Action Learning

MIT’s motto is Mens et Manus – mind and hand. We believe that theoretical knowledge isn’t enough; one must be able to apply it. Our students accomplish this in many ways, including action learning labs, GOAL and Lion teams, and the LGO Internship.

MIT Sloan Action Learning

Action learning isn’t new at MIT – it’s been a part of the Sloan curriculum since the early ’60s. In addition to experiential learning incorporated in the classroom, there are specific lab classes that pair students with a company to apply academic lessons in a real world setting. Some popular lab classes that LGOs take are:

  • Analytics Lab: Students use “big data” and analytics to transform businesses and organizations, both commercial and non-profit. Last year a group of LGO’s worked with Boston Public Schools to help them use predictive analytics for school enrollments.
  • Operations Lab: This hands-on experience with operations leadership is a perfect match for LGO. Students work with small to mid-sized companies in the Greater Boston area to implement improvements in areas like inventory management, process layout, and distribution.
  • Global Entrepreneurship Lab: Students work with companies in emerging markets to understand and measure what entrepreneurship works in different places, looking at a variety of influences in that market like economic, political, culture, etc. Host companies are located in up to 15 countries at a time, and students spend time on-site with the company during Independent Activities Period (IAP) or Sloan Innovation Period (SIP).

LGO Action Learning

There are two opportunities for LGOs to take on action learning projects that really leverage their engineering and management skills.

  • Lion Teams: Lion Teams are a collaborative initiative with LGO and our sister program at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China. Students from both programs work together virtually during the semester and then spend a week working on-site with a client company. The companies are always located in Far East Asia, including China and Malaysia. Projects focus on topics like lean manufacturing, supply chain optimization, inventory management, and product development. Students have worked with multinational companies like Boeing on composite manufacturing and Apple on new product manufacturing capabilities.
  • GOAL Teams: Global Operations Action Learning (GOAL) teams partners LGO students with companies to develop recommendations for specific operational issues. Topics include inventory optimization, product development, and lean manufacturing. Students work on the project at MIT and then spend one week on-site at the company in domestic and international locations. Recent projects include improving inventory forecasting to reduce cost and lost sales at Nissan in the UK and Paris, working with Eckhart on automation in GM factories, and creating a substitute natural gas recommendation for PG&E.

LGO Internship

The LGO Internship is a six-month research experience that takes place at one of our partner companies. Students work on business-critical projects in areas like product development, forecast and strategy, lean manufacturing, and systems optimization. Read more about the LGO Internship here.