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The Playbook: An MIT LGO Podcast #14

Andrea Jones is an LGO alumna (’06) that founded her own consultancy post-graduation and has developed a unique career growing her own business. In this episode, we chat about Andrea’s journey before, during, and after LGO, starting her own company and being an entrepreneur.

Andrea Jones has focused on efficient and effective Project Management and Change Implementation for over 20 years. She has successfully managed projects of all sizes, from greenfield construction to SaaS cloud-based ERP systems. Andrea also loves process improvements and has a natural instinct to always seek a better way to execute work. In all her consulting projects, Andrea seeks to facilitate adoption among stakeholders in true change management fashion and loves leading collaborative teams.

Andrea began her career at Intel Corporation as a Process Engineer and grew to love the use and analysis of data to make actionable recommendations. She has consulted for Honeywell, Inc, Genentech Inc., McKinstry, Vetsource®, Power Systems West, Precision Analytical, and Acumed, among others. Andrea has an MBA from MIT Sloan, an Engineer Masters from MIT, a Master’s in Chemistry from the University of Oregon, and a Bachelor’s in Chemistry and Japanese from the University of Oregon and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). Andrea is also a Certified Facilitator in the Working Genius® model by Patrick Lencioni and the Table Group.

 

 

The Playbook Podcast invites leaders of global operations some of the world’s largest and most innovative companies to share their strategies and mantras.

 

December 7, 2021 | More

Veterans Spotlight: Adam Barber, LGO ’23

Introduction

My name is Adam Barber, LGO ’23 (MBA/MechE). Before coming to LGO, I served for 9 years as an Army aviation officer and Apache helicopter pilot. Prior to that, I was a mechanical engineering student at Ohio University. I am joined at MIT by my wife, Brittany, and sons, John (4) and Sam (2). My goal after LGO is to be a leader in innovative, sustainable technology to improve the human condition in the fields of energy, transportation, and/or robotics.

LGO 23 Adam Barber Veterans Feature 2023

Transitioning from the Military to LGO

When I decided to leave the military and started applying for business school, I was an attack/reconnaissance helicopter company commander in the 82nd Airborne Division on the Global Response Force. The operational tempo of my unit was high, I was in a critical position, and we were 6 months into the COVID-19 pandemic, figuring out how to train and stay ready to deploy without compromising the health of our force. I was concerned about leaving a well-paying job with great benefits to attend school in just a few months, and my family and I have unique healthcare needs that were 100% covered through the military. I was conflicted about leaving my teammates to pursue a new calling and I hoped my next step in life would be as impactful as my time in the military. Looking back, I loved my Army career and miss it sometimes, but I definitely made the right choice for myself and my family. LGO is incredible and the future is bright.

Being a Veteran LGO

Once I was admitted to LGO, I discovered a new mission-focused team, an excellent support system of student-veterans, and continued financial stability. The Student Veteran Association is highly active and welcoming to new members, and LGO is comprised of roughly 15% veterans thanks to the proven track record of past veteran LGOs. Due to the high proportion of veterans in LGO, I feel as if I get to continue enjoying the camaraderie of the military. My veteran classmates and I share a common sense of humor and frequently reminisce about our varied military experiences, while being integral and critical to the LGO class as a whole. In terms of finances, the LGO program provides a guaranteed fellowship in addition to other benefits that most veterans are eligible for such as the GI Bill, Yellow Ribbon, disability, and Veteran Readiness & Employment (VR&E). Additionally, LGO provides a cost of living allowance for the required 6-month internship, which is both guaranteed and involves an impressive list of partner companies.

LGO Core (Summer Semester)

LGO 23 Adam Barber Veterans Feature 2023Summer core is tough. But, you soon realize that it’s tough for everyone. My first impression of my classmates was incredible and humbling at the same time. Everyone was self-aware, talented, intelligent, and eager to lead. All 50+ of us were remarkably similar in our goal of leading teams through complex problems to create a positive global impact, despite the fact that we came from diverse cultures and backgrounds. The classes and assignments are carefully chosen to prepare students for advanced engineering classes and to provide a focus on operations management, both of which were also tremendous assets in the MBA core in the following semester. Most importantly, learning with and from my core team was an unbelievably rewarding experience, and I now consider my summer core teammates to be among my best friends. Starting in summer core, you will have the opportunity to volunteer with various LGO student committees to significantly shape your class’s two-year journey, to include the way internships are conducted, what manufacturing plants the class visits in the US and overseas, and more. As a huge bonus, I quickly found that the tight-knit LGO community is excellent for significant others to make friends and for parents to coordinate for multi-family events.

MBA Core (Fall Semester)

My LGO class is currently in the MBA core, with each of us in a new core team where all the other members are MBA-pure students. The MBA program does an excellent job of curating teams of business school students to provide an incredible learning and social environment. As was the case in the summer, learning with and from the impressive members of my core team has been an important part of my experience at MIT. In this semester, in contrast with MBA students, LGOs can pursue an enormous amount of engineering and business subjects in addition to the four core MBA courses, and a required LGO leadership seminar course. The workload is very challenging, but LGOs deliberately take many of the same courses and join the same clubs, which greatly enriches the overall experience and decreases stress. Finally, this semester is when student clubs, including the Student Veteran Association, start to become more active. There is a mind-blowing number of student organizations within Sloan, the engineering departments, and MIT in general, with no shortage of positions where students can make an impact.

