Meet Our Students

LGO students come from a variety of undergraduate institutions, industry experiences, and career goals. Together, they forge lifelong friendships during the program.


Daniel Ayane

LGO ’23

  • Department: Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
  • Undergrad: Harvard, Electrical Engineering
  • Hometown: London, England
  • Interning at Boston Scientific

What were you doing before LGO

I worked as a Software Engineer at Capital One in their Fraud Space. I built data pipelines that would process credit card transaction data and feed that information to the firm’s machine learning models that would infer whether those transactions were fraudulent. 

Why was LGO the best fit for you?

LGO is a program sits at the intersection of business and technology. This manifests itself in the classes, the post LGO career opportunities, and the overall culture of LGO. Given my passions, I know I thrive when I am surrounded by people who have similar academic interests, career goals and hobbies so I knew I would be at home in the LGO community.

What is a favourite memory of your time at MIT LGO so far?

Without a doubt DPT has been my favourite memory so far in LGO. The trek is where all the best parts of LGO shine. I explored parts of America that I have never been to before which is great as student born in the UK.  The trek is a few weeks long and so you get the opportunity to see how the partner companies operate during the weekdays and bond with your classmates on the weekends. My favourite part was “monster truck” show that Caterpillar put on just for our class.

What do you do outside of work/class?

My biggest hobby is running. It started off as a COVID hobby, but LGO has cemented it into a habit. In my first few weeks I organized the “Jogging LGOs” running group (which has now been renamed to “LGOs take a lap”) which has been a great way to interact with the community outside of academia. Since then, we have done everything from jogs around the Charles River to 5ks to Half Marathons, so the group has been a great source of community for me.

What is your favourite meal to cook and why?

I am not much of a cook. Some may say that I cannot cook at all. But my favourite meal that I have made with someone else (my mum) is Ethiopian food. Ethiopian food consists of a large spongy bread called Injera with a bunch of sauces placed on top. Making it is a lot of work, but it is worth it because it makes for great communal dinners. Traditionally you eat around one table called a Mesob and so I have very fond memories of eating it while growing up. But more recently, I have eaten with Sloanies in Cambridge and on a Spring Break trip to Los Angeles, so it is an important source of memories for me.



Mariam Ibrahim

LGO ’23

  • Department: Mechanical Engineering
  • Undergrad: Princeton University, Mechanical Engineering
  • Hometown: South Hadley, MA
  • Interning at Stryker

What were you doing before LGO?

I worked in analytics and data science at IBM: my work ranged from growing sales revenue, to re-shaping product strategy based on data across the organization, to optimizing marketing investment.

Why was LGO the best fit for you?

LGO was the best fit for me because of its unique capacity to educate at the intersection of business and engineering. I knew I was passionate about pursuing business-oriented roles in hardware spaces; no other program could fuel such growth in that space.

What is a favorite memory of your time at MIT LGO so far?

I have to list a few; each is so special in its own way. DPT bus rides playing cards and singing along to classmates’ playlists. Every class with Sean Willems. Watching classmates share personal, beautiful stories at the Yarn.

What gets you up in the morning?

A pilates class I attend regularly with a few other LGOs; no one better to hold you accountable!

What is your favorite meal to cook and why?

I spent quite a bit of 2020 perfecting a spicy rigatoni that I’ve never made less than a pound of at once; the best part is that there’s always plenty of LGOs around to help me finish that much pasta.



John Barstow

LGO ’23

  • Department: Aeronautics/Astronautics
  • Undergrad: U.S. Naval Academy, Mathematics
  • Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
  • Interning at Boeing

What were you doing before LGO?

Before LGO I was a Naval Aviator, flying F/A-18’s in the U.S. Navy. I lived all over the country, deployed all over the world, and had roles in pilot training, safety, and operations.

Why was LGO the best fit for you?

