MIT Sloan 2016 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

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Stata Center at MIT

This year’s MIT MBA application is significantly different from last year’s — and those that preceded it. No cover letter, which was part of MIT’s application for years, and no letter of recommendation from you about you. That was last year’s twist. 

This year’s application has one required essay and another short-answer question that applicants invited to interview will need to address. Both these questions are new. Plus the request for additional written information from those invited to interview is not only new, but unique. To my knowledge, MIT is the only school with this requirement. HBS has its post-interview reflections, but that again is post interview and is not a response to a specific question.

Finally, MIT Sloan for years had only two rounds. The second round deadline last year was January 8. This year MIT is adding a third round which extends its application season to April 11.  There may be many reasons for this change, but one result: it increases total application volume and reduces the acceptance rate while giving MIT Sloan a chance to admit excellent applicants who may just decide to apply late in the application cycle.

My tips are in blue below. 


Please prepare a business resume that includes your employment history in reverse chronological order, with titles, dates, and whether you worked part-time or full-time. Your educational record should also be in reverse chronological order and should indicate dates of attendance and degree(s) earned. Other information appropriate to a business resume is welcomed and encouraged. The resume should not be more than one page in length (up to 50 lines). We encourage you to use the résumé template provided in the online application.

Go beyond mere job descriptions to highlight achievement. If your title is “consultant.” Saying that you “consulted on projects” is redundant and uninformative at best. Writing that you “Led a 6-member team working on a biotech outsourcing project to Singapore with a budget of $X; it came in on time and under budget.” conveys infinitely more. Quantify impact as much as possible. You want the reader to come away with a picture of you as an above average performer on a steep trajectory

We have one required essay at the time of submission:

Tell us about a recent success you had: How did you accomplish this? Who else was involved? What hurdles did you encounter? What type of impact did this have? (500 words or fewer)

The really effective response will tell a story about a success. Yes that means one success.

The story can start with the moment of success or a moment of challenge, maybe even of failure or tension. Then describe your role in turning that situation or challenge into an accomplishment.  To provide context and indicate the magnitude of your accomplishment, as well as fully answer the question, talk about impact. What were the results or benefits of your success? Quantify as much as possible.

If you are lucky enough to have several accomplishments to choose from, review “What We Look For,” and choose an experience that presents what MIT seeks.

A second, short-answer question will be asked only of those invited to interview:

The mission of the MIT Sloan School of Management is to develop principled, innovative leaders who improve the world and to generate ideas that advance management practice. Please share with us something about your past that aligns with this mission. (250 words or fewer)

Congrats! If you’re reading this after you applied you’ve been invited to interview at MIT Sloan! Of course now you need to respond to this question. Get ready. Get set. Think!

When have you had an innovative idea that in some small way improved the world?  When have taken your idea and led the implementation of it or persuaded others to go in with you on this project or initiative? You only have 250 words so you can’t write a long story here.  Focus on the elements of your achievement that show you as an innovative leader who has improved the world and has the ability to advance management practice.

Some of you may thing “I already wrote about my best example in the required essay. What am I supposed to do know now?” Choose your second best example. Or choose an impressive example from a different arena of your life, perhaps sports, religion, politics, the arts, community service, or a hobby.

I’m sure you’re not a one-trick pony. Don’t leave them thinking that you have only one achievement that you feel is worthy to share with MIT Sloan’s admissions committee. 

Optional Question

The Admissions Committee invites you to share anything else you would like us to know about you, in any format. If you choose to use a multimedia format, please host the information on a website and provide us the URL.

I discussed this question a few years ago with someone in MIT Sloan’s admissions office. First of all realize that you can choose an essay or multi-media presentation. The media option is there so you can express yourself in the way you find easiest and most revealing. MIT does not want a recycled essay from another school. The person I spoke to was explicit about that. If you choose the multi-media format, realize it should be something viewable in about a minute — no 20-minute videos or 100-slide expositions or lengthy orations. Keep it short. It’s also fine to link to something you have created for a club, event, or cause that’s important to you.

