In 2017 the MISTI Program brought to Portugal seven students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for a unique internship experience abroad. The success of previous years led to the maintenance of the collaboration between MISTI and the MIT Portugal Program, which started officially in 2014 and already gave the opportunity to 25 MIT undergrads and graduate students to emerge in the Portuguese entrepreneurial sector.
Last year one of the seven students who came to Portugal ended up by being invited to stay as COO at the company where she interned, a B2B startup specialized in mental fatigue management named Performetric. “I am proud to say I was instrumental in helping the company move from a beta product to an official version” and added “"I will be helping the company's entry and expansion into the United States, shares 2016 MBA graduate and MIT Portugal intern Olaide Olambiwonnu.
This year three students interned at Ceiia, a world class company in the fields of aeronautics, mobility, naval/offshore and automotive; three were received at top Portuguese Universities (IST, University of Lisboa and University of Coimbra); and one at The Museum pf Art, Architecture and Technology ( MAAT) in Lisbon.
MIT student Katie Silva was hosted at the University of Coimbra by Professor João Bigotte, Assistant Professor of Technological Change and Innovation in the MIT Portugal Program, and spoke about her experience: “I’d never seriously considered being an entrepreneur, especially at a place like MIT where some fellow students graduate with start-ups and I never felt like I had an idea. My MISTI experience taught me more about how people became entrepreneurs and innovators and what programs, like the MIT Portugal Program, are doing to encourage innovation within academia”. Shannon Hwang was one of the three students that interned at Ceiia and refered to this experience as an inspiring opportunity and a great way to develop her engineering skills while exploring a beautiful nation on her first trip to Europe. More about MISTI Portugal 2017 students´ experience here.
MISTI is a pioneer in international education, by helping MIT students to develop practical intercultural skills through hands-on opportunities in over 30 countries. MISTI's mission is to ensure that students have a rich experience that broadens their academic, professional, and personal horizons and prepares them to be global leaders in their field of study.
The MISTI Program with Portugal follows the framework of a traditional MISTI program and it was developed in collaboration with the MIT Portugal Program (MPP). Seeing the value in connecting more MIT students to Portuguese companies and in connecting Portugal with MIT’s hands-on or mens et manus approach to learning, MPP approached MISTI in 2011. The MIT Portugal Program officially launched MISTI in 2014 and is led by Managing Director Alicia Goldstein Raun.
Before going abroad, participants are required to complete Portugal-related coursework and attend a series of Prep & Training modules covering topics such as cross-cultural communication, navigating the workplace and safety. By exploring their host country’s culture, its students to experience their host culture as an informed, engaged participants and not just visitors.
At graduation, participants in MISTI student programs report a higher level of self-confidence and an improved ability to adapt to new situations and to communicate effectively with international peers.
If you are Portuguese company, research institute, or university laboratory interested in hosting a student, please contact the MIT-Portugal Managing Director Alicia Goldstein Raun.
MIT Student Katie Silva with a friend at the University of Coimbra