Some of the best advice I got when applying was to talk to as many current and former students as possible and see who I got along with.  Much more so than other programs I looked into, LGO has a small, tight-knit community where I felt I could succeed and thrive while tackling a challenging dual degree program.

What is a favorite memory of your time at MIT LGO so far?

​My daughter was born in the middle of finals last December!  Everyone at LGO, from my core team and classmates to the faculty and staff, was incredibly supportive and helpful.  The relationships we built over the first six months of the program meant I had a great network of support to lean on.

What do you do outside of work/class?

My wife and I love doing just about anything outside, whether it’s hiking, biking, sailing, or just walking around the city.  The LGO intramural soccer team was a highlight of the first year for me, even though our record was… not great.

What’s your favorite sandwich and why?

Do tacos count as a sandwich?  If not, I’ve got to go with a cheesesteak from Pat’s in South Philly, near where I grew up.  There are many imitations, but only one original.  In high school I could eat two in one sitting, but I think maybe two in a year is enough now!



Caeley Harihara

LGO ’24

  • Department: Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
  • Undergrad: Princeton University, Electrical Engineering
  • Hometown: Chicago, IL

What were you doing before LGO?

I was an Associate Strategy Officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. I supported the Software and Devices Portfolio for the Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health Discovery & Tools team. In my role, I identified new investment opportunities, managed relationships with grantees, and helped set the long-term strategy for the portfolio.

Why was LGO the best fit for you?

I spent all of college and my early career trying to decide if I wanted to pursue business or engineering, until I finally realized I don’t want to choose just one! LGO is helping me develop a deeper understanding of both fields, so I can gain a more well-rounded perspective on electrical engineering applications in the business world. Also, it has been exciting and inspirational to learn about these spaces alongside amazing classmates who share my interest in engineering and business.

What is a favorite memory of your time at MIT LGO so far?

I have a long list of favorite memories, but one LGO event that I’ve absolutely loved was our Active Allyship Potluck! It was a student-organized dinner, where everyone in the cohort made a dish from their culture or a recipe that was meaningful to them. It was so wonderful to see the effort that went into each contribution and to learn more about my classmates’ favorite foods and traditions. 

What do you do outside of work/class?

I love to bake! I have an insatiable sweet tooth and hungry LGO friends, so I usually end up baking every weekend. But, when I’m feeling sluggish after eating one too many brownies, I do also love to play tennis.

What’s your favorite sandwich and why?

Would it be too controversial to say a Chicago-style hot dog? Because that’s my answer, but I don’t really want to debate the definition of a sandwich. But to anyone who’s questioning me on this: don’t knock it until you try it! You need a whopping 9 ingredients to make a single hot dog, but I promise it’s well worth it.



Ismael Guereca Valdivia

LGO ’24

  • Department: Chemical Engineering
  • Undergrad: Instituto Tecnologico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Biotechnology Engineering
  • Hometown: Guadalajara, Mexico

What were you doing before LGO?

I worked as a Shift-Team Leader in the Brewing Department of a Grupo Modelo (AB-InBev) Brewery. I was responsible for the manufacturing process of beer and directed continuous improvement processes on the production floor. 

Why did you choose LGO?

I was interested in further learning about technical subjects. Nevertheless, I recognize that being fluent in business is crucial for the realization of any technical project. I am sure that LGO is unique in providing education at the intersection of business and technology. Another important factor in my decision was learning that the LGO community is authentically close and supportive. 

What are you most looking forward to experiencing at MIT?

As part of the LGO Program, we are students of both the MIT School of Engineering and the MIT Sloan School of Management. I am looking forward to starting classes and building community around the wider MIT; there are a lot of interesting subjects and people to meet in the following years.

What do you do outside of work/class?

My favorite hobby is running. I started during high school but stopped doing it as often after I graduated college. Cambridge has been an excellent incentive; running alongside the Charles River is really enjoyable. Aside from that, I have tried new activities since the program started: sailboats and hiking.

What is your favorite meal to cook and why?

