, which helps keep me on task and out of Wikipedia rabbit holes.

I’m finding that it is critical to be humble in the tech industry, especially for MBAs. The leading edge here is so far ahead of the rest of the world that you need to keep reminding yourself: there’s a lot to do and you know nothing, so you better enjoy learning through doing.

About Taylor Yates MBA ’14
I  moved to Cambridge from Virginia, where I worked variously in cyber security and international development. After working on reconstruction projects in Afghanistan, I came to MIT to pursue an MBA with a focus on technology. I survived Course 15’s infamous core semester and even found time to enjoy working on the MIT $100K competition with undergraduate students, the really smart people at MIT.

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From left: Students Dan and Hansol have a little fun in the lab during one episode.

From left: Students Dan and Hansol have a little fun in the lab during one episode. Click to enlarge.

Each January, a group of MIT freshmen spend four weeks taking a class with a significant prize: pass Introductory Lab Techniques (a.k.a. 5.301) and they are guaranteed a job in an MIT research lab. How do they handle the high-stakes pressure? Find out this fall in ChemLab Boot Camp, an 11-episode reality series brought to you by OpenCourseWare (OCW) and Dow Chemical Company.

The show documents the successes and failures of 14 students as they struggle to complete experiments in nuclear magnetic resonance, column chromatography, spectrophotometry, and more. Watch them master the intricacies of working with solvents and compete to grow the largest crystals. The result is part open educational resource, part reality TV and allows viewers a unique glimpse into the lives of real students.

The videos are also aimed at generating interest in science and engineering careers and illustrating the value of hands-on experience. “We hope to show the human side of our field and to inspire young people to want to become the next generation of chemists,” said John Essigmann SM ’72, PhD ’76, MIT chemistry professor and the show’s executive producer.

ChemLab Boot Camp is part of OCW’s Highlights for High School, which organizes more than 70 introductory-level courses and 2,700 individual resources for use by students and educators of AP curricula.

A new episode, each two to five minutes long and filmed last January, will be released weekly starting Sept. 18. Check out the trailer below and sign up for email notifications of episode releases and special content.

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Guest blogger: Joseph Cutrufo, program coordinator, WalkBoston

Mariko Davidson at work on the Spicket River Greenway.

Mariko Davidson at work on the Spicket River Greenway.

This past January, two local nonprofit organizations enlisted the help of MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning graduate students Mariko Davidson and Jocelyn Drummond to work on a project aimed at making Lawrence, Massachusetts, more walkable. Davidson and Drummond, along with the pedestrian advocacy organizations WalkBoston and Groundwork Lawrence, which builds healthy communities through environmental and open-space improvements, developed a plan that addresses pedestrian safety issues and increases walkability around the Spicket River Greenway, which is currently under construction.

Lawrence was established as one of the earliest planned industrial cities in the mid-1800s with a thriving industry based on textile mills. Today, it is one of the poorest cities in Massachusetts and has the highest rate of obesity and diabetes in the Commonwealth. On the surface, the Spicket River Greenway is a recreational path where residents can walk, run or bike. But Davidson and Drummond learned that this particular greenway means so much more than that to Lawrence. In addition to creating a linear park, this three-mile long “emerald bracelet” connects a variety of open spaces and neighborhoods, helps the community achieve the dual goals of riverfront restoration and neighborhood revitalization, remediates a contaminated brownfield, and reduces chronic flooding. Now Groundwork Lawrence and WalkBoston are working to link this area’s schools and major employers to the new Greenway. Without sidewalks or crosswalks, it will be difficult and potentially dangerous for pedestrians to access the path.

Davidson and Drummond developed a plan that highlights safe pedestrian routes and proposes design solutions to connect people by foot from throughout Lawrence to the Greenway. This plan is a critical component in the partnership between WalkBoston and Groundwork Lawrence, and it will help direct future initiatives of the City of Lawrence’s Mayor’s Health Task Force.

After meeting with the WalkBoston and Groundwork Lawrence staff, they assessed the existing conditions of routes connecting schools and other key institutions, such as Lawrence General Hospital, with the Greenway. Then they identified problem areas—dangerous intersections and places where sidewalks are in disrepair—and mapped them. They also created a list of recommendations that will improve access to and from the Greenway.

