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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

LGO gets favorable mention from Bloomberg BusinessWeek

By LGO Program Staff

In a Bloomberg BusinessWeek story about dual-degree graduate programs, LGO was recognized as a boon to its partner companies. Near the end of the article, Guillermo Pinochet, operations research director at partner company Kimberly-Clark (S.A.), also lauded LGO as a source for recruiting highly qualified leaders. Students who earn both an MBA and a master’s in engineering also have higher median salaries than those with an MBA alone, the article says.

Monday, December 5, 2011

At Boeing, Engineering Career Reaches New Heights For LGO Grad

By Josh Jacobs, LGO Director of Operations and Partner Integration

For Victoria De Matteis (LGO ’02), the past ten years at Boeing have been the “climb phase” in a challenging and rewarding career flight path that she recounted to LGO students and alumni in a recent web seminar called “Career Navigation at Boeing: The Sky is Not the Limit!

De Matteis, currently Engineering Senior Manager for the 747-8 Program Airframe team, took her MBA and SM in Mechanical Engineering from LGO to Boeing in the midst of a major downturn. Since then, she’s enjoyed the company’s rising fortunes, with record aircraft orders announced just the week before her seminar. The lesson for her and LGO graduates who might navigate future cycles in large companies, she said, is to “understand how the organization evolves, and see growing opportunities for technical leadership” as the company accelerates.

As an LGO graduate, De Matteis benefited from the support network of over 50 other LGOs in Boeing. She also described how LGO helped prepare her to lead in a complex technical environment—for example, in knowing “when to stop collecting data and make a decision, and to understand the business and technical aspects of relations with suppliers.”

De Matteis talked about the satisfaction of working across her engineering area to collaborate with Boeing’s manufacturing research and development group in projects such as the introduction of a new aft door for the 777 freighter, where she helped develop new tools and introduce automated technology on the production shop floor.

Throughout her ascent at Boeing, De Matteis has sought to leverage diversity in many different dimensions. Based on the advice of her LGO network, she chose a shop-floor manufacturing role as her first job. In her unusual role as a foreign-born female supervisor, De Matteis (a native of Mexico) found she had to earn the trust of unionized employees and convince them that she was committed to the success of the whole team.

In learning about how people of different genders and cultures communicate in the workplace since then, De Matteis has aimed to understand how to “remove the noise and focus on technical decision-making” to collaborate effectively, she said.

De Matteis emphasized the importance of following your passion and understanding the pros and cons of working at a huge company like Boeing. Although a rotational program gave her an opportunity to move between “career flight axes”, one thing she learned from that experience was to avoid traversing all three at the same time. “In my next move, I won’t change my job level, network, and product line all at once,” she said.

For De Matteis, further development of the systems-thinking approaches she learned at LGO has spearheaded her growth as a leader in the past decade. She closed by recalling some of the LGO courses that are still relevant to her work, such as operations management, but focused mostly on how her “top-notch peers” in the program helped her set a course for a high-level career “cruising altitude” to which “the LGO education was intended to bring us.”

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Prospective LGOs at Ambassador Day give high marks to student blogs and fellowships

By Alice Waugh, LGO Communications Director

The LGO student blogs are a major draw to the program according to several attendees at Ambassador Day, which welcomed prospective students with tours, talks and class visits.

Ashleigh Range, LGO '13
“The blogs are excellent,” said Teetee Roberts Brown, a prospective LGO who’s interested in the Engineering Systems Division. She’s been working as a supply chain engineer for The Home Depot in Illinois since earning her bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from the University of New Haven.

“Everyone seems really friendly. I can tell LGO people have a strong connection with each other,” said Kevin Borden, a product engineer at Yingli Green Energy Americas, Inc., in San Francisco.

Borden earned his undergraduate degree from Cornell University in civil and structural engineering and hopes to stay in the energy field – “that’s my passion,” he said. “If I eventually wanted to work in China, LGO would put me in a really good situation,” he added, noting that Yingli is headquartered in Baoding, China.

Another attractive feature of LGO is the financial support available, prospective students said. “The fellowship is a huge, huge plus,” said Chris Machuca, who works in R&D for General Motors in Rochester, N.Y.

Machuca was intrigued by the dual-degree LGO program but wasn’t sure yet which MIT engineering department he might target (he has a master’s degree in advanced vehicle engineering and a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering).

“All engineering fields are pretty interesting to me, and at MIT, it seems like the opportunities are endless,” Machuca said.

Ashleigh Range, LGO ’13, moderated the student panel during Ambassador Day, which she attended herself as a prospective student last year. “I feel a lot more calm than I did a year ago,” she said. “After visiting in 2010, I felt I just had to go here and I was trying to figure out how to do whatever it took to get in.”

About 90 prospective students attended the Ambassador Day events on November 7, which included an evening panel with current LGO students. The events were organized and run by 45 current LGO students in addition to LGO admissions and career development staff members Jane Deutsch and Leah Schouten.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

LGO-led team enters prestigious case competition

By Alice Waugh
LGO Communications Director

Four MIT LGO students will compete in International Operations Case Competition sponsored by the Operations Management Club at Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business on November 11-12. The annual event was won in 2010 by a team from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

At an open tryout at MIT Sloan, students were assigned a case on a European company looking to expand its antilock brake production capacity. “We had about two hours to read the material, perform our analysis as a team, and create a presentation to sell our idea,” said Robert Giacomantonio (LGO ’13).

After hearing the pitches and questioning teams on their analyses, the judges (last year's winning MIT Sloan team) selected five students to represent MIT Sloan at the case competition. The other team members are Wilson Yum, Jessica Lin, Olufemi Oti (all LGO ’13) and MIT Sloan School graduate student Rashi Gupta.

The team is practicing by working through new cases, building presentations, and delivering their ideas to last year's winning team. “It's a great way to get prepared for the competition because we're getting great opportunities to practice our skills, identify each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and get some valuable feedback on our analysis methods and presentation styles,” Giacomantonio said.

The chance to compete is especially exciting for Giacomantonio, who earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering from Carnegie Mellon in 2006. “I spent many years working at the Tepper School of Business as a technician in the computing group there, so I've seen first-hand just how intense the competition can be,” he said.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Choosing an Engineering Program

By Don Rosenfield
LGO Program Director

When you apply to LGO, you’ll choose from one of seven engineering programs as a prelude to an engineering career or leadership opportunities with manufacturing and operations companies. Five of these engineering programs include engineering tracks that let you delve into a defined area in more depth. How should you decide which program or track to select?

