Every LGO student conducts a six-month applied research internship project. The projects focus on unique operations, product development, and high tech problems across many different industries. LGO internships provide the industrial “laboratory” for research on operations management and engineering, resulting in cutting-edge advancements and tangible solutions that benefit the host company. Research completed at the company forms the basis for the master’s thesis, which is a dual-degree academic paper overseen by an MBA and an engineering professor.
All LGO internships take place at a partner company. Companies develop business-critical projects in areas at the frontier of applied technology in business.
The LGO program guarantees an internship for every admitted student. LGO students don’t search for an internship. Rather, the program works with the student to pair them with a project.
Developing internships for each LGO class is a delicate balance. Working with LGO’s Research Manager, a subset of the LGO class join the Internship Committee. The committee helps to define projects that balance the needs of partner companies’ business processes, student interest, and academic expectations from the MIT School of Engineering and the MIT Sloan MBA program.
The LGO Internship Committee works with program staff to develop project proposals from the partner companies that will fulfill all stakeholder needs and be interesting for the class. To do this, the committee gathers data, presents results to partner companies, and helps solicit and approve proposals. Within a few months of the program start, the Internship Committee will have 50 to 60 internships for the class to consider.
Students and projects are paired using an interview process and matching algorithm. Each LGO student interviews for 15 to 25 internships, then ranks them in order of preference. Partner companies do the same for each available internship. An optimization software, developed by an LGO alum, places students in an internship to maximize everyone’s desires. About 75% of the time, students get one of their top three internship preferences.
In the past 3 years, about 20 percent of LGO internships were in the Boston metro area, about 20 percent based in the Pacific Northwest, and roughly 20 percent were based outside of the USA. We’ve made a map of internship locations in the past three years below.
To do an internship abroad, students do not need any language backgrounds or skills. An active desire to learn more about the region adds to the experience, and international internships are one of the many opportunities for global exposure through the program.
International students take Curricular Practical Training (CPT) to do internships in the USA. In rare cases, international students take Optional Practical Training (OPT) during the internship. International students have also done LGO internships outside of the USA, and are aided in the required visa process for that country. There are a few partner companies who cannot accommodate international LGO students because of required national security clearance.
During your LGO internship, you’ll work on a defined problem that applies your MBA operations and engineering coursework. The internship lasts six months, and happens over the summer and during one of your semesters during the LGO program. Usually, this is your second fall, although some internships happen during your first spring semester.
While you’re on-site with the company, you’ll still have strong support from MIT. One faculty advisor from MIT Sloan and one faculty advisor from the School of Engineering will oversee your internship research and resulting thesis. They visit you at the company site and engage with project staff. Internships also offer numerous leadership opportunities. Learning to lead by building trust and influence are critical skills developed during the internship and are used by LGO graduates throughout their careers.
Internships at partner companies are the cornerstone of the LGO experience. During the internship, students receive a small relocation stipend and cost of living stipend (variable on location). These stipends are in addition to your LGO fellowship applied to tuition.
It’s hard to show you the full breadth of amazing things our students have accomplished during their internships. To start, we’ve organized LGO internships into nine categories. We’ve also given you different ways to explore past internships:
- Use our partner company tool to see which companies offer internships in each category. For many partner pages, we’ve written a little bit about past internships at that company.
- Review each of our internship theme pages to learn about some outstanding projects done in the past few years:
- Data Analysis & Analytics: All internships use complex data sets to drive business decisions, but these projects dive deep into analytics and create algorithms and predictive models that move business forward.
- Energy: These projects analyze how to provide energy to millions of people effectively while improving large scale operations for little or no failures.
- Manufacturing: LGO has many projects in the most obvious area of engineering management: making things, and making them more efficiently with higher quality.
- Product Development: Past projects have looked at creating new products that solve a problem, or how to launch a new product into the company’s operations and supply chain system.
- Research & Development: Interns have found new pharmaceutical discoveries, focused on how best to apply silicon to glass, improved medical devices, and other cutting-edge scientific work.
- Robotics & Automation: Many projects look at things like applying unmanned aerial vehicle technology to non-defense sectors or developing robotic manufacturing processes.
- Supply Chain: Students work on optimization processes to efficiently move products from production to distribution points, using the analytical tools necessary to evaluate complex systems.
- Sustainability: Thesis projects look at how to lower emissions in operations processes, or how to integrate renewable energies into large-scale businesses.
- Systems Optimization: Students work on how to best serve patients in one of America’s largest hospitals or how to develop a software solution for a company’s needs.