How Technology and SGE Fit Together

by Alexander Green, MBA'12 (10/5/11)

Alexander Green, MBA'12

Many have been fascinated by my transition from the SGE immersion to a high-tech company, a pairing that is sometimes surprising.

It's still hard for me to believe what happened this summer.  Ever since my father, a middle school social studies teacher, brought home his classroom's Apple IIe for the summer, I have been enamored by technology.  I grew up first fascinated by the fun and excitement of the educational games Number Crunchers and Oregon Trail and then used computers as an outlet for creativity as I explored home digital video production.  In college, I used technology in the arts as a theatre lighting designer and radio station DJ while majoring in Media Technology and Arts.  After school, I joined Deloitte Consulting and worked primarily on large-scale enterprise resource planning systems for major retail organizations.

Over time, I grew less interested in technical details and more interested inhow we use various pieces of technology to enable businesses to be more efficient, improve our lives, and make an impact on the world around us.  Johnson's SGE immersion allowed me to explore the relationship between technology and serving social needs as I worked on a consulting project with Grameen Intel.  We helped the company, a joint venture between the Grameen Foundation and Intel Corp, create a structured methodology for creating, evaluating, and implementing new products and services that alleviate social needs through the use of technology.  The project helped me think about social interactions with technology on an international scale, particularly within emerging and developing markets.  

This global perspective was especially valuable during my summer internship with a high-tech company in Silicon Valley.   My SGE experience helped me work efficiently on cross-functional teams, allowed me to consider unique perspectives when thinking through challenging business decisions, and enabled me to think critically about how to use technology to create the best user experience for the organization's worldwide customers.  The internship only solidified the understanding I gained during the SGE immersion: that organizations today must think more globally about the customers they serve and the impact of their products and services.

As I return to the swing of school, I am overwhelmed by the number of students interested in my experience.  Many have been fascinated by my transition from the SGE immersion to a high-tech company, a pairing that is sometimes surprising.  I tell everyone the same thing: I came to business school to broaden my horizons and explore areas that I find interesting and about which I am passionate.  The SGE immersion allowed me to use my zeal for technology to help serve a greater good, while diversifying my perspective for my dream internship.  The extra electives allowed me to take classes that deepened my skills: The Strategic Management of Technology and Innovation, Energy Economics, and Environmental Economics.  Combined, my semester was an awesome diverse combination of experiential learning and technical skills sharpening.  If you don't think technology and SGE go together, think again.