Davidson and Drummond are also working on interpretive signage for the Greenway to enhance trail users’ experiences by telling stories about sites along the Greenway. They conducted research at the Lawrence History Center, combing through achives, newspaper articles, photos, postcards, and oral archives to develop signage that will be located at sites including the Arlington Mills and the former location of the Oxford Paper company.

Moving forward, the work Davidson and Drummond have produced will help guide WalkBoston’s work with Groundwork Lawrence in making Lawrence a more walkable, livable community.

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There just aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish everything your company needs to get done. But give them four short weeks and MIT students can offer impressive results on some of those more challenging projects.

Here are four examples, written by alumni, of how their companies sought out students for a win-win experience: students discovered real-world applications of their classroom learnings while alumni benefitted from the special expertise students brought to their work.

This is part of a series of posts from MIT students and alumni who were involved in the 2012 Student/Alumni Externship Program, which connected current students to alumni in workplaces worldwide during MIT’s Independent Activities Period. Alumni, learn how to get involved. This is just one way for alumni to interact with MIT students. Learn about other opportunities.

Guest blogger: Adam Blake MBA ’11, marketing director, ThriveHive
My initial exposure to the MIT Student-Alumni Externship Program came as a participant during my first semester as an MBA student. I instantly fell in love with the program because of the opportunity it provided to gain exposure to not only a new industry, but also a new culture, a challenging project, and everything else that comes from working in a new company.

From left: Max Faingezicht MBA '11, Deborah Chen '14, Xenia Antipova '13, Brent Wu MBA '13, Adam Blake MBA '11.

From left: Max Faingezicht MBA ’11, Deborah Chen ’14, Xenia Antipova ’13, Brent Wu MBA ’13, and Adam Blake MBA ’11.

Fast forward a couple years, and when the opportunity to be a sponsor for the program arose, my classmate and coworker Max Faingezicht MBA ’11 and I jumped at the chance to sponsor some current students. After the MBA program we both joined a small-business-marketing software startup in Cambridge called ThriveHive, and we knew there were an almost limitless number of projects we could put together for current students. We posted a couple of relatively broad job descriptions to try to attract the most creative and motivated students. After meeting with a few applicants, we designed projects that we felt would match the passion of the students while simultaneously meeting the real needs of our startup. We don’t have the resources to waste time with students just hanging around the office, so everyone had to be working on important projects.

Our externs were Brent Wu MBA ’13, Deborah Chen ’14, and Xenia Antipova ’13. Brent, a first-year Sloanie, made use of his business background to put together a go-to market kit for one of our target markets. Deborah, a Course 6 sophomore who has already acquired some strong database skills, tackled a very challenging project centered on optimizing the complex backend of our software. Xenia, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering with a minor in architecture, used her analytical design skills to devise better ways for us to visualize our customer facing data.

Startups never have enough bandwidth to get everything done on the wish list, and finding enough smart and motivated people to solve problems is always a challenge. With the addition of our externs, January was full of energy and progress. Three or four weeks is a short amount of time for students to come up to speed and actually accomplish something, but it’s absolutely doable. We’re looking forward to participating again next year.

Guest blogger: Vesta Marks ’00, portfolio manager, UCM Partners, LP
This was the third time UCM Partners has participated in the Student/Alumni Externship Program, and I can say with confidence that this experience was our best thus far. The most impactful difference was that we were able to host two students this year—Diana Hsieh ’13 and Michael Farid ’14—as opposed to just one.

From left to right Vesta Marks '00, Course 18; Diana Hsieh '13, Course 14; Michael Farid '14, Course 2; Jay Menozzi '85, Course 6; and Boris Peresechensky.

From left: Vesta Marks ’00, Course 18; Diana Hsieh ’13, Course 14; Michael Farid ’14, Course 2; Jay Menozzi ’85, Course 6; and Boris Peresechensky.

