LGO Program Blog

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Ladies for Global Operations

My name is Caitlin Butala and I am one of the 17 women in the 2020 Class of MIT’s Leaders for Global Operations. As an engineer and a quant focused person, I root myself in data and want to start off by sharing some statistics. Just last year, the US Department of Commerce released a report on the status of women in STEM related fields, and of their many topics, they found that “Women filled 47 percent of all U.S. jobs in 2015 but held only 24 percent of STEM jobs. Likewise, women constitute slightly more than half of college educated workers but make up only 25 percent of college educated STEM workers.” When you get to executive level management those figures drop even more. The most shocking statistic I have learned so far at MIT was from the Sloan Women In Management (SWIM) and that is in 2016 Women made up only 4.1% of Fortune 500 CEOs…while 4.5% of Fortune 500 CEOs were named David. Clearly there is something wrong here. Looking at these stats in comparison to their level 30 years ago there is no argument that women have become a larger percentage of the STEM community, and I do not intend to diminish the meaningful advancements many strong women have made in getting the conversation started. I only intend to highlight that there is still much to accomplish, and I am proud to be part of a class igniting this change.

 

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Being one of the only females in the room is not an unfamiliar occurrence for me. Several of my college classes had all men except for me, and in the first few years of my career, the departments I worked in never had more than one other woman. Because of those experiences, I have become passionate about exposing the excitement of STEM to women of all ages and advocating that women speak up and contribute to management discussions. That’s why much of my time outside of work and school has been dedicated to education, and specifically STEM education for girls. During college, I worked with my engineering department to host a women in engineering day for local Girl Scout troops to expose participants to different opportunities in engineering fields. Since graduating I became a board member at The Mercy Learning Center in Bridgeport Connecticut, a non-profit focused on women’s education.

“I am an advocate for the development of more STEM content at all levels of education. Being a part of the LGO Class of 2020, it has been encouraging to see the women in LGO feel as passionate about this as I do.”

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Paige Youngerman, another one of the strong women of the LGO Class of 2020 has focused her volunteerism on highlighting opportunities in STEM to girls from a young age. As an officer in the United States Army, her unit partnered with local schools, holding workshops for girls, teaching them STEM fundamentals, and designing fun engineering projects like building Lego bridges and holding boat races.  When she joined the LGO Class of 2020, she has continued to be involved with introducing STEM to the next generation. She participates in events talking to middle and high school girls in advanced science programs about future opportunities as an engineer. When asked why she does it, Paige said, “making sure women are encouraged to pursue STEM at a young age and making it fun is one of my passions!”

Bidusha Poudyal and Lea Dagle have both been involved with organizations that focus on teaching girls about opportunities in STEM from a young age. Bidusha was a mentor for girls in Girls Who Code in New York City, talking to young women about navigating their careers and introducing them to the fundamentals of coding. She also participated in the Columbia Girls in STEM program as a mentor and taught a class one day a week at a local all-girls high school where her team built a curriculum focused on STEM enrichment.  Lea, in conjunction with fellow volunteers at the Boys and Girls Club started a group called GirlsLab! This organization leads sessions weekly, hosting events such as egg drops and roller coaster design labs in a hands on approach to STEM education.

These are just some of the examples of how the Women of LGO have been involved championing others to get involved with STEM. Here on campus the LGO ladies have taken on leadership roles throughout campus, heading up committees and clubs, hosting women’s preview days, and revolutionizing the mentor matching program for SWIM by building optimization algorithms to match 2nd year women at Sloan to 1styears so that these women can find their ideal mentor. This network extends beyond your two years at MIT. The WLGO is a group of women that have graduated from LGO that stay connected, sharing experiences and lessons learned across the network and host events during the LGO alumni conference.

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You can see LGO’s commitment to driving more women to apply  to the program, with the positive trends of women in the LGO Class going  from 29% two years ago to 38% in the Class of 2021, but 38% is not enough, we need to do more to encourage young girls to pursue a STEM background, because having the fundamentals from grade school to high school, builds confidence to take on the tough problems we are facing in industry today and become leaders our field.

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By Caitlin Butala LGO Class of 2020

July 8, 2019 | More

The Playbook: An MIT LGO Podcast #4

Leigh Hunnicutt shares stories about finding her identity as a leader and her passion for biotech. Leigh is currently an Executive Director, Global Operations at Amgen.

