LGO Program Blog

Two Degrees.
Two Years.


Black History Month 2024: Ololade Olaleye, LGO ’24

What were you doing before LGO and why did you decide that LGO was the next step for you?

Prior to applying to LGO, I worked at an energy company where I held various roles in and collaborated across projects, engineering, risk management, benchmarking, supply chain, business transformation, operations, and commercial functions. Through these experiences spanning both technology and business functions, I realised that I enjoyed working at the intersection of the two domains and providing value to my organisation in both capacities. This realisation led me to the LGO program, which stands at the confluence of business and technology. I believed that LGO would offer me the opportunity to refine and expand upon the skills I had begun to cultivate, by providing a structured and comprehensive educational experience tailored to professionals at the intersection of these critical areas.

Picture of Ololade on MIT Campus.

What is your favorite memory from your time at MIT?

I have many fond memories from my time at MIT, but a few stand out as particular favourites. One of the most fun memories was dancing the night away at an Africa Business Club event. Spending cherished time with club members and friends created an incredible sense of community. Also, I greatly enjoyed the LGO Domestic Plant Trek, which provided the opportunity to travel across the US to visit and learn about several manufacturing companies, all expenses paid. From an academic perspective, some of my most enriching experiences came from impactful classes and working with my supportive advisors and supervisors on my internship project.

Target Site Visit, Domestic Plant Trek (DPT), January 2023.

How have you engaged with affinity groups or diversity initiatives while at MIT?

Within the LGO community, I participated in committees such as the LGO Allyship committee, which I helped set up the summer potluck. In the broader MIT community, I serve as a Vice President of the Africa Business Club(ABC). I am also Chair of Operations for the MIT Africa Innovate Conference(AIC) 2024 and was a member of the planning committee for AIC 2023. In addition, I am a member of the Black Business Students Association(BBSA) and the MIT Black graduate student association. I am also a member of Sloan Women in Management, where I have mentored incoming first year Sloan women. I also participate in several other clubs, volunteer at conferences and mentor first year and undergraduate students. 

Do you have any advice for prospective students thinking about applying?

“Just do it!”, with adequate preparation. Do not hesitate to reach out to people and ask for help. The LGO program office, students and alumni are also great resources to utilise.


February 16, 2024 | More

MIT LGO Summer Core Reflections: Alix Carson, LGO ’25


My name is Alix Carson and I am an LGO ’25 in the Mechanical Engineering Cohort. Before coming to LGO, I was a mechanical design engineer in the aerospace industry. I designed LiDAR cameras for military applications and propulsion systems for lower-earth orbit cargo modules. I came to LGO to pursue an interest in advanced manufacturing and operations. At LGO, I am the co-chair of the LGO New Student Recruiting Committee and am engaged with the Sloan Women in Management (SWIM).


Regarding classmates:

Each core team gets to take group pictures with LGO picture day. Team 6 decided to have some fun ours!

The LGO 2025 class has exceeded my expectations. Our class has a very tight bond that formed over our summer core and is full of extremely smart, but humble people.LGO attracts self-selected social nerds who want to pursue an MBA while growing their technical expertise. I have learned so much from my LGO peers. The backgrounds and experiences are vast in our class. We have everything from management consultants to engineers that designed campgrounds to army special forces veterans. It makes the classroom discussions very rich since we have so many people from various industries, backgrounds, and nationalities in one cohesive cohort. Outside of the classroom, our cohort invests time to socialize and support each other. One of our LGOs recently had a baby, so we threw a baby shower and organized a meal train to help support their family. We have gone to rugby games to support one of our peers who plays semi-professional rugby. We even threw a wedding party mid-summer because two LGOs in our cohort got married! I have been most surprised by the strength of our women in LGO cohort. We have a large representation of women in our cohort, and I am very thankful to have such a tight WLGO community.


The last day of the LGO summer core is celebrated with a boat cruise around Boston Harbor. It’s a great tradition that the entire program, including staff, enjoy each year.

Regarding classes:

The LGO summer core picks up from day one. We spend ten weeks taking courses in leadership, data science, linear optimization, and operations management. While the workload is intense, it is so rewarding to have classes under your belt before starting the Sloan core with the rest of the MBA class. The summer core is also a bonding experience for the class as we spend all day together and get broken into core teams that you work with to complete all your assignments. My LGO core team was the highlight of my summer. I met some of my closest friends, and we all felt so bittersweet to have the summer end and start our Sloan journey. One of my core team members perfectly summarized our experience this summer by saying that he had never been part of a team that so wholly accepted and embraced his authentic, quirky self. I couldn’t agree more. The summer core was a great way to get adjusted to being back in school and bonding with my cohort before starting the fall semester.


