Meet Our Students

LGO students come from a variety of undergraduate institutions, industry experiences, and have many different goals after the program. Together, they create a unique group where lifelong friendships are forged. Below are a few of our students, answering common questions about why they picked LGO and how their experience has been.

Sean Henson

LGO '17 interned at AIP Aerospace in Seattle, WA

Engineering department Aeronautics and Astronautics

Undergraduate degree University of Pennsylvania, Materials Science and Engineering & Economics

Company before LGO Cornerstone Research

WHY LGO?
For me, LGO was a chance to get back in touch with my engineering background and pivot my career towards manufacturing and operations. I enjoyed the consulting work I did before coming to MIT, but wanted to be involved in actually creating something. LGO offered the perfect opportunity to remain focused on the business side of things while expanding my engineering knowledge.

PARTNER COMPANIES: Have you developed a network in the LGO partner company portfolio?
One part of the LGO experience that I underestimated coming in was the relationships we have with the partner companies. We had our first interaction with reps from most of the partners within a month of starting in the summer and had consistent opportunities to chat with them throughout the first year. Seeing how hard my MBA classmates had to work to network and get in touch with companies made me value this even more.

LGO LIFE: What do you do in your free time?
For me, this has been the biggest and best part of LGO. You’re immediately thrown into this community of awesome people and given the chance to hang out with them for two years. It’s a busy program, but as with anything in an MBA program, it’s all about priorities. You can make anything work, it just requires sacrificing something else (homework time, social time, sleep, etc.). I put a lot of effort into planning things outside of class for my LGO cohort and I am heading up the planning for the USA C-Function (a Sloan-wide event).

Nupur Dokras

LGO '17 interned at Amazon in Seattle, WA

Engineering department Mechanical Engineering

Undergraduate degree University of California - Berkeley, Mechanical Engineering

Company before LGO Ford Motor Company

WHY LGO?
When I was deciding where I wanted to go for grad school I was more focused on finding a good mechanical engineering masters program that fit my interests. I stumbled across LGO while researching programs and realized it matched my desire to delve deeper into engineering studies and understand how to drive business decisions to make an impact within a company. Initially, I was concerned that the program would not allow me to take many of the engineering classes I wanted to take but visiting MIT and LGO during AdMIT weekend put that all to ease! Everyone comes from such great backgrounds and has a wealth of amazing experiences which makes it such a great learning environment. I also found that there was a good amount of flexibility in terms of choosing classes that I was really passionate about. The fact that MIT offers so many action learning classes was also very appealing to me because it allows students to truly see how the theory you learn can be applied in real world applications. Additionally, there is a lot of support from faculty and the program which was very appealing. My classmates are incredibly smart and helpful, which has allowed me to learn so much. It’s a really unique opportunity to be a part of both engineering and business communities on campus. There is always something interesting happening!

CURRICULUM: How did you design your flexible MIT Sloan MBA curriculum and your MIT Engineering coursework?
MIT has so many amazing classes it can be difficult to choose which ones to take within the short amount of time that you are on campus! I am really interested in challenging myself in my engineering courses and learning more about mechanism design. Therefore, my first semester I chose to take Bio-Inspired Robotics. Even though it was more work than all of my other classes combined, I learned so much through the labs and project and got a great feel as to whether or not I would like to pursue robotics post graduation. I took Global Engineering in a later semester. It’s another project class that will allow me work on more hardware design.

From the business side, I took Power and Negotiations and Global Entrepreneurship Lab. I am excited to work on more business related projects for global companies to get more exposure to the different roles I can pursue after graduation. I was also interested in learning more about how to start a new company and the challenges that one might encounter when pursuing new ventures.

LGO LIFE: What do you do outside of class?
LGO life is amazing! The community is so welcoming and really interesting because people come from so many different places and professional backgrounds. The community is quite active and there is always something fun going on from apple picking in the fall to class camping, or even potlucks! I particularly enjoy the LGO ladies events where we get to mingle with our fellow classmates and SOs.

Though LGO can be academically very challenging and sometimes overwhelming, your fellow classmates are great at encouraging you to participate in the variety of other events that are happening on or off campus outside of class – whether that is grabbing wings at Azgard on a Monday night, hanging out with classmates at the Beacon Hill Pub, or attending Sloan’s C-functions. The culture is very much the mind set of learning as much as you can on topics that you are passionate about, and have fun doing it!

