Saturday, February 21, 2009

6 months to get in touch with my Italian side

On Wednesday night, the announcement of Internship matches came out. The timing almost couldn't have been better (or worse). Many of us were out at Beacon Hill Pub (BHP), where Sloanies spend Wednesday night enjoying a tasty adult beverage to help get through the week, when the e-mail came through. It was a flurry of iPhone & Blackberry action, as everyone worked through the list to find their name.

I am THRILLED about mine. I will be working for Novartis Vaccines & Diagnostics in... Siena, Italy. Yay! Personally and professionally I am pretty excited...

Personally, I am actually half Italian, so I can't wait to get the chance to learn more about my family.  Also, there are many other LFMs going to Europe so it will be an incredible chance for me to explore Europe.

Professionally, it's fulfilling exactly one of my major goals for LFM - the chance to do something COMPLETELY new. I don't think you can get any further apart than fighter airplanes and vaccines. ;) Plus, the way the project is described right now, it's much different than my shop floor/manufacturing IE experience.

All in all this is an exciting time.

Also, being the "fill-in" Internship Committee chair, I am SO glad that the chaos of the matching is over!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

It's Spring Semester, but not really Spring Weather

I am so thankful for MIT's policy on days off. Even though it's only been 2 weeks of classes, I am in need of an extra day off. I've already fallen behind in classes. Not necessarily because I'm overwhelming busy, but because I just can't seem to get motivated. The odd thing is that I picked my classes this semester, so I should be a bit more excited than I am... I think it's just getting back into the school mentality. After having 6 weeks without school I got spoiled. And although I went 6 years without school before last May - I was actually excited for classes when we started in June. Now, I'm thinking more clearly and know what I've got myself into. ;)

Ok, so here's what will be keeping me busy this semester:

Sloan Classes

Finance: Now, given that my title for the last year I was at NG was Financial Analyst, you'd think that I'd be more excited and interested in this class. But, I am not. I know Net Present Value, Bonds and various other stuff is important, but I actually think there's more interesting things to do with numbers ( wow, could I be a bigger dork? :) ).  Also, our professor is a disaster. Fortunately, he's a visiting professor, so hopefully, none of you will have to take it. One good thing about the terrible class is that we've formed an LFM study group to minimize our classroom torture and to help each other learn what we don't get in lecture.  It's a good chance for me to get to work with new people in LFM.

Sustainability Lab: This class is all about implementing and being aware of sustainablity initiatives in business. It's actually been one of the most interesting so far. It's primarily case discussion based. But, one of the neat things the professor has done is contacted people at the company that we've read about and getting them to call in and provide an update to us during class. It really makes it a lot more enjoyable, plus, I feel like I'm learning a lot about sustainability, which is new for me. (Yeah, I'm behind the times.)

Engineering Classes (at least those that count for me in my CEE degree)

Supply Chain Planning/Design: This is probably the most analytical engineering class I am taking this semester. It's a lot of supply chain modeling - inventory planning, etc. It should be pretty similar to a class I took in the fall, but not nearly as complex (thankfully!!). The only big downside is that it's at 8 AM (MWF) but that's because it's broadcast in Singapore.

International Supply Chain: Because I am hoping to go international for my internship, I thought this would be a great class for me to get some international business knowledge since I've never worked there. It's primarily case based and I haven't learned anything ground breaking, but the professor is a lot of fun, and I think some of the future case discussions should be interesting.

Case Studies in Logistics & Supply Chain Management: I think this is so far my favorite class. It's entirely case based (obviously) and the professor does a great job of managing the discussion and highlighting the key points at the end. I also find the readings pretty interesting. So, that helps. ;)

Product Design & Development: (The surprise of the semester!) A design class is a requirement for LFM and I was really not excited about this class. BUT, the professor who wrote the book is back this semester and the classes have been surprisingly a lot more interesting than originally anticipated. The class is focused on us learning how to do product development through lecture and a project. Our project teams were just assigned - I'm working on a team focused on developing a better solution for travelers trying to sleep on planes/upright. There's 8 people on the team, 5 of us are LFMs, 2 sloanies and 1 person from Rhode Island School of Design. Even though it seems like a lot of work, it should be real interesting.

So, that's that.

All in all, my classes are much more interesting to me this semester, now I just need to get into the groove. In the meantime, I'll keep wishing for spring days!