When evaluating the return on investment (ROI) of grad school, first consider 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.