Regarding expectations:

The LGO summer core exceeded my expectations. Every alumnus you speak to will say that LGO summer core is one of the best parts of the two-year program. While going through it, it is hard to see how special it is when focused on homework deadlines and group projects. But looking back on it, I realize how much our class not only capitalized on learning together in the classroom but maximized our enjoyment of the summer. We had day trips to explore Massachusetts beaches, long bike rides to Walden Pond, and group sails on the Charles to name a few activities. We all liked each other so much that spending all week in a classroom together wasn’t enough, so then we’d spend all weekend together. It went by so fast, and I would go back and do it all over again.


Regarding everything else:

This year the LGO ’25 women planned a fall women’s retreat to New Hampshire. We went hiking, explored, and spent time bonding with one another. The WLGO community is amazing!

I am so thankful I chose to come to LGO. It is great to be back in the classroom learning and challenging myself with new, interesting topics from Competitive Strategy to Artificial Intelligence uses for social impact. LGOs have the unique opportunity to integrate into the MIT community in three ways: as an LGO, an engineering grad student, and an MBA student. The communities that LGO spans enriches your time on campus as you can dive into such a wide range of communities on campus from Sloan specific clubs to engineering sponsored seminars and cross-campus clubs, like MIT Driver less. Each LGO takes a unique approach to their experience which helps everyone get a little taste of what’s going on around campus. I am constantly inspired by what my peers are getting involved with around campus. As I am about to wrap up my Sloan fall core semester, I am in disbelief that I have been on campus for almost six months. I can’t wait to choose my spring semester schedule and go on the domestic plant trek with my class in January, but don’t want part of our class to leave so soon for February start internships! The program has flown by but it is very exciting to look forward to the events to come.


November 15, 2023 | More

Veterans Spotlight: Andrew Dugan, LGO ’25


My name is Andrew Dugan, LGO 25 (MBA /MechE).  I spent ten years on active duty in the Army before coming to LGO.  I spent the first few years of my career as an Infantry officer before transitioning to Special Forces.  I am joined at LGO with my wife, Leigh, and daughters, Harper (2) and Lilliana (16 days).  I did my undergrad at the United States Military Academy, where I studied mechanical engineering. My goal at LGO is to make a career pivot from the military into sustainability.

Andrew’s last day in uniform

Transitioning from the Military to LGO

Leaving the Army after ten years was not initially on my family’s radar.  Everything changed once we had our first daughter, howe ver.  My third deployment was my first with a daughter, and after missing her first Christmas, birthday, and steps, we decided it was time for a change.  I was weary of applying to schools because I hadn’t been a student in nearly a decade and was concerned about losing a steady paycheck.  It was through conversations with Adam Barber (LGO 23 / Veteran), that I was convinced that applying to LGO was the right move for me and my career.  This was my first introduction to the LGO community, and I was beyond impressed.

My biggest concern before the summer semester started was that I was going to be the oldest person in the room, and also the least academically qualified.  Fortunately, I was only the second oldest.  Although the academics were challenging this summer, this is where I discovered the value of LGO. Through the rigorous summer, my peers and I bonded and helped each other out.  We became a tight knit team, and all supported each other.  It was a level of camaraderie I did not expect to form post military, and it has so far been my favorite part of this experience.

Andrew with his daughters on Halloween

MBA Core

The fall core has been an excellent experience so far.  Mine has been much different than most, because my wife just recently gave birth to our second daughter.  MIT has been unbelievably accommodating during this time.  From professors being flexible, to my peers bringing over food almost nightly as my family adjusted to our newest member.

Academically it has been rewarding as well.  On top of the Sloan core classes, I am taking a class on finance, AI/ML, and sustainability.  I have been able to craft my schedule to meet my interests.  At LGO, I get to take classes with some of the smartest people I have ever met.  Initially it was incredible intimidating to be in the same small group with people who I considered to be brilliant.  Over time though, I learned that I also belong here.

Leaving the Army was a tough decision, but ultimately, we are extremely happy with our decision to come to LGO.  From rewarding academics to an incredible community, it has been as advertised.  I am not your average LGO.  I am 33, have 2 kids, and have never once called myself an engineer.  Despite all of those things, I have been welcomed by all of my peers.

Advice to Veterans Applying

Andrew overseas

My biggest advice to veterans applying to LGO is to be confident in yourself and your abilities.  Every veteran has a unique story and has gone through experiences that most have not.  Learn how to tell that story and be confident in doing so.   For our entire military careers, we are taught to never take credit for anything, and always recognize the team over yourself.  During the application process, this has to change.  You need to find a way to quantify the impact that you had.

My other piece of advice is to reach out to current and past veterans of LGO.  I talked to probably every veteran who had gone through the program in the last 5 years with a family.  Everyone was more than willing to talk to me, and share with me their experiences.

November 10, 2023 | More

Hispanic Heritage Month 2023: Karla Mayra Pérez, LGO ’25

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15. Generally, the month is a time to celebrate the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.


What were you doing before LGO and why did you decide that LGO was the next step for you?

