Hey, I know that guy!

Not a fan of “reality” TV, I missed the fact that I knew someone who was a contestant on The Apprentice. And now it seems that he won.

Randal was in the year behind me at Sloan — we were both in the Leaders for Manufacturing fellowship program, in fact.

The LFM program is sponsored by manufacturing companies and those companies use it heavily as a recruiting tool. Every LFM spends six months interning at one of the partner companies and writes his thesis on the internship. There’s a good deal of pressure to interview with the partner companies and hire on with one after graduation. If one doesn’t pick a partner company, one is … let’s say “encouraged” to join a manufacturing company, and preferably a U.S.-based manufacturing company. Each graduate meets with a program head for an exit interview to discuss this stuff.

I didn’t get too much flack for joining a software company when I graduated, but I had interviewed with a few management consulting firms and felt a little dirty doing it. It isn’t only the program heads that frown on consulting — some of my fellow students asked whether I didn’t feel an obligation to the partner companies for sponsoring the program, why I didn’t see I should work to improve American manufacturing.

I see from Randal’s show bio this: “Randal, 34, is the founder, president and CEO of his fifth venture “BCT Partners,” a multi-million dollar management, technology and policy consulting firm based in Newark, N.J., that works with corporations, government agencies, philanthropic and nonprofit organizations.” MIT gets a mention but LFM does not — he mentions one MIT book (The Fifth Discipline by Peter M. Senge, which is about systems thinking and system dynamics (and incidentally that’s what my first company out of school focused on, in software form)).

LFM hasn’t mentioned Randal in its emails to alumni (I think), but MIT is heralding his success. I sure hope he likes working for The Donald though.

Maybe I should check in with him and see if he needs anyone to build a website for him….

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