Thursday, October 9, 2008

SDM grads offer employers competitive edge - SDM Pulse, Fall 2008

By Helen M. Trimble, director, SDM Career Development

Fellows from MIT’s System Design and Management Program are experienced professionals representing a wide range of industries. This, coupled with their academic preparation in leadership, systems thinking, and managing complex systems, makes them ideal employees who can work across organizational boundaries to solve enterprise-wide challenges.

Unlike other academic programs, SDM has a flexible recruitment cycle. Companies can interview and hire self-funded candidates year-round by requesting resumes or visiting the MIT campus. A major recruitment event this year will be held November 11–14, and it will provide an opportunity for company representatives to interview many SDM fellows.

The best news is that there are no preconditions for companies to participate in SDM recruitment activities, and it is very economical. Career development professionals estimate that a search at key technical leadership levels such as manager or director easily costs $40,000—or 20 percent to 30 percent of the annual salary. Even with today’s increased transportation costs, airfare from your city plus lodging and food expenses for one to two days in Cambridge (approximately $325/day at a first-rate hotel), campus recruiting still provides impressive savings.

William Taylor III, SDM ’01, now COO of Clemson University’s Computational Center for Mobility Systems, recruited SDM graduates for Eaton Corporation when he worked for that company. “Recruitment week is a chance for industry to get engaged with SDM students, find out what their interests and abilities are, and hopefully find a good match for some leadership positions,” said Taylor. “It helps to interact with them both inside and outside the interview room. Recruitment week offers chances to do that.”

From the student perspective, Trinidad Grange-Kyner, SDM ’07, now a senior consultant at Deloitte Touche, stated, “I participated in SDM recruitment week because of the targeted manner in which all activities were designed and conducted. It was a gathering of targeted companies that already knew what they were looking for in SDM students so there was no need to ‘sell’ them on the value of the program.”

For information on SDM recruitment activities and attending recruitment week—November 11–14, 2008—contact Helen Trimble at or 617.258.8256.

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