What’s behind the option? A deep and sincere desire to meet you as a human being. A genuine, animated, real live human being. So don’t regurgitate your resume or spew stuff found in the required elements of your application. Have the confidence to share a special interest or deep commitment. I’m not suggesting Mommy Dearest or True Confessions; use judgment. I am suggesting that you allow the reader to see a good side of you not revealed elsewhere in the application.  Let them see what makes you smile, motivates you to jump out of bed with joy, and gives you a feeling of satisfaction when you turn out the light at the end of the day.

MIT Sloan has an excellent video with advice on its optional essay. Here it is:

I think the key phrase in the video is “We really want to get to know you guys as people.” What else would you like MIT Sloan to know about you? Share it here.

MIT Sloan 2016 Application Deadlines:

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Learn How to Choose the Best MBA Program for You!
If you would like professional guidance with your MIT Sloan MBA application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our  MBA Application Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the MIT Sloan application.

Linda Abraham By , president and founder of and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

Related Resources:

• School-Specific MBA Application Essay Tips
• MIT Sloan B-School Zone 
Is My Personal Statement Too Personal?

  • JamesB


    1) 4 years Coordinator Pharmacy Informatics (Mid-Senior level) leading hospital to CPOE, workflow improvements, and medication cost savings. Planned and worked with a team to open new offsite Emergency Department. 1 year Community Pharmacy Manager
    2) 710
    3) College info: University of Florida, Doctor of Pharmacy 2010 (PharmD). GPA 3.2 Accelerated 2 year undergrad track with 3.8 GPA in 2006.
    4) Medical mission trips to Central America providing medical care to over 300 patients. Sponsored by the hospital and brought large quantities of medical supplies and drugs for donation at the medical clinic.
    5) Licensed Consultant Pharmacist, CPHIMS (Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems)
    6) Hospital CIO, Consultant for Medical Robotics or Software

    • Linda Abraham

      James B,

      Your work experience and extra-curriculars are strong and your goals make sense. Your GMAT and undergrad GPA are competitive. Your grad GPA is low for MIT Sloan. If there were extenuating circumstances, you should let them know.

      You have a chance at Sloan, but don’t apply only to Sloan. Also consider Duke, Haas, CMUTepper, UCLA, and UNC.

      • JamesB

        I had a rough first year but really showed significant growth by the 3rd year and by the 4th year making Dean’s list. Thank you so much for your insight. What about Wharton and Kellogg?

        • Linda Abraham

          Same concern. I suggests you also CMU Tepper, Duke, and UC Berkeley.

  • brio

    Hi Linda,
    I’d like your opinion for MIT Sloan, HBS and Kellogg…
    1) 3 years (now) Engineering experience in 2 american semiconductor MNCs (in India), both leader in their fields, with multiple impactful initiatives successfully executed for cost-savings, influencing customer uptake, improving processes, and influencing, mentoring, and coaching senior engineers and chip architects. And interns in 2 other MNCs.
    2) GMAT 99%ile, Verbal 99%ile, Quant 92%ile
    3) Indian Institute of Technology, 8.5/10.0, Electrical Engineering, 2012.
    4) College competitions organization, leading 20+ volunteers with firsts of introducing new competitions, marketing and doubling sponsorship. NGO core team member in education sector (not *my* venture), with impacts in improving learning levels, organizing events with many firsts by leading 50+ volunteers, providing sanitation, computer facilities.
    5) none.
    6) business development in tech companies for business exposure in tech. tech entrepreneurship, in india.

    • Linda Abraham


      You have a competitive profile for your target programs.

  • GG

    Hello Linda,

    I’m from Peru, please review my profile:

    1) 1.5 years in a consulting firm and 3.5 years in a retail bank
    2) Verbal(34/70%), Quantitative(51/97%), Total (710/92%), Analytical Writing (5.0/60%), Integrated Reasoning (7/82%)
    3) National University of Engineering, 14 out of 20 (top fifth), Industrial Engineering, 2010.
    4) Winner of a social entrepreneurship competition (my project is about creating libraries in small villages to promote the reading and improve the reading understanding in children, using the gamification.
    5) none
    6) First, become a manager in the field of analytics and big data, and then start my own entrepreneurial company also related to analytics.

