Black History Month 2021: Taylor Facen, LGO ’22

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

“After graduating from Howard University, I started my career in finance as a technical business analyst. Throughout this time, I got involved in the New York City tech scene by learning how to code on the side and by attending and soon leading tech conferences in the city. Later on, I was able to merge my technical and leadership skills as CTO of a FinTech startup. Each of these experiences really helped me understand my strengths, areas of growth, and the direction I wanted my career to go in. I decided to apply to and join the LGO program because I wanted to cultivate these skills as well as learn about new, emerging technologies and industries.”

What is your favorite memory from your time at MIT?

“Summer core started the same week as protests about the wrongful murder of George Floyd were materializing across the globe. Some of my fellow LGO classmates decided to watch Ava DuVernay’s 13th documentary on Netflix as a group followed by a discussion about the Black Lives Matter movement and historical events that got us to this point. I originally thought that only a handful of people would be interested in this type of event. However, I was surprised to see over half of my class attend and actively engage in this voluntary event. This experience definitely helped me to feel more welcomed and supported by my peers.”

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What were your goals for the new Active Allyship committee and what have you accomplished so far?

“I wanted the Active Allyship committee to drive tangible improvements to the LGO program to make it more inclusive and supportive of all current and potential students. So far, we’ve worked with faculty to increase the diversity in the protagonists of cases and other class materials. We also drove a new initiative to provide guidance and support to marginalized groups throughout the application process. I’m especially looking forward to the diversity, equity, and inclusion best practice session that we’re having with our partner companies this upcoming spring semester.”

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

“For many, the graduate school application process is the first time one can reflect on their educational and professional career. My biggest piece of advice is to do some deep introspective thought on who you are as a person and as a leader. Not only will this help you clearly articulate who you are and why you’re interested in the graduate program on the application, it will also help you choose the right program, classes, professors, student clubs, etc. after you get in. Trust the process.”


By Taylor Facen, LGO Class of 2022