“Professional development is important for PhDs on both industry and academic paths. For academics, it is crucial to stay on top of the trends in related industries, and attending conferences and trainings will lead to potential collaborations with industry partners.”

As one of gwaMIT’s co-chairs, Lily Liu is an engaged partner in graduate student professional development at MIT. She is a second-year PhD student at the Operations Research Center, working with Professors Retsef Levi and Karen Zheng on behavioral operations, incorporating human behaviors into traditional optimization models. She graduated from Cornell University with dual degrees in Computer Science and Operations Research in May 2020. After completing three internships in a start-up, a tech firm, and a fin-tech group, she decided to pursue a PhD and a career in academia afterwards. At Cornell, Lily served as the President of INFORMS Cornell chapter and Professional Development Chair of Tau Beta Pi. Currently, she is the co-chair of gwaMIT. Outside of research, she is an avid reader and a big fan of traveling.