I am by no means a great cook. But something I always enjoy cooking is grilled meat. The whole process of starting the fire and chatting with friends while cooking food on the grill is something I always look forward to.



Sajiree Vivek Vaidya

LGO ’24

  • Department: Civil & Environmental Engineering
  • Undergrad: University of Pune, Mechanical Engineering
  • Hometown: Pune, India

What were you doing before LGO?

I worked in the product development domain of the automotive industry for 4 years before joining the LGO program. In my previous roles, I got the experience of driving product development lifecycle from design conception all the way through market launch phase.

Why was LGO the best fit for you?

During my first master’s degree, my focus was primarily on learning product design and development techniques. Working in the industry as a part of the product development group, I soon realized the need to drive efficiencies for incremental profitability. To grow further, along with technical expertise, I was seeking an understanding of how solutions fit in with business objectives. LGO curriculum is designed to provide this unique blend. It was a perfect fit for my requirements.

What is a favorite memory of your time at MIT LGO so far?

My favorite memories from the summer term have been from our last day of classes. For three of our classes, we decided to do something fun on the last day of class as a token of appreciation for the professor. With a different theme for every professor, the entire class participated in executing the plan. It’s now a core memory for all of us.

What do you do outside of work/class?

I love hiking. I hadn’t explored the northeast region of the USA much. After moving to Cambridge, I am in love with the outdoor options that the New England area has to offer. Acadia national park has become my favorite go to place.

What is your favorite meal to cook and why?

My favorite meal to cook is ‘Daal-Chaawal’ i.e., rice and lentils (Indian style). It’s my comfort food. It’s a quick recipe and reminds me of home.



Matt Habel

LGO ’24

  • Department: Operations Research Center
  • Undergrad: Rutgers University, Biomathematics
  • Hometown: Howell, NJ

What were you doing before LGO?

Before LGO I worked as an analytics consultant for pharmaceutical clients. While I dabbled across several functional areas (market research, marketing, strategy, etc.), the common denominator across all of these was using advanced analytics to answer business problems. This took forms like making predictive models to understand the next most likely customer action, marketing mix models to allocate resource spend, or clustering approaches to characterize customer types, to name a few. The other side of this was then working alongside clients to ensure these models were understood and effectively implemented into their operations.

Why did you choose LGO?

During my time in the consulting world I saw how the solutions my team worked on would often not be implemented to their full extent. For example, I often worked on predictive models that would guide company strategy, but these models were rarely ever used to their full capacity. I realized that what often got in the way of technical products ‘taking flight’ came down to the non-technical. How to position and disseminate the new approach internally, how to help stakeholders get more comfortable with new approaches, how to get buy-in from people whose day to day work would be impacted by the product (e.g. sales), etc. In LGO, I could not only sharpen my analytical skills used in the aforementioned modelling approaches, but also learn how best to navigate the non-technical challenges that often underlie their success. It was this combination of lenses that sold me.

What is a favorite memory of your time at MIT LGO so far?

Our cohort has a knack for pranking our professors. To date, we’ve ‘doppelgänged’ two of them (they wore the same outfit every day – it was low hanging fruit), and broke out in song and dance, flash mob style, for another. While many more will come, these memories will stick with me for a long time.

What do you do outside of work/class?

I try to balance my time as best as possible between staying in close contact with family and close friends, working on side projects, cooking, and exercising. For the latter, I’m a huge mixed martial arts fan and have followed the sport nearly since it began. In fact, I used to make machine learning models to predict the outcomes of fights. And if I’m not nerding out over it, I’m usually training myself.

What would the title of your autobiography be?

“Tomatoes”


Past Classes

Lauren Sakerka

LGO '22, Interned at Boston Scientific

Engineering department Civil and Environmental Engineering

Undergraduate degree Chemical Engineering, University of Pittsburgh

Company before LGO ExxonMobil Chemical Co.

Why LGO?

