The MSL Staff Reflects on Industry Associates Night 2020: Virtual Edition

Industry Associates Night is always one of the biggest MSL events of the year, but this year, the MSL Program hosted the first ever virtual Industry Associates Night on Friday, April 17, 2020. The event featured seven amazing panelists across a variety of industries,  including consulting, privacy, medicine, venture capital, food safety, intellectual property, and law. The event began with two panel discussions moderated by our very own Evan Goldberg; after the panels, students were broken into groups to meet with the individual panelists. In both the panel discussions and in the separate networking sessions, the panelists shared their advice, experiences, and insights with MSL students and alumni.

We’d like to thank our amazing panelists for their generosity:

After the event, the MSL team took a moment to reflect on the success of the event; here are our impressions:

Evan Goldberg, Director of External Outreach:

We continued our tradition of hosting a capstone career event in the Spring term, but we did so in a non-traditional way – on Zoom. The event was an amazing opportunity for our students to engage with leaders in law, business, science, technology, and health. Nothing was lost by moving the event online. Students from all of our programs participated and were excellent representatives of the MSL program. They learned the value of networking from professionals, received tips on how to network effectively, and made some lasting contacts at important companies and firms.

Shilpa Gokhale, Director of Program Development:

I was thrilled to see so many of our students participate in our virtual edition of Industry Associates Night! The panelists had such interesting backgrounds and diverse career paths, and I felt like each of our students could find something that resonated with them. Two takeaways that stuck with me were the importance of networking and the understanding that career paths aren’t always linear.

Jeremy Adler, Program Administrator:

We were excited to see so many students join us on Zoom for MSL Industry Associates night! Our panelists and students didn’t miss a beat despite the new format. The turnout and level of engagement speak to the importance of connections – now more than ever.

Nicole Schneider, Senior Program Coordinator:

As a newer member of the MSL team, I was excited and proud our team was able to be nimble and shift gears in the midst of COVID-19 to host Industry Associates Night in a virtual format. I found the impressive panelists encouraging as they shared key insights, knowledge, and, most importantly, inspiration with MSL students embarking on the next chapter of their careers. I’m excited to see where the path leads next for the 2020 MSL class and I look forward to seeing their impact on world!

Leslie Oster, Director:

The panelists at Industry Associates Night were awesome!  I learned a lot from what they had to say, and noted in particular the following insights:

  • Each student should think about their best skills and choose settings that will allow them to use those skills. Skills that are transferable across a variety of settings – such as problem solving, critical thinking, and clear communication – are key to making oneself valuable in a variety of settings.
  • Be open to the twists and turns of the job search and career development process. Never say no to a recruiter, and never turn down an interview. At a minimum, you can always use the practice, but also you just never know what can happen.
  • In the job search process, students who don’t have a lot of real world work experience should emphasize practical experience they gained from class activities or projects – the class activities can substitute for real world experience. In discussing class activities, talk about how you defined the scope of your project, how you executed it, and the impact of your project.
  • Even after you get the job you want, keep networking, both within your organization and also externally.
  • Two really important qualities in employees are flexibility and continuing interest in learning new things. Make yourself your company’s MVP; be the one who is always willing to take on the work.
  • Engineering is about problem solving, but problems are not best solved in a vacuum. Engineers should have a broad and interdisciplinary perspective to be able to solve problems effectively.
  • COVID-19 is healthcare’s 9/11. There will be radical transformation throughout the economy. We will see a sea change in how healthcare organizations operate and deal with each other.
  • Meeting challenges imposed by a crisis often requires people to be concerned about short term solutions, but is especially important in crisis situations to maintain the long term integrity of your product or company.
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