While a particular engineering program may give you an edge in entering a certain industry sector, no matter which program (or even track) you choose, you’ll get a broad education that will prepare you well for a variety of careers in manufacturing and operations. In general, my advice is to go with your interests and passions, but also make sure you meet the requirements for the program you’re interested in. Applying to one engineering program vs. another will not affect your chances of being admitted to LGO.

Here’s a quick overview of the LGO engineering programs in alphabetical order.

Aeronautics and Astronautics
This program is a good fit for students interested in manufacturing areas such as structures and composites, or in operational areas such as airline operations. There are no tracks.
More Aero/Astro information from LGO
Aero/Astro graduate education

Biological Engineering
This is a focused program addressing how biosystems operate and how to develop biology-based technologies. There are no tracks.
More BioEng information from LGO
BioEng graduate education

Chemical Engineering
This program provides a strong background for a variety of careers in the chemical engineering industry. LGO students in ChemE must take two of the department’s four graduate core courses.
More ChemE information from LGO
ChemE graduate education

Civil and Environmental Engineering
CEE is particularly appealing to students interested in public-sector work or the specialized areas listed below. It offers two optional tracks:
• Energy and the Environment
• Transportation
The energy/environment track gives students experience with environmental issues such as renewable energy, and water treatment and sustainability, while the transportation track is focused on courses exploring motor, rail or air transportation systems, and analysis and planning.
More CEE information from LGO
CEE graduate education

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Most LGO students in this department develop custom programs with EECS faculty, but there are also two optional tracks:
• Semiconductors
• Information and Decision Systems
The semiconductor track provides an ideal background for students who are interested in processor technology innovation and leading-edge manufacturing processes and who want to work for a company such as Intel. Students with a background in computer science often gravitate toward information/decision systems.
More EECS information from LGO
EECS graduate education

Engineering Systems
ESD students and faculty address challenges including managing global manufacturing and supply chains, rebuilding infrastructures, and working toward energy security using interdisciplinary approaches rooted in engineering, management, and social sciences. In this expansive area of study, LGO students are required to choose from one of four tracks:
• Manufacturing Systems and Supply Chains
• Systems Engineering
• Energy and Environmental Sustainability (this track focuses more on energy than sustainability compared with the similar track in Mechanical Engineering)
• Enterprise Architecture
More ESD information from LGO
ESD graduate education

Mechanical Engineering
The Mechanical Engineering Department is more closely associated with manufacturing and operations than any other engineering department. It has historically focused on these areas of study, and has developed many courses of special interest to LGO students. LGO students in mechanical engineering must choose from one of four tracks:
• Manufacturing
• Biomechanics
• Energy and Environmental Sustainability (this track focuses more on sustainable energy generation than the similar track in Engineering Systems)
• Ocean Systems
More MechE information from LGO
MechE graduate programs

To learn more about our current students’ backgrounds and experiences in different disciplines, check our some of the LGO student blogs.

Click here to learn more about MBA and MS engineering courses available in the LGO program, or find out about MBA employment opportunities for LGO graduates.

Friday, October 28, 2011

About MIT LGO Fellowships & Other Application FAQ’s

By Jane Deutsch
LGO Director of Admissions and Career Development

Every fall, many MIT Leaders for Global Operations (LGO) candidates ask me about our application process and whether financial aid is available to incoming students. Here are answers to some of those questions. For additional information about engineering, you may also want to look at the new and expanded engineering pages on our website.

What kind of financial support is available to LGO students?
The LGO fellowship, which covers a substantial portion of each student’s tuition over both years, is available to all our students. LGO partner companies make this generous support possible as part of the ongoing investment they make in our students and the program.

What does the LGO Fellowship cover?
The amount of the fellowship varies each year. For the LGO Class of 2014, partner companies are offering very generous fellowships for students admitted into the following engineering departments: Aeronautics and Astronautics, Biological Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Mechanical Engineering.

For the above departments, the fellowship will range from 65 to 100 percent of two-year tuition costs. The minimum fellowship for all students will be 40 percent of tuition. In addition, some fellowships of up to 100 percent may be awarded to candidates who demonstrate exceptional merit regardless of their engineering department.

When is the application deadline?
Thursday, December 15 at 3 p.m. EST.
There is only one deadline for LGO.

How do I apply to LGO?
You can apply either through MIT Sloan School of Management or one of seven affiliated departments in the School of Engineering. In all cases, you must:
• Indicate you are applying to LGO.
• Complete and submit the online application for either MIT Sloan or the engineering department (LGO requires you to submit only one application.)
• Answer the LGO supplemental questions.
• Submit the LGO-required materials (e.g., a third recommendation letter).

If you apply through an engineering department, you must submit all the materials required by both LGO and that particular department.

Is it better to apply through MIT Sloan or the School of Engineering?
From an admissions standpoint, it doesn’t matter which application route you take, because we follow the same process for reviewing all applications.

Some applicants make their decision based on a closer affinity toward one school than the other. Others choose based on whether they would like to be considered for an M.B.A., S.M. or Ph.D. if they are not admitted to LGO. For instance, candidates applying through MIT Sloan who aren’t admitted to LGO will be automatically considered for the second round of M.B.A. admissions.

Candidates applying through some (but not all) engineering departments who don’t get into LGO will be considered for the engineering S.M. or Ph.D. program in the department through which they apply.

Another factor to consider: MIT Sloan requires either the GMAT or GRE, while the School of Engineering accepts only the GRE.

PLEASE NOTE: All LGO applicants interested in the Department of Chemical Engineering must apply through MIT Sloan.

Still not sure which school to apply through? Identify your greatest strengths and weigh them against each school's acceptance criteria. You can also talk to LGO students, alumni, faculty and/or staff members to get other perspectives. Check the MIT Sloan and the School of Engineering websites to make an informed decision.

How much professional experience does LGO like to see?
Successful LGO candidates have preferably three years or more years of experience (with a minimum of at least two years) and a degree in engineering, computer science, math, biology, or one of the physical sciences. Only under very rare and unusual circumstances will we accept someone with less than two years of experience.

Are students sponsored by LGO partner companies?
Only a few students who are employed by LGO partner companies are sponsored each year. If you work for one of our partner companies, you should certainly inquire about potential sponsorship.

