6-3 interview with Ryan Ko


Ryan Ko, 6-3 undergraduate in EECS

What were your interests as a high school student and how did you come to choose Course 6 when you came to MIT?

I did a little bit of everything in high school, and came to MIT with absolutely no idea what I wanted to major in. I can't remember exactly when I decided on Course 6, but I remember speaking with (former department head, now Chancellor) Eric Grimson during CPW as a pre-frosh. I had decided way back then that 6 was definitely a candidate major. I don't think it was until after I took a few more classes, 6.01, 6.02, and the 6.00x's, that I decided not only to major in Course 6 but in 6-3 as well.

Once you decided to major in Course 6, what led you to choose 6-3?

For one, I really wasn't very good at EE, nor did hardware interest me very much. When I came to that realization halfway through 6.02, the decision to pursue 6-3 was obvious. 

What are the aspects of 6-3 you liked the best and how have you found your interests grow or change as you've gone on?

All solid engineering majors, especially 6-3, educate their students in methodological, systematic problem-solving. Specifically, concepts such as abstraction are useful not only to computer scientists, but problem-solvers of all walks of academia. As far as my individual interests, I've taken a particularly strong interest in technology law and policy. 

Where do you envision yourself headed next and how do you think 6-3 has prepared you?

When I finish my M.Eng., I'll be joining McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm. Companies hire McKinsey consultants to solve complicated problems for them -- large, complex problems similar to those found in Course 6-3, just on a different scale. I'm considering pursuing a J.D. or M.P.P. and exploring careers in technology policy. 

6-3 is a big major, filled with many brilliant students and challenging obstacles. It's absolutely, positively okay to not be at the top of the class all the time. If it were easy and everyone got A's all the time, it wouldn't be 6-3 at MIT.