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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Is LGO the Right Program for Me?
...Taking Engineering & Operations Management Careers to the Next Level

By Jane Deutsch
LGO Director of Admissions and Career Development

LGO applications are due December 15, so I know some of you are still weighing your options. Do I simply want to hone engineering skills? Or do I want to earn an MBA? And, which program is right for me? For those considering MIT’s Leaders for Global Operations Program (LGO), the question is: Are you ready to take a deep breath, leap in, and do both?

As LGO’s director of admissions and career development, I am often asked how candidates know that this is the right program for them. And, while I can’t read minds, I can say I see some marked similarities among those whom we accept and who ultimately enroll and succeed in the program.

First of all, LGO students are interested in operations management—a broad range of issues related to the production and distribution of goods and services. They are also experienced technical professionals who want to broaden or deepen their engineering expertise—while gaining the skills they will need to lead operations companies.

“Multi-faceted career growth requires the engineer to develop the business acumen and awareness to justify and make the toughest decisions,” Michael Vento, LGO ’12 (Intel, U. of Florida ‘06, Industrial and Systems Engineering), said in explaining his decision to join LGO. “While not impossible to attain on the job, these skills can be significantly augmented by concentrated study and exposure to diverse industries, cultures, and geographies.”

LGO students are experienced professionals who want to take on challenges that fall outside their comfort zone. LGO is an active and intense program where students have a truly inter-disciplinary education and can take advantage of the world-class teaching and research done at both MIT Sloan and the MIT School of Engineering. In addition, they work on a variety of real-world projects, including our signature six-month internship at one of our partner companies, so they have to be willing to stretch themselves.

“LGO was the top choice for me given the structure of the program,” said Amil Mody LGO’12 (Goldman Sachs, Columbia University ‘05, Operations Research) who wanted to return to his operations roots. “I liked the ability to specialize in a particular engineering discipline, the small class size, and the quality of both MIT Sloan and the MIT School of Engineering... I felt like I would fit in pretty naturally.”

LGO is a small, cohesive community where the sense of belonging is strong, built up through intense work and the need for teamwork.

As Annie Kang, LGO ’12 (Northrop Grumman, UCLA ‘07, EE), put it, “I had no doubts about the LGO program. I knew a graduate degree in business and engineering from MIT would be highly valuable, but it was actually the people I met during the Interviewfest and Open House weekends who ultimately helped me make my decision to choose LGO. Everyone was so nice, and the class above us really did seem like a family.”

At LGO, students learn from each other while taking on increasing levels of leadership responsibility within the program. Admittedly, LGO is a challenging program. But joining LGO connects you to a network of technical leaders that will be there for you for the rest of your career. It’s not right for everyone, but for a select few it can be life-changing.

I am reminded of Denise Johnson, LGO ’97, who this year was named president and managing director for GM Brazil. She said, “If I had to pick out a two-year period that made the biggest difference in my life, it would be the time I spent in the [LGO] program.”

To learn more about LGO and experience it first-hand, please plan to join us on Monday, October 25 at MIT for LGO Ambassador Day and Information Evening. Learn more or RSVP.

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formerly MIT Leaders for Manufacturing (LFM)