 

 

The LGO Playbook is a unique set of skills and strategies that have helped generations of LGOs provide leadership in operations. This year we are inviting alumni to share pages from their unique LGO Playbooks through stories of impactful experiences. Join us to learn more about our diverse community while gaining tangible skills for the future.

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July 3, 2019 | More

MIT MS/MBA Graduation! Dare to Dream!

✅Done and Done!✅ Two degrees in two years, I can’t believe it’s over!

Growing up in South Africa, my only exposure to MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) was through books and film, attending was beyond a dream. Last Friday I graduated with an amazing cohort of classmates and friends! Extremely proud, I also know that I have been immensely lucky.

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A few thoughts for those who would dare to dream (and those who have yet to):

  • Think! Believe! Dream! – Maybe it was the
    distance, both literal and metaphorical, but it took a long time and
    moving countries for me to believe MIT could happen for me.
  • I made it, you can too! – It may take some hard work and a lot of luck but you have to dream and try!
  • Not everybody makes it – That’s okay! You learn and grow so much from trying, it is truly worth it!
  • Follow your passion! – There are other paths and that is alright. You don’t have to go to MIT. You don’t have to go back to school. You do you!
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Thank you to all those who were a part of this incredible journey. Special shout out to my real family and my new MIT Leaders for Global Operations (LGO) and MIT Sloan families.

It has been an honour and a privilege! #Graduated

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by David Goldberg, LGO Class of 2019

June 19, 2019 | More

LGO Best Thesis 2019: Big Data Analysis at Amgen, Inc.

After the official MIT commencement ceremonies, Thomas Roemer, LGO’s executive director, announced the best thesis winner at LGO’s annual post-graduation celebration. This year’s winner was Maria Emilia Lopez Marino (Emi), who developed a predictive framework to evaluate and assess the impact of raw material attributes on the manufacturing process at Amgen. Thesis readers described Marino’s project as an “extremely well-written thesis.  Excellent coverage of not only the project, but also the industry as a whole.”

Applying MIT knowledge in the real world

Marino, who earned her MBA and SM in Civil and Environmental Engineering, completed her six-month LGO internship project at Amgen, Inc. For her project, Marino developed a new predictive framework through machine learning techniques to assess the impact of raw material variability on the performance of several commercial processes of biologics manufacturing.  Finding this solution represents a competitive advantage for biopharmaceutical leaders. The results from her analysis showed an 80% average accuracy on predictions for new data. Additionally, the framework she developed is the starting point of a new methodology towards material variability understanding in the manufacturing process for the pharmaceutical industry.

Each year, the theses are nominated by faculty advisors and then reviewed by LGO alumni readers to determine the winner. Thesis advisor and Professor Roy Welsch stated Emi “understood variation both in a statistical sense and in manufacturing in the biopharmaceutical industry and left behind highly accurate and interpretable models in a form that others can use and expand. We hope she will share her experiences with us in the future at LGO alumni reunions and on DPT visits.”

Marino, who earned her undergraduate degree Chemical Engineering from the National University of Mar Del Plata in Argentina, has accepted a job offer with Amgen in Puerto Rico.

 

June 11, 2019 | More

MIT team places second in 2019 NASA BIG Idea Challenge

As part of an MS/MBA dual degree program, LGO students are fully integrated into both MIT Sloan School of Management and the School of Engineering and have a wide range of extracurricular options and avenues. Many take part in conferences and competitions across campus, drawing on both their business and technical skills to build their experience and network.

An MIT student team, including LGO ’20 Hans Nowak (MBA/Mechanical Engineering), took second place for its design of a multilevel greenhouse to be used on Mars in NASA’s 2019 Breakthrough, Innovative and Game-changing (BIG) Idea Challenge last month.

Each year, NASA holds the BIG Idea competition in its search for innovative and futuristic ideas. This year’s challenge invited universities across the United States to submit designs for a sustainable, cost-effective, and efficient method of supplying food to astronauts during future crewed explorations of Mars.

 

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May 24, 2019 | More

The Playbook: An MIT LGO Podcast #3

A very exciting talk by Matt Vokoun about Google’s model of innovation. He is currently the Director of Product for the Create Hardware (Tablet and Laptop) category there and has served in various Product and Strategy roles in the past.

 

 

The LGO Playbook is a unique set of skills and strategies that have helped generations of LGOs provide leadership in operations. This year we are inviting alumni to share pages from their unique LGO Playbooks through stories of impactful experiences. Join us to learn more about our diverse community while gaining tangible skills for the future.

