Why did you decide on attending MIT LGO?
My main goal for attending graduate school was to deepen my mechanical design skills in an engineering master’s program. However, I also recognized that as my career progressed, I would likely head into engineering management to cultivate the talent of younger engineers. When I learned about LGO (which I somehow wasn’t aware of as an undergrad), I knew it would be the perfect fit. I could deepen my mechanical design skills and develop my leadership acumen at a top university. The program would propel my career path toward what I hoped to see long term.
What is your favorite memory from your time at LGO?
There were so many wonderful memories it’s hard to pick just one! However, two memories, in particular, stand out.
The first memory happened immediately after the last day of classes. Chris Cubra, a member of our cohort, organized an event where three of us shared intimate stories of defining moments in our lives. I was fortunate enough to discuss how I found harmony between my faith (roman catholic) and sexuality (gay). It was an intimate, coming-of-age story that touched on mental health, toxic masculinity, and the power of gratefulness. I only shared such a personal story because of the supportive, open environment that our cohort created.
The second memory, which may be a cop-out, is our class’s time on DPT. Because of the pandemic, it was the first time our entire cohort was together in one place. More specifically, during the rare downtime between company visits, we all got together for karaoke nights, sight-seeing tours, and personal storytelling. It was a great way to grow closer as a class.
How were you able to engage with LGBTQ+ communities at MIT?
During my second year, I was one of the outreach officers of Sloan Pride, Sloan’s LGBTQ+ affinity group. Being part of the Sloan Pride leadership team was a great way to meet LGBTQ+ peers across programs and years at Sloan. As an outreach officer, my role was to connect with the wider Sloan population by organizing community events such as Pride’s annual LGBTQ+ C-function (Cfx), a large party that educates attendees on LGBTQ history and celebrates queer authenticity.
What are your hopes for the future of diversity in LGO and in industry?
I hope that future LGO cohorts represent the diversity of the people and communities they serve – in terms of gender, ethnicity, sexual preference, and other underrepresented groups. I also hope that LGO mandates that their industry partners enact similar commitments to diversity by instituting actionable DE&I goals with quantifiable results. Many companies, especially during pride month, boast a commitment to promoting diversity. However, too often their words are empty, unfulfilled promises. I want the influence that LGO students, faculty, and staff have on industry partners and future employers to be used to promote DE&I.
Do you have any advice for prospective students thinking about applying?
If you’re on the fence about applying, reach out to a current or former LGO student about their experience. Yes, it is more than acceptable to cold message someone on LinkedIn. Talking with students will give you the best gauge into whether LGO is a good fit.
When applying, unapologetically show your authentic self in the application. Talk about your passions, quirks, career goals, etc. You’ll need to prep for interviews and likely draft several versions of your application essays, but through all that, explain what uniquely makes you, well, you!
Shortly after a multi-week pack-rafting trek in the Arctic Circle, I will be joining Cooper Perkins as a Mechanical Design Engineer. I will work on various electromechanical R&D and product development projects for a variety of industries while remaining very client-facing. I am exceptionally excited about the opportunity as it nicely combines the hands-on technical and business expertise gained during my time at LGO.