New MIT Sloan students expect presidential election to be felt in classroom

Students from 42 nations seek new tools to advance careers and goals

September 12, 2012

More than 800 MBA and master’s students joined MIT Sloan from 42 nations this fall, where they will study the essentials such as finance and marketing, but also the most timely subject: the 2012 presidential election.

With the economy and the U.S. financial system central themes in the current political debate, students are attuned to what will happen on and after Nov. 6.

Trinh NguyenTrinh Nguyen

“The presidential election will affect my classroom experiences, my work, and my cohorts’ experiences,” said Trinh Nguyen, chief of staff at the Boston Housing Authority, who is enrolling in the Executive MBA program. “The refinement of tax codes, bipartisanship, areas of budget cuts, and proposed economic plans with austerity measures will impact both private and public sectors. It will be exciting to learn how it impacts our practices, and challenges us to learn new ways of being and operating.”

Tiffany WetherellTiffany Wetherell

“More than anything, the upcoming election is a great way to introduce the international students to U.S. political culture and for me to learn about politics abroad,” said Tiffany Wetherell, a California native enrolled in the School’s Master of Finance program. “I can’t promise that the conversation won’t get heated, but it’s a great way to connect the dots, toss around new perspectives, and understand finance as one of many moving parts in the political economies across the globe.”

Many members of the new class hope to develop new skills that will help them advance not only their personal careers, but also broader economic and social goals.

Michael ChunMichael Chun

“Even in the midst of today’s economic conditions, I believe that manufacturing is and will always be a key component of the American economy,” said Michael Chun, a Los Angeles resident and West Point graduate whose military service has included tours in Germany and Iraq. “Through the management and leadership skills I gain from both MIT Sloan and the Leaders for Global Operations program, I hope that I can take a major role in improving both manufacturing and supply chain operations in a major U.S. company.”

Steve MogaSteve Moga

Steve Moga, who grew up in Houston, enlisted in the Navy in 2000, became a Marine and then an Infantry Officer, eventually becoming second in command to a company of nearly 200 Marines.

“Beyond the normal pursuits of a young officer, I was passionate about media usage in counterinsurgency and was fortunate to have the opportunity to run several radio stations in Afghanistan,” Moga said. He hopes to use his MBA degree to become a management consultant focused on the energy sector. He also has a personal goal to help young veterans.

“I have been involved in several great organizations and would like to either use expertise gained to improve one of them or start a new one,” Moga said. “I believe my time at Sloan will expose me to the right people and the right ideas to do this.”

Daniel ObasekiDaniel Obaseki

Born in Benin City, Nigeria and raised in New York City, Daniel Obaseki said he looks forward to working with “a cohort of classmates who are interested in creating entrepreneurial business solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems.” He hopes to use his MBA “to pursue a career building and funding early-stage businesses in Africa with the hopes of creating a generation of sustainable businesses that will impact the economic and social development of the continent.”

Andre AlmeidaAndre Almeida

Andre Almeida hopes to add his new MBA lessons to the experience he has gained over a decade of work in law enforcement in Brazil.

“U.S. universities and, more specifically, MIT Sloan, have the ability to form global leaders,” he said. “I am interested in networking with brilliant students from many different specialties who are here. I intend to take the knowledge and experience acquired here to Brazil and work hard to make a positive impact in people's lives.”