Advice to Veteran ApplicantsLGO 23 Adam Barber Veterans Feature 2023

My best advice to veteran applicants is to:

  1. Tell your most impactful stories with confidence – don’t discount what you did when you served.
  2. Find ways to quantify your impact, especially in terms of percent increase/decrease.
  3. Be very specific with your goals while understanding that you can change your mind later.
  4. Don’t self-select yourself out. Many veterans are high performers with tons of practical leadership and operational experience, but we take for granted how impressive some of our accomplishments are. Something like expertly managing a hand receipt full of military equipment can be a vital point in your application if it created a meaningful organizational impact. The best way to calibrate yourself with regards to what to highlight in your application is to get other veterans’ stories and resumes. I can say with full confidence that the MIT LGO veteran community will be more than happy to help you in your application.

Finally, I want to highlight that the LGO and Sloan admissions teams do a phenomenal job figuring out who you are from your application, which is comparatively straight forward and open-ended. Rest assured that they will make the right decision based on your application and interview, so be genuine and enthusiastic throughout the process. If you are suffering from imposter syndrome, know that it is incredibly common at MIT. Just apply. If you get in, you deserve to be here.

 

November 10, 2021 | More

Hispanic Heritage Month 2021: Scott Hungerford, LGO ’23

We celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month to recognize the diverse cultures, achievements and contributions of Hispanic Americans. During this time, I like to reflect not only on the major impacts Hispanics have made in the past, but also on the future made possible because of their contributions made towards education, civil and labor rights, and cultural inclusion. The greatness of the past has influenced the future success of all Hispanic generations, including myself.

Scott Hungerford LGO 23 with parents Hispanic Heritage Month 2021
Scott with his parents

I am proudly Mexican American thanks to both of my parents who have instilled in me the value and beauty of our Mexican identity. My family immigrated to California during the early to mid 1900’s, established roots in Los Angeles, and received military honors for their service during World War II. I have family members who picked produce in the fields of California, and family members who led labor unions and stood in solidarity with Cesar Chavez during the Chicano Movement. As a collective force over multiple generations, my family has made great strides in education and has led organizations that empowered Hispanic advancement across the nation. My family has continued to instill in me the importance of honoring my identity and my community. It’s their legacy and contributions that I reflect on this month.

Scott Hungerford LGO 23 Core Team 1 - Summer
LGO Core Team

Like many underrepresented minorities (URM), I began my pursuit for higher education at community college and funded my education by working at various restaurants. At that time, I never thought that I would ever be accepted into MIT, let alone into a dual-degree graduate program. I applied to the LGO program because it was the perfect opportunity to develop both the technical and leadership skills necessary to foster innovation and drive change. Although MIT is widely recognized for their high accolades in technology and innovation, what really drew me to the LGO program was the sense of community and acceptance. LGO students come from amazingly diverse backgrounds, they are incredibly passionate about their goals, and they are immensely humble about their accomplishments. I plan to utilize the thought leadership, management skills, and global perspective I gain through this program to equitably address climate change.

I’m excited to continue the great efforts of the LGO Active Allyship Committee: a program that seeks to significantly increase the representation of URM students in global business and engineering education. One of the most impactful moments for me during the summer term was my first interaction with the LGO URM Alumni Group. The strength and support from the URM community was amazing and I left that interaction with a strong sense of belonging and an unwavering confidence that I will continue to have the support of generations of alumni.

Scott with fellow LGO '23s on the first day of the LGO Summer Core
Scott with roommates and fellow LGO ’23s on the first day of the LGO Summer Core

If you’re considering graduate school at MIT, please know that you are not alone on this journey. You are supported by the many generations of URMs that endured so that we may have the opportunity to change our trajectory. We’re all here to support you. I hope to see many of you on campus next year.

Regards,

Scott Hungerford

 

October 4, 2021 | More

Meet the LGO ’23s: Onyinyechi Ukaire

Get to know the LGO Class of 2023! We checked in with Onyinyechi “Ukay” Ukaire from the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department as the class was settling into their first Fall semester to learn more about what he values about LGO and his advice for those thinking of applying.

 

Ukay Ukaire EECS LGO 2023 New Class Features Blog sized graphic

What were you doing before attending LGO?

Prior to LGO, I wrote code to understand the biology underlying how less than 1% of HIV-infected individuals control, even in the absence of medication, at the Ragon Institute. Knowing how these individuals control is critical to informing HIV vaccine strategies.

Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard, where I spent my years prior to LGO, is situated at the edge of MIT’s campus. Fortunately, I wasn’t far from the area. In fact, Terry Ragon who founded the institute and Intersystems—which is the engine behind MGH’s patient electronic healthcare record—was an alumni of MIT. So in many ways, what I was doing before LGO lured me into considering MIT and thus LGO for graduate school.

