There are many reasons to engage in continuing education, including developing core competencies, learning new business skills, or preparing for a new role. However, the benefits of attending executive education programs often extend well beyond the specific skills and frameworks acquired. At MIT Sloan Executive Education, our participants consistently remark on the value of networking with like-minded peers from around the world. And while both our in-person and online programs enable participants to connect and collaborate, our in-person programs—ranging from two days to one month in duration—provide remarkable opportunities for personal connections.
What to expect at MIT
MIT Sloan Executive Education programs are typically held in rooms with tables that seat six to eight participants. Often the tables are round, allowing for a great deal of interaction. Faculty lead exercises that require or encourage table mates to work together. This is an excellent way to meet others in a small, friendly setting. Participants are also often asked to rotate tables, enabling even more interaction.
On the first day of class, breakfast is served in the room where the course is held. Talking to another person as you grab coffee or sit to eat your morning bagel will feel natural. The course breaks for lunch, which is held in the same building where the classes take place, so this is another terrific opportunity to take a seat next to someone you have yet to meet.
In the evening, after the first day of the program, there is a cocktail hour that is held near the classroom. If you missed your chance to talk to someone during the day, this is a very relaxed time to connect with others.
Tips for networking with your peers
If you are planning to enroll in one of our courses, here are a few tips to help you break the ice with the other program participants:
- If you're anxious about approaching strangers, just remind yourself that others feel the exact same way! It's often a welcomed relief when one person makes the first overture. Everyone wants to connect with someone else, and it's always nice when someone else takes the initiative to start a conversation.
- During breaks, talk to someone who was at your table during class, and bring up a comment that they said during the lecture, or ask them how they like the class so far. Or, sit with someone at lunch and strike up a conversation.