LGO students have many opportunities to apply the global perspective instilled by their classroom discussions to real-life situations around the world. Students participate in MIT Sloan School international action learning activities—including Lion Teams or the Global Entrepreneurship Lab and the Global Health Delivery Lab—engage with students and companies through the China LGO (CLGO) program partnership with MIT, and design and participate in the LGO international plant trek or an MIT Sloan School of Management spring trip in March. LGO students also have the opportunity to do their internship at an international company site. Out of these experiences come future industry leaders who see the global context for their engineering and management challenges, wherever they may be based.
Developed in 2005 by Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) with the academic support of MIT, the China Leaders for Global Operations (CLGO) program is China's only dual-degree, graduate-level manufacturing program. The curriculum, modeled after MIT LGO's, focuses on advanced manufacturing and operations principles and practices. Upon graduation, each student earns two master's degrees (one in engineering and one in management) from SJTU, a top-ranked university in China known for its strong schools of engineering and management. The first CLFM class of 36 students matriculated in September 2007. CLGO was honored in 2011 as one of China's most innovative MBA programs.
The MIT LGO-CLGO synergy committee works year-round to ensure students in the two programs learn and gain value from each other through joint activities and projects. The relationship between LGO and CLGO gives LGO students unique opportunities to experience China's manufacturing environment firsthand, and to form lasting relationships with future Chinese industry leaders.
LGO's International Plant Trek has visited China every other year starting in 2008 and will return in 2014. For the fourth consecutive year, the entire class of CLGO students came to MIT in July 2013, visiting plants in New England, briefing MIT LGO students on China's business environment, and participating in cross-cultural classes and social events.
LGO/CLGO Lion Teams are joint projects in which three LGO students team up with three CLGO students to tackle partner companies' urgent problems in China. The projects last approximately two months in the spring term and include remote collaboration among the LGO and CLGO teams, data collection and discussions at the company site in China, and follow-up reporting. The 2012 Lion Teams focused on ABB and SanDisk. Earlier Lion Team projects have been with Boeing, Cisco and Nike.
LGO students have many opportunities to engage in global experiences, either through the LGO international plant trek or MIT Sloan School of Management spring trips.
During the MIT Sloan spring trips, which also take place during spring break, students have the opportunity to immerse themselves in enriching education and personal experiences, such as networking with high-tech executives in Korea, meeting with the President of India and touring major industries there, or viewing Africa's small business and development prospects up close. Recent MIT Sloan spring trip destinations include China, Cuba, India, Korea, Mexico, and Turkey.
The Global Entrepreneurship Lab (G-Lab), a principal MIT Sloan elective, enables teams of engineering, science, and management students to work with the top management of international high-tech start-ups and gain hands-on experience in starting and running a new enterprise outside the United States. Lectures expose students to the issues and policies that affect the climate for innovation and start-up success around the world. The subject begins in the second half of the fall semester and continues for 2-3 weeks during Independent Activities Period (IAP), when students spend time at company sites around the world. LGO students can elect to do an off-cycle internship project (February-August) to be able to take the G-Lab class in the fall semester.
MIT Sloan works with health care enterprises in sub-Saharan Africa (and now India) to address their problems, decisions, and opportunities. Guided by MIT Sloan faculty and Global Health Delivery Lab experts, experienced MBA students plan, refine and help enact substantial improvements to meet the needs of partner organizations. The goal is to tackle constraints that limit health care delivery for organizations on the front lines of working with patients and communities in resource-limited settings. Starting in 2011, student teams work at MIT as well as on-site for two weeks in March to deliver customized solutions co-designed with each enterprise. At the end, the teams share results and learning.
LGO's international partner companies—including ABB, Inditex (Zara), Kimberly-Clark, Nokia and Novartis—as well as U.S.-based global partner companies such as Boeing and GM have all offered international LGO internships in recent years, totaling 38 projects for the Classes of 2011-2013 (amounting to 26 percent of all internship projects). Recent international internship sites have included Austria, Brazil, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
A key part of the leadership program is a weekly course in manufacturing and operations leadership with faculty and industry experts. The student-managed seminars cover a set of integrative manufacturing topics or issues and include presentations by senior-level managers of manufacturing companies. From Jeff Wilke, LGO '93, Senior VP of Worldwide Operations for Amazon.com, to Annette Clayton, VP of Global Supply Chain of Dell, seminar speakers share their experiences and real-world perspectives with operations and manufacturing students.
A seminar by LGO '04 alumna Tanja Vainio, country manager for ABB in Hungary, was a good example of a seminar presenter who detailed a real-life case study and discussed her leadership style.
Student blog: Victoria Knight '13 on CLGO and LGO meeting and sharing
Student blog: Brian Hendrickson '12 on Lion Teams in China
Student blog: Visiting Cisco, Nike, Sony, Nissan in Asia