Sailashri Parthasarathy

LGO '17 interned at Dell Inc. in Austin, TX

Engineering department Engineering Systems

Undergraduate degree Visveswaraiah Technological University, Electronics, & North Carolina State University, Computer Engineering

Company before LGO Intel Corporation

CURRICULUM: How did you design your flexible Sloan MBA curriculum and your MIT Engineering coursework?
My goal in the first year was to get exposure to a variety of industries so I could have a foundation to build off of in the second year. I therefore chose to take Sloan classes such as corporate finance, competitive strategy and supply chain planning. On the engineering side, I chose to take classes such as Global Engineering and Public Transportation Systems, which focused on hands-on learning. These classes have helped me narrow down specific areas that I can focus on in the second year.

FACULTY: Do you have a favorite MIT faculty member?
There are so many great professors to choose from. One of my favorite MIT faculty members is Prof. Alessandro Bonatti. His class on Game Theory for Strategic Advantage was engaging, interesting and most of all fun! Many of the examples we examined in class were from current events such as the Greek financial crisis or advertising on Facebook, which made the content very relevant. We also played games in class to understand how payoffs affect the moves a player makes. Overall, it was a great learning experience.

ACTION LEARNING: What kinds of projects or applied work have you participated in so far?
I wanted to experience the two things Sloan is famous for: entrepreneurship and action learning. So I chose to take the Entrepreneurship lab (E-lab) during my first year. My team was paired up with a 3D display startup that emerged from MIT’s EECS department and the Media Lab. It was a really cool experience to have unlimited access to the founders, gain exposure to their business and understand first hand what the challenges of a startup were. After performing market analyses, we recommended a beachhead market strategy for the company that we hope they pursue.

Amy Gobel

LGO '17 interned at Quest Diagnostics in Boston, MA

Engineering department Engineering Systems

Undergraduate degree Princeton University, Geoscience

Company before LGO ENVIRON International Corporation

FACULTY: Do you have a favorite MIT professor?
I was impressed by the MIT Sloan faculty that taught the core curriculum, especially Accounting with Eric So and finance (a core elective) with Adrien Verdehlan. I had no experience in either field before LGO, and I found that they did an excellent job of distilling some pretty convoluted topics into principles that I could quickly digest. Because of the work they put into their teaching, I have a strong foundation for financial analyses going forward.

MIT INTEGRATION: Do you have advice on how to get involved at MIT?
My advice for how to get involved with the broader MIT community is to read your emails! I’ve encountered several uniquely MIT opportunities that were buried within the general MIT grad student newsletter. For example, I found out about the Language Conversation Exchange, a platform that connects native speakers in the MIT community with other MIT folks who want to learn that language. Through the exchange, I was able to set up weekly conversations to help me brush up my French and help my partner improve his English.

LGO NETWORK: What’s the LGO community like?
My first experience with the LGO network began right when I started thinking about applying. I met an alumna from the class of 2011 at an MIT Sloan on the Road event, and it turned out that we worked close to each other in downtown Boston. Over the course of my application process, she met me for lunch several times, answered my many questions about the program, gave suggestions for how to strengthen my application, and even read my essays! I think she exemplifies the LGO community – generous with her time and excited to give back. I continue to see this LGO spirit in the alumni that I meet.

ACTION LEARNING: Have you joined any action learning courses?
I participated in Sloan’s Laboratory for Sustainable Business, or S-Lab because I wanted to learn how to make a compelling business case for sustainable practices, and what the biggest challenges are to incorporating sustainability into a company’s strategy. For my project, I worked with Dow Chemical to prioritize strategic customer accounts based on the potential to grow that account with sustainable products. I enjoyed getting to learn about what motivates companies to think about sustainability and how they align their environmental goals with growth. At the end of the project, my team got to present our findings to a panel of about ten corporate account managers and sales directors within Dow – it felt like we were really able to help them!

Russ Forthuber

LGO '17, interned at Nike in Portland, OR

Engineering department Mechanical Engineering

Undergraduate degree U.S. Merchant Marine Academy

Company before LGO Marine Engineering Systems Design

MIT INTEGRATION: How have you gotten involved with all that MIT has to offer?
MIT integration was an important reason I joined LGO. I was and still am interested in entrepreneurship/ intrapreneurship, so I wanted to have opportunities to work with others across MIT. This has proven to be easy! I took Energy Ventures, an entrepreneurship class which brings students from many different departments (engineering, business, law, policy, design) together with the goal of creating a business from the ideas spawned within the groups. There are also mixers, online message boards, and hackathons to facilitate integration within the diverse academic community.