Before LGO, I studied Applied Mathematics at ITAM  in Mexico City and worked in the Data & Services business unit at Mastercard Mexico where I was able to leverage my rigorous technical background and implement business solutions, designing the strategy and technical aspects of data driven products. I chose to pursue LGO because MIT offered the ideal platform for further improve my technical skills while concurrently enhancing my business and soft skills.



How was the LGO Summer and transitioning back into school?

The LGO summer provided an amazing opportunity to gain unique insights from individuals of diverse backgrounds. Transitioning back to school required a shift in mindset, but it has proven to be both rewarding and fulfilling.

What is your favorite memory from your time at MIT so far?

My biggest takeaway from MIT has been that ideas can actually transform into reality and I’ve learned that creating a diverse and globally-oriented environment can be a catalyst for accelerating innovation.

What are you still looking forward to exploring at MIT?

I’m still looking forward to explore more students clubs and experiences such as Action Learning Labs that provide a hands-on introduction to topics such as Analytics or Product management for business challenges with real companies.

How have you engaged with affinity groups or diversity initiatives while at MIT?

Currently, I’m part of the Sloan Women in Management (SWIM) where I have the opportunity to have a second year mentor that guided me through the journey of going back to school, helped me understand how to prioritize and even just listened to me.

What are your hopes for the future of diversity in LGO and in industry?

My aspirations for the future of diversity extend beyond just increasing overall representation; I hope to see diversity acknowledged and embraced in leadership roles, while nurturing an inclusive organizational culture.

Do you have any advice for prospective students thinking about applying?

Applying can be challenging but it’s definitely rewarding, all the effort will be worth it at the end.



October 10, 2023 | More

MIT LGO Best Thesis Award 2023: Madison Myers

This May LGO continued its recent tradition of celebrating the graduating class with our own graduation ceremony and reception. In addition to recognizing each of the 55 graduates of the Class of 2023, LGO’s Executive Director, Thomas Roemer, announced the winner of the LFM Capital LGO Best Thesis award. LFM Capital’s Executive Managing Director, Steve Cook ’98, also joined the presentation ceremony. This year’s winner was Madison “Maddy” Myers ‘23, who analyzed the potential use of hydrogen fuels at NextEra Energy.

Maddy’s project addressed the technical, financial, and regulatory challenges that utilities and consumers will face as adoption of hydrogen as a fuel source grows. Currently, clean hydrogen production is best-suited for large centralized facilities, but a new method called methane pyrolysis is emerging as a distributed alternative more suitable for small-scale or intermittent consumers. Her project made a technical and economic analysis of three different companies developing this technology at the smaller scale, and identified three markets where distributed methane pyrolysis is the lowest-cost solution. This technology offers many benefits for decarbonization of the economy and also leverages existing natural gas networks.

Maddy’s project was recognized for its sharp focus on new technologies and usable cost model for industry that effectively addresses our current environmental needs in a changing supply chain environment. Among the comments from the six LGO alumni reviewers who read Maddy’s thesis, her work was noted as “among the best I’ve read in years,” “exhaustive [in its] research,” “a thrill to read,” and yielding “an incredibly thoughtful model to test the viability of the proposed solutions.” Maddy’s faculty advisors noted the societal and governmental implications of her work, saying that her thesis “helped us think about the the current impasse over Federal spending [and] what is the payback for investments in reducing pollution? What segment of our society will pay the bill?” Her work leaves us with “well-assembled cases for evaluating when, if, and in what applications [this new] technology will likely be economically viable.”

Maddy Myers (sixth from left) shown with Steve Cook ’98 and other LFM Capital LGO Best Thesis Award nominees

Maddy graduated from LGO with an MBA and an MS in Mechanical Engineering. Maddy earned her BS in Chemical Engineering from Northeastern University and served in various roles at Nano Terra and Clear Scientific. After LGO, Maddy has joined NextEra Energy Resources as a Senior Associate for Investments in the Strategy and Product Solutions group.

August 30, 2023 | More

Student Spotlight: Priya Chacko, MechE LGO ’24

Why LGO?

I had been working as an engineer in the medical device industry for years before I decided that I wanted to make a significant change in my life. At that time, I wasn’t exactly sure what that change would look like – Did I need a new challenge or a new role? Should I move to a different city/state/country? Should I go back to school? Graduate school had always been something that I wanted to experience, but I wasn’t sure when I would fit that into my career. I had a ton of questions that I needed to work through, and the COVID-19 pandemic gave me plenty of time to do just that.

In my role at the time, my projects started to move away from engineering and take on more of a strategic lens, and I quickly realized that I really enjoyed working on these higher level business questions.

I hoped to learn more about business and operations in the context of engineering and manufacturing, and while I was receiving some of that education at work, I wanted to dedicate more concentrated time to it. It felt like an appropriate time in my career to pursue graduate education, so I started looking into both graduate engineering school and business school options.

