LGO students come from a variety of undergraduate institutions, industry experiences, and career goals. Together, they forge lifelong friendships during the program. We’ve asked current students to explain their experience below. Why do a dual degree? Why study engineering and business at the same time? What unique opportunities does the LGO program, MIT courses, and MIT students offer? Even while completing two degrees, MIT still has flexibility for students to pursue what is most interesting for them.
Engineering department Mechanical Engineering
Undergraduate degree Physics and Mechanical Engineering, University of California-Berkeley
Company before LGO NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Engineering department Civil and Environmental Engineering
Undergraduate degree Industrial and Operations Engineering, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Company before LGO Amazon
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.
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.
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.
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.
Engineering department Mechanical Engineering
Undergraduate degree Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Company before LGO Bristol-Myers Squibb
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!
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.
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.
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.
Engineering department Civil and Environmental Engineering
Undergraduate degree Chemical Engineering, University of Pittsburgh
Company before LGO ExxonMobil Chemical Co.
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!
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.
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.
Engineering department Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Undergraduate degree Computer Science, San Jose State University
Company before LGO Ford Motor Company
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 🙂
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.
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!
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!)