    • GG

      I want to add that my GPA is qualified as “A” in my college. The grading scale is A+ (Excellent), A (Very good), B (Good), C (Passed), D (Unsatisfactory), F (Failed)

      • Linda Abraham

        Thanks for the grade context.

        What did/do you do at the consulting firm and the bank? Is your work related to analytics?

        • GG

          In both cases, My work has been related to the retail banking and analytycs. My experience in the consulting firm was leading projects to improve the sales and profitability of Latin American banks. My experience in the retail bank started in the risk area and then I moved to the analytics area. I was part of many projects that caused great impact at the bank.

          • Linda Abraham


            Thanks for the additional info. Yes. you have a competitive profile for MIT Sloan. Also consider NYU Stern, CMU Tepper, Booth, and Haas.

          • GG

            Thanks Linda !

        • Camilo Alvarez

          Hello Linda
          Why did you exact specifically about WE in analytics? is there a plus in this?

          • Linda Abraham

            If he says he wants to start a business in analytics and big data, that goal is more credible if he has experience in it.

  • Syed Muddasar Raza

    Hi Linda,

    I am Muddasar from Pakistan

    1) 5 years work experience in telecom sector. worked in areas like planning, strategy, segment management. i worked on acquisition on 3G services license and currently managing prepaid segment generating revenue of USD 400 mn per annum.
    2) GMAT is 700 (89%)
    3) Undergrad from top university of Pakistan. BBA with majors in finance. CGPA 3.81/4.00 second position in batch
    4) Headed cultural & dramatics society at university. Headed finance portfolio of AIESEC local chapter (student org). part of education initiative for children. Co-founder of Little hands (helping children to develop and sell online art objects)
    5) CFA level I candidate
    6) Investment banking in short run and expansion of social ventures(already involved in two) in the long run

    please suggest me other school as well. thanks

    • Linda Abraham

      Your GMAT is a little low, but your GPA is excellent. Give it a try. Also consider Yale, Ross, Haas, Duke, UCLA, Cornell Johnson, and Georgetown.

      • Syed Muddasar Raza

        Thank you Linda for the help. I am planning to retake the GMAT by start of next month and i am targeting 740-750 this time. One more thing, what are my chances at NYU Stern?

        • Linda Abraham


          That higher GMAT would improve your chances at NYU Stern.

  • Anik

    Hi Linda,

    Thank you very much for helping all of us out!

    Could you please evaluate my profile for Sloan as well?

    1) 2 years as an R&D Engineer in a reputed Electronic Design Automation company, designing Embedded Memory Intellectual Properties, shipped to Samsung, LG, Intel etc . (Expected promotion in a few months)
    2) GMAT 730
    3) Bachelor’s in Engineering in Electronics and Communication, University of Delhi. Grade – A, 80/100, 5th in Class. (Don’t have an equivalent GPA right now)
    4) Head of the Student organization in School, Managed multiple events in College fests, Multiple excellence awards at work and also mentored 4 new additions to the team.
    5) None.
    6) To be part of the Business Operations and Strategy team, and later on start my own venture.

    Thanks again!

    • Linda Abraham

      Hi Anik,

      You have a competitive profile for MIT Sloan. Also consider CMU Tepper, Ross, Haas, and Kellogg.

      Please let me know if you would like help with your application.

      • Anik

        Thank you very much, Linda!
        This is very encouraging, since I thought I did not have a shot at a top MBA school because of not belonging to the finance/consulting industry.
        I would require a financial aid from the school, though, so I will also be applying to slightly lower ranked schools.
        Thanks again!

  • Peach

    Hi Linda,

    I am from Thailand. Would like your view on Sloan, HBS, GSB, Haas, and Kellogg.