Within the first two days, I was reminded how quickly MIT students self-organize into a team dynamic that fosters collaboration, idea sharing, and specialization. This ethos propelled our externs along the learning curve much more quickly than if they would have been working singly. It was impressive to see how quickly the team-oriented approach took root and observing it provided me with a pleasant reminder of the culture that exists on campus. [click to continue…]

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Guest blogger: Brad Edelman ’93, CTO, Fingerprint Digital, Inc.

Grad student Carrie Cai with teammates at the Fingerprint Digital office in San Francisco.

Grad student Carrie Cai with teammates at the Fingerprint Digital office in San Francisco.

When I was an undergraduate at MIT, I learned a lot from my coursework but look back with a special fondness on my UROP and summer internships. MIT excels in the theoretical, and students who combine that with some hands-on experience and real-world pragmatism make amazing employees when they enter the workplace. As such, it’s always been a joy for me to host MIT externships and summer internships. This IAP was no exception. At Fingerprint Digital, we hosted Carrie Cai, currently earning her PhD in computer science at MIT and already an MA in education from Stanford. What an amazing extern for our company in the mobile educational games space!

In just three weeks, Carrie had a wide range of experiences. She worked with our engineers to understand our software development kit (SDK) and did a great job improving our written developer integration guide. At the same time, she developed from start to finish a Hangman word game to use as a sample application to include with the SDK. She also had the opportunity to attend outside meetings with our development partners and gain insight into how technical decisions are influenced by business interests and economic realities. And she offered lots of feedback and ideas for improvement in both the UI/UX and curriculum in our upcoming title, Kid Explorer. She even got exposure to our meetings with current and potential investors.

It was refreshing to experience Carrie’s youthful idealism and can-do attitude. We had a fun discussion where Carrie couldn’t understand why basic audio/video capabilities are taking so long to become true cross-browser, cross-platform standards. Frankly, she’s right. It’s a bit hard to believe that these things can take years when on a technical basis, a solution is not only within reach but already robustly implemented. And we could go from there to talking about Fourier analysis and speech recognition and even a tangential detour into cryptography. She says I remind her of the intense MIT undergraduates—to which I say, right back at her! It makes me reminisce for those days when information came at me like a fire hose. MIT keep up the good work!

The externship flew by, and we took Carrie out to lunch on her last day; we wanted to send her off with a little celebration. We got back from lunch at about 2:00 p.m. and she decided to start a new project. Now that’s initiative! In her last four hours in the office, Carrie produced a video showing step-by-step in XCode how easy it is to add the Fingerprint platform to an iOS application. Her idea, her script, her production—and done in a matter of hours on her last day. The power of youth and the amazing capabilities of an MIT student—what a combination!

Carrie became not just a productive contributor but also a true member of our team. We’re really going to miss having her around.

*Editor’s note: This is part of a series of posts from MIT students and alumni who were involved in the 2012 Student/Alumni Externship Program, which connected current students to alumni in workplaces worldwide during MIT’s Independent Activities Period. Alumni, learn how to get involved. This is just one way for alumni to interact with MIT students. Learn about other opportunities.

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Energy research has become an increasingly important part of the MIT culture, and with students now pursuing minors in energy studies, they are often on the lookout for practical ways to use what they’ve learned. Some of the most fruitful experiences happen with the help of alumni.

Here are three stories of alumni welcoming MIT students into their energy-focused companies to learn about different aspects of the industry and the benefits the students offered in return.

This is part of a series of posts from MIT students and alumni who were involved in the 2012 Student/Alumni Externship Program, which connected current students to alumni in workplaces worldwide during MIT’s Independent Activities Period. Alumni, learn how to get involved. This is just one way for alumni to interact with MIT students. Learn about other opportunities.

Guest blogger: Jon Garrity ’11, product strategy specialist, GE Energy
Digital Energy, GE Energy’s Atlanta-based smart grid business, hosted two externs over IAP. Fan Wei ’12 and Jorge Moreno, a grad student in the System Design and Management program,  spent four weeks developing analytics around distributed solar energy. Fan’s mathematics background combined with Jorge’s considerable experience in the energy industry made them a formidable team. The first day we gave them project and company background, and by day two, they were off and running.