Before LGO I worked in traditional chemical engineering roles and realized that I had a passion for operations but was not passionate about chemical engineering. Upon personal reflection, I decided I wanted to pivot into operations within healthcare. When considering graduate school, I was concerned getting an MBA would take me too far from the technical work I loved, but I knew I needed to gain knowledge of the business fundamentals in order to make a career pivot. The LGO program is the perfect fit for my interests because it enables me to gain the business fundamentals and healthcare experience at Sloan while also broadening my technical skills through the LGO core and supply chain analytics classes in the CEE department. Additionally, many of the LGO partner companies are in the healthcare industry, and I am looking forward to working at Boston Scientific this summer!

MIT Integration

I am very passionate about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and about learning more about the healthcare industry while at LGO. I joined Sloan Senate as a member of the DEI committee and will be a co-chair of the committee next year, where we are helping to implement DEI Task Force recommendations at Sloan. I am also a co-chair of the LGO Alumni committee and helped organize our annual Alumni Conference and plan a panel on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging comprised of alumni and management from partner companies. These activities are helping me develop my own leadership skills and determine what approaches work best to develop and drive DEI initiatives and make lasting changes in organizations. On the healthcare side, I am a member of the Sloan Healthcare Club and helped plan the Healthcare and Bioinnovations Conference. In this club I am able to learn more about the industry and network with Sloan 2 year MBAs, EMBAs, and alumni.

LGO Life

While I came to LGO for the education, by far my favorite part of the program so far has been the LGO community. We are a cohort within a cohort, having ~50 students within the larger Sloan 2 year MBA class. Because we start a semester early, everyone is able to really get to know one another and build up support networks before everyone else starts school in the Fall. A great example of this was when we used Slack to make a ‘Struggle-bus’ channel for those of us having challenges with the summer core material. Here we could virtually provide tutoring to each other during COVID-19, replicating the environment that naturally occurs in the LGO student lounge. We also made a virtual, weekly cooking night to replicate small group dinners. The community is so supportive, encouraging, and helpful!

Curriculum and Action Learning

MIT and LGO have provided countless opportunities for me to learn more about the healthcare industry. This semester I am taking 15.363 Strategic Decision Making in the Life Sciences which is helping me understand how to frame scientific investments from the management perspective and learn more about the drug development process. I am also in Operations Lab and am working with Boston Medical Center on a project to Optimize and Analyze Virtual Appointments in order to determine the amount of telemedicine appointments they should offer post COVID for equitable care. I have gotten to interview a lot hospital staff for this project, learn more about what operations at a safety net hospital is like, and apply the framework I learned in 15.761 Intro to Operations. I also plan to take 2.782 Design of Medical Devices and Implants as my product design class to learn about healthcare from an engineering perspective.

Hunjoo Kim

LGO '22, Interned at MR

Engineering department Mechanical Engineering

Undergraduate degree Physics and Mechanical Engineering, University of California-Berkeley

Company before LGO NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Why LGO?

I was at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory before LGO. I had worked as a spacecraft mechanical engineer for 5 years, and was looking to further my education in both engineering and management in order to be a better project manager and leader. LGO was the only program I applied for, as it uniquely combined these two aspects of development.

Partner Companies

I will be starting my internship this summer with one of the LGO partner companies, Maschinefabrik Reinhausen, located in Regensburg, Germany, where I will be working on implementation of Industrial IoT. This is such an exciting opportunity for me, as it gives me a chance to explore a field completely outside my background, while getting a professional and cultural experience in a foreign country. This type of arrangement is only possible thanks to LGO having such a diverse and strong connections with the partner companies.

LGO Life

I entered the LGO program during the worst of the COVID pandemic. The experience was obviously very different from what I was expecting: we missed many annual events, and did not get to explore the Boston area much. Yet even through this, the LGO community still formed a strong bond that will last us a lifetime. From online happy hours and game nights, sharing memes, to small group gatherings, we did what we could to bond and have fun. It also helped that I live with 2 other LGOs in the Alamo, one of the official LGO houses.

