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Learning from MIT, learning from the field

By | 2019-10-22T14:03:28+00:00 October 22nd, 2019|News, Students|

MIT News –

As project manager for an organization charged with improving conditions in austere and hostile environments in developing countries, Robert Rains MS ’19 has seen his share of high stakes, risky projects — responding to the Ebola outbreak in Africa, monitoring a ceasefire in South Sudan, and launching counter-poaching efforts in Tanzania and Democratic Republic of the Congo. He’s also a former member of the U.S. military, having served time in Iraq.

His work in the field, as a member of the military and as a civilian, has prepared him well for the difficult conditions he faces every day in international development. “In the military, we made our living by being tough and durable,” he said.

It was his work on the Ebola response that really impressed employers and helped him to land his first project manager role.

At that point in his career, he joined a room full of project managers with long resumes — many of them with degrees and credentials in supply chain management.

Motivated to add these qualifications to his resume as well, Rains sought further training through the MITx MicroMasters program in supply chain management. He felt that this would give him a competitive edge in securing projects, as well as prepare him for the more challenging ones in the future.

Importantly, the program also allowed Rains the flexibility of time and geography to continue working across Africa.

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