Leadership and Professional Strategies and Skills (LEAPS)
In Spring 2020, I co-founded a new program at MIT together with Diane Rigos, called “Leadership and Professional Strategies and Skills (LEAPS)”. Our goal has been to offer high level career development training to emerging scientists (grad students and postdocs), in addition to the rigorous technical training they are receiving at MIT. This has long been recognized as vital for advancing graduate student and postdoc careers in academia and industry.
A recent feature article about LEAPS can be found here:
The responses to our course have been overwhelming and it’s been such a joy to work with the students and postdocs, many of whom have since become prestigious postdoctoral fellows, industry group leaders, and tenure-track faculty at renowned universities across the globe.
LEAPS for Faculty at MIT
Learning new skills and about various leadership aspects is not limited to any specific career age. Given the enormous success of LEAPS for graduate students and postdocs, I recently offered a LEAPS pilot program for Junior Faculty at MIT.
As participants shared afterwards:
“I've attended a few other workshops [...] and this one was the only one that gave us a list of tools we can use to be better mentors. [...] MIT should unify its efforts and invest in the LEAPS program.”
“I think the concept is amazing and it is extremely helpful to junior and senior faculty. We are not trained in management or leadership yet that's what we have to do and therefore it is crucial we get training like this.”
“This has been extremely helpful, especially discussing with others about their experiences and how they manage different situations.”
“I enjoyed this course very much. Yes, I would recommend this course for faculty and for scientific staff as well, anyone who supervises students or postdocs, and has to give talks/write papers.”
“The course gave me a framework to better understand some of the practices I was already doing, and how I might improve upon them. I also learned some techniques for conversations and mentoring that I will definitely be able to use. Thanks Anna!”
GAPS - Graduate Applications and Professional Skills
We developed a mini series for graduating seniors in Physics about strategic writing in preparation for their Personal Statement as part of the graduate school applications. This included several writing workshops and writing “office hours” in addition to tips and tricks on networking and how to make the most of the school visit after receiving a grad school offer.
Our GAPS sessions were extremely well attended and essentially all students are now off to graduate school!
This new program was led by Sarah Geller, an MIT physics graduate student, together with leadership from the Society of Physics Students and Undergraduate Women in Physics at MIT.
Are you ready for the next level with your career ?