I really liked the idea of a dual-degree graduate engineering + business school, and when I found the LGO program, I did a ton of research to figure out whether it would be a good fit. I knew that if I was planning to leave my job and go back to school, I wanted to really dive into it and attend a top program. For engineering, MIT definitely fits that description, and I was excited about the opportunities at Sloan to complement this education. In talking to current LGO students, I was really encouraged by the community of the class as well as the involvement of the alumni network, and I found myself wanting to be a part of it. I thought that LGO would be a great place to continue my development, make new lifelong friends, and pursue my professional and academic interests… and after one year here, I can gladly confirm this to be true.


What has been your biggest takeaway from your time at MIT so far?

MIT has been an amazing experience so far! There are so many resources for so many topics that it’s really up to you to figure out what you want to pursue. Professors and classmates alike are working on such interesting projects that it creates this energy around here that is unlike anything I’ve experienced before. It’s so exciting! There are a ton of really unique and enriching experiences out there, so I have been trying my best to take advantage of every opportunity. There’s definitely a balance to be had between trying to attend every workshop or speaker series and honing in on what you’re interested in, and while I’m still sorting out what that looks like for me, I’m certainly enjoying the process.


What are your hopes for diversity in LGO and in industry?

Our class is 31% women and 69% men. While the Ladies of LGO have created a strong community, I would love for this number to reach parity in the near future! I think our collective LGO experience, both within and outside the classroom, would really benefit from having a stronger presence of women. In general, I hope that LGO as well as industry continues to recognize the importance of diversity and takes intentional steps to move towards a future of better representation.


What is the coolest project you’ve been able to work on since coming to MIT and LGO?

In the fall, I took Professor Traverso’s Translational Engineering class with a small group of LGO and IDM students. The seven of us spent the semester working on creating a waist circumference measurement device to be used in obesity management. We were not only responsible for designing and prototyping this device and bringing that design to life, but we also had to develop the legal strategy, business plan, and clinical testing design. The class sessions featured speakers from a variety of industries that led lectures on interesting topics and helped guide us in our project. Working with my classmates on this project made for such a fun semester, and the many hours we spent together was great bonding time. Our group chat for that class is still active to this day, and I’m sure it will remain active for years to come. I feel as though I got a taste of what it takes to successfully translate a new biomedical technology, and I’d highly recommend this class for anyone who is interested in translational engineering and up for an exciting challenge.


Do you have any advice for prospective LGOs?​

Do your research, and follow your passions! The application process may seem intimidating, but it’s worth it!

Remember that you are more than your application and you are certainly more than just one aspect of it, so try not to get stuck on one thing or another. Your application should be a holistic reflection of who you are, and it should highlight both why the LGO program is right for you as well as why you are a good fit for the program. In your application, try to think about how you will enhance the overall class experience, rather than just about what LGO can do for you.

When I was in the process of applying to graduate and business schools, I tried to attend as many events (webinars, student chats, etc.) as possible to learn all that I could about the programs. At the time, I was interested in a few other programs as well, so it really helped to hear the perspective of current students. I learned about their experiences and asked questions about why they decided to choose LGO. I found the LGO team (admissions staff and current students) to be really open and welcoming, and the conversations I had with them helped me better understand how I could both contribute to and benefit from a program like LGO.


May 4, 2023 | More

Student Spotlight: Santiago Andrade Aparicio, NSE LGO ’23

As one of the first LGO students pursuing a dual MBA and MS in Nuclear Science & Engineering, Santiago Andrade Aparicio shares on his experience in LGO as part of the pilot class of LGO’s newest engineering department partner!

I was born and raised in Mexico City where I attended Universidad Iberoamericana for my bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering. My career started as an engineer with General Electric Oil and Gas but quickly shifted towards business strategy when I joined Bain & Company in 2018. I had the opportunity to work on multiple strategy definition and performance improvement projects in the energy, consumer products and retail industries. After 3 years of consulting, including 12 months of travel to Colombia, I felt that it was time for the next step in my career and I knew I wanted to work in the energy world again. Right before LGO, I joined a startup called Sistema.bio that focuses on providing financially attractive biogas solutions to smallholder farmers in developing countries (Mexico, Colombia, India, Kenya) in hopes of empowering small farms to divest from burning wood and coal. This experience confirmed that the energy world was my calling, and going back to school would help me get there.

How did you determine NSE was the right department for you?

Santiago with Team 6 (Daniel, Mariam, Adam, Jake and Taylor) in Seattle during DPT 2022

When choosing departments I was tempted to apply to MechE, ChemE, Aero/Astro, as an fan of science in general, I could see a multiple engineering paths that could provide me with the tools and experience needed to work on the world’s energy transition challenge. This is where the LGO admissions department reached out to me during the application process with a question: “Would you be interested in being part of the first class of Nuclear LGO?” My background in thermodynamics and energy and my business experience were a great fit for the NSE department. At the recommendation of NSE faculty, I signed up for a couple online courses on Nuclear Energy. Taking these courses helped me realize nuclear energy – whether fission or fusion– would be my path. I would be able to pursue a career on clean energy and have the opportunity to lay down the path (together with Lindsey Kennington) for future NSE LGOs.

