The MIT Graduate School Leadership Institute (MIT GSLI) is a first-of-its-kind, student-initiated, peer-led collaboration across all MIT graduate schools to further develop the leadership skills, experience, and network of outstanding MIT graduate students who have already exhibited strong leadership capacity. Out of the hectic pace of studying at MIT, the program carves out dedicated time and space for purposeful, authentic reflection and connection across disciplines. According to past participants, this is an intense and deeply rewarding program. We are proud of how profound past Fellows have described this program to be, and it is our motivation to continue hosting new cohorts each fall and spring semester.
The MIT GSLI cohort is approximately 30 students and provides an opportunity to establish an intimate cross-MIT network; within the cohort, each student will also be part of a smaller Forum group for more individualized work, learning, sharing, and relationship building. A kick-off retreat on Cape Cod and six mandatory weekly meetings build strong friendships, leadership skills and reflections, and a peer network bolstered by alumni programming that continues after the MIT GSLI semester is over.
Led by program alumni, MIT GSLI is collaborating with the MIT Graduate Student Council, as well as the ARC Committee (Academics, Research, and Career) to reach out to as many graduate students as possible. MIT GSLI appreciates generous support from The MIT Leadership Center, the MIT Student Activities Office, the MIT Sloan Student Life Office, and the Office of the Dean for Graduate Education.
Program Application and Requirements:
All MIT graduate students pursuing degrees are invited to apply via a brief essay and resume submission at this link
Application deadline - Friday, Sept 15, at 5:00pm ET
Please email with any questions or to connect with an alum of the program to learn more. Also use this address to email your resume using the title LastName_FirstName_Resume.pdf. All applicants will be notified of their status by early in the week of Sept 18, at which point select applications will be invited for a brief 20-minute interview conversation during the period Sept 18 - Sept 22 (virtual or in-person).
To build a strong and cohesive group, 100% attendance at the Cape Cod retreat and weekly sessions is required (no other work or time is required. Please wait to apply another semester if you cannot make this commitment. Retreat transportation, housing, and meals are all included; however, Fellows are asked to contribute $40 to help defray semester costs. All weekly sessions run from 8:00-10:00pm on the MIT campus, with dinner provided at each session early starting at ~7:15pm to allow time for catching up. Dates will be:
Cape Cod Retreat
Friday, Sept 29 (depart MIT ~7:00pm) - Sunday, Oct 1 (return to MIT ~3:00pm)
Monday Sessions on main MIT campus
Monday, Oct 16 8:00-10:00pm
Monday, Oct 23 8:00-10:00pm
Monday, Oct 30 8:00-10:00pm
Monday, Nov 6 8:00-10:00pm
Monday, Nov 13 8:00-10:00pm
Monday, Nov 27 8:00-10:00pm
Reflections from Past MIT GSLI Fellows
“My top 2 best experiences at MIT. The only program that nurtured the soul.”
“This was a fantastic experience!!! These are the kinds of programs that MIT can encourage to help students think about what kind of impact they want to have and to help link students in different departments with different skills, talents, and points of view.”
“Wouldn't have imagined that I would be able to meet this diverse and talented group of people even though we are studying on the same campus.”
“This program has been one of the most valuable experiences that I've had at MIT.”
“A wonderful program to bring students from all schools together….”
“It was great to hear from peers about their motivations and vulnerabilities. Although we are always told that we are not alone in our dreams and struggles, it is much more powerful to realize this directly through conversation and exchange with others.”
“My favorite moments were during the breaks where we could sit around and talk with other students, especially about the similar challenges that we are facing, but often do not discuss (and usually pretend they don't exist!).”
“It was amazing to get to spend uninterrupted time with my peers...I really felt like I could learn from my peers.”
“Diversity in every aspect, discipline, work experience, future goals etc., made our small Forum group within the larger cohort a fantastic platform to bounce off interesting ideas.”
“Now that I know 30ish more people on campus, I am excited to meet each one of them more in different settings throughout the campus.”
“The retreat reminded me that everyone has a story and of the importance of connection.”
For those interested but unable to apply this fall, the program is offered by fall and spring semesters on Monday evenings.
Finally, during the semester there will be other optional events hosted with MIT GSLI alumni from past cohorts, as well as networking with members from the related Harvard GSLI program.
Thank you and best wishes as the semester begins!!
- Events and Conferences