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Destination known

Leaders for Global Operations student Jan Ma plans to explore the world, and make it better.
Jan Ma in Rome.
Jan Ma in Rome.
Photo courtesy of Jan Ma

The travel bug hit Jan Ma LGO ’14 when she was very young. As a toddler, she accompanied her mother on many business trips throughout China. Ma was too young to remember the destinations, so she now has a goal to visit every continent by the time she is 30 years old. With just three continents left to visit, (Africa, South America and Antarctica) the 26-year-old hopes to cross two off her list while at MIT Sloan.

Ma first learned of the Leaders for Global Operations Program (LGO) from a friend who was in MIT’s System Design and Management Program. After visiting MIT on LGO’s Ambassador Day, Ma was sold.

“I loved it,” Ma said of that day. “The program office put together such a great event for us. I met all the students, the faculty and staff. I sat in on a class and really found out what a day-in-the-life of an LGO student was like. I knew it was a vital part of what I want to do. The [six-and-a-half month] internship with partner companies is such a great opportunity too."

When she completes her SM in mechanical engineering in LGO’s biomechanics track and her MBA, Ma plans to work in the operational side of health care. She is taking Global Health Care Delivery Lab (GHD) to help achieve this goal.

“I want a career that will be meaningful and will help others, and this class will allow me to do that. The majority of the GHD projects are in Africa, and I’m looking forward to working there in March,” Ma said. “In addition, LGO has international plant treks over Spring Break. Since I’ve never been to South America I hope to influence my classmates to take the trip there,” she said, smiling.

No matter where she travels while at MIT Sloan, Ma is always looking for her next travel adventure. A classmate from Brazil has invited LGO classmates to visit. Small groups of MIT Sloan students have visited Antarctica over Spring Break the past two years, and Ma is interested in exploring that possibility as well. She hopes that her LGO internship will have her working for a biotech company in Switzerland or Frankfurt.

While at MIT, Ma plans to join the $100K Entrepreneurship Competition. She wants to find a team that shares her passion for tackling health care issues. “I’m interested in working on a team that wants to find solutions to delivering drugs, services, and diagnostics to developing countries,” she said.

Ma also plans to work on the BioInnovations Conference that is sponsored by the Health Care club. She plans to skate for the LGO hockey team as well.

In between her demanding class schedule, Ma plans to travel to as many places as she can. Trips to Singapore and to Mt. Fuji in Japan are in the planning stages.

“Of all the places I visited so far, Croatia was my favorite. While I was there I went cliff diving and kayaking. I also really enjoyed visiting Australia. I went scuba diving both during the day and at night off the Great Barrier Reef. In May, while I was visiting Mt. Everest I ran into my future LGO classmate, Chris Wilson,” she said. Adding, “It’s a small world. Every place is different and exciting.”

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