LGO Students Blog

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  • What I Learned [Before] My Summer Vacation

    I began thinking about writing a blog post on my drive from Boston to Seattle for my internship at Boeing a few weeks ago. All I could think about what how crazy the last few years have been. A year and a half ago, my girlfriend and I lived in Atlanta. She was teaching pre-school and I worked for GE. Now, we’re married and Abby will be joining me in Seattle for the summer. First of all, I want to digress and comment on planning a wedding during LGO. There was one LGO that got married the first week of summer classes and there were two LGO 17s that moved to Boston, planned a wedding, and got married right after our first year. It wasn’t easy, but we found time to plan our weddings, get involved with committees and clubs, and make great friends during our first year.

    During my drive, I had over 50 hours and 3500 miles of driving to reflect on the last year. From not being engaged and working at GE to being married and driving to my internship in Seattle, my life is completely different. I can’t say that it’s all been stress-free, but I have learned a lot during the last year. This might be a little cheesy, but here a few of the memorable lessons that I learned during my first year of LGO.

    • Many LGO 17s would agree that the best piece of advice we heard during our first year came during a leadership and ethics seminar. Our speaker said that many of her LGO classmates lived outside of their means and ended up trapped in jobs/lives that they didn’t want. Her advice was to live within your means so that you can quit your job at any moment and transition to something that you truly love. I know that we’ve all heard this advice before, but it was refreshing to hear it from a successful LGO alum.
    • Find a work/life balance – school and work are important, but so are staying healthy, meeting new people, and trying new things. I still struggle with this, but these are important things that will allow me to get the most of of LGO and life.
    • It’s OK to say “I don’t know. Can you help me?” This happened very early on during LGO when I struggled with a few classes. I knew that LGO would be hard, but I didn’t expect to be completely lost during the summer. Luckily I learned to ask for help and my classmates and teachers were more than willing to take time to help me. I am continually shocked at the kindness and willingness to help that my classmates have shown each other throughout our first year.
    • You do your best thinking by slowing down and concentrating. I realized early on at LGO that I like to think things through slowly and methodically. I also realized that it takes me more time than some of my classmates to recall certain things that we’ve learned. I realized during a leadership class over the summer that taking time to think about something can be extremely beneficial. We are always trying to multitask, especially at LGO, but I rarely found creative solutions or solved problems while multitasking. I believe that there is a time and a place for multitasking, but disconnecting and concentrating on the problem at hand can produce great results.
    • Getting angry can make you temporarily dumb. This came up in a negotiations class that I took in the Spring. Our professor explained that getting angry temporarily changes your brain for up to 17 minutes so that you are actually temporarily dumb. I used to get really frustrated at work and learning about this side effect of anger/frustration/impatience made me seriously consider if allowing myself to get angry was impacting my work more than I realized.

    Overall, the most important lessons that I learned from my first year at LGO were not technical. While I loved learning about supply chains, manufacturing, finance, etc., and I’m sure they will help me in my internship and post-LGO career, I was really shocked by all of the meaningful, non-technical things that I learned. These most certainly differ from all of my classmates’ lessons learned, but that’s the beauty of MIT Sloan and LGO. Everybody gets exactly what they need out of them.

    Nick Arch, LGO ‘17

    MIT Sloan MBA & SM in Mechanical Engineering

    From Boston to Seattle, there are a few sights along the way.


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    One week until the 2016s graduate…and Matt Damon returns (?) to campus to deliver the 2016 Commencement Speech. We’ll finally get to answer everyone’s burning question…does he really like apples? (via GIPHY)


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    Best Thesis Nominees for the ‘16s! #MIT2016 #lgoonthego #mymitsloan #engineer #thesis #gradschool #aroundmit http://ift.tt/1st8pOF


  • Disaster Relief Housing in PDD

    Jordan Charles ‘17

    This past Saturday marked culmination of my semester-long design project for the class Product Development and Design (PDD).  The class is uniquely MIT and is a melting pot of the MIT community.  Students include PhDs, MBAs, SMs in engineering/architecture, and undergraduates.  In addition, there are several students from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) that chose to enroll every year.  The goal of the class is to come up with an innovative idea for a physical product, build a prototype of that product, and develop a comprehensive business plan to bring that product to market.  
    My team developed a new concept for disaster relief housing that focuses on modularity, customizability, reusability, and elements of human centered design to enable both physical and psychological recover from natural disasters.  My team consisted of two MBAs, two LGOs, and a designer from RISD.  Our solution was a ‘LEGO-style’ structure made from thermoformed squares that snap on to a skeleton-structure made out of connected pipes (no tools required!).  


    My team presenting to the class (you can see our 1/3 scale prototype in the center of the room behind me)

    One of my favorite aspects of the class was the marriage of technology and business. If was fun to not only engineer a physical product, but also consider the business implications of that product throughout the design/development phase.  The class really personifies of the spirit of LGO (the intersection of engineering and business).  Our final product was a holistic solution that is both functional AND marketable.  
    I also really enjoyed working with a diverse team.  We primarily built our prototype at RISD in Providence RI so we had the opportunity to interact with the RISD ecosystem and even got to use their photography studio to snap some professional shots of our finished product.


    Our prototype in the studio – pictured on the right is a load test where we (nervously) placed 150 lbs on the roof of our structure.  To our relief, it didn’t break!