ACTION LEARNING: Have you participated in any Action Learning courses?
Action learning is grounded in the MIT curriculum with its Mens et Manus (mind and hand) motto, and I believe action learning is especially pervasive in the LGO program. Having co-chaired the LGO action learning committee, I can definitively say that I believe in the power of hands-on learning. This ethos was instilled in me after spending a year as an engineering cadet onboard ships before graduating from undergrad. I participated in an LGO-specific action learning class, where I worked with a utility company to do an engineering and economic feasibility study to determine the potential profitability of a bio-methane project. One VP at the utility company told us this will impact millions of dollars for their future strategy.

LGO LIFE: What do you do outside of class?
The scholastic demands on an LGO student are admittedly hard due to earning two degrees in the same time, but it all comes down to priorities. I want to seize all the networking and socializing opportunities I can (when I’m not studying of course), so I have little free time. However, this is a choice I make and not everyone has the same priorities. I work out almost every day, and attend social events going on almost every evening, so while it’s been a lot of work, it’s also been a lot of fun!

Carrie Beyer

LGO '17, interned at Dell in Austin, TX

Engineering department Engineering Systems - Supply Chain and Manufacturing

Undergraduate degree Kansas State University, Industrial Engineering

Company before LGO Deloitte Consulting

WHY LGO?:
While I was working I noticed gaps in my abilities that kept me from being my best at my job. I had one client making a product that I know was not profitable but I did not have the cost accounting background to prove it to them. I wanted to get the business background to be able to make the case for improvement, and I was not getting that experience on the job. And I love working in operations. I love touring plants and seeing real things be made. The opportunity to get a deep knowledge base in manufacturing and supply chain will allow me to have more credibility and be a better leader with this background. The leadership focus and the small community at MIT LGO really stood out as something special when evaluating different MBA programs.

MIT INTEGRATION: Do you have a bit of advice on how to get involved with all that MIT has to offer?
I chose to take a mechanical engineering course on product design (2.744) for one of my engineering course requirements. This class had a mixture of mechanical engineering graduate students, undergraduates, LGOs, Media Lab students and a whole variety of students across the MIT community. I developed a brand new skill (hand sketching) and learned from my diverse classmates. The variety of ideas and backgrounds that they brought to the class was eye opening.

ACTION LEARNING: Have you done any Action Learning yet?
I had my first Action Learning project through GOAL Teams (Global Operations Action Learning) where I worked with two other LGOs to develop a spare parts inventory strategy for Gogo Wireless, an airplane internet provider. We had great involvement from Gogo. Through the project, we reduced their required field inventory and response times. It was a great opportunity to practice what we had learned in Supply Chain Planning (15.762) and work with other LGOs to solve a real world problem.

JB Coles

LGO '17, interned at Inditex (Zara) in A Coruña, Spain

Engineering department Engineering Systems - Supply Chain and Manufacturing

Undergraduate degree University of California - San Diego, Electrical Engineering

Company before LGO NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory

WHY LGO?
Business school is a stretch for an established engineer, and when you know you’ll be stretching yourself it’s really helpful to know there are people that understand what you’re going through. I chose LGO because I wanted to learn with people of similar backgrounds who all want to branch out and apply engineering skills to a different set of problems in the business world.

CURRICULUM: How did you design your coursework?
I focused my time on further developing the skills that I hadn’t explored in my career but feel are essential to run a successful business. My engineering work has been focused on manufacturing decisions so I can compliment my research and experimental design background with some practical manufacturing knowledge. My Sloan coursework has been focused on finance, operations, and strategy.

ACTION LEARNING: What kinds of projects or applied work have you participated in so far?
I had the opportunity to work on an Action Learning project with a consumer packaged goods manufacturer in Southeast Asia as a part of the LGO Lion Teams Action Learning course in the Spring. The course was a great chance to see how many of the concepts that we’ve learned in the classroom are actually applied to a real manufacturing facility in practice. Additionally, it gave me the chance to stretch myself and try to apply some of those concepts myself in a context that I was completely unfamiliar with but with the support of the LGO staff and classmates.

LGO PARTNER COMPANIES: How does the partner company relationships with LGO deepen your experience?
Having as much interaction as we have with the partner companies really enhances the experience for me. I’ve gotten to know the management of many of the companies on a first name basis and at a much deeper level than just recruiting. I’ve learned about how alumni have helped to transform the companies and have seen how applicable the concepts that we learn in the classroom really are for these industry leaders.

LGO LIFE: What do you do outside of class?
I spend as much time enjoying my life outside of class as possible. I moved to Boston from California with my new wife (the day after our wedding!) so we spend most of our time exploring New England and taking advantage of our location in the heart of Boston. Whether taking a quick trip up to Maine to enjoy some hikes and lobster, heading off to New York to take in some of the city life, or wandering around our neighborhood to discover all of the awesome Boston stories we always have something fun planned. Speaking of my wife, she’s transitioned well to this new life; in fact she’s more popular with the LGOs and their SOs than I am.