 

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April 10, 2019 | More

The Playbook: An MIT LGO Podcast #2

Every year LGO’s embark on a Domestic Plant Trek visiting manufacturing and operations sites across the country to observe large scale Operations at the world’s most impressive companies. On this special episode we bring you along our 2019 Domestic Plant Trek as we hear from diverse leaders we met from along the way. Each leader will share a page from their personal playbook.

Hear from leaders at Caterpillar (Denise Johnson – Group President), Johnson & Johnson (Amy Gobel – Strategy & Deployment), Raytheon (Zack Eubanks – Operations Engineer), Amazon (Brent Yoder – Director of Reliability), and Boeing (Laura Bogusch – General Manager) about how they build and run complex operations at these companies.

 

 

The LGO Playbook is a unique set of skills and strategies that have helped generations of LGOs provide leadership in operations. This year we are inviting alumni to share pages from their unique LGO Playbooks through stories of impactful experiences. Join us to learn more about our diverse community while gaining tangible skills for the future.

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March 3, 2019 | More

Winners of inaugural AUS New Venture Challenge announced

As part of an MS/MBA dual degree program, LGO students are fully integrated into both MIT Sloan School of Management and the School of Engineering and have a wide range of extracurricular options and avenues. Many take part in conferences and competitions across campus and beyond, drawing on both their business and technical skills to build their experience and network.

Danielle Castley, Dartmouth PhD Candidate, Jordan Landis, LGO ’20, and Ian McDonald, PhD, of Neutroelectric LLC won the inaugural American University of Sharjah New Ventures Challenge, winning the Chancellor’s Prize of $50,000 with radiation shielding materials  developed to improve safety margins and reduce costs for both nuclear power plant operations and transport and storage of spent nuclear waste.

 

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February 20, 2019 | More

The Playbook: An MIT LGO Podcast #1

Conversation with Dan Shockley who is currently the Managing Director and Partner at LFM Capital, and previously a broad-based leader of Operations at Ditch Witch, Caterpillar, and Amazon. Dan discusses his stories about building world-class Operations using the power of discipline in organizations.

 

 

The LGO Playbook is a unique set of skills and strategies that have helped generations of LGOs provide leadership in operations. This year we are inviting alumni to share pages from their unique LGO Playbooks through stories of impactful experiences. Join us to learn more about our diverse community while gaining tangible skills for the future.

 

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December 27, 2018 | More

The LGO Internship Journey

The Leaders for Global Operations Program combines both the Sloan School of Management and the School of Engineering. But it also uniquely incorporates industry partners into the program. Our second year student Yucen walks us through how the special relationship with the LGO partner companies works and how each student benefits from the knowledge shared with them.

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Hi all! I’m Yucen!  A little bit about me: my career passion is to blend technological innovations with a principled management skillset to affect positive change in society. After going through a technically rigorous chemical engineering curriculum in undergrad, I worked in upstream oil and gas for three years as a project engineer. I had a lot of fun collaborating with design teams in the morning, then managing construction projects in the afternoon. It was a great blend of technical with management. I wanted to continue that path of developing my technical and leadership skillsets, and LGO provided me with the perfect opportunity to do so.

 

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There were many reasons why LGO was the best fit for me.  I thoroughly love the community here – we get to be in one of the most intellectually-gifted communities in the world, full of diverse, innovative, brilliant, yet humble people. I was highly motivated to grow as a person and leader in this environment. The LGO cohort is about 45 – 50 students, all with high ambitions, all working through a rigorous curriculum and sharing a seminal two-year experience. On top of that, we get to be fully integrated into the Sloan class and well as our engineering department. We have action learning labs with emphasis on “learning by doing,” and we have access to approachable, world-class faculty. It’s truly the best of both worlds (engineering and business). Before I joined, upperclassmen told me the hardest thing about LGO is knowing when to say no. A year in, and I couldn’t agree more. There’s literally an exciting project, a cool event, or a world-changing speaker engagement happening every day (and often all at the same time!). You will be very intellectually captivated.

One of the aspects that sets LGO apart from other dual degree programs are our industry partners. The LGO Industry Partners – or “partner companies,” are a group of 29 companies that have strong, formal relationships with the LGO program. These partner companies contribute to the program by offering –  among many things – strong alumni networks, fellowship funding, plant tours, and providing input on latest industry trends in operations and technology. They are an integral part of the LGO program.

