Alumni Education

Photograph of Mike Jones, a vendor, showing up at the lot with his big white dog named Leah.

This photo, of vendor Mike Jones arriving at an antiques show/flea market with his dog, was taken by an MIT student in the Documentary Photography and Photojournalism class. Click photo to view more.

By now, you’ve likely heard of the OpenCourseWare (OCW) phenomenon. But an OCW newsletter I received last week put it into perspective nicely. It reports that according to the OCW Consortium,

  • In one year (2008-2009), 4,727 courses were made available online—an increase of 58%.
  • More than 250 institutions have published some 13,000 free courses online.
  • Courses are available in more than eight languages.

MIT’s OCW is always updating and adding courses. Among the new offerings:

And, OCW has improved the supplemental resources section, which includes online textbooks, multimedia content, image galleries, and exams and assignments (with and without solutions), among other things—all categorized by discipline. So if you’re looking for a textbook for calculus, fluid dynamics, or electromagnetic field theory; video demonstrations in lasers and fiber optics; or examples of student work from intro writing subjects, you’re in luck.

Be sure to check out student photos from the Documentary Photography and Photojournalism class. You’ll see a day in the life of a Boston Latin history teacher, how scuba divers celebrate Easter, and the real story and characters behind an antiques show and flea market.

Computer mouse connected to the word job.

Image: ©

With the economy the way it is, it pays to stay current with job search strategies, whether you’re currently on the prowl for a new position or not. Savvy job hunters these days create personal brands for themselves with social media—strategies that take time to develop.

Two Webinars sponsored by the MIT Careers Office will offer tips that will help position alumni for future career movement.

Using Social Media for Your Job Search
March 31
3:00–4:00 p.m. EDT

Did you know that 83% of employers use the Internet to find information about potential employees? Are you on Facebook but not on LinkedIn? Discover how to create your own personal brand using social media instead of just aimlessly applying for jobs. In this Webinar, we will focus on the dos and don’ts when using LinkedIn and tips to build valuable connections. In addition, you will leave this workshop with the knowledge of how to diagnose, manage, and monitor your Web presence while developing connections with people who can make your professional goals a reality. Learn how to establish a strong web presence that will impress employers, colleagues, and industry leaders.
Preregistration required

Job Search 911
May 25
3:00 p.m. EDT
Sign up for this Webinar for tips on maximizing the impact of your resume, creating tailored cover letters, and uncovering the hidden job market. While this is geared to graduating students, anyone whose resume is out of date will find it useful.
Preregistration required


MIT Global Startup Workshop

Register today for the MIT Global Startup Workshop.

Considering innovative start-up ideas? Looking to expand your entrepreneurial network on a global scale? Attend the MIT Global Startup Workshop, the world’s premier learning and networking opportunity for entrepreneurs. This year’s workshop will be held in Reykjavik, Iceland, March 24–26, to the theme of Conquering the Economic Crisis with Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Green Energy. Its focus will be to interactively explore how to harness the powers of entrepreneurship and green-energy technologies to recover from the current economic crisis and create long-term sustainability. Iceland, a world leader in the emerging field of green energy, is the only country generating 100 percent of its electricity from renewable sources.

The student-run three-day conference is geared to up-and-coming and established entrepreneurial leaders, financiers, professors, students, government agents, and private parties looking to stimulate discussion, generate ideas, and share best entrepreneurial practices. It features inspirational talks, expert panel discussions, interactive case studies, breakout sessions, an elevator pitch competition, a business plan competition workshop, and plenty of opportunities for facilitated networking with participants from more than 60 nations. You’ll leave with a global support network for all stages of entrepreneurial activity.

“Three power-packed days—fun, eye-opening, inspirational.”
—GSW attendee

This year’s confirmed keynote speakers include:

  • Alf Bjørseth (founder of Renewable Energy Corporation)
  • Robin Chase SM ’86 (founder of Zipcar and GoLoco)
  • Nader F. Darehshori (former CEO of Houghton Mifflin)
  • Kenneth P. Morse (founder of 3Com and five other companies).

Join this unique community, experience the dynamic forum, and help build the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Register today.

Salman Khan What began as a way to remotely tutor his young cousin and her classmates in algebra has given former hedge fund analyst Salman Khan ’98, MNG ’98 a new career: virtual teacher. Khan, who studied math and electrical engineering and computer science at MIT, starting posting short videos on YouTube as a way to be more efficient with the math help he was offering from Silicon Valley to his cousin in New Orleans, and they took on a life of their own. A little more than three years later, he’s launched the nonprofit Khan Academy virtual school/YouTube channel and created 1,000+ tutorials on everything from basic arithmetic to college-level calculus and physics as well as biology, chemistry, finance, statistics, probability, economics, SAT and GMAT prep, and more. More than 32,000 people subscribe to the YouTube channel, which boasts millions of views worldwide. A chemistry teacher in Uruguay translated one of his videos, and others have volunteered to translate the lessons into Arabic, Polish, Portuguese, and German.

For now, though, Khan is a one-man show, and the short videos, generally eight to 15 minutes long and each focusing on just one concept, take him about thirty minutes to produce and upload. Now that he’s turned his attention full time to the academy, Khan hopes to create some 200 new videos each year, like his recent lectures on Federal Reserve banking generated after he read the Federal Reserve Act following last year’s financial crisis.

Check out an interview from NPR’s All Things Considered and learn more about the Khan Academy, which received the 2009 Microsoft Tech Award in Education, in the video below.

By Louis Alexander, Director of Alumni Education

London alumni gather at the View from the Top event.

London alumni gather at the January event.

A really cool thing has been happening this year as the Alumni Association has been turning the spotlight onto leading alumni professionals in a program called View from the Top (VFT). At events in Boston, London, and New York, panels of accomplished alumni shared personal viewpoints as a way of stimulating discussion. In London, for example, speakers shared insights from the top levels of finance, climate change, and security operations. Given that the audience is made up mostly of MIT alumni, the discussions are rich and vibrant—what you’d expect in a room full of some of the world’s most adept problem solvers. And the buzz kept going and going in the receptions afterward.

Alumni came in droves. These were standing-room only events. But if you missed them, you can still see alumni in action in a video summary of the London program. You can also see  several of the New York presentations and view photos of the Boston, London, and New York events (click Media Gallery).

Here’s the question now—how can we keep some of this high-value conversation going? How can alumni build on these events to create a high-energy alumni network? Are alumni interested in organizing themselves into small networking or discussion groups built around topics like finance? How can we use online social networking platforms to connect between these larger events?