What factors informed your decision to attend MIT LGO?

There were three reasons why I applied to and ultimately accepted my offer to MIT LGO. First, I imagined deepening my interests in Management and Computer Science in a dual-degree program with a long history and strong record for academic excellence. The network of top faculty and classmates — who can become teachers, mentors and friends — promised both a high standard and strong support network that was virtually impossible to rival. Besides, I knew I would be routinely challenged to learn, grow and contribute to the Sloan, Engineering and larger MIT communities I would join.

Second, having roughly fifty students per cohort, the program seemed to have a close-knit community I could get to know very well, with people who could be more than classmates to become family. Given that these are also exceptional individuals with backgrounds in engineering disciplines that I certainly did not find at other notable schools, I was bound to find value within the school, as a student, and beyond, as an alumni.

Third, relative to other schools, the partnership with LGO companies offered exciting practical internships that also substantially subsidized tuition fees. The internship was six months: long enough to learn something meaningful. The opportunity of a practical experience to augment my academic training, juxtaposed with financial support, had a big sway.

Ukay Ukaire LGO 23 Core Team MIT Dome
Ukay with his LGO Core Team in Killian Court

Why did you choose your specific engineering department?

To advance my interests in computer science, I chose the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, or Course 6. Since 2014 when I first moved to the United States, I have witnessed the immense power of building stuff via writing code. It was a practical skill of immense importance, whether early on in my undergraduate research labs/courses, or more recently, in my past job. For example, I can hardly imagine making sense of the enormous genomic data surrounding HIV vaccine research; it would be onerous to complete such work. Moreover, in my personal life, writing code has enabled me to better handle my finances, since I can easily abstract the math surrounding budgeting. Thirty percent of income can go to rent and housing fees, twenty to commuting and other expenses around work or student life, thirty to having fun, and twenty to my coin wallet or the stock market or whatever I fancy. And I can change it all very easily—computer science made that obvious.

With the plethora of internet devices surrounding us, and the ever-rising use of technology, it is difficult to ignore computer science. In fact, I think everyone needs to take one or two core classes in Course 6 at some point, especially if you surf the web say via Google or care about privacy or want to just learn more — like everyone else — about Artificial Intelligence.

Even the weekly COVID test we do at MIT is powered, at least in part, by computations of various sorts. The EECS department is paramount.

Do you have any advice for future applicants?

JUST APPLY.

If you’re considering LGO, you’re likely the kind of person who will succeed here. By now the grades and testing are all done. It’s time you applied.

Don’t overthink it. Pondering if you’re the right fit, or stressing about a hypothetical rejection, is common. You have a compelling story. While finding your voice and the right way to convey that story is important, it is even more important to communicate an imperfect story than none. With one, you have a chance. Without one, you don’t.

Open the application, pen down your name, phone number and email. Then copy the prompts and write down an answer, just a word or two. Then one or two or even three sentences, splitting your time, until you have a draft. Share your draft with those you love, and seek feedback. Later share with others who can say the truth, even if it hurts; hopefully their feedback also strengthens your voice. See you on the other side, we want you!

Ukay Ukaire LGO 23, Formal Event with other LGOs
Ukay with other LGO ’23s at the Welcome (Back) Sea Function

What is your favorite memory from the LGO Summer Core experience?

Reflection Day. My classmates hosted an optional group-reflection one morning, and nearly everyone showed up. It was a testament to how we valued each other’s candid opinions about the events of the summer that was winding down. We exchanged highlights, the things we liked about the program, what really went well, and what we’d love to continue. We also traded lowlights, the things we loathed, what about them we did not appreciate and the opportunities for growth.

In a fast-paced summer with tight schedules, episodes of deliverables, more deliverables, and many more deliverables, intertwined with bouts of pure joy – coffee chats, dinners or banters at our program’s lounge — I was happy to digest some of my teammates’ experiences in ways I otherwise might not have. That we exchanged real thoughts, appraisals and disavowals alike, felt refreshing. I left that room, among others, feeling “damn, I am so glad I ended up in LGO.”

In truth, selecting a favorite memory among many top options was hard. See the pictures and notice how too many beautiful moments occurred over the summer.

How is the LGO experience so far different from what you expected when applying?

It is more fun than I imagined! Seriously!!

Everyone I talked to before the program stressed how intense it was to complete two degrees in two years. No wonder I couldn’t help but feel anxious about the program. Therefore, when I arrived, I was expecting really tough moments to be the norm. Surprisingly, it wasn’t quite that.

Yes, there’s lots of work to do, because MIT’s management and engineering schools know how to keep one’s brain working. Indeed, it’s this somewhat unyielding environment that brings out the best in us. But that’s not all. Interestingly, I have had some of my fondest moments in life in the past few weeks playing croquet, singing karaoke, or having a BBQ party under Cambridge’s infrequent sunshine. Just yesterday, I played an intramural soccer game with my LGO classmates, and we had a blast just practicing teamwork on the field. Though hard, LGO has allowed room for ample student life!