    1) 3 years in top-tier management consulting (M/B/B) as an analyst role. Exposure to various industries and functions but majority of them are in marketing (due to my undergrad background) and digital (my own passion). Just got promoted this month, which is 6-month faster than regular window. I am also the active leader in office’s social activities (holding a chair position of social committee) and recruiting.
    2) GMAT 730, 96%
    3) Undergrad from a top local university (international program). The business school there is considered among top 2 of the country. GPA 3.96/4.00 (highest in class). Major in business administration with focus on marketing. Grad year 2013. (Note: I spent my third year as an exchange student at Haas and transferred back the credits)
    4) I don’t have much activities after college unfortunately. Below are college (plus some high school) activities:
    – Led different teams to win 3 marketing plan competitions nationwide. Team size varies from 4 to 10.
    – Designed 2 fonts of my own and allow for free public use; got over 1 million downloads with appearance in several TV ads and book titles.
    – Founder and captain of high school flag football team – the story is a bit old but the experience was really challenging as I founded the team from ground zero and after 3 years we made it to the 2nd place of the national championship.
    5) None
    6) Switch to tech industries or found a tech startup / tech-based social enterprise in my home country

    Look forward to your reply. Thank you so much!

  • anejehci

    1) Korean-American. 2 years in Silicon Valley startup operations (manager positions), then moved abroad to work in for-profit educational consulting in East Asia for nearly 2 years (recently promoted)
    2) 730 96% (Q 74%)
    3) University of Pennsylvania, 3.42/4.0 Cum Laude (final two years = 3.8), History of Art, 2011. Worked several jobs all 4 years to pay for tuition not covered by my significant need-based aid, experienced family trauma right before college which accounts for low GPA.
    4) Editor-in-Chief of college newspaper, Design Editor of another college publication, nonprofit teaching fellow, Board Member of an organization that serves children w/ autism, Co-Founder of thought leadership group on increasing educational access for disadvantaged
    5) None
    6) Management consulting in social/public sector, eventually found educational non-profit

    Thank you!

  • GL

    1) 2 years Big 4 Technology Consulting Analyst – fast promote to consultant this year
    2) 700 76% V, 79%Q, Writing 92%, Overall 89%
    3) Georgia Tech: Scheller College of Business, 3.9, 2013
    4) Founded mental health startup while consulting. Led team through beta and launch. Startup was offered funding, but failed prior to completion of accelerator
    5) None
    6) Entrepreneurship

    Thank you for your thoughts!

    • Linda Abraham


      I think MIT is a stretch. Your work experience and GMAT are on the low side for MIT Sloan. Your GPA is excellent and your startup adds interest and fits with your goals, but I don’t think those elements will be enough to overcome the GMAT and the lack of work experience, especially the latter.



    1. I have 5 years of experience in Turkey (Procter&Gamble/2 years, Roland Berger Strategy Consultants/1 year, and now Deloitte Consulting 2 years)
    2. I get fast track promotions in last 2 years at Deloitte and now become a manager. Focus on strategy and analytics) and Deloitte is ready to sponsor my MBA.
    3. Industrial engineering from one of the most reputable universities in Turkey
    4. 710 GMAT (Overall: 91%, Q: 78%, V 34%, AWA:5, IR: 5) I was careless in Quant my first attempt.
    5. I lived in 4 different continents both as student and professional. Finland, USA, Nigeria, Dubai and İstanbul.
    I really want Sloan. Other options are Columbia, Wharton, HBS. What do you think about my chances.
    If ı retake gmat I could get 720 or 730 with a much higher quant. Do you think will it make an important difference to improve my chance.

    thanks a lot.

    • AYHAN

      and my GPA is 3.9/4.0

    • Linda Abraham

      Could you clarify your verbal score? I’m going to assume that your raw verbal score was a 34, which would imply a 71% verbal.

      You have a competitive profile for MIT sloan, Columbia, and Wharton. If you have a lot of leadership and impact, you also have a competitive chance at HBS.

      • AYHAN

        Thanks Linda. My GMAT is 710 (Q49, 78%, VERBAL: 37/ 84%). What do you think about retaking the GMAT to get 720 or 730? Would it help?

        • Linda Abraham

          Given your high grades and international work experience, I don’t think another 10-20 points on the GMAT is going to make the difference. Obviously it it could only help, but it will take take. It’s your choice whether you want to use that time in this way.

          If it were me, I would use that time to focus on other elements in the application, research the schools I’m applying to, and maybe add a school or two that to that very tough list of four. Also, let your target schools know that Deloitte will sponsor you. It’s a tremendous vote of confidence in you.