Santiago at a Caterpillar facility in Lafayette, Indiana as part of his internship experience

How has the experience been so far?

My time at LGO and broader MIT has been an incredible, exciting and humbling experience. I have enjoyed sitting in the classroom listening to the smartest people I have ever met engage in technical and strategic discussions led by highly experienced faculty. On the MBA side, I have greatly appreciated classes regarding leadership and communication skills. On the NSE side, I have been focused on the topic of Nuclear Microreactors under the supervision of Prof. Jacopo Buongiorno and Prof. John Parsons. I had the opportunity to work as a research assistant for them on developing a business model that can successfully support the deployment of this technology. This work was a natural precursor for my LGO internship at Caterpillar where I am working on the technical and commercial feasibility of using nuclear energy to power mining sites and data centers.

While all of these accomplishments and experiences have been extremely rewarding, they only represent half of my MIT experience. The other half lies with the deep and meaningful friendships I have built with my classmates. From my LGO crew, to my MBA friends and beyond, I have felt incredibly supported and encouraged by my peers. The time spent with them feels as valuable as the time spent in the classroom, especially when this time is spent having dinner after an afternoon of sailing in the Charles and finishing the day with a class-wide get together. As I enter this second year, I am excited to welcome my wife, Maira, as she moves to the Boston area and exploring together all the fun activities that take place in this city with the company of my MIT family.

Maira and Santiago in Homer, AK travelling on an MBA Pre-Fx trip on during summer 2021

Advice to candidates considering NSE?

First of all, be honest, both with yourself and with the application. I think the most important thing is to know why you are applying to this graduate program and to show nothing less than your whole self. More specifically, I would highly recommend using different elements of the application to highlight a variety of past successes. NSE LGO is still new, so I would advise to you reaching out to current LGO or MBA students to listen to their experience and understand how you can continue to support the NSE-LGO partnership as it continues to grow. Additionally, talking to the NSE faculty was incredibly useful for me. Since the NSE department offers opportunities ranging from energy to healthcare and from quantum engineering to regulatory policy, the possibilities of career tracks after graduation are countless.


February 28, 2023 | More

Black History Month 2023: Branden Francis, LGO ’24

What were you doing before LGO and why did you decide that LGO was the next step for you?

Before LGO, I worked at Northrop Grumman Corporation in their early career rotational program. I spent 2 rotations on product design teams for avionics at Northrop’s Huntsville, AL and Rolling Meadows, IL sites. Designing hardware was an incredible way of seeing concepts learned at school come to life, but long product life-cycles often meant you wouldn’t see the product you helped to design for years.

Taking advantage of my unique position as a rotational employee, I sought a short term role in a more hands-on function and was fortunate enough to land a job as a process engineer on a production line for one of the F35’s avionics systems. My intention was to spend a year in manufacturing, while simultaneously beginning the pursuit of a part-time graduate degree, and ultimately returning to the design group. These ideas began forming around late 2019/early 2020. (Un)fortunately, 2 things happened that altered my trajectory: the global health crisis and the blossoming of my passion for operations. I found being on the production floor invigorating, solving unique production issues challenging, and seeing my ideas come to life in timescales measured in days, rather than months, rewarding. Even though my trajectory was altered, there was really no need to course correct. I wanted to continue in operations but also wanted to establish an academic foundation upon which I could build the rest of my career. I researched different graduate operations programs and found that they were often tied to business schools. This was an interesting link that I wanted to explore, as I had never really considered an MBA.

Further research led to my discovery of Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT), which is a fantastic MBA prep program (you should look into it).  MLT creates an environment that leads its fellows to outstanding acceptances; I was one of many who ended up at top programs. MLT catalyzed my pursuit of LGO – I don’t think I would’ve applied to LGO had I not been in MLT, partly because I found out about the program through my MLT coach. LGO turned out to be a fantastic match for engineers interested in sharpening their business acumen and expanding their technical foundation in order to become leaders in their field. MIT is one of the best places in the world to do so. After the summer you’ll realize, if you haven’t already, that manufacturing, operations, and supply chain are a quintessential aspect of technological development. LGO allows you to learn the skills to be a part of that progress.

How was the LGO Summer and transitioning back into school?

Target Site Visit, Domestic Plant Trek (DPT), January 2023.

“Intense”, is what I would say If I had to describe the LGO summer in one word. Transitioning back to school by itself can be a difficult adjustment for many, but the accelerated pace of the summer certainly notches the intensity up a couple levels. However, the summer is not only intense in its academics, it’s also a deeply intense social experience. Picture being with 50 or so driven, intelligent, and new people in a few classes together 5 days a week from June to August, not even counting the time spent working on assignments with your summer core team, mingling with partner companies every week, or visiting nearby factories on a Friday afternoon. LGO is unique in that it can temper the intense academic schedule with meaningful social and professional growth. You and the people you meet here will carry for life a set of shared experiences that can only be found at LGO.