Curriculum

One of the highlights of LGO program is that you get to choose from such a wide variety of classes, both from the School of Engineering side and Sloan side. The LGO Summer curriculum was a fantastic experience for me, switching from deeply personal leadership talks with Professor Leigh Hafrey, to talking about the awesome topic of supply chain with Professor Sean Willems, and then getting a chance to brush up the technical skills in linear optimization with Professor Daniel Freund. Classes are definitely demanding, but the professors make the experience incredibly enjoyable, and you have your classmates, some of the brightest and most hardworking people I’ve met, to work alongside with you.

Action Learning

In the Fall semester, I participated in the Global Entrepreneurship Lab (G-Lab). Our team worked with Angel Ventures, a VC located in Mexico City, and looked at exit strategies for various portfolio companies. The experience was enlightening as it was my first exposure to VC, as well as looking at startup scene in LatAm. In normal times, the class would have involved travel to the company, but due to COVID pandemic we were not able to make the trip. However, the relationship we formed with folks at Angel Ventures was invaluable, and they were kind enough to send us some delicious Mexican candies. Fantastic experience overall!

Kunal Sanghani

LGO '22, Interned at AIP

Engineering department Civil and Environmental Engineering

Undergraduate degree Industrial and Operations Engineering, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

Company before LGO Amazon

Why LGO?

Before LGO, I was working at Amazon, an LGO partner. I knew I wanted to do something different and learn how to build my own company. Being an international student, I always dreamt of studying at the best institutions in the world and MIT was the perfect place! LGO provided a great balance of staying close to my engineering roots and exploring the business world with the MBA degree and therefore, it was a no-brainer for me to choose MIT LGO and get the opportunity to explore operations, analytics, engineering and entrepreneurship.

MIT Integration

My experience with the MIT community has been wonderful and I didn’t realize how much I missed school until I got here. Having the opportunity to meet 400+ people and make new friends was the best part about the MIT experience. I’ve been involved with the larger MIT community through clubs including the Soccer, Tennis and the South Asia Business Club (SABC). As the co-president of SABC, I have been able to build community and educate my colleagues about business in South Asia.

Curriculum

Having the opportunity to take classes in both the Engineering and MBA departments has been a revelation. One of my favorite classes was a data science and machine learning class I took over the summer term with Professor Amr Farahat who did a wonderful job in explaining the various methods of ML and gave practical examples of its uses in the real world. I also enjoyed 15.390 New Enterprises which took me through 24 key steps in launching your own business.

Action Learning

In the Fall, I took Global Entrepreneurship Lab (G-Lab), an action learning class, and my work has the potential to impact millions of low-middle class families in Kenya. I worked with a startup called Copia and I was thrilled to apply what I had learned in LGO to bring innovative disruption in the African supply chain.

Jen Amlani

LGO '22, Interned at Amazon

Engineering department Mechanical Engineering

Undergraduate degree Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

Company before LGO Bristol-Myers Squibb

Why LGO?

I chose LGO for two primary reasons. First, I wanted to be part of a smaller cohort within an MBA program with a meaningful alumni network, in order to maximize my support system both during school and after graduation. Second, I was interested in an MBA program that would help me build capability in data-driven approaches to business decisions, and covered topics like machine learning and data analytics. LGO has been the perfect fit for both of these priorities!

Faculty

I absolutely adored our summer term professors – for example, Intro to Ops Professor Sean Willems is both an operations & supply chain legend and incredibly thoughtful person in general, with plenty of life stories to drive both points home, and Statistics Professor Amr Farahat did an amazing job linking statistics and machine learning concepts back to ‘real life’. Because the LGO summer school cohort is small and intimate, it is very comfortable to ask questions and build relationships with the faculty in a way that I didn’t feel was possible in undergrad.