Who are the best people to write letters of recommendation?
People who know you and your work well (generally a current manager or supervisor, or someone with whom you’ve worked in the last few years). We’re less interested in impressive titles than in hearing from someone who can discuss you and your work in great depth. Peer recommendations, however, are not encouraged.

Your letter of recommendation, which describes your technical abilities, should preferably come from a professor. However, if you do not have a professor who knows you well enough or who would remember your academic work, you can have this letter come from a work supervisor who who has knowledge of your technical abilities. Overall, this letter should assess your ability to look deeply into a technical or engineering problem. It might include thoughts on your:
• Analytical skills
• Thoroughness
• Technical expertise and depth — and how you demonstrate them
• Creativity
• Problem-solving skills

Will you consider my application if I’m not a U.S. citizen?
It’s important to note that LGO defines an international applicant as one who has neither citizenship nor permanent-resident status in the United States. We consider all international applicants, and the evaluation process is exactly the same as for U.S. applicants.

Historically, a small percentage of each LGO class has been international. Our partner companies (who fund the majority of the program) expect most of our graduates to be pre-authorized to work in their facilities. As our mix of partner companies evolves to include more companies around the world, we may increase the international percentage in each class.

My advice to applicants is the same across the board: To make your application as strong as possible, tell the story of who you are, what you aspire to achieve, and how you see LGO as a fit for you.

If you have further questions about applying to LGO, please contact us at lgo@mit.edu. We look forward to seeing your application on December 15!

Graduates of the MIT LGO program receive two degrees in two years: either an MBA or a Master of Science in Management degree from MIT Sloan School of Management, and a Master of Science degree from one of seven participating departments in the School of Engineering.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Global Manufacturing Insights: Report from the Alumni Conference in Switzerland

By Jeff Stein, LGO '13

I was honored and fortunate enough to attend the recent LGO alumni conference in Lucerne, Switzerland. While I arrived just in time for the final afternoon of the alumni conference, I had a packed and rewarding trip that went far beyond the planned events.

Zach Smith LGO ’08 joined me on a scenic hike up nearby mountain Rigi Kulm

The first speaker of the afternoon was Jeffrey Langenfeld, who leads the Mobile Solutions Operations factories globally for Nokia. He spoke of several challenges Nokia was facing that are directly applicable to LGO: design for manufacturing, excessive product variety, and supply chain management. Based on the talk and the fact that Nokia is a partner company, it seems there are certainly opportunities for LGO internships.

The second speaker of the afternoon was former LFM/MIT professor Thomas Roemer. Prof. Roemer's theme was the state of manufacturing in the US, discussing various facts and trends in industry. While some of these facts were not surprising to many of us - 33% of US manufacturing jobs lost between 1999 and 2008 - others were eye-opening: the US currently is the second-largest manufacturing country as percentage of GDP (after China). The talk provoked much thought and questions amongst the alumni audience.

After guest presentations were complete, I had the opportunity to provide the LGO class update, providing an overview of our class, summer classes, plant treks, and current internships. I concluded with a plug for an alumni reunion event I am planning in the spring (April 12 or 13). Please stay tuned to the alumni newsletter for future messages regarding the event!

Mary Anito and Leonora Lanza, LGO 12s, visit the Lion Monument in Lucerne

Although the conference had officially ended, my adventure in Switzerland was just beginning. I owe many thanks to the alumni who took me out to a local beer garden in Lucerne. The next day, I enjoyed a scenic hike up nearby mountain Rigi Kulm with Zach Smith, LGO '08. As Zach had been living in Switzerland for a year, I was grateful for his help and advice on what to see and how to get around. It was this kind of warm welcome I received from alumni that made this trip truly memorable, and it made me proud to be a part of the LGO family.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

MIT LGO Alumni Share Career Insights at Career Panel

Passion, humility, honesty and clear personal goals are the key ingredients for post-MIT career success, according to LGO alumni who spoke with current LGO students at a career panel at MIT on September 21.

“You’ve got to know where you want to go,” said Dan Shockley (LGO ’07), general manager for remanufacturing at Caterpillar Inc. “Companies rely on your vision for your future.” Even though you may not have a specific career path mapped out, “know yourself and be able to articulate what you’re passionate about and what motivates you,” said Leigh Hunnicutt (LGO ’08), senior manager of quality assurance at Amgen.

Video of the September 21st career panel for LGO Student

“It’s easy to overthink that first job decision,” said Melinda Manente (LGO ’95), Fab 17 performance improvement manager at Intel. “Make your decision based not necessarily on the specific job, but on the company, industry and culture.”

When he’s evaluating job applicants from LGO or anywhere else, Dave Seitelman (LGO ’93), director of fulfillment at Amazon, looks for “someone who exudes that willingness to jump in and get things done,” even if it means pitching in to pack boxes on the shop floor to meet a shipping deadline. Budding leaders also need to be able to build trust and “instill a sense that you know what you’re talking about,” he added.

On the other hand, the panelists said that humility was sometimes lacking in LGO job applicants they’ve encountered. “Admit what you don’t know and ask for help,” Seitelman said. “People can spot a phony a mile away. If your team believes you’re humble and honest, you’ll get a lot more done.”

“Don’t underestimate the value of opportunities to work on the front lines,” said panel moderator Brian Feller (LGO ’08), director of global operations at Dell. “That becomes your opportunity to learn about and help people, and it gives you a tremendous amount of credibility later on.” However, sincerity is more important in the long run than building a resume. “If you’re in any role just to check the box, you’ll be found out very quickly,” Hunnicutt cautioned.

In dual-career families like hers, work-life balance is a constant challenge, Manente said. “It’s really hard, because now you need to not only be true to yourself, but to your partner.”

One successful strategy is to alternate between which partner is “on” career-wise and who is taking a step back temporarily. “It’s hard for both people to have exactly what they want at the time they want it,” Manente said. “You have to get your lists together and have your values aligned.”

Not surprisingly, panelists said, the network within LGO, Sloan and elsewhere at MIT is every recent graduate’s most valuable resource, both for finding job opportunities and for learning about a company’s culture and whether it would be a good fit.

“I’ve used my LGO network for every job opportunity I’ve had, as has my husband,” said Manente, who is married to Mike Manente (also LGO ’95). However, her wider Sloan network is just as valuable because it can be farther-reaching, she added.

“Your classmates are your most valuable network,” said Hunnicutt, who reached out to individuals and companies via LGO’s online virtual community. “And the satisfying thing is, you always get a response.”

