Get ready to read about our next student blogger, Victoria Knight, who blogs at Let’s Get Operating. Victoria talks about her experience in MIT’s Leaders for Global Operations program. Read on for more information!
Accepted: Let's start by getting some basics: Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? Where did you work before heading to MIT?
Victoria: Hi Accepted.com! My name is Victoria Knight and I am a second year student in MIT’s Leaders for Global Operations program. I grew up in Massachusetts, but have also lived in Michigan for three years. I studied Architecture at MIT for my undergrad degree and, after school, I worked for an architecture firm and then in medical device manufacturing. My goal in going to graduate school was to continue to do something tangible afterwards, like manufacturing, rather than make a career transition to finance or something like that.
Accepted: Can you tell us about the dual degree you're pursuing and about the Leaders for Global Operations program you're in?
Victoria: Leaders for Global Operations (LGO), is a dual degree program between MIT’s Sloan School of Business and MIT’s School of Engineering. It requires a minimum of two years of work experience and was founded 25 years ago with the goal of supporting US manufacturing excellence. It is now more global and also has a focus on operations. After 24 months (18 months of classes and six months of internship), students graduate from the program with a MBA and a MS in an engineering department of their choice. You do have to write a thesis.
I chose Engineering Systems Division (ESD) for my engineering master's. ESD is a department which covers lots of things, most of which I characterize as “meta engineering” – they look at high level systems problems. These can be anything from supply chain issues and transportation network planning to technology policy. Many of the classes I take are cross-listed in the Mechanical Engineering department.
Accepted: What is your favorite thing about MIT? Least favorite?
Victoria: My favorite thing about MIT is that it is impossible to be bored. Where MIT could most improve is probably is helping people find out about all the cool stuff that is going on and all the resources the campus (or their website) has to offer. I continue to learn about new offices, programs, lecture series, services, etc. that I never knew about before. I did not even know about LGO while I was at MIT for undergrad; I only found out about it in a young alumni email.
Accepted: What is your favorite class?
Victoria: My favorite class that I have taken as part of LGO would have to be a seminar called Lion Teams – we split into teams and acted as consultants for manufacturing companies in China. As part of the class, we visited these companies in China and complete additional on-site work. That was the first time I had been to Asia and it was a fantastic real world opportunity. I think it also gave me useful credibility for my position at Corning Incorporated.
Accepted: Congrats on your job offer! What will you be doing at Corning Incorporated? How did MIT help you find or secure that position?
Victoria: I will start there in mid-July and will be working on manufacturing strategy for their displays division. A large portion of my job will be visiting Corning’s manufacturing plants, many of which are in Asia, and completing analyses for them related to cost, capacity, etc.
I originally applied for a general strategy position at Corning which was listed on MIT Sloan’s Career website. To prep for my interviews I contacted a recent MIT Sloan alumnus who had worked in that role to get more background on the position and the company. After my on-site interview, the HR person from Corning suggested me for this manufacturing focused strategy position and which is the one I ultimately accepted. So, I would say that MIT helped me make the initial connection, but Corning worked to coordinate the final match.
Accepted: Why did you decide to blog about your grad school journey? What have you gained from the experience?
Victoria: I decided to blog about my LGO/grad school experience because of three things:
1. Reading current LGO student blogs was very helpful and important to me in learning more about the program; I wanted to continue that tradition.
2. As an MIT undergrad alumna, I felt that I could add extra information to my blog about how to make the most of campus and things in the Boston/Cambridge area that other LGOs could not.
3. I had kept a personal blog for three years before beginning LGO and so it was something I felt comfortable continuing.
Benefits that have come or will come from my blogging experience are: awesome satisfaction when an applicant tells me that my blog helped them decide to come to LGO, getting to share more about a school I love and finally, having a great set of “memories” written out that I can refer to in the future. I printed the personal blog that I had referenced earlier in a book form and intend to do the same for Let’s Get Operating.
Since I found out about LGO, to some extent, by chance, I am very happy that Accepted.com asked to interview me and that I could help more people learn about the program.
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