          Also consider Kellogg and NYU Stern.

          • AYHAN

            Many Many Thanks Linda, your comments are very helpful.

  • Robert

    Hello Linda,

    I am interested in Wharton, HBS, MIT Sloan, Columbia, and NYU Stern.

    1) 3 years working for a company that brings Americans on tours of Cuba. For the first two of these years I was stationed in Cuba full-time. Currently I am working for the same company but in the US organizing the tours from start to finish. Before this I worked for a year in Madrid as an English teacher.
    2) GMAT: 720 (94%, Q 79%, V 85%)

    3) Wesleyan University, 3.64/4 GPA, Sociology major class of 2010.
    4) Most of my community service experience is from College. I also did a little volunteer work on campaigns for the NY State Senate.
    5) None.
    6) I want to work in international development. More specifically, I want to use my knowledge of Cuba to take part in its future development.

    • Linda Abraham


      I think schools will be very excited by your unusual experience at this point in time. Given your good grades and experience, you have a competitive profile for your target schools.

      Be a little more specific about how you would like to play a role in Cuba’s development.

      If you’d like help with your application, please let me know.

  • deviprasad

    Hi Linda,
    I’m Devi from India
    1) 3 years of work experience as Assistant Manager in Production Engineering (experience of planning & leading Engine & T/m new assembly plants’ (completed 3 mega projects till date) including install. & Comm) for India’s No.1 Car Manufacturing Company(by the time I’ll join if accepted, it’ll be 4 years with a promotion as Deputy. Mgr).
    Also currently planning for a new online E-commerce Mobile Application business (with a innovative business idea)
    2) Graduated from National Institute of Technology (one of the Elite colleges from India), with a CGPA of 7.64/10
    3) Additional Accomplishments: Best Employee award in 2013 from Sr.Meo, Production for MX planning (formulated a standardised sheet) and Ergonomics detailed report (RULA Analysis) of new Engine shops
    Won State 1st in Ramanujan talent test on Mathematics during schooling
    4) GMAT score: 740. GRE: 320

    I’m looking passionately for getting an MBA on Business Management.

    Kindly suggest a list of colleges for applying before 1st deadline (with scope for scholarship if any).

    • Linda Abraham


      What do you want to do after you earn your MBA/ Stay in the auto industry? work in manufacturing?

      • deviprasad

        Thanks for your prompt reply!!!!
        After getting my MBA, I wish to work closely with a Top class MNC for few years and then to enter into entrepreneur segment by starting small businesses….

  • Ben

    Hi Linda,

    My target schools: MIT, Kellogg, Duke and Texas McCombs

    1) Just over 3 years as a manufacturing engineer with one of the world’s largest chemical companies. Have performed well in a high-paced manufacturing environment and have managed several projects with budgets around $500,000. Have produced savings of over $300k / year during my career.
    2) 329 GRE (163 Verbal – 92%, 166 Math – 92%). I originally took the GRE as I considered going to get my Ph.D, but felt that my score was competitive and retaking the GMAT was not a good use of my time (as I want to apply R1 to these schools).
    3) BS in Chemical Engineering from Tulane University with a GPA of 3.52.
    4) Chairman of company philanthropy organization (at my site) for 2 years; annual donations to local community over $130k during my tenure. Also a volunteer builder for Habitat for Humanity.
    5) Six Sigma Green Belt
    6) Consulting with a focus in renewable energy.


    • Linda Abraham


      You have a competitive profile for your target programs and are applying appropriately. Are you considering the joint MBA/MMM at Kellogg? Also look into Ross and the Erb institute. This week’s podcast focused on that program, and it seems right up your alley.

  • Megha

    1. 2 yrs as Production Planner at Samsung India Electronics, Mobile Phone Division. Managed Supply chain operations, Launching >50 mobile phones in Indian market. Also responsible for exports to South Asia, SE Asia, Middle east and Africa

    Presently in US (on H4 visa since april 2013, post marrriage). Not permitted to work hence I am volunteering. Have worked as a volunteer at Indian Community Centre in AR, and I am now volunteering at Public Libraries in TX.