What is your favorite memory from your time at MIT?

Domestic Plant Trek (DPT) is hands down my favorite memory from MIT. DPT is an LGO exclusive 3-week long trip over MIT’s winter Independent Activity Period (IAP) across the US to visit the manufacturing facilities of our partner companies. It was seriously the best field trip I have ever been on; the 8,474-mile trip comprised 11 hotel stays, 8 flights, many a bus trip, and 12 partner company visits. We saw manufacturing and operations across different scales: from the micro in drug development at Amgen to the macro in rocket-ship manufacturing at Blue Origin, from the new at Rivian to the established at Nissan, and from mining raw metals at Caterpillar and to refining them at Commonwealth Rolled Products. Witnessing the breadth and depth of opportunities in all of the partner companies has widened the net I want to cast when searching for my post-LGO career. DPT gave us an opportunity to see theory in practice, exposing us to different industries, companies, and manufacturing methods and allowed us to reconnect with our fellow LGOs who we may not connected with over the fall.

Rivian Site Visit, Domestic Plant Trek (DPT), January 2023.

How have you engaged with affinity groups or diversity initiatives while at MIT?

The Sloan Career Development Office describes the concept of a career search as taking the highway, a dirt road, or jungle. Using the ease of navigation of each environment as proxy to describe the clarity of a career path’s recruiting cycle. For example, consulting would be taking the highway, whereas recruiting for a startup could be considered the jungle. I would describe my engagement with DEI at MIT as dirt road-ish. Earlier in this post, I mentioned MLT. MLT had a cohort for ~500 prospective MBA applicants across the country, and, as far I know, I was the only MLT fellow who applied to LGO in my cohort. It certainly felt lonely at times, given that LGO runs on a unique application cycle. As an “alum” of MLT and a current candidate at LGO, I was determined to encourage and support the fellows in the MLT cohort that came after me. Over the course of the summer, fall, and IAP, I was able to connect with several prospective LGO applicants from MLT, all of whom applied and got interviews! That was really exciting news to hear and I hope it is indicative of future class profiles that LGO will cultivate.

Do you have any advice for prospective students thinking about applying?

If you feel like the program fits you but you’re having second thoughts on whether to apply because of the MIT brand, which can be intimidating, just do it! Talk to alumni and a current student(s), attend a coffee chat, hone your story, just don’t leave yourself thinking, “What if?”



February 21, 2023 | More

Alumni Spotlight: Kara Pydynkowski, LGO ’15

What are you responsible for in your current role?  

In my current role I lead a team focused on improving existing and building new capabilities for last mile transportation at Nike. We consider last mile transportation the final leg of the supply chain that delivers an order placed on Nike.com or through our apps. So at the end of the day, our goal is to make that final delivery experience better for everyone.

Kara Pydynkowski

Why did you decide to attend MIT LGO?

I wanted to shift the focus of my career and I wanted more than just an MBA. I was particularly drawn to the idea that a program was focused on “Operations” and combined both business and engineering (for those of us with an engineering mind, we know that never really leaves us). So I was sold on the idea of a cohort of engineers also going through business school and a “leadership journey” together!

What was the most valuable takeaway from MIT that has helped in your career post-LGO?

Get to know your people and then leverage your team and the people around you! Working on teams and meeting people with such diverse backgrounds and opinions at MIT was eye-opening. I loved hearing the perspectives of others and how they contribute to what we were learning, thinking about, or trying to accomplish. My team and my network has been the most important thing in my career so far – both personally and professionally!

What do you enjoy most about the work you do?

I knew nothing about transportation before I started on the team but I absolutely love learning from my teammates and understanding all of the nuances and pieces of the puzzle that we need to put together. There are so many opportunities to problem solve and be creative and it’s really rewarding to see how a decision plays out (both good and bad ones!).

Do you have any advice for prospective LGOs?

Dive in and be present, the two years go by so fast, yet they are still are some of my most memorable times, especially the people I met and the experiences we had together.


January 31, 2023 | More


When evaluating the return on investment (ROI) of grad school, first c​onsider how you define ROI. It’s important to understand what an advanced degree means to you, what you hope to gain from your dual-degree MBA/MS experience, which can be different for each person.

Some helpful things to think about are the differences between tangible and intangible benefits. Or even more so, quantifiable benefits versus more qualitative. Of course, tangible can mean job offers, increases in your salaries and signing bonuses and/or starting a new venture.

In considering more qualitative benefits to the LGO Program, this could be greater confidence to explore new industries or functions, gain new ways to solve problems and lead, and possibly a new perspective on your future goals or professional calling.