From left: Externs Fan Wei '12, grad student Jorge Moreno, and host Jon Garrity '11

From left: Externs Fan Wei ’12, grad student Jorge Moreno, and host Jon Garrity ’11.

Our utility customers have challenges integrating distributed generation (for example, rooftop solar installations) into the grid. It isn’t easy to see how much energy all these distributed resources are generating at a given time. The intermittency of certain distributed generation can lead to reliability issues, like flickering. Fan and Jorge, in their short time with us, did an extensive literature review, collected data, and built multiple models for our customers. These models will provide utilities with information on distributed solar generation, improving planning and customer engagement.

With only four weeks to complete the project, the team spent many hours fine-tuning their models and finishing their final presentation. The externship culminated in a presentation to our Smart Grid Solutions business leader. There were jokes before the meeting that “MIT’s reputation is on the line,” but Fan and Jorge delivered an excellent pitch and left everyone impressed. Fortunately, Fan and Jorge were able to experience some culture too—enjoying real Southern barbeque and touring downtown Atlanta. Both agreed that Georgia is a great place to enjoy IAP, especially during one 71-degree afternoon.

Having participated in the externship program as an extern several years ago, it was great to stay involved in the program from the employer side. Both Fan and Jorge jumped right into the project and had a very productive four weeks. We’re looking forward to staying in touch and also to hosting more externs next year.

 Guest blogger: Jacqueline Berger ’89, president of APPRISE
“Welcome to APPRISE!” we said to Kimberly Li ’12 when she walked into our office in Princeton, New Jersey, on a cold January morning. We had been looking forward to introducing Kimberly to our staff and engaging her in various aspects of our evaluation research. Little did we know how much of an impact Kimberly would have in our office in such a short time. [click to continue…]

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Guest blogger: Orlando Soto ’05

Orlando Soto '05 guides Vanessa Treviño '13 in a project.

Orlando Soto ’05 guides Vanessa Treviño ’13 in a project.

When I learned that MIT was reaching out to alumni and trying to match undergraduate students with externship opportunities, I jumped at opportunity to serve as a host. I knew Goddard Technologies, the engineering and design consulting company I work for in Boston’s north shore, would provide exactly the kind of fast-paced, dynamic environment that MIT undergrads need in order to prevent their high-octane neurons from turning to mush.

From the beginning, I was very excited about the quality of all the applicants in the program. The difficult part was actually choosing a “lucky” first-choice candidate from the pool of excellent undergraduates—I actually ended up staying in touch with some other undergrads just in case we have any summer internship openings. In the end, Vanessa Treviño ’13 became our extern.

I had warned Vanessa that we do things a little differently here at Goddard – we would load her up with responsibility until she cried uncle, we would encourage her to lead discussions and participate in brainstorms, and we would expect her to design and build prototypes and then show us how awesome they actually work. None of this seemed to faze Vanessa, and I really felt like I did not have to hold back once we were in the throes of engineering and design.

The first project I had her work on involved putting some of her engineering theory to real-world use: calculating maximum bending stress and deflection of a medical device under different loading configurations. True to MIT MechE nature, she didn’t even break a sweat when tackling straight theory. “OK, so you’re good with numbers. Now go write the report,” I said to Vanessa.  Off she went and wrote the foundations of a well-written report that came back exceedingly well reviewed by our client.

Vanessa Treviño '13 hard at work on a project.

Vanessa Treviño ’13 hard at work on a prototype.

So I decided to challenge Vanessa on a front where I thought she would be a little raw: practical engineering in the context of actual product design and development.

No compartmentalized academic problems here—make too many assumptions for the purposes of framing your little academic “beam-bending” problem and you’re sunk: So it’s a structural beam in bending…did you consider friction? What about fatigue strength of the material? Did you forget to consider that this operates in a saline environment? Did you remember to consider coatings and finishes that may let you get away with a material that would otherwise be unusable in its raw state? What about wear characteristics? Oh, and you do realize that this component is part of a real product which will be sold for profit, so you didn’t design it out of super-awesome-expensivite—did you?