Ukay Ukaire LGO 23
Ukay with fellow Sloanies at an MBA Prefunction Event

September 30, 2021 | More

Meet the ’23s: Eduardo Maristany

Get to know the LGO Class of 2023! We checked in with Eduardo Maristany from the Aero/Astro department as the class transitioned from the LGO Summer Core into their first Fall semester to learn more about how LGO is helping him fulfill lifelong goals and his advice for current applicants.

 

Eduardo Maristany LGO 23 New Class Feature

What were you doing before attending LGO?

I was working as a Systems Engineer/Technical Program Manager at Amazon’s Project Kuiper. Kuiper is working on building a constellation of 3000+ satellites in Low Earth Orbit to provide high speed internet to unserved and underserved communities around the world. Before that I also worked as a Systems Engineer at Amazon Prime Air, Amazon’s drone delivery program!

Why did you choose your specific engineering department?

Ever since I was 12 years old, I knew I wanted to be an aerospace engineer. My undergrad was in aerospace engineering and I spent my time between undergrad and LGO working in aerospace projects. I love anything that leaves the ground, especially if it goes to space and I want to keep working in the aerospace industry post LGO, so I decided to also do my masters in aerospace engineering.

Eduardo Maristany LGO 23 Core Team
Eduardo Maristany and his LGO Summer Core Team

Do you have any advice for future applicants?

It sounds simple but just be yourself! Make sure your application reflects you, what you have done, and what you aspire to do. If you are considering applying to the program you probably already have an amazing background and LGO would likely be lucky to have you. LGO looks for diverse people and backgrounds so make sure your individuality shows!

What are you most looking forward to in the fall/for the rest of your two years with LGO?

I am really looking forward to all the amazing classes I am going to be able to take both at Sloan and in the Aero/Astro Engineering Department. MIT has so many world-class faculty and such interesting classes that I am actually having a hard time picking which classes I want to take during my limited time on campus. This is a great problem to have!

What is your favorite memory from the LGO Summer Core experience?

For the last day of our Intro Operations Management class, our whole class dressed up like our professor (who always wears the same outfit) and we all showed up to class at the exact same time!

LGO 2023 Sean Willems Dress-Up Day
LGO 2023 Professor Sean Willems Dress-Up Day

September 23, 2021 | More

Meet the LGO ’23s: Allison Smedberg

Get to know the LGO Class of 2023! We checked in with Allison Smedberg from Mechanical Engineering as the class transitioned from the LGO Summer Core into their first Fall semester to learn more about why she chose LGO and how she prepared for her application to the program.

 

Allison Smedberg LGO 23 New Class Feature

What were you doing before LGO?

​Before LGO I was a Lead Integration & Test Engineer at SpaceX. I managed a team of 10 engineers responsible for the final integration, build, and systems testing of the Dragon Spacecraft, which carries astronauts and cargo up to the International Space Station. The job was incredibly dynamic – I loved working with a range of technical disciplines, developing our engineers, and getting hands-on with technicians and the vehicle in the cleanroom.

What factors informed your decision to attend MIT LGO?

The LGO program offered the opportunity to take my MBA experience and pivot it towards what I am passionate about: manufacturing and new product introduction. In addition to gaining two degrees, I knew that MIT was the right fit for me after talking to current students and seeing first-hand how passionate and collaborative the culture is here.

Do you have any advice for future applicants?

The best advice I received when applying was to identify my ultimate dream job, and begin building a mental image around that. What does that future you look like, both professionally and personally? Doing this mental exercise definitely helped me put forward a strong and authentic application. Envisioning that future will help you identify where you are headed, how LGO fits into that picture, and what experiences you are looking for during grad school to move you in that direction. I also highly recommend reaching out to current students and the LGO staff to ask questions and get a feel for the program!

MIT LGO 23 Killian Court Steps

What is your favorite memory from the LGO Summer Core Experience?

I loved working with my “core team” of 5 other LGOs throughout the summer. Our collaboration further enhanced the summer core curriculum, and our friendship extended well beyond the classroom. I remember prepping our final project presentation in System Optimization – it was a busy week, and we held an evening working session. We were working hard but also getting very silly, to the point where we were crying laughing in the LGO lounge together.

How is the LGO experience different from what you expected when applying?

I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how practical and applicable our coursework has been so far. Our discussions and homework are rooted in real-life problems that our professors have faced in industry or that previous students solved during their thesis projects. The courses really align well with MIT’s slogan “mens et manus“, which was important to me as an incoming student who had already spent 5 years in industry.

 

September 16, 2021 | More

What to Know About LGO: Application Advice

A year ago, the current LGO ’23s were preparing their materials for applying to MIT LGO. With hindsight and the LGO Summer Core behind them, the Class of 2023 has lots of application advice for current candidates. Julie Sarasua and Fiona Gouthro share their experiences prior to LGO and reflect on what helped them apply and ultimately decide to attend LGO!