Lilly Cao

LGO '17, interned at Nike in Portland, OR

Engineering department Engineering Systems

Undergraduate degree University of Wisconsin - Madison, Industrial Engineering

Company before LGO AkzoNobel

WHY LGO?
The program was particularly appealing because it focuses on operations it its curriculum and industry partnerships, but also incorporates business concepts and a diverse community typical of other top MBA programs. In the end, it was the direct interaction with my future classmates that prompted me to choose LGO.

CURRICULUM: How did you design your coursework?
The flexibility of the curriculum at MIT came as a welcomed surprise. While completing two degrees in two years means less flexibility than the general MBA program, I was able to choose electives based on my goals of deepening my knowledge of large-scale systems and of finance. Working with the program office, LGO will almost always find a way to fulfill your topics of interest. MIT’s system allows and encourages interdisciplinary learning, including being able to register for Harvard classes and dedicating a week for Independent Activity Period.

PARTNER COMPANIES: How does the partner company relationships with LGO deepen your experience?
The relationship between LGO and partner companies is a unique advantage of the program. Since the first summer, we were invited to events that facilitate networking with members of the operating committee, who are often in influential position in successful companies. The interaction with the partner companies not only allowed me to connect and even land an internship, but it also increased my knowledge on industries that I would have otherwise overlooked.

LGO LIFE: Is LGO too hard for a “normal” person? Do you have no time to do anything because of all the coursework?
While I am often blown away by the accomplishments of my classmates, I think of myself as a very lucky “normal” person who is surrounded by extraordinary people. Several times, I struggled with a classroom topic and had to revisit the concept on my own. I am not as well-versed in the latest advanced technology as some of my classmates. I enjoy taking time off projects and running down the Charles. I make time for brunch outings to explore the foodie corners of Boston. I get involved with student groups that spike my interest such as Sloan Women in Management. All are things that a very “normal” person would do.

Zachary Stauber

LGO '17 interned at Li & Fung in Hong Kong

Engineering department Mechanical Engineering

Undergraduate degree MIT, Materials Science and Engineering

Company before LGO McKinsey and Co.

CURRICULUM
The curriculum is incredibly flexible and you can really make it as engineering heavy or light (to a degree) as you want. I decided I wanted to focus on the engineering and design aspect of the program. I plan to take double the required engineering course load and specifically focus on project-based courses. I have turbocharged a scooter, built a remote control car, created a system to test bicycle suspension systems, just to name a few of the projects. The faculty and staff are incredibly supportive in your classes and there are a lot of resources (like machine shops and maker spaces) where you can work on projects for your classes or personal projects.

MIT INTEGRATION: How have you gotten involved with the broader community?
There are many “hackathons” that are a great way to meet people from all parts of MIT campus. There are health hackathons focused on a disease, hardware hackathons focused on uses for a new device, and every other kind of hackathon you could imagine. I recently participated in a hackathon called Make Cool ShMIT where we created a floor mat that would detect when you stand on it and light your room. Although we didn’t win, we got to keep the hardware.

MIT NETWORK: How have your broadened your contacts while at MIT?
I had the opportunity to present a “State of the Program” address at the MIT LGO Alumni Conference, an annual conference that gathers many LGO alumni to discuss operations. It was amazing to hear from and see what many LGO alumni have been able to accomplish. I connected to many of them and I hope to stay in touch with them over the years.

ACTION LEARNING
I spent a week in Paris and a semester working with Nissan Europe for GOAL teams, an LGO specific action learning class. It was my favorite class of the semester! I had the opportunity to work with 3 of my classmates on an interesting real-world problem and make a tangible impact on the company. And having an all-expense paid trip to Paris for a week was an awesome bonus. I plan on doing even more action learning classes next semester as well. There are so many opportunities to take advantage.

Mariam Al-Meer

LGO '17, interned at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA

Engineering department Mechanical Engineering

Undergraduate degree Texas A&M University at Qatar, Chemical Engineering

Company before LGO Shell

WHY LGO?
I always knew that I wanted to go to graduate school at some point. I also knew that I did not want to do it before getting some work experience. LGO was an opportunity to acquire business and leadership skills from a top business school, in addition to sharpening my engineering skills at the world’s best engineering school. Another aspect that really attracted me to the LGO program was its strong ties to industry partners and heavy focus on operations – which really sets it apart from all other programs. I spent weeks reading LGO blogs by current and former students, and the more I read, the more I longed to be part of the unique LGO community which fosters very strong relationships between its students.