    2. GMAT:760 (99%), Q:50(88%), V: 41(94%)

    3. Btech in Mechanical Engg. from K.I.E.T, UPTU (State University), 74/100, 2012

    4. General secretary, Girls Hostel. Have also organized numerous college events. Have a senior diploma in Indian Classical dance and Music. Taught Classical dance to children in US.
    Other Volunteer
    5. None

    • Linda Abraham


      It’s hard to say how the schools will react to your being unemployed now. it will be a negative. Will your past experience and excellent academics be enough to overcome this hurdle? Maybe at UT and Darden, but I’m not confident about the other programs, especially MIT, Booth, NYU Stern, and Haas. Those are stretch programs for you.

  • Anuj Chourey

    Hi Linda,
    I am an Indian Male aged 26 and am looking to apply to MIT, Berkley, UCLA , Darden
    1) 5 years of work ex ( will complete 6 yrs in July 2016) in Indian Oil, a fortune 100 Company and one of the largest Indian Organisation. Working in the Operations and Supply Chain Department. Handling a team of 15-20 employees and over 300 workers.
    2) GMAT 770 – 99 % Q 51 ( 97%) , V 44 (98%) AWA 5 IR 8
    3) College info: Bachelor of Technology in Mechanical Engg from National Institute of Technology, Nagpur with a GPA of 8.78 ( equivalent to 3.88 as done by WES)
    4) Part of the Institute Cricket as well as Table Tennis Team. Involved in organizing local health checkup camps as a member of LIONS Club. Assisting a NGO run local school as a TT coach.
    5) None
    6) In the short term, I would like to work as an analyst in Supply Chain Management of a globally renowned firm. In the long term I wish to set up or be a influential part of a sports event organizing firm.

    It would be helpful if you would please tell me about my choice of schools and my chances at these schools.
    Thanks a lot.

    • Linda Abraham

      You have a competitive profile for your chosen schools and have done a good job of picking them. You may also want to consider CMU Tepper, Ross, and Kellogg.


    • Linda Abraham


      You have a competitive profile for your target schools and are applying appropriately. You may also want to consider CMU Tepper and Kellogg’s MMM program.

      • Anuj Chourey

        Hi Linda,

        Thanks a ton for the review. May I know what prompted you to suggest Kellogg’s MMM Program for me ??

  • US

    1) 2.5 years in Big 4 consulting, working in the Investigative Analytics practice in Chicago. 1 Year experience in Analytics of Internal Audit group at a top tier Financial Services Firm based inn NYC. Responsible for delivering cutting edge analytics to clients and rollout of many new tools and technologies to my team, training staff.

    2) GRE – 317/340

    3) Duke University (Masters in Engineering Management) – GPA 3.3.
    Panjab University (India) Electronics and Communication Engineer- GPA 3.5

    4) Volunteer (Online) for UN projects in the Marketing space, delivered many projects as a member of the consulting club at Duke, Treasurer and founding member of IEEE at Panjjab University.

    5) No certifications

    6) Product Manager at a Tech Company

    Please let me know if chances can be improved by improving GRE

    • Linda Abraham

      Your grad GPA is a little on the low side. Was there an issue there?

      A higher score can only help, but it also depends how higher and whether your current score is balanced or not, which you didn’t indicate. If total goes up by 2 points, it’s not worth the effort. If the total goes up by 20 points, well that’s an outstanding score.

      • US

        Thank you Linda. The Grad GPA is a little low due to the extra curricular activities I mentioned above.
        I haven’t taken the GRE again but wanted to evaluate whether I have a chance with my profile currently or if I should work on improving the score first.
        Either way, thank you for your comments.

        • Linda Abraham

          I think you’re aiming too high with your current academics. You can’t change the GPA, but if you can change the GRE and want to improve your chances of acceptance to MIT, then retake. Also consider CMU Tepper, Haas, and NYU Stern, if you raise your score.

