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Adèle Cadario
SDM ‘18
M.S./B.S. Civil Engineering
M.S. Urban Planning and Regional Strategies

With degrees in civil engineering and urban planning, Adèle Cadario spent nearly seven years working in neighborhood development for the city of Paris prior to joining the SDM program. Originally looking for an MBA, Adèle found the SDM program appealing, as it would allow her to develop a new strength in management, finance and the kind of MBA type of skills while also shifting her engineering capabilities.

What brought you to SDM?

My husband was in academia and he was looking to move somewhere other than France to do his research and so I found the SDM program to be a very good entry for me to come here with my family to the U.S.

I was a bit worried about coming in with an urban planner background, thinking that coming into a more technological field is not a very standard thing for an urban planner. But I think for more and more companies, you really have this merging of two worlds, the ancient world of urban planning, which is very low tech and the new need for integrated buildings with high-tech features. There is this emerging need to merge these two worlds, and so that is why I came. 

What’s an experience you’ve had or project you’ve worked on during the program that’s unique to MIT and SDM?

As an engineer, being at the School of Engineering at MIT is great; it is the dream place to be. But being mid-career, what I need is to improve in different perspectives, so gaining managerial, operational, and financial skills are really useful. Having access to the School of Management as well as the School of Engineering is what makes it unique.

Have your plans/goals for your career changed while you’ve been in the program?

Having two years of exploring new fields and taking classes in things that are different from what I’ve known before, this is a real opportunity to deeply think about what you want to do after, which should change my path substantially in the future. This is the place where you can make new connections, understand new areas of operation. After being in France and Paris I now have a much deeper understanding of global strategies of firms and companies. Basically it sets you up to see more and further.

If you had an internship while you were in the program, what was that like?

Over the summer I did an internship with Amazon Robotic, which, coming from construction in Paris, this was really a company that wasn’t on my radar. I got the internship through the connections I made at SDM and this was an opportunity to test different things and apply what I was learning. I chose to do an internship in a field that wasn’t my own so that I could really test different environments, and I was able to do that because the work at SDM is good and important enough in Boston that they can get their students opportunities like this. 

Everything we build now is getting more and more complex, so these skills have become even more important so alums from the program are very willing to discover current students and provide opportunities to apply those skills in their companies. 

Why should people come to SDM instead of getting an MBA?

I am very glad that I chose SDM over the MBA, because it gives you access to more information, more people, and having it backed by the vision of the School of Engineering and the School of Management opens many more doors.

Another great thing about SDM is the flexibility the program provides. You have a lot of freedom to choose your classes and build your curriculum, which can be overwhelming, but it is also a great opportunity to be surprised and learn new things. The flexibility also makes the program doable for someone like me, who has a family. You have the flexibility to choose where you live, and the number of classes you want to take. You are not stuck in a forced rhythm, so it is a good fit alongside family constraints.