Friday, August 13, 2010

Moving Closer to MIT

Before I go into today's optimization, I'll give a little excerpt of why I am focusing on being optimized. During this initial summer semester at LGO, I took a course called Systems Optimization, where complex business processes and systems are analyzed and evaluated to produce a best/optimal result, given certain limiting factors and conditions. In other words (getting rid of the technical junk from the last sentence), the point of the class is to find the optimal solution to a business problem. So for me, I am trying to discover the optimal ways to live out the life of an LGO student, hectic and chaotic as it can be but fun to its core.

So, when I started in LGO, I actually drove to MIT every day. I worked just a 5-minute walk away from the building for my previous company, so the commute was familiar and I could plan in advance the time it would take to get to MIT. Unfortunately (and quite stupidly), MIT requires all commuting students to park in a garage outside of Westgate Hall, which forced me to take a shuttle to the Sloan building. All together, each one way between home and Sloan took 1 hour! So, I was completely wasting 2 hours of my day and the great college experience in a car or bus!

So, what did I do? I did what any student would do to regain sanity: move closer to campus! I took the following route (from Malden to Cambridge):

As shown in the picture, I definitely became happier and more in touch with the LGO life the closer I moved to campus. I switched my commute from the car to the train and started to save an hour and a half of my day right from the start. Also, I don't have to drive everywhere now, so I can enjoy the night life more freely. In a way, my sanity was saved, so I could focus better on my courses and my social life.

In this spirit, here's the optimization lesson of the day: exceptional performance (in terms of the LGO social and work life) is possible [ :) ] by moving close to campus and not relying on the same commute as you did for work. Hope you come back for more!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Birthday in the Summer

This is it, the inaugural post for my MIT LGO blog! For my blog, I'm going to try to be "The Optimized LGO Student", and what better way to kick this off than to describe about having a summer birthday in the LGO program! My birthday was less than a week ago now on July 30, the 7/30. Having a birthday in the summer is so awesome, as the weather's nicer and people are just more willing to go outside. What made my birthday this year even more special was that I got to spend it with my fellow LGOs, and it was such an experience and a half!

In the morning, following a long-time LGO tradition, I had to hold onto a yellow teddy bear and wear a pink hat to indicate that it was my birthday. I actually enjoyed it, especially when I put my shades on with the hat :) !!!

After a day of classes and a plant trek to Amgen (not sure why I even decided to go on a plant trek on my birthday!), the real birthday celebration began! I had dinner with some LGOs at a Korean restaurant called Koreana. I got to drink soju for the first time actually and ate some pretty good Korean food. Let the picture justify itself:

Then (oh man!) came the karaoke! I just have to say: my fellow LGOs are so awesome (we really are becoming one big happy family)! I had so much fun singing my heart and lungs out, and they even let me sing every single song! So glad my voice didn't give out at the end of the night!

Well, I'd say that my birthday went off well this year, bringing me to the optimization lesson for the day: Hopefully, you have a birthday in the summer, so that the other Sloanies aren't on campus yet, when there is going to be so much to do. See you all next time!