Meet MIT Sloan’s MBA Class Of 2021

Clare Frigo

Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of ManagementLeaders for Global Operations program (LGO)

“Enthusiastic engineering leader from Wisconsin interested in manufacturing.”

Hometown: Milwaukee, WI

Fun Fact About Yourself: I come from a family of cheesemakers. My favorite cheese is mozzarella.

Undergraduate School and Major: MIT 2013 – Chemical Engineering

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Johnson Controls – Program Manager

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I was selected as a 2018 STEP Ahead Award Emerging Leader for my work as an engineer and program manager at Johnson Controls. The award honors young women in the manufacturing industry that have accomplished success within their companies and have proven to be leaders in the industry as a whole.

When you think of MIT, what are the first things that come to mind? How has your experience with the Sloan program reinforced or upended these early impressions? While applying, I had heard that Sloan had a very close community, especially in regards to LGO. After the first week of classes, this was reinforced with my LGO classmates. We spent the whole summer in the same classes without many other students on campus which gave us the opportunity to bond. Even though all the LGOs in the class above us weren’t on campus over the summer, they were constantly reaching out to give advice and recommendations for the summer in Cambridge. Also, all the Sloanies that I met during admit weekend have also continued to reach out and express how excited they are to start this fall.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Inquisitive – everyone I’ve met so far has been really interested in why things work the way they do. Everyone wants to dig a little deeper than the surface level to make sure they understand. When something is confusing or doesn’t make sense, people speak up and ask.

Aside from your classmates, what was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? The embodiment of the MIT motto of mens et manus (mind and hand). The fact that everything I’d be learning would be very practical was a huge draw for me. For example, in the LGO program, we do a 6-month internship where we have to apply our engineering and business knowledge to write our thesis. Knowing that everything we’re learning is needed and applicable to the industry partners makes the investment of time and money completely worthwhile.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? Throughout January during independent activities period (IAP), the LGO first years travel around the US visiting our partner companies’ plants for domestic plant trek (DPT). I’m looking forward to seeing all the plants across a number of different industries and bonding with my classmates.

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? What is the best feedback that you’ve received in the past and how have you responded to it?

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I decided to pursue an MBA at this point because of the combination of the industry I was working in feeling stagnant and the fact that I couldn’t see a career path that I was enthusiastic about.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? I only applied to MIT LGO because it is such a unique program.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? The practical application of knowledge and community were the two most important factors for me. Having gone to MIT for undergrad, I knew that MIT would provide hands-on experiences while learning different material. LGO, in particular, has a 6-month internship to apply what we learn which was very appealing. As for community, I had visited MIT for AdMIT weekend to meet my future classmates and afterward, I couldn’t wait to start classes and get to know everyone better. The current students were more than willing to answer any questions that I had and all the other admits shared a similar enthusiasm for the program which was very appealing.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? Starting undergrad at MIT was changing for me. The community that I lived in growing up was not very diverse. Leaving Wisconsin and coming to Cambridge gave me new perspectives to consider and broadened my view of the world.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? Either being a leader at a large manufacturing company or having founded my own company in the manufacturing arena.

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