We recently spoke with some LGO alumni who shared their perspectives on the ROI of the LGO program. Some considerations they had when deciding which graduate program to apply to included: impact on family, making a career pivot, full-time versus part-time program and opportunity cost of working two years, locations of programs (especially when also factoring in family), dual-degree versus non, networking opportunities and depth of classes/extracurricular activities.

Megan McCleneghan, LGO ‘19 shared her grad school considerations. “I knew that I wanted to get into a position where I felt like there was growth for me. I think frequently in engineering disciplines, you’re a junior engineer, then you’re a senior engineer, and then you’re a manager, and there isn’t necessarily a lot of skills overlap there. So I think it can be hard for people to grow further in their careers beyond that, just because you’re kind of tossed in, and so for me, I wanted to make sure that I was setting myself up for future success and not future frustration.”

Other considerations from Chen Arámbula, LGO ‘18: “I guess for me, coming from a different country, English is not my first language, so I was feeling like I was boxed in as just an engineer by myself designing stuff at my desk. So what I wanted to get out of the program was to work a little bit more with [my] people skills, to work a little bit more in my business acumen. And also, public speaking, being able to articulate clearly what I want, the idea that I was trying to transmit. That was a big part of it for me, and I think I was really pleased with what Sloan did, there are all of these clubs and opportunities that you have, events that you can be part of and organize.”

What seems consistent across the different LGO student experiences is the active and supportive community of LGO alumni, who look out for and help each LGO graduate grow and succeed.

With our extensive LGO network of over 1400 alumni in addition to classmates, a connection is close-by, and our graduates have shown a commitment to hiring other LGO grads, or opening up their networks for job searchers – even if you’re not looking. It’s a testament to over 70% of our recent graduates finding their job after LGO either through the LGO network or Sloan’s Career Development Office.

Recent LGO grad, Elizabeth Hau ‘22 describes the value of the LGO network and partner companies while as a student during her internship at Johnson & Johnson, which is where she accepted a position after graduating. “What ended up putting J & J over the top for me was because one of the alumni there, in talking to her she is a really good mentor, a good advocator, even though I wasn’t working for her, she met with me every month, and everyone I met with who knew of her had great things to say for her, so I wanted to work under her, and that’s mostly why I ended up taking that job.”

Megan shared a similar experience of the LGO supportive network. “I was hired by an LGO [grad], and our manager above that was an LGO, and that helped me build up a lot of camaraderie with someone who I normally wouldn’t have a lot of access to, so he has supported me in going up for promotions and things like that, and that’s a huge benefit to have.”

One of the immediate benefits or ROI, of joining LGO is that your time as a student will include a diverse array of experiences. The variety of perspectives you’re exposed to is what makes your growth as an LGO student so enriching, and immediately expands your network in countless directions. The connections with your LGO peers grows to include connecting with your MBA and engineering classmates, getting involved in club/extracurriculars, case competitions, and more. Whether you intended to or not, while a student here you will grow your MIT network and create lifelong connections.


November 8, 2022 | More

Veterans Spotlight: Alex Davis, LGO ’24


Hi, my name is Alex Davis and I’m an LGO ’24 (MBA/ M.S. MechE) and am currently living in East Cambridge with my dog Koko. I’m studying robotics and machine learning along with the MBA Core here at MIT. After spending five years working as an Armor officer in the U.S. Army, one of the things people told me when they found out I was leaving the force was that it would be difficult to find a group of people as committed to supporting each other as fellow soldiers are.

Alex at Ranger School with his mother

I don’t think they told me this to make me hesitant to get out, it was just something important to consider when choosing the next step of my path. One of the things I loved about the military was that I knew many of the people I served with would bend over backwards to help me out just like I would do for them. As I explored different options when transitioning out of the military, I found that MIT’s LGO program seemed to foster a similar sense of camaraderie. Combining that bond with the cohort with a top-class business and engineering education was all I could hope for. I found that within the first month of the program I felt that I could count on fellow LGOs, whether they were students or alumni, to have my back in whatever I’m trying to do.

Transition from the Military to LGO

As I investigated what options there were for me outside of the military, I decided that an MBA would give me time to explore various interests in a low-stakes environment while equipping me with the skills I would need to lock down meaningful leadership roles in future jobs. While exploring MBA programs, I knew that I wanted to get back in touch with my engineering side which naturally led me to the LGO program at MIT. I was immediately impressed when I reached out to Dan Borchik, LGO ’22 and Army veteran, for advice. He answered several of my questions about the program and gave me quick and helpful feedback on my resume and info on the community at LGO. The way he described the values of the people and the mission of the program made me feel much less hesitant about leaving the military to try and join LGO.

Winter Gunnery

After being admitted and starting the program this June, I still felt nervous. I had just moved to a new city, felt some uncertainty about how to work with people who had never spent any time in the military, and was still trying to figure out exactly how to financially support myself while in school. After a few days I found that there was no need for apprehension. Every LGO I’ve met has been an amazing person. We were all going through a transition, not just the veterans, and the Summer Core was a near perfect experience to bond everyone together despite (or perhaps because of) its academic intensity. We still found time to socialize, go sailing, and more together. My favorite experience was singing karaoke in Boston’s Chinatown with a bunch of talented LGO pop stars. Going into the MBA Fall, I knew that I had a tight-knit group of friends supporting me whenever I needed it.