All students are guaranteed an internship at a partner company. The internship process is collaborative and considers students’ interest (through committee surveys) and partner company needs for that year. Certain students are “pre-matched” into more-customized internships that deliver sufficient technical content as it relates to the engineering department. Most students interview for different opportunities among the different partner companies. You can interview with as many companies as you’re interested in. Then, there is a matching process based on mutual rankings between the companies and students to pair each role to each student.

The internships are an opportunity for students to conduct research in an industrial application. We publish a thesis based on our six-months internship work. Faculty advisors from both the Sloan school and the engineering department advise on our thesis content. Overall, the internship is a good opportunity to apply the skills you learned, while giving you the chance to dive deeper than a traditional summer internship and produce potentially novel content.  The internship opportunities are quite diverse, in terms of function and company. Did I mention that everyone is guaranteed an internship?

My internship is at Amgen, one of the worlds’ leading biotechnology companies based in Thousand Oaks, California. I am applying machine learning to generate predictive models for cell line selection. Ultimately, we want to increase efficiency (reduce resource utilization and cycle times) in this critical, resource-intensive process within the biologics development pipeline.

 

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Beyond the machine learning coursework in LGO, which has provided me with a capable data analytics foundation, what’s been even more useful within the LGO curriculum is the emphasis on operations and organizational dynamics. The focus on analytics within operations allows me to diagnose where my project adds value within the workstream. Furthermore, “soft skill” classes in communication and organizational processes has helped me manage my project stakeholders so I can be more successful in implementing my project.

Has my internship allowed me to think outside the box and take on new leadership roles? Yes, and yes! Since our internships are finite in duration, I had to think of practical ways of delivering predictive models that would be useful for our stakeholders after I leave. Instead of building time-consuming, first principles-based models, we focused on an algorithmic framework to build data-driven models, to allow for scalability and transferability in analogous use cases. There was a lot of research and advise-seeking on the best ways to create our tools. In the end, we were able to develop a modular framework and a user-friendly front-end application to help our projects’ customers understand and adopt our tools.

This internship has helped me practice influencing without formal authority in an industrial setting. In fact, one of my favorite experiences was the opportunity to travel to the Amgen site in Singapore for a knowledge transfer session, where I taught end users how to use my machine learning-based applications.

 

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I had a lot of support throughout my internship. There were biweekly meetings with my faculty advisors, during which Anna, our helpful LGO research collaboration manager, also provided advice. Within Amgen, I relied heavily on alumni for mentorship, both in navigating my project and the company.

Most importantly, my fellow LGO classmates provided invaluable support. Within Amgen, the LGO interns have created a close-knit community, collaborating on project topics and providing useful resources to one another. For the whole class, we hold weekly calls where all LGOs can share issues and provide constructive advice to each other.

There have been some surprises along the way. From a technological sense, what’s been surprising is the ubiquitous emphasis on Big Data and AI (and all the related buzzwords) across companies and industries. I feel very fortunate to be in a community at the forefront of innovation, where I can learn about the “latest and greatest” technologies.

Regarding LGO – I can’t say I’m too surprised – but I’m very appreciative of the amazing achievements of my classmates. On top of that, everyone is humble, friendly, and funny – which makes for a great group! One of my favorite takeaways from my classes at MIT is that authenticity is the one key trait shared among diverse, effective leadership styles. As you think about applying, think about how you can present your story authentically and show your genuine aspirations and passions. Be bold and think about what specific program or opportunity will allow you to be genuinely fulfilled, for the duration of the program and beyond. Good luck!

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By Yucen Xie, LGO Class of 2019

November 8, 2018 | More

Stepping Outside My Comfort Zone

The LGO Program is a blend of both the MIT School of Engineering and the MIT Sloan School of Management. LGO Students gain both the hard-technical skills and the softer skills that will help them succeed in the business world. Jake Pellegrini is an LGO 2019 student pursuing his degree in Mechanical Engineering. Here he reflects on why he chose a dual degree with the business school and one of his favorite classes from Sloan.

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Why business school?  Why now?  Even when applying for schools, I thought extensively about these questions.  Coming from a consulting background, I felt that I had a broad business base and there was a path to the post-MBA role at my firm without the need to leave for an MBA.  I had worked on over two dozen cases: acquisition screens (What should we buy?), commercial due diligence (Should we buy it?), post-merger integration (How does 2+2 become 5?), and growth strategy (What next?).  I realized, though, that as I transitioned from more of an individual contributor role to one of leadership and management, I knew I needed to work on some of the softer skills like communication and team building.

