Meet the LGO ’23s: Allison Smedberg

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


Allison Smedberg LGO 23 New Class Feature

What were you doing before LGO?

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

What factors informed your decision to attend MIT LGO?

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

Do you have any advice for future applicants?

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

MIT LGO 23 Killian Court Steps

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

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

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

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