Thursday, February 23, 2012

Decisions, Decisions

While the potential '14s await an admissions package from LGO, the current first year class, I'm pleased to announce, has received our internship placements.  Those of us who are doing on-cycle internships now know which companies we will be working with for the latter part of 2012.  My assignment?  Here's a hint:

Answer? Working for GM in Pontiac, MI (not Detroit, as the picture of their headquarters above might suggest).  Pontiac is a 30-40 minute drive northwest of Detroit.

I will be working at their Casting, Engine and Transmission Center and besides trying to think of how I'll approach my internship, I have already started a custom google map for what's in the area - groceries, etc.  Housing is provided, but I will need to get/buy/lease a car for that six month period due to an optimistically worded note my project description.  And I quote, "public transportation is not optimal in this area, and will be difficult to rely on...".  I get a kick out of that every time I read it.

Related to internship stuff, this means that when this semester ends, I will be 3/4 done with my classwork for LGO.  Only a few more classes and a thesis after internship and we'll be getting sent off into the world before we know it.  It's very hard to believe that a year ago I was just being told I was admitted...

Monday, February 13, 2012

Back to Academics

Here are the classes that I am taking this semester (at least for now - MIT has a very generous Add/Drop policy and so this could change later in the term).

15.281 - Advanced Communication for Leaders aka Comm II
I get Comm II with the professor I had Comm I with so I feel like I have even more of an opportunity to get some helpful analysis on how I've improved over the past year.  I'm taking this class because Comm I said that in presentations, I've got the info down and it's explained clearly, my energy could just be improved.  Public speaking and presenting is not something that's terribly fun to do, but the more you work on it, the better you get.  I'm taking the class because it will be challenging sometimes, but worth it.  Also, the professor is great.

15.401 - Finance I
Since this is Finance in the spring, the professor knows that the people who are taking it do not plan to go into Finance (when asked if we would, none of us raised our hands).  I think it will still be a lot of work, but won't be quite as intense because of the students who are in the class.  I guess Finance I and II combined used to be one huge (and tough!) Sloan core class.  As LGOs, at a minimum we either need to take Finance or Marketing before graduating.  I was debating what to do - one? both? when? - and my Sloan ocean advisor basically said that you should not be allowed to leave Sloan without taking a finance class.  Hence, this is my choice and I think it will be beneficial in the long run with many applications.

15.847 - Consumer Behavior
Took this class, almost on a whim - my second year "pilot" of our Sloan core team is the TA and I heard that the professor was good.  I'm one of those people who cares equally about the topic as the professor.  Sounded like it would be enjoyable and so far the lectures have lived up to my expectations.

15.900 - Competitive Strategy
Strategy is a half semester class and was noted by Sloan staff as another core-type course that would be good to have exposure to.  It is also a prerequisite for other interesting classes.  I'm taking it so I can fulfill the prerequisite and I also think it's a good balance for some of the more detail focused classes I'm taking.

2.739 - Product Design and Development
This course is jointly offered to LGOs, Mechanical Engineering masters students, MBAs, senior undergrads from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and other Sloan programs.  It focuses on the holistic approach of product design, from concept development to marketing of a new product.  We will be creating prototypes this semester; this class has produced sale-able products in the past, however, we were reminded that this was not the aim of the class.

ESD.267/268 - Two supply chain half-term courses focused on further developing our knowledge in this subject.
I chose these classes because A) they are required for my engineering masters track and B) to see if I can figure out more of the difference between supply chain and logistics (I took Logistics Systems in the fall).  It seems like there's tons of overlap.  Since supply chain issues were core to many of the internship projects proposed for the '12s, knowing these topics inside and out should be helpful.

and finally...

Lion Teams
Lion Teams is an active learning consulting-type class offered for LGO students to work with their CLGO counterparts.  We help companies either based in or with offices in China work on a problem they are facing.  We will spend time in China conducting meetings and presentations during the week before spring break or at the end of the semester in May.  This semester I am working with one other LGO '13 and three LGO '12s on a project for Sandisk.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

So many interviews!

Interview has been the word for this week.

Backstory: what guides your thesis and is the capstone experience of LGO is a six month long internship with a partner company.  This is done during the summer between your first and second years in the program and is a chance to put to use your work experience and lots of what you've learned at MIT.  Sometimes internships lead to full-time offers with companies, but the immediate goal is to make positive change for the company you work for.

Both students and companies have input into this process and matching proceeds much like how medical residents get matched, students rank companies and companies rank students.  The best compromise where everyone gets matched is the goal.  Last year the 12s had many first and second choices, but the fact remains that you could be assigned to any project you rank.

Over the holiday break, internship descriptions began to appear.  During plant trek we had to submit a list of projects we wanted to interview for and finally, after three days this week of meeting with partner companies for 20 minutes at a time for each interview, I managed to complete my 19 interview sessions to learn about 23 on-cycle projects.  Phew!  I thought that the interviews were going to be the hard part, but turns out that ranking, at least in my case, seems to be much more brain wracking.

Besides the inerviews that the '13s went through this past week, on Friday and again on Monday and Tuesday, LGO will be interviewing candidates for the class of 2014.  We've begun InterviewFest and I've had fun speaking with prospectives, sitting in on a panel discussion about the program and then going out to dinner off campus.  Tonight we'll be holding an event of food and fun at an on-campus pub, The Thirsty Ear, which is located in the new Ashdown graduate dormitory.  Should be a good time.
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