The skills and knowledge you get in LGO are even more valuable than who you know, the panelists said. Since joining Caterpillar, Shockley said, he’s utilized and refined both the technical and managerial tools he acquired. “I came out of the program a very different leader than when I arrived. LGO completely changed my ability to effect change as a leader,” he said.

What should new graduates aim for as they begin their careers? “Figure out what you’re passionate about, and then go out and find the hardest job you can find that’ll put you on that path,” Seitelman advised. “Take on a lot and excel at it.”

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

MIT LGO Midstream Review Highlights Diversity of Global Manufacturing & Operations Challenges, Strength of LGO Partner Relationships

The week of LGO midstream reviews, our Operating Committee meeting, and other events has to be one of the most intense in the LGO calendar. Looking back on the week, I am struck by the combination of continuity and innovation, as LGO builds on its 20+ year history while also expanding its community and adapting to meet new challenges.

LGO alumni career panel featuring (from left) Dan Shockley ’07, Dave Seitelman ’93, Melinda Manente ’95, and Leigh Hunnicutt ’08

The forty midstream review presentations themselves, and the poster sessions that followed, conveyed the huge breadth of projects, geographies and company cultures that the LGOs have engaged with over the past three months. It was gratifying to have significant representation by the company supervisors in the audience, demonstrating the investment of LGO partner companies in these projects and also the value to the whole community of the conversations and ideas sparked during these gatherings.

LGO students listen to their alumni peers during panel discussion

This midstream review was the first for two new LGO industry partners, MAG IAS and Nike. Paul Stelter, Director of Talent Management at MAG, noted how interesting it was to see the midstream presentations underway at LGO partners that are MAG customers, such as Caterpillar and Spirit AeroSystems. During Paul’s presentation about MAG one morning to LGOs, he talked about his company’s focus on technology as their differentiator in the machine tool industry, as well as some of their innovative management practices, such as “creativity days” (inspired by Google) that not only engineers but also shop floor staff enjoy periodically to pursue new projects. The discussion with students showed the depth of industrial experience and interest in the Class of 2013, in topics ranging from labor relations to product development strategy.

For Nike, represented by Global Director of Supply Chain Innovation Nikhil Soares, the top floor of the new Media Lab building was a fitting location for 60+ LGOs in both classes to hear about the operations challenges of this global consumer brand. There was a great buzz throughout the event. Both presenters and students were passionate about the manufacturing and supply chain challenges offered in delivering the full Nike product family globally. The energy in the room actually increased when the projector broke and the multi-media presentation morphed into a lively discussion forum.

The Operating Committee meeting on Wednesday was distinguished by a focus on engaging with faculty and enhancing the mutual benefit to MIT faculty and LGO of shared interest in today’s hot topic—manufacturing. Associate Provost Marty Schmidt briefed the group on two important developments in this domain at MIT: the launch in 2010 of the Production in the Innovation Economy commission, aimed at developing recommendations for transforming America's production capabilities in an era of increased global competition, and the creation by President Obama this past June of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, co-chaired by MIT President Hockfield and the CEO of Dow Chemical, intended to “spark a renaissance in American manufacturing and help US manufacturers develop the cutting-edge tools they need to compete with anyone in the world.” Prof. Schmidt noted that LGO is an important piece of the manufacturing and operations ecosystem at MIT and that a dialog is ongoing on how LGO can contribute to both efforts.

We also heard from Professor Jessika Trancik of Engineering Systems, who described her research focused on “Engineering determinants of cost trends in energy systems,” which revealed insights about how considering the complexity of design structures very early on in the development of a new energy technology could have major impact on the ultimate rate of improvements in cost and performance efficiency. [Download Prof. Trancik’s presentation] The Operating Committee is itself focusing this year on two subcommittees addressing how LGO engages with MIT faculty and how to enhance partner companies’ success in recruiting LGO graduates. The nature of LGO research—located in industry, not in a lab—has always required a distinct appeal to faculty interests, and the program is continuing its efforts to extend that appeal to a new generation of MIT faculty.

After the Operating Committee, the LGOs had a wonderful opportunity to hear from their alumni peers about their career paths five to twenty years out of the program. The alumni career panel featured Dave Seitelman ’93 from Amazon, Melinda Manente ’95 from Intel, Dan Shockley ’07 from Caterpillar, and Leigh Hunnicutt ’08 from Amgen and was moderated by Brian Feller ’08 from Dell. In a wide-ranging conversation that touched on defining one’s career goals, the role of LGOs in different partner company cultures, dual-career couples, and life lessons of all kinds, the panel shared their breadth of experience with the current students and made it clear that the LGO connection goes well beyond the two years at MIT.

For the Program Office, the midstream week was a particularly intense spike of activity in a very busy fall calendar that now turns its focus to recruiting the Class of 2014. As someone relatively new to the program, the week’s activities—including the debut of video testimonials by the MIT Sloan and Engineering Deans to LGO’s value—emphasized the constant work that LGO puts into meeting a new set of manufacturing and operations challenges for the world.

Friday, September 30, 2011

MIT LGO’s to Apply Engineering Operations & Business Skills to Cloud Computing at Haas Tech Challenge

An MIT Sloan team headed to the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, today to participate in the Haas Tech Challenge. The prestigious high-tech case competition will take place Sept. 30 and Oct. 1.

MIT Sloan will be represented by three MIT Leaders for Global Operations (LGO) students from the Class of 2013: Michael Joyce, Joshua Przybylko and Sophia Scipio. Prahar Shah, Sloan '12, rounds out the talented team.

The case will focus on a hot topic: "Business Models and Challenges in Cloud Computing." VMware, Amazon Web Services and salesforce.com are sponsoring the event along with the Haas School of Business.

In addition to the competition, participants will have the opportunity to network with others who share an interest in the high-tech industry. "The main reasons we're doing this are to get practical experience in participating in this type of competition and to have a lot of fun," said Przybylko. "I'm sure we'll get a lot out of it and represent MIT well."

Up Against Stiff Competition

MIT Sloan's competition will include students from Haas, Booth, Wharton, Ross, Kellogg, Anderson and Stanford business schools. Teams have received minimal details about the case in advance, other than that it will concern cloud computing in general and platform as a service (PaaS) in particular.

Przybylko and his teammates have spent the past few weeks researching cloud computing while also addressing their usual class loads.

