The Peer Connections provides opportunities for new employees to MIT School of Science and current employees to expand their skill sets, increase their confidence, and make connections with School of Science community members outside of their home departments, labs, or centers.

After an introductory in-person meeting, advising will be conducted in person or electronically as needed by the advisee. The Peer Connections program is intended to continue for three consecutive semesters, but can be renewed at the end of the term if both participants agree. In addition, the Peer Connection program provides a small allocation of funds for lunches.

If you would like to find or become an advisor, please contact Assistant Dean Heather Williams, 617-253-8904, Program Coordinator for the Peer Connections program.

Peer Advisor

  • Ensures confidentiality of the relationship
  • Arranges the introductory meeting
  • Answers advisee questions in a timely fashion
  • Helps advisee locate and answer questions about job responsibilities and MIT policies and procedures
  • Helps advisee learn to navigate the Institute geographically, organizationally, or culturally
  • Is not responsible for training the advisee or replacing his or her supervisor
  • Does not intervene or take action on behalf of the advisee, or act as his or her “counselor”
  • Directs advisee to appropriate resources for counseling or professional development issues
  • Alerts the program coordinator when questions can’t be answered or problems resolved
  • Alerts the program coordinator when the advising relationship needs to be dissolved due to mismatched personalities or schedules, or because of a promotion, transfer, or the acquisition of significant new duties

Peer Advisee

  • Emails or calls advisor to ask questions about job responsibilities, MIT policies and procedures, or Institute organization and culture
  • Actively researches training materials, MIT and School of Science resources, and manuals before contacting advisor
  • Will not contact the advisor too frequently or interfere with the advisor’s ability to carry out his or her own responsibilities
  • Prioritizes a supervisor’s input over the advisor’s.
  • Takes counseling or professional development issues to the appropriate resources (Human Resources, MIT Ombuds Office, etc.), though it is appropriate to ask an advisor where to take such an issue
  • Alerts the program coordinator when the advising relationship needs to be dissolved because of mismatched personalities or schedules

Program Coordinator

  • Checks in by email with advisees to monitor progress
  • Coordinates introductions of advisors to advisees
  • Allocates funds for Peer Connections lunch meetings
  • Helps advisors answer questions when they are stuck
  • Helps recruit advisors
  • Identifies and dissolves matches that aren’t working and can assign new advisors
  • Sends a notice two to three weeks before the end of a term that includes an inquiry about continuation