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After completing my undergrad in MechE at the University of Notre Dame and working at L.E,K Consulting, I knew it was time to take the leap and apply to graduate school. I stumbled upon the LGO website and cold-contacted a current student who happened to have attended the same undergrad as I did.  That conversation plus meeting other current students at the Preview Day event helped me better understand how complementary the engineering / operations and business ideas could be.  I applied, got in, and began my LGO journey.

After spending the summer with my LGO Cohort and taking classes that are specifically targeted for LGOs, it was time to move into the Sloan world and join my fellow Sloanies as an MBA Candidate. I was excited to take on classes that were outside of my comfort zone, particularly a Communications class that was a required part of the core semester.  The class offered opportunities for impromptu speaking, structured communication, and effective writing.  My two favorite experiences with this were giving a prepared five-minute persuasive presentation and learning to give and receive feedback.

While decked out in Notre Dame gear, I gave my presentation on how Notre Dame should be ranked higher than Alabama in college football (at the time, there was a case for that… a persuasive case might I add J).  Reflecting after, I realized the Powerpoint skills developed as a consultant combined with the tools learned in the Communications class complemented each other.

The second experience I look back on as critical in my development involved giving and receiving feedback with my core Sloan team, a group I had become very close with over the course of the semester.  We carefully prepared feedback for each person, including one positive and one constructive.  While I had been in feedback sessions before, the structure of the session and the thoughtfulness of my peers helped me realize what effective feedback is and how to give it.

Looking forward to my future career, I know there will be times when I am on the other side of the table, looking to grow and develop those around me to be leaders.  I know I will leverage the softer skills developed throughout my time at Sloan, particularly with the Communications class.

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By Jake Pellegrini, LGO Class of 2019

October 30, 2018 | More

From Benghazi to MIT: An International Perspective on Applying to Graduate School

The thought of coming to MIT was one of dreams to me, even more so being an international student from Libya. This was my dream however; I had always imagined myself coming to MIT and learning to become a principled thinker making an impact on the world with hands and mind. Just ten months ago, that dream felt like an insurmountable mountain with no clear way up, however today, I am writing this blog post after finishing up my first summer semester as an LGO student. I wanted to write and reflect about my experience making it to where I am now. I will touch on how I first came to the US as an international student, my first experience learning about LGO, how I went on to apply to MIT and my experience so far now that I’m three months into being a graduate student.

Me!

I was born and raised in Benghazi, Libya and I consider Benghazi to be my home. I grew up in the 90’s when Libya was politically and economically isolated from the world under the socialist dictatorship of the time. Nonetheless, I was extremely fortunate to have had the best possible education given the circumstances. My parents instilled upon my siblings and I the importance of learning English (along with Arabic) at a young age and expanded my learning horizons by getting us all the book and interactive games they could in both English and Arabic. I then even went on to take Spanish, French and Italian language classes as well! In the evenings after school, most of time was spent in the various extracurricular activities that I was a part of from all the sports I hopped on and off from to all the volunteer and community work that I got to do and most importantly to my 13 years as a Libyan Boy Scout. It was truly through scouting that I came to develop my leadership, social and personal skills. In those long sun-drenched summer days along the Mediterranean coast of Libya when we were pitching up tents for our summer Jamborees did I learn how to work in a team, lead by example, and value the importance of friends.

Just as I graduated from high school and was planning out my gap year, as if fate meant it to be, the Arab Spring rolled in and all my plans for the future were scrapped as I was on the front lines of attempting to bring change to my beloved country. Nonetheless, I always maintained that desire to continue my education and so by the end of 2011, I embarked on a journey that took me from the American University of Sharjah to Michigan State University to study electrical engineering. It was during those years when I was away from my family, friends and people I came to know growing up, did I find home with my fellow international students across campus. I developed relationships that crossed cultural lines and taught me the value of the global connected world. As I was approaching graduation, growth and career opportunities back home were non-existent and so I decided to take a job working as an electrical engineer with Black & Veatch designing electrical systems within power plants. By then, I had experimented with an internship and was involved with the Solar Car Racing team at MSU, so I knew that my passion was in the energy/power worlds and so I embraced my new job as the perfect place to learn and grow my passion for the industry and prepare me for my next career move.