CURRICULUM: How did you design your flexible Sloan MBA curriculum and your MIT Engineering coursework?
I kept four things in mind when designing my schedule: stay on track with engineering requirements; prepare for likely internship projects; talk to second-year LGOs and Sloanies; and try something totally new and interesting! I ended up with a semester that was quite packed, but with a very interesting mix of classes that ranged from Statistical Process Control (for engineering requirements and internship prep) to Managing in Adversity (based on second-years’ advice) and Marketing Management (to try something new). I thoroughly enjoyed all my classes and learned a lot!

FACULTY
I had the privilege of taking a class this spring on Product Design & Development, taught primarily by Professor Steven Eppinger. Prof. Eppinger is one of the most highly recognized scholars in the field of product development and project management, and that was very clear in his teaching style. As an author of the Product Design and Development book itself that is used in many universities around the world, I was thrilled to be in his class. His class was a mix of engineering, business and design students and was centered on a design project that involved the development of a prototype. He was always involved with the progress of our projects and provided us with continuous guidance and feedback. It is no surprise that he was referred to as a “legend and guru of green design” in an NCIS episode! He is definitely one of my favorite MIT faculty members.

MIT INTEGRATION: Do you have a bit of advice on how to get involved with all that MIT has to offer?
LGO is a very unique program that gives you access to the LGO network, the Sloan School of Management and the MIT School of Engineering. As a result, there is a lot to experience from what MIT has to offer. Talk to your friends and classmates (LGOs, Sloanies, first-years, second-years). Ask them about their experiences. Go to club fests and ask the different clubs what they have planned for the year, and join the ones you find most interesting. My advice would be to join the clubs or activities that align with your passions, but make sure to balance them with your course workload.

ACTION LEARNING: What kinds of projects or applied work have you participated in so far?
I took Operations Laboratory (or Ops-Lab) this spring, which is a class that provides Sloan students with hand-on experience in operations improvement projects for organizations in the greater Boston area. I worked with another LGO student and a Mechanical Engineering PhD candidate on a project related to the planning and procurement process at Gorton’s Seafood. Coming from a non-consulting background, it was a valuable experience that provided me with a new challenge in a different industry. Our team mapped the current state of their system, identified problems and areas of improvement, and generated a roadmap to an ideal future state. The greatest challenge was narrowing down the project’s large scope into a feasible one and generating enhanced metrics for the organization to follow. It was a great experience that provided our team with an insight into a problem that is faced by many organizations.

PARTNER COMPANIES: How does the partner company relationships with LGO deepen your experience?
It is one thing to learn about challenges faced by organizations in a classroom. It is something else to actually visit a manufacturing site and hear about them first-hand from factory line workers and managers. One of my favorite LGO experiences so far was the Domestic Plant Trek (DPT) that took place in January. Together with my LGO classmates, we spent about two weeks visiting partner companies all over the US and touring their manufacturing facilities. We witnessed the pressure faced by companies to have timely delivery of products. From Caterpillar to Amazon to Amgen (to name a few), managers repeated the importance of putting people first and maintaining good quality. We also learned how the different companies measured success through their key metrics and how they tracked their lessons learned. Finally, it was an opportunity to meet LGO alumni in many different roles and organizations and hear from their own personal experiences. DPT has definitely enriched my graduate school experience and is only one example of how the partner company relationships set the LGO program apart.

LGO LIFE
Moving to the US for the LGO program was my first time living away from Qatar. Of course, I was thrilled to have been admitted into my dream school. At the same time, I had some fears related to the transition and the amount of coursework. One of the great things that LGO does when you are admitted to the program is connect you with a current student from a similar background. I thank the second-years for all their reassurances in the few weeks before my big move to Cambridge. Since Day 1 at LGO, you develop strong friendships with the 40 or so other LGOs in your class. Outside of class, we celebrated July 4th together by the Charles River. We also had many events, dinners and gatherings at people’s houses. One of my best memories was the internship draft we had in February when the whole class came together to celebrate everyone’s internship matches. It was a perfect example of how tightly-knit our class has become after spending almost a year together.

Sonny Patel

LGO '17, interned at ABB Robotics in Sweden

Engineering department Mechanical Engineering

Undergraduate degree University of Connecticut, Management and Engineering for Manufacturing

Company before LGO UTC - Aerospace Systems

WHY LGO?
With MIT LGO, obtaining two degrees and at close to half the cost of an MBA was something hard to turn down. Also, I plan to stay in operations, and it really takes knowledge from both engineering and business to be successful.