"It's been a massively hectic period," he said. "We've been looking at various companies competing in this space, several of whom are sponsoring the competition. We've also been looking at new developments in cloud computing and reaching out to contacts in the industry for their perspectives."

In their application for the competition, Przybylko, Joyce and Scipio noted that their dual business/engineering background allows them to understand both the "commercial opportunities and challenges of cloud computing business models" and the "engineering and operations challenges." Przybylko feels this distinction will give their team a competitive advantage.

"Many of the challenges these companies are facing in deploying cloud solutions are operational in nature," he said. "For example: What is the correct infrastructure that must be put in place to make cloud computing a reality? How can the technology be viable?"

Meet the Team Members

Here's a quick look at the MIT Sloan team:

Michael Joyce brings five years of experience split between information technology in the pharmaceutical sector and supply chain management of semiconductors. He has a particular interest in the operational challenges of deploying cloud solutions and has participated in past.

Josh Przybylko worked for five years in management consulting and also has experience in the information and communications sector. Prior to starting the LGO program, he was a senior strategy specialist with the corporate strategy team at Telstra, Australia largest communications operator.

Sophia Scipio has five years of experience in the design of cellular phones and mobile Internet devices with Motorola and RIM (Blackberry). She is passionate about the potential of cloud computing to transform the mobile industry and believes her design background will help the team identify new market opportunities for the technology.

Prahar Shah has experience in management consulting and venture capital along with an interest in technology and entrepreneurship. The president of the Sloan Technology Club, he spent the summer as a new business development intern at Google's headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.

Best of luck to the MIT Sloan team this weekend!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Video Testimonials to LGO by Deans of MIT Sloan, MIT Engineering Demonstrate a “Signature Program for MIT”

This week the LGO program was privileged to release video statements by Dean David Schmittlein of the MIT Sloan School of Management, and Dean Ian Waitz of the MIT School of Engineering, about the value of LGO to MIT, its students and partners, and to the world.


Dean Schmittlein describes the program’s unique collaboration of MIT Sloan and MIT Engineering, the qualities of LGO students, and the partnership with global leaders in industry. The Dean states that "MIT has always been about innovation of products and processes. Graduates of this program are ready to lead innovation." He describes LGO students as "grounded, smart, and practical, and among the nicest people you'll ever meet." "This program's graduates," he says, "are ready to fulfill the mission of MIT: to invent the future. They're ready to invent the future for themselves, for their companies, and for the world."


Dean Waitz discusses how the LGO partnership provides LGO students unique opportunities to engage in hands-on experiences and engage with critical challenges in industry. He says LGO students represent a growing demographic at MIT of students who want to be experts in a wide-ranging, problem- or domain-focused area rather than singling out a specific discipline. Dean Waitz says that "our students need to be able to work and operate and lead change in many different cultures and time zones, and companies. LGO uniquely prepares students for pursuing such a global career path."

LGO is proud to have these two distinguished leaders at MIT convey the passion, the focus, and the commitment to manufacturing and operations that characterize our program.

Monday, September 19, 2011

LGO Ambassador Day and Information Evening: November 7, 2011


Want to learn more about the MIT Leaders for Global Operations (LGO) program? If so, we invite you to join us at two exciting upcoming events: LGO Ambassador Day and LGO Information Evening, both taking place on November 7, 2011. Please see below for a draft agenda. Activities are subject to change, but this schedule should provide you with a better idea of what to expect.

You can view the full agenda here.
Ambassador Day Schedule: November 7, 2011, 9:15 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
By sitting in on a class, having lunch with current LGO students and admissions staff, or participating in a student-run panel discussion, you will engage in a LGO experience that is both informative and interactive.
9:15-10:30 a.m. Check in at the LGO office
10:30 a.m.-Noon Tour the MIT campus with current LGO students
Noon-1 p.m. Engage in a LGO student panel discussion
1-2:15 p.m. Enjoy lunch and mingling with LGO students and staff members
2:30-4 p.m. Attend a class (Engineering or Business)
4-5:30 p.m. Attend a partner company pro-seminar
Information Evening Schedule: November 7, 2011: 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Featuring a program presentation by Don Rosenfield, Director of the LGO Program; a student and alumni panel discussion; an audience Q&A session; and an interactive reception, this event will offer prospective students an excellent opportunity to connect with LGO students, alumni, faculty, and staff members. Registration will begin at 6 p.m. at the MIT Faculty Club. Light appetizers will be served.
Please let us know if you would like to attend.
We are looking forward to meeting you. Feel free to email LGO ’13 Ashleigh Range with any questions at lgo@mit.edu.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

LGO Ambassadors Program Helps Prospective Students with Admissions Process

The graduate application season is almost upon us, and the MIT Leaders for Global Operations (LGO) admissions team strives to help prospective students throughout the admissions process.

Erick Corona,
Ambassador Program Co-chair, LGO ’13
We offer applicants a variety of ways to learn about the LGO program and to connect with our students, alumni, faculty and staff. One of the most valuable is the LGO Ambassadors Program.

Participants in this student-run program join LGO students for classes, lunch, a campus tour and more. Essentially, it's an opportunity to experience a "day in the life" of an LGO.

For more information about the Ambassadors Program or to schedule your visit, please email visit-lgo@mit.edu.

Meet the Co-chairs

Each year, two first-year LGO students lead the LGO Ambassadors Program. This year's co-chairs are Erick Corona and Brent Yoder from the Class of 2013.

Before coming to MIT, Erick spent six-and-a-half years with The Boeing Company, most recently as a change incorporation operations manager. He holds an M.S. in aeronautics and astronautics from the University of Washington and a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey.

Erick took part in the Ambassadors Program as a prospective student. He credits the experience with solidifying his belief that LGO would be a good fit.

"The most important takeaway from my Ambassador visit was witnessing the camaraderie and commitment to the program that exists among LGOs," he says. "This experience, in addition to the program's curriculum, mission and reputation, made me want to be a part of LGO."

Brent came to LGO after three years as an operations manager at Amazon and four-and-a-half years in manufacturing at General Motors Corporation. He earned a B.S. in industrial engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Brent Yoder,
Ambassador Program Co-chair, LGO ‘13
In researching dual engineering and MBA programs, Brent wanted to find a top-tier school where he felt a connection with students and faculty alike. He found that connection after spending a day with LGO students.

"The Ambassadors Program allows prospective students to experience the LGO program first-hand from the perspective of current students," he notes. "The LGO webpage and information sessions are excellent at highlighting the technical details of the program, but the Ambassadors Program provides an individualized experience to understand the intangible benefits of being a member of the LGO community."

