Infinite Careers is a collaboration between Career Services (CAPD) and the MIT Alumni Association to explore career paths and the non-linearity of career decision making. Read profiles of alumni with unique career paths, hear their stories and network at a series of talks.


  • B.A. Anthropology Tufts University, 2009
  • MBA MIT Sloan, 2014


Elyse leads the People Strategy and Operations and B2B Sales teams at Cometeer. Previously, Elyse served as the Chief People Officer at EverQuote and as Associate Director of Talent Strategy at Wayfair. Before her transition into People Operations, she was a consultant at Bain & Company. She holds an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management and B.A. in Anthropology and Entrepreneurial Leadership Studies from Tufts University.

What influenced your choice of undergraduate major? How has it shaped your career choices and professional ability?

I chose Anthropology as my major purely because I loved my Intro to Anthropology course. I gave no thought to what it would mean for my future career, but in a roundabout way, my career very much leverages what I learned in those courses. As a Chief People Officer, I think constantly about how to build, communicate and evolve culture, which is an anthropological question!

What has been the most rewarding aspect of your career?

The most rewarding aspect of my career is helping others grow their careers, either through direct advocacy, coaching or fixing some part of the system that’s holding people back. People Operations can have very tough days, but seeing someone thrive in a role they love makes it all worthwhile.

Making decisions, especially important-feeling career decisions, is really challenging for people at all stages of their career. What strategies have you used to make career decisions?

I’ve tended to follow people/managers more than I’ve pursued companies or industries. I firmly believe the people you work with/for determine your experience. I’ve also been open to serendipity – I try to take every recruiter call or networking opportunity because I never know what it will lead to. It mostly generates new connections, interesting intel, mentors, etc., but once in a while I land on a really cool career opportunity!

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve received?

“If you’re not terrified a little bit every day, you need a new job.” Hearing this helped me embrace the feeling of being just a little bit over my skis, which has in turn enabled me to grow. It’s also helped me make the tough decision to leave jobs I loved for new challenges. Comfortable is nice, and it can be critical at certain points in your life, but living in your stretch zone is what propels you forward.

What career advice do you have for current MIT students, or those interested in entering your industry?

Consider People Operations! HR is no longer a tactical support function – it’s part and parcel of a business’s strategy and a really fulfilling and challenging way to flex your strategic business muscles.


Work Experience
  • Chief People Officer
  • Cometeer
Business, Finance, & Fintech, Consulting, Infinite Careers, Manufacturing & Transportation, Womxn