Crossing the frozen Red Cedar River

Being the constant learner that I am, I was never satisfied with the introductory knowledge I was taught during my undergraduate years and I had always intended to continue on to graduate school. I had my eyes set on doing my masters in some form of engineering at some point but never knew when the right time or place was. Until I stumbled onto a few programs of interest at the 2015 Purdue Graduate School Fair where I picked up brochures and collected business cards. I felt rejuvenated by the prospect of being a student again and learned so much more from meeting admissions representatives in person than I ever did scrolling through websites. A couple years into working with Black & Veatch, I felt like I was falling into a stagnant routine and I was getting too comfortable in my job. And so, I decided to apply to graduate school. I knew I wanted to study electrical engineering with a focus on sustainable power generation and I knew I wanted to go to the best universities that I could, but not much beyond that. And thus commenced my graduate school research adventure sometime around the fall of 2017.

One of the brochures I had picked up from the Purdue Graduate School Fair was from LGO and so I looked more into the program and was intrigued. I knew I always had entrepreneurial and business development aspirations but never considered doing an MBA. LGO sounded to me like the perfect combination with the added benefit of being at MIT – a place I had previously attempting to apply to as an undergraduate but never managed to put an application together. On the LGO events page, I learned about Preview Day and instantly booked a spot. I knew I could be flexible at work but I made sure to communicate with my supervisors my intentions of going to graduate school early and hence my upcoming travels. To my surprise, my supervisor welcomed it and encouraged me to pursue graduate school, albeit as a second option to staying in the company. Preview day was a blast! I came out of it convinced that LGO was the perfect fit for me and learned all about MIT and Sloan from the current students, alumni, admissions staff and faculty. Moreover, hearing stories of prior students’ experiences made me a little bit more confident in that there might be a possibility of making it in.

From there I got straight to working on my application. Thanksgiving break was a welcomed time off to dive deep into essay draft editing and hunting down of reference letters from my supervisors and peers. Looking back at it now, I think I enjoyed the process. There were many times when I thought I was embarking on a hopeless challenge and that I should just give up on applying. I surely disliked writing about myself and found it hard to focus. However, I learned a lot from it all the writing. Through reflecting on my life, I honed down further on my personal career aspirations and became even more convinced of why I wanted to pursue this path. To my recent surprise, I wasn’t alone in thinking this way; I learned from my LGO peers that many of them went through that same process and everyone comes to MIT with the famed imposter syndrome. Hence, my words of wisdom are: trust in yourself, your skills and talents and let it be shown in the application; your essays will speak for themselves if you are true about your ambitions.

After my first solar install in Puerto Rico

A couple months later at work, as I turned my phone back on after presenting a major plan to my project clients for the first time, I was surprised to find an invitation for an interview for LGO. Could this really be happening? From there, I nailed my interview and waited anxiously for a couple more months before I got that phone call from Thomas Roemer, LGO’s Executive Director welcoming me to the Class of 2020 and so began the roller-coaster of ride that was my spring and summer.

With classes starting swiftly in June, I wanted to use the transition opportunity as an escape from the comfortable life I got used to in the US and to travel. I made the most out of this career-changing transition period and booked a one-way flight ticket to Aguadilla, Puerto Rico where I was committed to helping the people of the island in their recovery from Hurricane Maria. I ended up staying in Puerto Rico for a month volunteering my time with Solar Libre driving through the narrow mountain dirt roads installing solar power systems for farms, schools and community centers. It was a thrilling experience that got me recharged and ready for my time at LGO and to becoming a community-focused, entrepreneurial, leader within the energy industry.

I could write a whole other blog post about the three months since our first day of classes on June 4th. I am still in awe of how much I learned, how much fun I had, and above all, the amazing 47 other individuals that I now get to call my friends: the LGO Class of 2020. The summer semester comes at you fast. You are immediately thrown into small summer team that you grow and get to know on a personal level. With no background in operations, optimization or even statistics, I still had a great learning experience from our classes without being too overwhelmed. However, LGO is special in that we also go on plant treks and, for example, see how Amazon’s fulfillment center robots are being assembled and brought into life as well as having events with partner companies where we got to learn about what they did and its importance. Finally, I can’t talk about the summer, without mentioning the countless hours I spent sailing in the Charles River and the amazing resource that is the MIT Sailing Pavilion.

Looking back at it now, I have no doubt that 2018 was the best year of my life so far. However, in reflecting, I want to retell the story of how none of what I got to do this year was even possible in my mind only a year ago, but I trusted the process and trusted where my ambitions would take me. We can never know what the future holds for us, but the steps we take today will shape our day tomorrow and I can’t wait for what’s ahead of me in the rest of these two years at LGO.

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By Ali Alrayes, LGO Class of 2020

October 9, 2018 | More