CURRICULUM: How do you make it your own?
I am planning to move from aerospace to medical devices, so within my engineering coursework, I took a medical device design class. In Sloan, I took classes that would help me with manufacturing, such as Managerial Accounting and Control. Outside of that, I take classes with recommended professors or topics.

FACULTY: Do you have a favorite MIT faculty member?
Scott Keating – very personable and good teaching style. He doesn’t use slides or post lectures. It is all on chalkboard, so it really forces students to stay engaged during class (which are 15-20 students). He also takes class time to learn about student’s experiences and ties them into the lesson/topics for the day so we can all relate better.

LGO PARTNER COMPANY NETWORK:
I think this takes a lot of pressure off recruiting for internships. My MBA colleagues are running around trying to land an internship for months, and relative to them, we have a pretty good set up by automatically getting an interview and getting an internship placement afterward.

LGO LIFE: What do you do outside of class? Is LGO too hard for a “normal” person?
I am not sure what ‘normal’ means here. I think this is like anything – we get out of it what we want out of it. If we really want to walk away with a newfound academic understanding of operations, we can do that. If we choose to come away with a strong LGO network, or a strong MBA network through planned activities and hobbies, we can do that. If we choose to spend time with family and SOs, we can do that.

What we can’t do, is an amazing job, devoting 100%, to all of the above. Something has to give. Just in like in our careers, we have to pick what is most important and take actions to ensure those interests are protected.

Jordan Charles

LGO '17, interned at Nike in Portland, Oregon

Engineering department Mechanical Engineering

Undergraduate degree Duke University, Mechanical Engineering

Company before LGO Boeing

MIT INTEGRATION: Do you have a bit of advice on how to get involved with all that MIT has to offer?
Don’t be afraid to reach out and take part in events all across campus. I am on the Sloan Senate OneMIT committee and we are responsible for planning events that integrate Sloan students with the rest of the MIT community. We have hosted mixers with various campus groups (postdocs, grad student council, and undergraduates) and planned Lab Crawls to visit the nuclear reactor, plasma science, fusion center, cheetah robotics lab, media lab, and many others. Take advantage of these opportunities to network with and meet some of the smartest and most accomplished technologists on earth.

Additionally, take advantage of MIT community speakers. I have met Jim Lovell (Apollo 13 commander), Alan Mulally (Sloan Fellow and former CEO of Ford), and several others at these events. These speakers are often quite polished, very entertaining and have valuable advice for students.

MIT NETWORK
The LGO network is among the tightest and most connected I have ever been a part of. You will you become extremely close with your fellow classmates during the first summer, as you will be the only students on MIT’s campus. Additionally, there are no recruiting responsibilities, no outside clubs to occupy your time, and very few out-of-class responsibilities over the first summer. As such, LGOs are always planning fun things. Whether it’s trips to the beach, 4th of July fireworks on the Charles River, volleyball games in front of the dome, or book clubs/poker nights, the LGO summer is truly unforgettable, and the bonds that are formed over the first three months of the program will last a lifetime.

Additionally, the alumni network is an extremely valuable resource. I have never met an LGO alum who was not willing to drop whatever they were doing to speak with me. I’ve had the opportunity to seek advice from many large company LGO VPs, small company CEOs, early career managers, and so many others in between. They all speak of the program with a certain sense of pride and belonging. I feel very confident moving forward that this network will have my back when I begin to search for jobs.

ACTION LEARNING
I had the opportunity to travel to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for a joint LGO/CLGO (China LGO) action-learning lab called Lion Teams. My team consisted of three first year LGOs and three first year CLGOs from SJTU in Shanghai. We worked with a Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo factory in Kuala Lumpur and were tasked with examining all aspects of their operations in order to formulate recommendations to cut costs. Not only was this a fantastic opportunity to see a completely different business (in a completely different part of the world), but it also was a great opportunity to exercise many of our learnings from LGO classes. It was great to meet and work with three students from a very different culture (the CLGOs). Our team got quite close over our 9 days in Malaysia, going out to eat together every night and even touring the city together our last two days of the trip. There is no substitute for practical work experience when learning valuable skills, and action learning labs enable this type of immersive experiential learning.

