The honorees for Outstanding Contributor get a lot of applause because they bring their best to the table…but also because they help the rest of us bring our best, too, and that’s what our next honoree in this category is all about. Her name is Shikha Sharma, and she is an MIT Resource Librarian.
In 2016, Shikha reached out to the faculty of MIT Sloan’s Global Entrepreneurship Lab with a proposal to support students in their project-based learning work. G-Lab, as it is called, connects MIT students with companies around the world to solve demanding business challenges.
Shikha recognized that G-Lab students had little if any research training. Many had no idea how the library and its resources could be helpful to them in their project work—often they even felt overwhelmed by the vast ocean of information at their disposal.
Over the last two years, Shikha has advanced student learning—and the quality of their projects—by helping them to approach their work with a structured analytical process. She has made the library resources more accessible and less intimidating, giving students more confidence in their abilities. And these new research skills will assist them well beyond their work in G-Lab.
Shikha’s efforts have resulted in another crucial benefit, too. Sponsoring host companies have been greatly impressed by the rigor and the depth of the MIT Sloan students’ work, giving the school an edge as it competes with other top tier business schools to land enduring relationships with good host companies.
As one of her colleagues noted, “Shikha is an amazing guide to the huge range of academic resources that MIT has to offer. She is a wizard when it comes to finding specific information. Most of all, Shikha takes the time to educate students on how to become better researchers, helping the MIT Sloan Action Learning program strengthen its position as one of the very best experiential learning programs in the academic universe.”