Action Learning

I am in the Spring ’21 Ops Lab class, working with MGH as a host company. My team is looking to help improve the intraday efficiency of the MGH Da Vinci Robotic Surgery program – so far we have had the opportunity to interview many members of their staff (nurses, doctors, administrators, and more) and even watch a robotic surgery! This class has been a great way to get a hands-on introduction to healthcare delivery as a way to explore fit for future career opportunities.

MIT Network

The LGO network is incredible. Due to covid, this past winter our class had an extended IAP period and DPT was cancelled, leaving us with about 2 months off of school. To make the most of this unexpected extended down time, I reached out to several MIT start-ups, and was able to complete a mini-internship with LGO-founded med-tech start-up Podimetrics doing a data analytics project. I learned so much about start-ups in general, med-tech as an industry, and good leadership practices from the LGO leaders that made the experience possible.

Sravani Yajamanam Kidambi

LGO '22, Interned at Boston Scientific

Engineering department Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Undergraduate degree Computer Science, San Jose State University

Company before LGO Ford Motor Company

Why LGO?

Before joining the LGO family, I worked in the automated driving sector for three years. I loved the tight knit vibe on our team, as well as the autonomy my supervisors gave in diving into technical and leadership projects. I was passionate about exploring AI/data science and knew that I didn’t want to be a software engineer in the long run. I wanted to explore other industries and LGO was a fantastic program to test the waters. I also value building close relationships, so given that the LGO program had a small cohort, I knew it was the perfect fit for me 🙂

LGO Life

Due to family circumstances, I needed to stay in CA and take classes remotely for the first 8 months. Summer was like a rollercoaster ride for me. They really tested our abilities to be game ready! I found it challenging to manage my time between academics, extracurriculars and social life (all on Zoom). Although I frequently got Zoom fatigue, I gradually learned to pace myself and had incredible support from LGOs. One day, I was stuck on a PSET and reached out on WhatsApp. My teammates immediately hopped onto Zoom (even though it was 12 am EST!) to get help me through it. Now that I’m here in Cambridge, the support remains equally as strong! On top of everything, it helps to be involved with some LGO committees to see more faces. This year, I’m co-leading the LGO Playbook Podcast (we launched a few episodes so check them out!) and the LGO Seminar Committee.

Curriculum

Outside of LGO summer core and MBA core, I have a few favorite classes! On the engineering side, I love taking 6.859 Data Visualization with Arvind Satyanarayan. He taught us key visualization techniques and integrated exciting hands-on projects. On the business side, I have loved taking 15.900 Competitive Strategy, 6.936 StartMIT, and 15.S74 ID Lab. Competitive strategy introduced frameworks that were so helpful to me, even applicable in other Sloan classes! During IAP, I wanted to explore the entrepreneurship space and worked on an Ayurvedic skincare idea with some MIT undergrads (who are absolute geniuses and so much fun to work with!). I’m currently taking ID Lab with a cohort of ~30. It’s a touchy-feely class that allows us to reflect on our professional and personal journeys to craft our leadership style (bonus – we get cool swag!). We also work with executive coaches every month which I found incredibly valuable!

Faculty

So many amazing professors come to mind but if I had to choose my favorites, it would be the summer core professors Sean Willems (15.761 Intro to Operations), Amr Farahat (15.087 Statistics/ML), and Arnie Barnett (15.086 Probability)! During the first week of class, I had trouble logging into Professor Willems’ office hours and later that day he called me to clarify my question! He’s known for going out of his way to care for students and spent many months getting his intricate Zoom setup ready for our summer cohort! Professor Farahat’s known for clarity – he explained concepts really well and frequently addressed ethical considerations. We also had the privilege of learning from Professor Barnett (search for the Facebook page “I Heart Arnie Barnett” – so many students love him!) He has been in the industry for decades and has incredible stories to share (some are featured on our Playbook podcast episode 1!)