Julie Sarasua LGO 23, MIT Dome

This is Julie Sarasua, LGO ’23! I studied Industrial Engineering in undergrad but am now in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department, focusing on supply chain optimization and resiliency. Before LGO, I worked in logistics and distribution in roles focused on distribution center performance and last mile delivery. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent spike in demand for e-commerce prompted me to think more seriously about going to graduate school. I wanted to understand how supply chain operations could be more resilient to breakdown, both from a business and engineering perspective. The dual MS/MBA degree option was the perfect fit for me. Before applying to LGO, I reached out to current students and alumni of various graduate programs to learn more about the programs from an insider’s perspective. LGO students were particularly enthusiastic about talking with me and shared helpful pieces of advice about reflecting on my career, as well as general application tips.

The best piece of advice I received prior to applying was to take a step back and reflect on why I wanted to go to graduate school in the first place. What was I passionate about? What were my goals? Why does LGO fit better than continuing to gain work experience or attending another graduate program? At the end of the day, you are the driver of your own career. The more you know yourself, the more you will get out of graduate school and the better positioned you will be to embark on a career you love.

Best of luck on your application! Please feel free to reach out with any specific questions about the program.


Fiona Gouthro LGO 23, MIT Dome

Hi everyone! My name is Fiona Gouthro, and I am an LGO 2023 pursuing my MBA and MS in Mechanical Engineering. Before coming to MIT, I worked as a project manager in the oil and gas industry for three years. I am a proud Canadian, and I love winter sports, all-dressed chips, and the metric system. I found out about the LGO program while working on my undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering. It seemed like the perfect fit for me as I wanted to pursue a career where I could solve problems at the intersection of both technology and business. LGO allows you to learn from the best in both of these fields and apply your learning through project-based classes and internships with industry-leading companies.

My biggest piece of advice during the application process is to be specific with your goals for graduate school, recognize how MIT can help you achieve those goals, and identify how you can contribute to the MIT community. During my application process, I spent a lot of time researching specific classes and labs, engineering disciplines, and clubs that fit my interests and goals. I found it extremely helpful to reach out to students and professors if I had any questions about what I was reading online. Everyone I reached out to was incredibly responsive and helpful. If you are able to call out these specifics and tie them to your personal goals, it shows initiative and interest in the program and the school. Remember that identifying these in your application does not mean that you cannot explore new interests once you get to MIT!

Feel free to reach out with any questions you have. Good luck! You got this! 🙂


We asked the LGO Class of 2023 to provide one piece of advice they would give to incoming LGO students preparing their applications. Here are some of our favorites:

  1. Invest equal amounts of time in your GMAT/GRE as in the rest of each other component in the application (essays, interviews, recommendation letters, etc.). Every piece is equally important and stubbornly studying GMAT/GRE rarely raises your score significantly.
  2. Check out the research in your engineering department and see if you can link the department’s innovative work with your own career aspirations.
  3. Take the time to think critically about what strengths and areas for growth you want to highlight in your application and pull together a collection of stories (3-5) from your past experiences (personal or professional) that highlight those key messages you want to convey.
  4. Truly understand why BOTH the MS and the MBA fit your career path/ambitions. Why not just an MBA?
  5. Be yourself in the video submission and interviews. They want to know you personally!
  6. Be introspective. Figure out what you want in your career and how LGO and the MIT community will help you get there. Then, focus on putting together the best application you can. Attend as many events you can to understand the application process and reach out to LGO Admissions if you have any questions at all!
  7. Find someone in your family, friend group, or work that you trust to be honest and impartial that is willing to read through your essays/application and give you honest feedback.
  8. As Nike’s motto goes: just do it! (No second thoughts)
  9. Reach out to professors and grad students doing the work you are interested in and attend seminars/talks related to those topics (e.g. find ways to show your face and make connections).
  10. Reflect on your life and career experiences so far and where you want to go. Take that and craft a story about how the LGO program fits in and will help you achieve your goals. Be specific!
  11. Think about how to use each detail of your application to highlight the things that are important to you and demonstrate who you are beyond the resume. Follow the suggested formatting!
  12. For the one minute video introduction, keep it light!
  13. Get in touch with a current or recent LGO if you can. You’ll get personalized advice and you can also use that time to make sure that LGO is the program that is right for you. LGO is demanding and specific, and the best way to figure out if it’s a good fit is by talking to people who have already done it.
  14. Talk to as many people as possible so you can pick up key talking points for the interview. You can also list these people in your application.
  15. Know that you’re already totally qualified. Be confident and showcase whatever you think makes you unique!

 

~

By Julie Sarasua, LGO ’23, and Fiona Gouthro, LGO ’23

 

September 15, 2021 | More

Meet the LGO ’23s: Nayeli Arellano

Get to know the LGO Class of 2023! We checked in with Nayeli Arellano from Civil and Environmental Engineering as the class transitions from the LGO Summer Core into their first Fall semester to learn more about why LGO was the best fit for her.

 

Nayeli Arellano LGO 23 New Class Feature

What were you doing before attending LGO?