Also Check Out...
Three other ways you can interact with LGO students, alumni, faculty and staff:
  • Ambassador Day & Information Evening: This annual event will take place Nov. 7, 2011. During this highly interactive day-and-night session, you'll attend classes, tour MIT, listen to student and alumni panels, hear a presentation from the program director and get all your questions answered.
  • MIT Sloan-on-the-Road Events: The MIT Sloan MBA Program hosts information sessions in cities around the world. Members of the LGO community, including admissions staff, students and alumni, attend many of the domestic events to help you learn more about LGO. To find the schedule and to register for a Sloan-on-the-Road event, visit the MIT Sloan website.
  • Student Blogs: We're thrilled to introduce a new group of LGO student bloggers from the Class of 2013. Reading first- and second-year bloggers will give you a fun and informal insider's view of what LGO is all about. We encourage you to connect with our student bloggers through the LGO Blogs.
A Refresher on the Application Basics
Submit your application to LGO through either the MIT Sloan School of Management or the MIT School of Engineering by Dec. 15, 2011. The application must include:
  • Cover letter (if applying through MIT Sloan) or Statement of Objectives (if applying through the MIT School of Engineering)
  • Five essays
  • Résumé
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Transcripts
  • Test scores (GMAT or GRE if applying through MIT Sloan; GRE if applying through the MIT School of Engineering)
For complete details, visit our Admissions Process section.

Interviews: LGO interviews are conducted by invitation only; we'll send out invitations beginning in January.

Staying in the Loop: Fill out a student profile to receive regular updates from LGO.

Other Resources: For more details on the MIT LGO admissions process, visit our comprehensive FAQ section or email us at lgo@mit.edu.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Download the new MIT LGO brochure!

Download the new LGO brochure for information on admissions, program details, international opportunities, internships, and more.

Monday, August 8, 2011

International Engineering MBA Students from China Pay Visit to LGO

By Dan O'Sullivan

The MIT Leaders for Global Operations (LGO) Class of 2013 recently welcomed China LGO students for LGO-CLGO Cross-Cultural Week. This was the second time LGO played host to CLGO (last year marked the first visit).

Shanghai Jiao Tong University established CLGO in 2005 with the academic support of MIT and LGO. As is the case here, CLGO students earn dual master's degrees in engineering and management, and complete a six-month internship.

During their time in Cambridge and Boston, the CLGOs attended a number of classes with their LGO counterparts. A class on cross-cultural communications looked at the nuances between North American and Chinese business cultures. Another class explored varying cultural perceptions on leadership.

Cross-cultural communications workshop with CLGO students

"We learned some interesting things from the CLGOs about leadership norms in China," said Alicia Lenis, LGO '13. "For example, in China, it's very hard to say 'no' to someone above you. People in leadership positions are much more authoritative than they are here."

Another class allowed LGOs and CLGOs to team up in devising process improvements for a LEGO airplane factory. "The simulation class was an excellent opportunity to interact and learn more about each other," said Chengran Chai, LGO '13. "This class was not present in the CLGO's curriculum, and they were very excited to be able to do these hands-on activities."

The CLGO Synergy Committee, composed of LGO students, planned meals and other social activities for throughout the week. A kickoff event at the sailing pavilion allowed everyone to get familiar with each other. (As Victoria Knight, LGO '13, noted about the CLGOs in her blog, "Their English is very good — they said that the cases they read for class are the same ones we do.")

Other highlights included an Italian dinner in Boston's North End, a whale watch out of Boston Harbor and blueberry picking outside the city.

Relationship Building & Reciprocity
Chai came away impressed with the CLGOs' commitment to relationship building. "Most of them read our profiles carefully and knew us much better than we had expected," he noted. "Another thing we learned was that the Chinese society places very strong emphasis on reciprocity; the CLGOs felt compelled to take us out to dinner as a way to say 'thank you' for the events we organized for them."

LGO and CLGO students at Carlson Orchards

"We LGOs had ample opportunities to interact with and learn from the CLGOs," said Carolyn Freeman, LGO '13. "A highlight of the visit for us LGOs was the CLGOs' presentation on Chinese business culture. The candid, open discussion aided our understanding of the tactics and motivations behind Chinese business decisions."

Lenis, meanwhile, appreciated the informal interactions with CLGOs that took place outside the classroom.

"We talked in depth about what the CLGOs' aspirations are, what they like about the program.," said Lenis. "I found that they had similar aspirations as us. They come from a different point of reference, but they're all just young people like us — interested and passionate about engineering and business with a lot of opportunity ahead of them."

"It's been said that China is the 'factory of the world.' Knowing the CLGOs are learning the same things as us is great because it means China will have leaders to continue moving things forward in the right direction."

The CLGOs' visit to the United States also included stops in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York. Next March, they will host LGO students during International Plant Trek.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Don Rosenfield Talks Operations Management with The Economist in ‘Which MBA’ Column

Don Rosenfield, MIT LGO Program Director and Senior Lecturer at MIT Sloan, recently discussed the importance of operations management in The Economist’s ‘Which MBA’ column.

He writes, “OM [operations management] is the basis of competitiveness and the generation of wealth. It represents a significant portion of any society’s economic activities. Understanding how to manage it is the key to development.

Advanced societies such as America—despite impressions to the contrary—are responsible for a significant amount of global output in manufacturing and this is the basis of their high standards of living. Less wealthy counties, on the other hand, are in such a position because they are yet to develop the same level of skills in manufacturing and services. In order for these societies to develop, they must invest in manufacturing and service operations to provide a mechanism for creating jobs and raising standards of living.”

For the full story: http://www.economist.com/whichmba/subject-matters-operations-management

Learn more about MIT LGO Leaders for Global Operations program, which includes an operations management focused MBA curriculum.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

MIT LGO Engineering & Management Advisors Name Tim Vasil Winner of 2011 Best Thesis Award

A highlight of the LGO 2011 Graduation reception was the Best Thesis Award. Don Rosenfield told the gathered crowd of students, family, and friends “the consistent quality of the theses from the LGO11 students was the highest we have seen in the program’s history”. Each nominee had to be nominated by both the engineering and management advisors. The advisors wanted to add more theses they felt were worthy of nomination, but they had reached their quota. The topics and companies covered the full spectrum of the LGO program. The thirteen nominees were Manuel Correa, Ben Dawson, Tye Duncan, Leo Espindle, Andres Garro, David Hwang, RJ Lehman, Tim McIntosh, Diego Mendez de la Luz, Devon Price, Christina Simpson, Julia Stark, Bayan Takizawa, and Tim Vasil.