Fall Semester

The Fall semester was an easy transition after the summer since I was already settled in and was used to being in school again. This gave me the opportunity to spend more time exploring the resources at MIT and really evaluate all the clubs and groups available to the students here. Getting to know all the other students at MIT has been great. There’s no shortage of social events once the other Sloanies arrive which can be overwhelming but is great for getting to know everyone in your class. I’ve especially loved the C-functions where affinity groups put on an event celebrating aspects of their culture. I’ve gone to the Japan and Black Business Students Association functions and had a great time.

The veteran’s club has been very active and has lots of events both for veterans and also mixers between the vets and other clubs. I also have enjoyed exploring some of the professional clubs around campus like the Entrepreneurship through Acquisition Club which has opened my eyes up to an exciting career possibility that I didn’t even know about before I came here. Some of my friends who are interested in project management and consulted have told me that both of those clubs are great for preparing you for successful recruiting in those jobs. Between interesting classes, social events, and professional clubs, the hardest part of being here is prioritizing all the cool things you could be doing.

A Bit of Advice

If you are a veteran and interested in LGO or any MBA program, here are just a few things that may help from my perspective:

  • The first thing is to not just get one person’s perspective. If you have time, get some info from several people involved with both Sloan and LGO. I reached out to current LGOs and staff members but it would have helped to talk to alumni and Sloanies as well.
  • Believe in yourself! This may sound a bit generic but don’t let doubts about yourself get in your way. Once you’ve sat down and thought about what program fits you and what you want to be a part of, don’t discount the skills and experiences you’ve had because they don’t match up exactly with the rest of the class. Veterans bring more experience in leadership than most applicants and much of what you’ve learned about getting the most out of the people you work with will translate better than you think.

    Suited up with fellow LGO ’24s
  • Think of the application as a puzzle. The application process gives you a limited space and set of materials to convey what makes you unique and what you can do to add value to the MBA experience. Don’t cover the types of skills or experiences in the video introduction as you did in the cover letter. Think of each part of the materials as an opportunity to put something forward that the admissions committee didn’t know about you before so they are (hopefully) constantly pleasantly surprised while reading through everything.
  • Slow down and reflect. Finally, really take some time and reflect on what you are interested in, what you bring to the table, and how you want to make an impact on others. The specifics might change, but if you really figure out what your core values are and how you can leverage them to make a better world, both your application and your experience outside of the Army will be significantly better. You will choose a program or a job that fits your values which will always be a good thing, regardless of your exact path.

Final Word

I hope I’ve been able to shed some light on the LGO experience from a veteran’s point of view. I have no doubt that this has been the best choice I could have made, and I think that would be true of many veterans. The program and the people within the program actually share many of the values that are important to us in the military which has made it feel like home to me. I’m available to talk to anyone interested in the program or Sloan and I hope to see many of you next Fall!



November 1, 2022 | More

MIT LGO Summer Core Reflections

Heidi Hatteberg, LGO ’24 reflects on the first MIT LGO summer semester in Cambridge. Heidi is a first year student earning her MBA/MS in Mechanical Engineering.

Heidi JHatteberg, LGO '24Background:

Prior to LGO, I graduated from Georgia Tech with a BS and MS in Aerospace Engineering. After graduation, I worked for Boeing at various sites including Charleston, SC, Cape Canaveral, FL, Saint Louis, MO, and Seattle, WA. I mostly working in Test and Evaluation which allowed me to travel and work on various Boeing products.

Regarding classmates:

LGO 2024 is an awesome cohort filled with folks from all over the world with various backgrounds and experiences. While we spent the whole summer together in classes and other activities, we’re also divided into summer teams to complete group projects and assignments. With all of the time spent together for the 10 week session, it’s almost hard to believe that we started this journey as complete strangers! What’s more impressive is how LGO has not only chosen such a great class, but created teams that encourage diversity and inclusion.

Regarding classes:

We originally intended to “prank” one of our professors, Sean Willems, by dressing up like him for our last class session. When other professors noticed what we were doing, we decided to also “prank” other professors for their teaching quirks or known habits. It was a ton of fun and brought smiles and laughter to everyone!

Regarding expectations:

I didn’t expect to connect with all of my classmates so quickly. LGO has a unique way of bringing us all together and providing experiences that fosters an inclusive environment. The summer was very short but it seems like everyone connected in ways we didn’t expect.

Regarding Everything else:

We’re all here to get through this together and I can lean on my peers for help. The people here are truly amazing and always willing to help others.

Oh yeah, and Summer Team 5 is WAYYYY better than Summer Team 6 😊

October 28, 2022 | More