    The final pitch day was a highlight of the class as all 12 project teams were given 30 minutes to present their prototypes and business plans.  Many teams are planning to patent their ideas and continue developing them in order to take them to market.  Some of my favorite ideas included:
    • A wireless credit card-sized external cell phone battery
    • Educational toys for kids with disabilities
    • A smart bike parking solution
    • An integrated CPAP/EPAP machine to relive snoring
    Additionally, some teams got really creative for their presentations, buying team t-shirts and even surprising the audience with elaborate costumes.  In the end, the pitch day was a fun celebration of all of our hard work and innovative ideas.  


    Team Snap-Safe-Shelter-System.  (L-R) Anthony, Katie, Miriam, and me


  • USA C-Fx Recap

    Andrew Gabris ‘16

    On April 28, LGO hosted the final cultural function (c-function) of the year.  Volunteers from the two LGO classes showed up early to decorate Walker Memorial.  In order to avoid long food and beverage lines, LGOs paid careful attention to layout and came up with a new and innovative solution for the setup.  We wanted to ensure that everyone would have easy access to the American Pils brewed specifically for the event by Aeronaut as well as the barbecue.  

    Over 830 attendees from across the Sloan School made it to the event, which was a record for the school year.  In addition to the enthusiastic Sloanies that made the event unforgettable, we would also like to acknowledge Aeronaut, Boston Consulting Group, American Industrial Partners, and the LGO Program for their generous support of the event.


    LGOs Getting Ready for the Big Event

    The night’s entertainment began with a hot dog eating contest, which was actually won by LGO 16, Diego Pinhao.  He managed to eat 10 hot dogs in two minutes as well as an additional five dogs in the one minute tie breaker.  From here, a group of Sloanie dancers took the stage to perform a variety of American-styled dances before a student band closed out the night.  


    Getting Ready for the Hot Dog Eating Contest

    As a graduating second year, the event was bittersweet.  It was an amazing night to hang out with all the Sloanies that I’ve grown so close to over the past two years, but this was my last c-function.  It’s hard to believe that spring is here and commencement is just around the corner.  As sad as it is to say goodbye to Sloan, I wouldn’t trade the previous two years for anything.  I’ve learned so much, grown as a leader and had an amazing time in the process.


    The Band in Action


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    Big changes for our neighbors downstairs! @eshipmit #aroundmit #newconstruction #mit http://ift.tt/1ryR5ro


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    Time to #partyintheUSmbA with the LGOs at the USA C-function. We’re ready! #mymitsloan http://ift.tt/1VWYhKj


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    Congratulations to Sean Henson ‘17 for being named the Charles Harrison Smith III award winner this year! Pictures with Ana Garcia '16, last year’s winner #lgoonthego #leadership #mymitsloan #mit #engineer #aeroastro #congratulations #mba #latergram http://ift.tt/1T6SoUn


  • USA C-Fx

    Tomorrow is the year’s last MIT Sloan Cultural Function (C-Fx), the USA C-Fx, and happens to be solely organized and executed by members of the current LGO classes. C-Fx’s are a Sloan tradition where Sloanies plan a cultural event that brings all the music, food and spirit of the various cultures at MIT Sloan.

    The USA C-Fx was started in 2014 by the LGO Class of 2014 and has consistently been one of the most attended C-Fx’s at Sloan. This year, over 30 students from the LGO ‘16s and ‘17s have put countless hours into creating one of the most exciting (and operationally efficient) C-Fx’s of the year. The LGO run C-Fx Committee have deployed both their engineering and management skills to make this year’s event one of the best ever. Here’s how:

    Utilizing Effective Inventory Management

    One of the largest sources of revenue to pay for all the American awesomeness within a USA C-Fx is the selling of USA C-Fx SWAG (Stuff We All Get). In order to ensure we maximize our profits, we leveraged previous years’ demand to create the world’s most accurate forecast (which is still wrong). Additionally, an intricate inventory management system, coined by Paul Baxter (LGO ’16) and Dave Semko (LGO ’16), ensured that shrinkage (i.e. the loss of SWAG) was minimized.

    Sloanies queuing up to get their hands on some USA C-Fx SWAG

    Selling the American Dream

    The goal of the USA C-Fx is all about showcasing what makes being an American so great. The Events team of the USA C-Fx pulled together a series of American activities that will truly sell the American Dream. This includes a hot dog eating contest, a photo booth with a 6 foot tall replica of the Statue of Liberty and an American band that will play Bon Jovi until your ears bleed. All of this happening under the watchful eye of a fifty foot wide American flag. ‘Merica.

    Always Be Budgeting

    Finally, not only do LGOs understand how to both sell and execute a C-Fx, but also how to deliver the event on budget. This year the Finance team raised funds from many different sources including SWAG sales, company donations and new this year, support from LGO alumni. Donations were made from over five different LGO classes going back to the early 2000s. Additionally, a generous donation from MIT alum run Aeronaut Brewery will provide event participants with a unique American pilsner craft brew designed specifically for the USA C-Fx.

    AmericanPils, our very own USA C-Fx brew from Aeronaut Brewery

    The USA C-Fx will be one for the books for sure. If you’re interested in seeing what makes LGO so great or are just proud to be an American, stop by tomorrow (4/28) at 8pm in Walker Memorial on MIT’s campus and see what makes USA so great.

    In America We Trust,

    The 2016 USA C-Fx Committee


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    Interesting guest lecture on Biomimicry from today’s PDD class. PDD, or Product Design and Development, is a very popular class among LGO students! #mitlgo #mitsloan #mitengineers http://ift.tt/1XVNPR7