Michael Sandford

LGO '17, interned at Johnson & Johnson in Bridgewater, NJ

Engineering department Mechanical Engineering

Undergraduate degree Lehigh University, Mechanical Engineering

Company before LGO GE–Hitachi Nuclear Energy

CURRICULUM: How did you design your flexible Sloan MBA curriculum and your MIT Engineering coursework?
I’ve tried to tailor my curriculum to energy, the environment, and sustainability. MIT is a great place for this: on the Sloan side, I took the Sustainability Lab (S-Lab), where teams of MBAs work with large companies to improve their sustainability programs. On the engineering side, I took Energy, Materials, and the Environment, which gave us an in-depth look at the energy involved in making products and other industrial processes. These courses overlapped significantly, and my engineering work gave my group a great perspective in S-Lab. Not a lot of MBAs get this type of exposure, especially from the best engineering school in the country.

MIT INTEGRATION: Do you have a bit of advice on how to get involved with all that MIT has to offer?
I’ve found one of the best ways to stay in touch at MIT is to go exploring. If you take a different way back from class and look around, you’re able to see different labs, projects, and students. Bulletin boards all over campus post events that, as a Sloanie, you might never otherwise hear about. Through my explorations, I found out about the MIT Energy Hackathon, which was two days of intense teamwork to solve a variety of energy-related problems. It was a great experience, and it was definitely the most “MIT” activity I’ve done so far.

ACTION LEARNING: What kinds of projects or applied work have you participated in so far?
Action Learning is AWESOME!  This semester I was on a project working with Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) in San Ramon, CA. We were brought in to investigate a highly strategic move that PG&E was considering as part of its long-term strategic plan. The project gave us great exposure to company executives and let us make a real impact on the organization. Coming into LGO, I never thought that I would have such a great opportunity to drive change so quickly.

LGO LIFE: What do you do outside of class? Is your significant other (SO) and family able to live in Boston with you?
Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise – LGO is a lot of work. But the work is rewarding, and it gives you an awesome perspective that other MBAs just don’t get. My SO was able to find a good job in Boston quickly, and the LGO community is a built-in friend network; she’s now in a book club with a dozen other LGOs and SOs.  Not to mention, the SOs like to take weekend getaways to Portland, Maine, or Cape Cod when the LGOs are out of town!

Sandy Yuan

LGO '17, interned at National Grid in Waltham, MA

Engineering department Mechanical Engineering

Undergraduate degree Stanford University, Mechanical Engineering

Company before LGO Bain & Company

MIT INTEGRATION: Do you have a bit of advice on how to get involved with all that MIT has to offer?
Being in engineering classes has actually helped me to get to know students across campus in other departments! My advice is to read the general emails we receive on events and groups around campus, and just go to things that sound interesting. Be open to new people and new things – there is so much happening on campus, and you’ll find that MIT students and faculty are incredibly easy to talk to and connect with.

ACTION LEARNING: Have you done any Action Learning yet? What kinds of projects or applied work have you participated in so far?
Yes! I took Operations Lab with Don Rosenfield, who used to head the LGO program.  It was a great chance to get to know Don and to apply operations principles in real life. My project company was Gorton’s Seafood, who make products like frozen fishsticks and McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish. We were working with them on a manufacturing process improvement initiative. We designed an experiment to isolate important drivers of manufacturing yield and then analyzed our results to determine recommendations for our client.

Three other LGO ‘17s and I also headed the LGO GOAL teams initiative this year, where we sourced a record number of new action learning opportunities for LGOs.  These engagements are non-local operations projects with companies around the US and the world. We had over 35 students participate in projects through this student-driven initiative.

LGO LIFE: What do you do outside of class?
There is always so much to do! Whether it’s trying out new workout routines like Insanity with other LGO students or taking weekend trips with my friends outside of MIT, I have certainly managed to make enough time to do fun and interesting things. While it’s important to be focused and present during classes and academic work, I will probably not be the last person you find saying that classes are not the most important part of this experience. The most memorable times I have had have been spent with my new friends and classmates at LGO and Sloan.

Scott McArthur

LGO '17, interned at Sanofi in Frankfurt, Germany

Engineering department Mechanical Engineering

Undergraduate degree Tufts University, Chemical and Biological Engineering

Company before LGO AB-InBev

WHY LGO?
I realized quickly in my job post-college that people value technical depth. I wanted to acquire that depth but also gain the MBA skills necessary for leading departments or organizations in the future.

MIT INTEGRATION: Do you have a bit of advice on how to get involved with all that MIT has to offer?
My advice is to take it easy and take it slow. It is very easy to overcommit, but you will find the most value in working on those things that are most important to you. For me last fall it was the Water Innovation Prize.

ACTION LEARNING
I am enrolled in Global Entrepreneurship Lab this fall. With three of my Sloan classmates we will spend the semester working on a project in an emerging market. We will then travel in January 2017 to work on implementation. While the semester work will be valuable, I expect to learn the most in those weeks of on the ground action learning.