Tim Vasil being congratulated by fellow Class of 2011 best thesis finalists

In his presentation, Don included feedback from one of Tim’s alumni reviewers: “Overall, I found T. Vasil's thesis to be the best LGO thesis I've read to date -- extremely well-written and well-structured with impressive use of figures and tables; detailed and comprehensive throughout the entire work; most importantly, extremely ambitious in scope, relevance, and research value to both the academic community and industry.” Don also regaled the crowd with a reading of Tim’s thesis title, of course noting that title word count and quality are not always correlated, but this year it was true. Tim’s title: Forward Thinking in Reverse: Design, Implementation, and Continuous Monitoring of a Closed-Loop Supply Chain Using Optimization, Simulation, and Dashboard Systems to Maximize Net Recovery. (Thesis abstract follows the blog.)

LGO Director, Don Rosenfield, presenting best thesis
award and computer prize to winner, Tim Vasil '11.

Tim was truly humbled when receiving the prize of a new Dell XPS laptop and Netgear Push2TV donated by Intel Corporation. In true LGO form, Tim recognized his classmates for their collaboration in helping him through his business internship experience and in doing thesis research. Fittingly the award ceremony culminated with the nominees lifting Tim in congratulations.

The program office would like to thank the more than twenty-five alumni volunteers who each read two theses and provided the unique perspective of having been through the program. Now working in industry, they are keenly aware of the relevance the LGO business internship brings to everyone involved.

Thesis Abstract

Developed during our recent six-month engagement at Dell—a leading computer manufacturer and services provider with one of the world’s leading supply chains—we discuss a network flow-based mixed-integer linear program (MILP) model to identify the critical factors in optimizing reverse supply chain design decisions to optimize profit. The model is fast, intuitive, flexible, and robust to uncertainty. Its outputs include specific design recommendations, financial impact estimates, dynamically generated product routing diagrams, and multi-scenario sensitivity analysis. Through two case studies, the first in U.S. smartphone returns and the second in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Alienware-branded computer returns, we show how our model fosters standardized, robust strategic decision-making and serves as a platform upon which to build management systems for continuous improvement. We then discuss two such systems: a simulation-based reusable packaging cost-benefit analysis (CBA) calculator, and an automated dashboard for managing disassembly-for-parts decisions.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Team Featuring Two LGO Students Earns Accolades for Medical Device

By Leah Schouten

An MIT team featuring two Leaders for Global Operations (LGO) students took home first prize in a prestigious competition at the Design of Medical Devices (DMD) Conference in April.

Christie Simpson, LGO '11, and Julia Stark, LGO '11, were part of a team that developed a device to cool the kidney during minimally invasive surgery. They were among 18 MIT students who attended the 10th annual conference.

Members of the winning "Kidney Cooler" team (Christie Simpson, LGO '11, pictured far left).

Held in Minneapolis, Minn., the DMD Conference brings together medical device manufacturers, researchers and designers from around the globe to:
• Increase collaboration between academia and industry.
• Promote policy, research and educational initiatives as they relate to medical device design.

At the conference, the MIT students presented papers and posters representing their work and the work of their peers and instructors. Simpson and Starks' "Kidney Cooler" team was then invited to compete in the Three-in-Five Competition, where teams have three slides and five minutes to pitch their projects to a panel of judges.

Roots in MIT Course
The team earned first place for its "Innovative Renal Cooling Device for Use in Minimally Invasive Surgery," which was conceived of and built as part of the Development of Mechanical Products course (2.753) at MIT. The winners received a $500 prize and were invited to publish in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers' Journal of Medical Devices.

The "Kidney Cooler" device prototype.

"The conference was a wonderful opportunity to get immediate feedback on our product from surgeons, professors and others," said Simpson. "I really enjoy getting to work on such hands-on projects that could be used outside of the classroom. Since I'm planning to work in this industry, the conference was also a great chance to learn about some of the other companies in this field."

This project summary comes from the course website:

"Over 58,000 patients suffer from renal cell carcinoma annually in the US and treatment often requires surgical removal of the cancerous tissue via a partial nephrectomy. In open renal surgery, the kidney is placed on ice to increase allowable ischemia time; however there is no method for reducing kidney temperature during minimally invasive surgery. The device consists of a foldable bag that deploys through a 12 mm trocar, unfurls inside the abdomen then wraps around the kidney and is filled with ice slurry. Testing indicates that kidney core cooling to 20°C can be obtained in under 10 minutes, whereupon the water can then be suctioned out and the device removed, leaving the kidney ready for surgery with a longer working time."

In addition to Simpson and Stark, team members included MIT students Edward Summers, Thomas Cervantes, Rachel Batzer and Raymond Lewis along with Dr. Nadeem Dhanani of Mount Auburn Hospital.

Monday, June 6, 2011

MIT News Profiles Noramay Cadena, MIT LGO ’11

Noramay Cadena, MIT LGO ’11
By LGO Program Office

Single mom and engineer, Noramay Cadena, MIT LGO ’11, completed college (MIT '03) and graduate school with her daughter at her side. Her story was recently profiled on MIT News.

Cadena, who earned an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management and an S. M. in Engineering Systems from the MIT School of Engineering, is headed back to Boeing where she worked prior to the LGO program.

Read the full story

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Two MIT Leaders for Global Operations (LGO) Students Receive Harrison Smith Memorial Award

By Leah Schouten

On May 10, two MIT Leaders for Global Operations students, Limor Zehavi, LGO '12 and Jason Chen, LGO '12, were honored by peers with the Charles "Harrison" Smith III Memorial Award.

Peers nominated Zehavi, a 2008 graduate of Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, for her passion and tireless efforts planning and leading the International Plant Trek to South America. She was also recognized for her participation on numerous student committees.

Limor Zehavi and Jason Chen (seated) with LGO '12 finalists of the Harrison Smith III award. Left to right: Jeremy Lieberman, Dave Hilliard, Brian Hendrickson, Matt Reveley, and Brandon Rowan

"Coming here from Israel, I could not have hoped for a better experience," said Zehavi. "Aside from learning about business and operations, I have learned about the strength of a team and collaboration and the value of making change and leading from within. Receiving this award and appreciation from my classmates warms my heart, and I feel lucky to be part of the LGO family."