These considerations threw Vanessa a little more off-balance, but she was able to learn and adapt very quickly, even making some suggestions I had not yet considered.

The realization that in engineering practice there could be hundreds of correct answers that are each different in terms of how well they address the underlying problem whereas in many academic mechanical engineering classes you are required to show your work such that the path to the one correct solution is documented was the one lesson I hoped to teach Vanessa as part of this externship. Sometimes finding the best answer requires some mental engineering gymnastics that can only come with practical knowledge and experience (read: mistakes).

I think she got it.

*Editor’s note: This is part of a series of posts from MIT students and alumni who were involved in the 2012 Student/Alumni Externship Program, which connected current students to alumni in workplaces worldwide during MIT’s Independent Activities Period. Alumni, learn how to get involved. This is just one way for alumni to interact with MIT students. Learn about other opportunities.

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Guest blogger: Cole Shaw, grad student in Engineering Systems Division
Externship* host: Josh Schuler SM ’00

Blind users testing out a prototype for a bus-stop improvement

Blind users testing out a prototype for a bus-stop improvement as part of the product design workshop Imagínate.

They say that your dreams change as you get older. When I was (much) younger, I dreamed of retiring early and spending many years lying on the beach working on my tan. As I got a little older and got hit by a small dose of reality, I thought, early retirement at forty does not seem common; maybe I should find a job where I get to sit on the beach a lot, like a travel writer.  A stronger dose of reality later, I am still chasing my ever-changing dreams—but I actually got pretty close during my IAP externship.

My externship this year was with the Lemelson-MIT office. No, they did not move to beachfront property (they are, sadly, still in Building 10). I actually did my externship work from Mexico. ¡¡MÉXICO!! Okay, I was not at the beach, but it was warm and a step in the right direction.

One hundred thousand US dollars. This is the value of the Lemelson-MIT Award for Global Innovation…not my externship stipend. My job was to perform due diligence research on the five finalists for this prestigious award—I verified the global impact of their work and tried to anticipate the questions that would come from a national jury. I honed my research skills and dug into their various fields of work. Along the way, I learned a lot about international development, and I was impressed by each and every one of the finalists.

Luckily, given the nature of my externship, the Lemelson-MIT office allowed me to work remotely. But I was not in Mexico on vacation, and I did not work on my tan. I was actually juggling two other projects—work for my research advisor and running a product design workshop for university students.

In the product design workshop, called Imagínate, our international team of facilitators helped shape the dreams of 17 Mexican university students from four local universities. In one week, these students worked through a user-oriented product design curriculum, which included two visits each to two user communities (a school for the blind and a marginalized community) and professional development workshops from multinationals GE Mexico and Mabe. At the end of the workshop, three teams presented their prototypes and work to an audience of 60 people. Everyone had a blast—students said they had never done anything similar before, the audience was impressed, and we look forward to running a longer workshop in the summer!

Overall, IAP was a great experience, and sometimes IAP itself felt like a dream. I met interesting and inspirational people; I worked on multiple, exciting projects; I learned a lot. Maybe retirement is not in my immediate future, but right now I do not mind.

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The workshop Imagínate was organized by Shaw, MIT alumni, and Peace Corps volunteers in conjunction with the Mexican university CICATA (part of the National Polytechnic Institute). Shown from left: Maria Elena Vazquez, professor at Universidad Politécnica de Querétaro; Mary Masterman ’10; Sarah Bruce, Peace Corps Mexico volunteer; Enrique Garcia, professor at CICATA; Cole Shaw, MIT grad student; Drew Zoller, Peace Corps Mexico volunteer; Jorge Huerta, director general of CICATA; and Francisco Valenzuela, student at Nebraska Wesleyan and the Monterrey Institute of Technology (ITESM), a Mexican university.

*Editor’s note: This is part of a series of posts from MIT students and alumni who were involved in the 2012 Student/Alumni Externship Program, which connected current students to alumni in workplaces worldwide during MIT’s Independent Activities Period. Alumni, learn how to get involved. This is just one way for alumni to interact with MIT students. Learn about other opportunities.

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