My First Semester at MIT Sloan


By Ryan Pijai

Here is a collection of highlights from the first semester of my full-time MBA program at MIT Sloan!

I’ve organized the highlights into 5 categories:

  • My Ocean
  • My Courses
  • My Core Team
  • Extracurriculars
  • Entrepreneurial Activities

I just played Go with a professional Go player!


This is definitely a lifetime highlight for me.

I was walking back from the gym and randomly ran into two professional Go players from Korea at the MIT Student Center. After talking to them, they invited me to play. Sojin On, on the left, is ranked 7 pro, and Dahye Lee, on the right, is ranked 4 pro.

Dahye gave me an 8 handicap stone advantage (a huge advantage to give someone at the start of a match). She then proceeded to play me and 3 members of the MIT Go club all simultaneously. She darted back and forth from board to board playing moves faster than any of us. I was able to hold on to a very slight advantage (about 2 points) by defending the sides and corners of the board. Unfortunately, as the game progressed there was nowhere else I could get more points, whereas Dahye still had potential in the middle of the board. If I were able to fight her evenly in a chaotic battle in the middle of the board to ruin all territory there, I might have been able to maintain my 2 point lead to the end of the game. But alas, it wasn’t meant to be. She beat all 4 of us decisively.

The professionals were super friendly. They were here for a few days to represent Korea in the annual US Go Congress, and they will be flying back home shortly. I asked Sojin at what age he started studying Go and he told me he started training when he was 6. Dahye, who beat us all, gave us brownies and reviewed each of our games with us.

Human professional players are so much more fun to play with than computer professional players. AlphaGo may be impressive at playing Go, but I’ve never seen AlphaGo share smiles, stories, and brownies like Sojin and Dahye.

Yup Boston, I took 10 of your Poke Gyms. And yes, it’s 3:36 a.m. and I’m exhausted.


I am only Level 22 and taking all of the gyms.
The Final “Boss”
My 10 Pokemon Gym Defenders
Prize is “meh,” but the journey was worth it!

Photos created by Ryan Pijai

The Quest

Last night, I decided to go for it. My goal was to capture 10 Pokemon GO gyms all at once (the maximum the game allows you to do), which, as any Pokemon GO player will tell you, is extremely difficult in a bustling major city like Boston. Usually a single gym barely lasts 15 minutes before someone else takes it over.

I began my campaign at midnight. I knew it would be difficult, but I had no idea the type of night that was in store for me. What began as a frivolous self-imposed achievement quest, ended up turning into a crazy 3 and a half hour ordeal that felt like the Hunger Games.

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Piano Compositions

In 2008, as a wedding gift to my brother and sister-in-law I decided to do something I had never done before: I composed a piano song for the first time in my life and surprised them with it at their wedding.

Since then, I’ve been hooked on it. I’ve composed over 20 short piano pieces over the years and have put them up on my YouTube channel.

Here are some of my favorites:

1. The Awakening (2008)

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