Before coming to LGO, I was working in Supply Chain, holding two different positions (now that I think about it, I guess the dual degree was meant to be for me). I started as an Americas Trade Compliance Manager in 2017, leading optimization efforts that support import/export operations while interfacing with global team members, business leaders and other key stakeholders to successfully implement and upgrade the internal policies and processes, as well as identifying risks areas to develop actionable plans and procedures to maximize the organization’s performance. Additionally, in early 2020 I was appointed as the Americas E-commerce Operations Manager. I was responsible for the development of the company’s cross-border e-commerce initiative, from the 4PL’s Control Tower side. I was accountable for key metrics and vendor service level agreement monitoring and assessment to ensure optimal customer service from my local team as well as stakeholders located in different countries in the Americas and Europe.

What factors informed your decision to attend MIT LGO?

  • Perfect Fit: Having worked in Supply Chain Operations with teams all over the world, I knew LGO was the right program for me ever since I heard about it. The focus on Operations and how the program builds on the technical aspect of our respective engineering specialties while also elevating our leadership skills made it the perfect next step in my professional career.
  • Time effective: Being able to complete an MBA and an MS degree at the same time was an excellent opportunity since I was planning on getting both degrees in the near future.
  • Community: Either from virtual events or by talking to LGOs directly, I learned that LGO cohorts were known for creating tight bonds and supporting environments. Also, this program is filled with amazing people with similar interests and very different backgrounds and personalities. Of course I wanted to be part of this incredible community.

The four LGO ’23s from Mexico: (left to right) Paolo Luciano (ORC), Eduardo Maristany (AA), Nayeli Arellano (CEE), and Santiago Andrade Aparicio (NSE)

Why did you choose your specific engineering department?

I was initially interested in the Supply Chain Management Masters.  It was while I was doing my research for it that I first found the LGO program.

I have been interested in Sustainable Operations since my undergrad, and in more recent years, I started focusing in Sustainable Supply Chain. After researching the offerings from each engineering department, it was very clear to me that Civil & Environmental Engineering was the way to go. Its offerings on the different applications of Sustainability and Supply Chain are exactly what I was looking for.

Do you have any advice for future applicants?

  • Connect with as many LGOs as you can. Ask questions. Learn about the program: the good and the bad (Summer Core is hard!).
  • Do your research. Get familiar with the program, the faculty, the requirements, and the partner companies.
  • Do some soul searching and identify what you bring to LGO and what can LGO give you.
  • Be yourself. Let your passion for your discipline shine. Make sure your application reflects who you are and why you want to be part of this community.
  • Learn (at least) basic Python before you come! Seriously, it will make your life so much easier.

What is your favorite memory from the LGO Summer Core experience?

Not exactly a memory, but my favorite part of the LGO Summer Core experience was discovering that regardless of how accomplished and amazing they are, everyone is incredibly humble and approachable. There was always someone willing to help, even if it was just checking in when the deliverables piled up.

Also, being part of the most diverse class in the history of LGO (so far) and being the first Mexican female in the program is something I am very proud of!

Nayeli with fellow ’23s Toni Guiriba (MechE) and Julie Sarasua (CEE) on the Charles River

September 9, 2021 | More

LGO 2023

While colleges and universities are gearing up to start the fall semester, the newest LGO Class of 2023 has already been on-campus and in class since June. LGO’s full 24 months of curriculum begin every summer at the very start of June, when the new class comes together just as the 2nd years are graduating and re-entering the workforce. The first three months of the program are dedicated to the LGO Summer Core and is a busy time for our students as they get to know each other and get started on their credits for their dual degrees.

 

The Class of 2023 is one of our most diverse classes ever, in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, industry, work experience, engineering department distribution, and what they are hoping to accomplish over the next two years.

 

quotes for LGO '23 Profile Blog Summer 2021

LGO '23 Profile for Blog 2021

Quotes forLGO '23 Class Profile Blog

 

The 2020/21 admissions cycle was unique for many reasons, but it was also our biggest pool of applications, making this class one of the most competitive we have ever had. We were excited to welcome the LGO ’23s who are bringing a lot of new perspectives to the class, showing increasing interest in healthcare, data analytics, and sustainability focuses along with the strong manufacturing and operations that have always been at the foundation of LGO. This year we are welcoming 2 students to our newest engineering department: Nuclear Science and Engineering. These students will focus on exploring sustainable energy and will pioneer a new engineering curriculum.

 

We also have students from non-tradtional admissions pathways joining us this year. The first student to pass through Sloan’s MBA Early Admissions program and apply to join LGO has started this year in Mechanical Engineering. Sloan’s MBA Early and LGO Early (for current MIT seniors) are admissions pathways that are for undergraduates looking to get a head start on their graduate school timeline. We also have a Department of Material Science and Engineering PhD joining us to finish out his PhD along with a Sloan MBA. This is the third DSME PhD student who has pursued LGO to maximize their time at MIT and opportunities for industry research.