LGO LIFE: What do you do outside of class?
LGO is demanding but in a really rewarding way. I find that the time LGO demands makes me even more effective and productive with my personal endeavors. The summer I started LGO I also started marathon training. I was able to run 70-80 miles a week through the summer and most of the fall enabling me to run my first marathon and qualify for the Boston Marathon! I also felt that time spent on coursework was more than just ‘work’. I’ve built some of the best relationships during coursework sessions, especially with my LGO summer team.

Erin Golden

LGO '17, interned at Boeing in Seattle, WA

Engineering department Mechanical Engineering

Undergraduate degree Pennsylvania State University, Chemical Engineering

Company before LGO ExxonMobil

WHY LGO?
I chose the LGO program because I knew I wanted to pursue an MBA, but didn’t like the idea of abandoning my engineering roots. Plus, I loved the idea of going through an MBA program with fellow engineers who had the same problem-solving mindset. After visiting the program during Preview Day and meeting current LGO students, I knew that this program was the perfect fit for me.

MIT NETWORK: Have you been able to get involved with the MIT network and the LGO network?
The MIT and LGO networks have both been incredibly helpful in my current internship with Boeing in Seattle, WA. I moved out here without knowing anyone, and immediately connected with an LGO alum who set up a welcome dinner for me. I’ve used the MIT alumni database to meet with other alums in the area who are working in a wide variety of industries – I’ll often connect with them over coffee to hear about what they are doing post-MIT. These networks have helped to make Seattle feel like my new home, and I know I will always have friends here if I ever move back again.

LGO LIFE: What do you do outside of class?
LGO life is definitely not all about classwork. Being a part of extracurricular programs is a huge part of what makes the experience so incredible. Last year I became very involved in the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference (SSAC), and this year I will be co-leading the conference! SSAC is the largest student-run conference in the world, and it brings together three things that I love: sports, data, and fellow Sloanies. Getting involved in the conference last year was a great way to meet new people and work on something fun outside of class. I hope to see many new LGO ’18 faces in this year’s organizing committee and look forward to getting to know them better!

Kevin Peng

LGO '17, interned at Amgen in Cambridge, MA

Engineering department Chemical Engineering

Undergraduate degree Cornell University, Chemical Engineering

Company before LGO Taiwan Leading Biotech & ExxonMobil

WHY LGO?
My passion is to become a strong leader that can guide a technology and engineering company to succeed consistently and sustainably.

I originally thought that a PhD in Chemical Engineering would be the most credible certification and curriculum to achieve these goals, but after being introduced to LGO, I realized quickly that LGO was actually the perfect program for me. Rather than becoming technical experts in a very specific field, as PhD graduates would, LGO graduates learn both the technical and managerial tools and have access to job opportunities that help them excel as leaders after re-entering the workforce.

I also decided against a normal MBA and a pure Masters of Engineering for similar reasons – there is no other program in the world, besides LGO, that provided a curriculum that interfaced between both management and technical training.

Additionally, the MIT brand name and exceptional network provide the certification and credibility that I wanted.

PARTNER COMPANIES: How does the partner company relationships with LGO deepen your experience?
Very honestly, the partner companies were only a minor deciding factor for me, at first. Although we learned much about various business models and industries from the partner companies, it was not until I started my internship at Amgen that I saw the immense value of the partner company network.

Since my internship started, I visited the Amgen headquarters and realized that LGO alumni have become extremely important leaders within the company.  Moreover, the alumni have established a formal rotational program that help you accelerate your career development through very challenging and visible roles.  These types of programs, only available to LGO alumni, made it clear that LGO influence is pervasive and that LGO’s have a major advantage over other graduates entering these companies at the same time.

LGO LIFE: What do you do outside of class? If you have a family/SO, how have they transitioned into Cambridge and integrated in the MIT community?

My four favorite hobbies are to play basketball, catch fish, make charcuterie and dry aged steaks, and cook. I have done all of these on numerous occasions, including barbecuing for all of my classmates several times. I put academic achievement as a very high priority, and at LGO I have met my academic goals, while doing all of these things. I am a strong believer that if I have time to pursue my hobbies in addition to my work, anyone can do the same!

My wife has just moved to the Cambridge area, and the MIT student and SO community have welcomed her with open arms. She has made many new friends and has enjoyed every moment here so far. There is no shortage of invites for her to socialize with friends and meet new people. She has also been able to continue her work and even been exposed to new ideas about her career after discussions with other SO’s and students.