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Tanya Goldhaber (2010) Shares Her Experiences in the Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program

In this video you'll hear the experiences of Tanya Goldhaber (GEL 2010). In this unique engineering leadership program, MIT undergraduates (and young engineers beyond MIT) are immersed in experiential, hands-on learning activities designed to help them become engineering leaders. For more information, visit

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A update from Tanya on how she’s putting to work the skills she acquired in GEL. MIT students demand and expect value from the activities in which they’re involved: In this area (as Tanya explains), GEL delivers:

“I just wanted to send a quick update on what I’ve been up to. Starting in October 2010, I got involved with a project BT was running in collaboration with my lab looking at modern communications technology and some of the effects it was having. Through some of the early work I did on the project, I became “lead researcher” and ended up taking on quite a lot of responsibility.

On Tuesday July 5, BT released the research results at a media event in London, and the project ended up getting a lot of exposure. The research was featured on BBC 6 O’Clock news and the Today Show (both important shows in the UK) and in several major UK newspapers (including the Telegraph and the Daily Mail). I did a series of radio interviews and presented the results, both of which went very well.

I credit GEL with a lot of my personal and team successes within the project. Since the project was done in collaboration with BT, we (the researchers) had to work with a broad variety of people in BT with very different backgrounds (the most challenging of which was the PR team, with whom we butted heads many times but ultimately came out with something really great).

In addition, the project was run internationally (UK, US, Australia, and China), which involved both logistical and cultural challenges in terms of the research. Finally, the presentation of our results, both in written and spoken form, was a real challenge, and my training in GEL made me think very critically about the best way to present those results. In the end, I was very happy with how it went, and I’ve received a lot of very positive feedback.

Ultimately, this project for me has embodied a lot of what GEL is about – working in a multi-disciplinary team on a complex problem with an international scope. I believe that without GEL I would not have been nearly as successful on this project. It did not always go smoothly, but my GEL training allowed me to reflect on the causes of the problems we faced and try to take action to be a more effective team. Perhaps more importantly, when the research was finally released, I felt comfortable (if a bit nervous) taking responsibility for the results and accepting responsibility for any problems (which luckily didn’t seem to be present).

I’d like to thank all of you for the time and effort you have put both into the program and into my personal development as a leader. I have grown a great deal while at Cambridge, especially from working on this project, and I credit GEL with laying the foundation for that growth.

Posted over 6 years by Gordon-MIT ELP

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February 05, 2010 10:24
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