 

quotes for LGO '23 Profile Blog Summer 2021

LGO '23 profile blog graphic 2

quotes for LGO '23 Profile Blog Summer 2021

 

The Class of 2023 has shared a wide variety of reasons and factors that led to them joining LGO this year. Top considerations included access to MIT as a world-class institution and network, the short-term and long-term benefits and ROI of a dual degree, accelerated career outcomes, access to industry partner companies, the enthusiastic and tight-knit community of students and alumni, and the generous fellowship that is granted to each student admitted into the program. This was also a cycle where LGO was able to expand its scholarship offerings to support our diversity efforts, with the new LGO Diversity Fellowships for students who demonstrate a commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity in their life experiences, personally and/or professionally.

 

quotes for LGO '23 Profile Blog Summer 2021

quotes for LGO '23 Profile Blog Summer 2021

 

We were excited to welcome the 55 LGO ’23s earlier this summer, marking one of the biggest classes admitted into LGO. The next two years will be busy, but we are looking forward to all the newest cohort of LGOs will explore and accomplish at the intersection of business and technology.

 

August 23, 2021 | More

LGO Class of 2021 Graduation Feature: Julia Chen

Recently graduated CEE LGO ’21 Julia Chen reflects on her two years at MIT LGO. Making the most of her many projects and experiences in a difficult time, Julia showcases the true variety of opportunity around MIT. Congratulations to Julia and all the LGO ’21s!

 

What LGO and/or Sloan extracurriculars and leadership activities did you participate in? How accessible were Sloan activities and communities as an LGO student?

In LGO, I was a co-chair of the Action Learning Operations Lab Committee, member of the LGO Program Director’s Advisory Committee and Partner Relations Committee. Within Sloan, I was a Sloan Core Fellow and a Spring Fellow. I co-organized the Asia Business Conference as the Marketing Director and the ClimateTech and Energy Prize @ MIT as the Mentorship Director. I served as a Mentor for the Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program for MIT undergraduate students from the School of Engineering. I also participated in several hackathons including MIT COVID-19 Challenge and Energy Hack with our fellow LGOs.

Despite LGOs being away from campus for one semester for the six month research internship, there is an abundance of opportunities for LGOs to take leadership positions and get involved with Sloan activities. The MBA program office and our fellow Sloanies are generally willing to accommodate our schedule as long as we proactively communicate and make arrangements beforehand.

LGO 2021 Graduation Julia Chen Feature

What was the most valuable leadership learning and how do you think your leadership experience will influence your future career?

I truly enjoyed my time in LGO and the wider Sloan community. Through the core semester and the core fellow program, I worked closely with many Sloanies and met friends who have been a constant source of inspiration to me. Among my closest friends from Sloan were Olga Timirgalieva, who co-founded the First Generation / Low Income Club to support underprivileged students and build an inclusive community in Sloan, and Jessica Leon, who co-founded Latinx MBA Association to empower aspiring Latinx students with educational and professional development opportunities across the US.

I am very fortunate to be close friends with many LGOs and Sloanies like Olga and Jessica. They made me realized the three things that are essential in becoming a principled, innovative leader: gratitude, empathy, and the ability to listen. Maintaining a grateful heart allows us to appreciate what we have, stay positive and make the most out of the less-than-ideal environments. Empathy enables us to see the needs of not just our immediate surroundings but those from the wider society. It helps us identify the opportunities to maximize our potentials. The ability to listen, not just through communication tools but truly attending to the stories of the many brilliant minds around us, motivates me to keep learning and growing. Going through 2020 with a global pandemic and many awakening moments on social issues across the world, I appreciate that my Sloan experience has offered valuable formal leadership training and, more importantly, helped me realize these important qualities as a future leader and a global citizen.

What entrepreneurial resources did you take advantage of while an MIT student? What surprised you most when learning more about entrepreneurship? How do you plan to apply these lessons in your career and broader approach to business? What advice do you have for those interested in learning more about entrepreneurship at MIT?

Over the past year, I worked on a start-up that develops droned enabled robots to address the labor shortage and workplace safety. With co-founders from MIT and Harvard, we were able to take advantage of resources from both schools and outside organizations. We received funding, awards, and mentorship support from MIT SandBox, MIT 100K, Sloan Collaborative Intelligence Competition, Mass Robotics, as well as incubator and accelerator programs such as MIT DesignX, Harvard Innovation Lab, and Launch Lab. We recently won the top prize from RaboBank-MIT Food and Agribusiness Innovation Prize.

The key takeaways from my start-up entrepreneurship experience were to stay agile and disciplined. Agility helps startups re-orient from failures and move on to the next iteration. Discipline allows us to stay focused under resource constraints while exploring different opportunities. Besides start-up entrepreneurship, I am also a believer of corporate entrepreneurship where innovators and ventures are able to leverage the technical and business resources from established organizations to create impact opportunities. In the corporate environment, our organizational processes learnings from Sloan through the three lenses framework offers practical guidance in navigating structural, culture and political dynamics for the success of corporate entrepreneurs.