Peers recognized Chen, a 2002 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, for his enthusiasm for the LGO program, from classroom discussions to social events. One peer remarked, "If I were to think of one person that anyone in the class could contact down the line and get support, it would be him. … He displays high personal and professional standards that well represent the LGO class."

"This past year, I have been continually awed by how far my classmates will go to better the group's experience or support an individual — and they don't do so to win awards or personal recognition," said Chen. "To be singled out as one in this community is a real honor for sure, but also a bit awkward. Any small slice of contribution I might be responsible for is only meaningful because it fits into a much bigger pie."

Honoring the Late Harrison Smith
The Smith Award, which is given annually, honors Harrison Smith, LGO '99, who was killed in a car accident just days after his graduation from MIT. He was 27 years old.

Smith's classmates established the award shortly after his death as a way to recognize his lasting contributions to the LGO (formerly Leaders for Manufacturing) program. Each subsequent LGO class has had the opportunity to nominate peers who have made outstanding contributions to the program and have shown remarkable leadership in their first year.

Chen, who accepted the award before five members of Smith's family, said, "Through talking with his family and friends who knew him best, Harrison was a guy who used his talents and skills to constantly benefit those around him. After making sure those around him were taken care of, he knew how to live and fully enjoy life. He found the right balance between being the quintessential team player and a bold individual."

During the ceremony, Rob Mosher, LGO '99, and close friend of Smith, delivered a heartfelt speech and made the award presentation to this year's recipients. Among those in attendance were past winners Aaron Raphel (LGO '05), Aimee Vessell (LGO '06) and Todd Waldron (LGO '11).

The other finalists for this year's award were LGO '12 students Brian Hendrickson, David Hilliard, Marnix Hollander, Jeremy Lieberman, Chong Keat Ng, Matt Reveley and Brandon Rowan.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

MIT LGO Students Apply New Process Management Skills to Improve Effectiveness of Global Health Delivery Lab Partner Organizations

By Dan O'Sullivan

Since 2008, MIT has helped improve health delivery and management worldwide through Global Health Delivery Lab (ghdLAB).

This unique program combines classroom learning and action-based field projects. Each team of four graduate students partners with an organization, applying lessons learned at MIT Sloan School of Management to solve challenges inhibiting the delivery of health care. During the semester, teams spend about two weeks onsite interacting with key stakeholders.

Last month, MIT students fanned out to 11 partner organizations in India, Kenya, South Africa and Uganda. Here are stories from three MIT Leaders for Global Operations (LGO) students who took part. 

loveLife (Johannesburg, South Africa)
loveLife runs a network of programs that blend behavior change and clinical services to fight the spread of HIV among South Africans aged 12 to 24. The MIT team focused on improving the distribution of UNCUT magazine, an important piece of loveLife's outreach efforts.

Rebbie Hughes (MBA '11), Nicole Zenel (MBA '11), loveLife
CEO Grace Matlhape,Tyeliah Duncan (LGO '11), Todd Waldron (LGO '11)

Prior to coming to MIT, Todd Waldron, LGO '11, had worked at Merck. There, he participated in process-improvement projects designed to lower the cost of vaccines and make them affordable to patients in developing countries. He viewed the loveLife project as another opportunity to make an impact in a resource-constrained setting.

As Todd explained, he and his teammates "evaluated the process flow and financials of loveLife's current distribution model for UNCUT and made suggestions for improvement based on this analysis." Their final deliverable was a new model that will help loveLife maximize magazine distribution while lowering the associated costs.

Among the highlights from Todd's stay in South Africa was visiting a center where students receive counseling and assistance in their studies. "Students there told me about the importance of UNCUT in their lives," he recalled. "One student told me how UNCUT was the only possession that she owned and could share with her friends. Receiving the magazine restored her pride and made her realize there were opportunities for future success."

LifeSpring Hospitals (Hyderabad, India)

LifeSpring operates a chain of nine maternity hospitals bringing high-quality, affordable health care to low-income women in India. The MIT team aimed to evaluate and improve the organization's community nursing initiative, thereby increasing customer satisfaction so that more pre-natal patients would deliver babies at LifeSpring hospitals.

According to team member Julia Reed Stark, LGO '11, process flow was the primary focus of this project. "We had to observe the current process, determine the ideal state and pilot our ideas," she said. "We also needed to determine metrics to gauge if the changes we made enhanced quality of care."

The MIT team made an effort to create "champions," an idea emphasized in several operations and leadership classes. "We recommended that LifeSpring identify champions who are not managers, but rather the people who do the process every day," she said. "Our hope is that this will lead to more empowerment at the lower levels of the organization, which will lead to change and improvement faster."

Julia and her teammates developed and piloted an improvement process at one LifeSpring hospital. The organization is now rolling out the team's recommendations at its other hospitals.

Living Room International (outside Eldoret, rural Western Kenya)

Living Room International (LRI) provides holistic care and education to Kenyans affected by HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening illnesses. The MIT team helped identify key issues the organization needed to address to successfully scale up from an 11-bed to a 26-bed hospice.

While in Kenya, the MIT students interacted daily with LRI management and staff and visited with hospice patients. They focused on helping LRI to maintain quality of hospice care in the upcoming expansion and to become financially sustainable. The end result: 10 actionable recommendations that spanned organizational structures, operational processes and potential revenue-generating activities.

Dannielle Rose Sita, LGO '11, said she and her teammates were able to apply multiple concepts and frameworks they learned in their operations courses. She cited LGO senior lecturer Steven Spear, "who taught us how to reframe challenges and walk through current state to identify opportunities for error or waste and project to the future state. I utilized this training to walk the hospice director through potential patient and staff safety risks along with solutions to mitigate these risks." LRI began implementing the team's recommendations in advance of the new hospice's recent opening.

As for her most vivid memory from her stay in Kenya, Dannielle remembered first arriving in the rural village after traveling for 45 minutes via multiple dirt roads. "All four of us on the team heard singing 100 yards from the entrance to where we were staying," she said. "We assumed it was from a church. But when we arrived, we saw over 100 people singing to welcome us to their home. Roughly 70 of the people were orphans from the children's home close by. We each cut a ribbon and received a bouquet of flowers."

"This was an incredibly unique opportunity that was only made available to me because I attend MIT," she added.
formerly MIT Leaders for Manufacturing (LFM)