LGO 21, DPT 2019, Julia Chen Graduation
2019 Domestic Plant Trek

How has DEI engagement in LGO changed since you became a student? What were your ideals and goals motivating your participation in DEI in LGO? What was your experience as an international student in LGO? How have you had an impact on the program?

It has been extremely encouraging to see the transformation of LGO as result of joint efforts from the program staff and the LGO students on DEI-related issues. In 2020 we started the Active Allyship Committee aiming to create an inclusive environment that empowers talents from all ethnicities, genders, and nationalities. As an international student and a minority in my previous professional experience, I see firsthand the value of a diverse workplace. It has been an extraordinary experience learning about the granularity of DEI issues in different organizations and societies while exploring implementable solutions. In the past year, I led a group of LGO students and started an outreach exercise examining DEI practices from LGO Partner Companies. While we celebrate a more diverse incoming Class of 2023, I truly hope we continue the effort to make LGO an all-rounded program with global perspectives.

LGO 21 Lavender Graduation, Julia Chen Graduation
2021 Graduation

What did you do before LGO? Why did you decide to attend LGO? How have your expectations about your career post-LGO changed as you went through the program? What was the pivotal moment that you decided to switch industries (pre or during LGO)?

I worked as a project manager on large-scale building and infrastructure projects in Hong Kong prior to LGO. I have been an advocate for new technologies to improve productivity in my past projects. The experience made me realize the need for additional engineering and business training to develop innovative solutions for traditional industries transitioning into the future of works. The interdisciplinary nature of our LGO cohort and the flexibility offered by the curriculum has helped prepare me to achieve these career goals.

LGO '21 Group in front of MIT Dome, Julia Chen Graduation Graphic
LGO ’21s in Killian Court

How was the recruiting experience? What resources were most helpful during recruitment? What are you looking forward to in the next step of your career?

The Class of 2021 has gone through an unusual recruitment season through the pandemic and it was particularly challenging as an international student to find opportunities in the US. I am grateful for the LGO and Sloan alumni network during job search, interview preparation, full-time position matching or role creation process. I am excited to share that I will be joining Amgen’s Global Operations Leadership Program and becoming part of the team delivering Amgen’s sustainability target.

 

June 22, 2021 | More

MIT LGO Best Thesis Award 2021: AJ Tan

After MIT’s virtual Commencement Ceremonies, the LGO program held another virtual celebration for the Class of 2021. As a yearly tradition, the LGO program celebrated each member of the class with friends and family in attendance, and the winner of the LGO Best Thesis award was announced.

This year’s best thesis winner was AJ Tan, who developed deep learning image augmentation to improve performance of automated visual inspection (AVI) systems at Amgen. AJ developed deep learning tools to generate synthetic images for training AVI systems. Synthetic images significantly increased the overall accuracy of visual inspection systems, leading to smaller false eject and accept rates and less manual reinspection. AJ’s tools also reduced characterization and setup time for new products as images are artificially generated. AJ was advised by Duane Boning, the Clarence J. LeBel Professor in Electrical Engineering, and Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in the EECS department, and Roy Welsch, the Eastman Kodak Leaders for Global Operations Professor of Management and Professor of Statistics and Engineering Systems at MIT Sloan.

Of the project and its impact, AJ said: “This is probably one of the most exciting projects I have worked on. At its core, the project is about figuring out how to use deep learning for machine vision in a small data environment. It is exciting because many companies do actually operate in this environment but most research publications often overlook this fact. If we can provide some solutions to the small data problem, then the range of companies that can actually benefit from the deep learning revolution will be increased significantly.”

Best Thesis 2021, AJ Tan

One of AJ’s advisors described his research as “a comprehensive analysis of how the engineering solutions would reduce the need for detailed defect characterization, reduce training and inspection time and, therefore save enough to more than justify their cost while providing a basis for further development of savings in the future.” An LGO Alumni reviewer cited that AJ’s research was “well designed and implemented, clearly an extraordinary amount of work for the LGO internship period.”

Earlier this month, AJ received his MBA and MS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from LGO program. He joined the program after finishing his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering at MIT and holds a BS in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Post-LGO, AJ has accepted a position with Amgen.

 

June 14, 2021 | More

New Industry Partner: NextEra Energy

Earlier this year, NextEra Energy joined the lineup of LGO industry partner companies. A leading clean energy company, NextEra is the world’s largest producer of wind and solar energy and operates the largest regulated utility company in the United States. NextEra has been recognized as a Top 20 Innovative Company by Fortune and received the S&P Global Platts Energy Transition Award in 2020.

NextEra is offering internships and recruiting in how energy is delivered to thousands of homes and businesses. NextEra offers challenges that are compelling in their content and their scale. Already the largest operator of renewable generation in the world, NextEra is investing in technologies such as green hydrogen, fleet electrification solutions, and distributed water hubs that will contribute to the long-term sustainability of how Americans meet their basic needs. NextEra Energy launched its first LGO internship this month with Gustavo Castillo, MechE LGO ’22, who will analyze and build models for EV adoption and infrastructure build out.

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June 11, 2021 | More