  • CL

    Hey Linda,

    Could you please give me feedback on the following schools:
    Kellogg, Booth, Ross, Duke, UNC, Georgetown, Stern, CBS, Yale, MIT

    1) 8 years as an Infantry Officer (Ranger, Airborne) where I was in charge of teams as large as 150 employees. 2 years in the energy industry as a project manager along with working in project controls budget $20-30MM.
    2) 710 (92%)
    3) College info: USMA – 2.5, Analytical Math – Systems Engineering, 2005. Extenuating circumstances – not focused; additional coursework – business related (4.0), enrolled in HBX CORe
    4) 4 years of Div 1 Lacrosse, have volunteered as a lacrosse coach for three years, other community service involvement. Company Military Officer program board member.
    5) None
    6) Energy consulting

    • Linda Abraham


      Sorry. I thought I had responded last week.

      Your experience is excellent. Your undergrad GPA is low for most of your target programs, especially MIT. How much the HBX and GMAT will help? Well you have to apply to find out. Kellogg, Booth, CBS, NYU, and MIT are stretch programs. You are more competitive at Ross, Duke UNC, Georgetown, and Yale. You may also want to consider UT Austin.

      If you’d like help with your application, please let me know.

  • Diana Mou

    Hi Linda, here’s my info.
    1) 3 years in public accounting (Big 4), audit and assurance sector.
    2)GMAT 710 (91%)
    3) Hong Kong Baptist University 2012(3.2/4), exchange program 2010-2011 with Bowling Green State University (3.7/4)
    4) Captain of college basketball team
    5) CPA
    6) Consulting or internal audit

    • Linda Abraham


      MIT is a stretch. It’s reasonable for you to apply to it, but don’t count on it. Also, clarify your goals. They are pretty broad.

      Consider Duke, UNC, Cornell Johnson, Ross, USC, Darden, CMU Tepper, and UT.


  • John J

    1) 4+ Years FP&A at Fortune 500 and Top Internet Company in Silicon Valley
    2) GMAT 740, 97th percentile
    3) GPA 3.7 Ross School of Business at University of Michigan.College
    4) VP of 500 member Econ society in college. Various leadership opportunities at work.
    6) Return to Tech Industry, but at industry level in Banking vs. at a company level in FP&A

    • Linda Abraham

      You have a competitive profile for MIT Sloan. Also consider Booth, Wharton, Columbia, Stanford, and Haas.

  • Aditya Srivastava

    Hello Linda,

    My name is Aditya Srivastava from India
    1) 4 years of work experience in a pharmaceutical market research company as a regional manager. Started with a team of 1 people and built a team of 15 people. Increased the data analsysis from 10 data to 150 data mostly self upload, worked mostly in rural india (strong rejection to computer and internet). 2 awards for increasing the annual revenue by 10%. Lead 2 projects for further development of company (involved more computerisation).
    2) 760 ( q-50, v- 44).
    3) Jaypee Institue of Information Technology. B.Tech IT. GPA-5.6 out of 10.
    4) Student Co-ordiantor of IC3 Conference. Cultural fest organiser all 4 years. Started company in college but failed. Coordinator for local NGO all 4 years.
    5) No certifications.
    6) Operations analysts want to move from pharmaceutical to strategic consulting.

    • Linda Abraham


      That GPA is a hurdle, particularly at MIT. Your work experience and GMAT are excellent. Were there extenuating circumstances?

      Consider Darden, Duke, Ross, Cornell Johnson, Yale, and Wharton.

  • SH

    Hello, thank you Linda for your time. I am a female dentist, aged 26 years, hailing from India with no international work exposure.
    1) 4 years of work experience in healthcare – as a dentist, a researcher, a motivational speaker, a lecturer and of recent a marketeer, from India.
    2) 700 (89%) Quant – 46 (66.66%) V 40 (91%) AWA 6 (92%)
    3) Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Manipal University. We do not follow a gpa system. Total percentage at end of four years 72% – In top 12% of class in a batch of 200 students. Major in Dentistry. Degree – Bachelors in Dental Surgery. I graduated in 2011
    4) College: Elected woman representative of my batch handling budgets near to 40k USD for inter-college and intra-college events and dental supplies. Volunteer for DISHA (an ngo), various prizes in several literary and cultural events. Head of street play team for 4 years.
    Post College: Counselor and mentor to 141 inmates of an orphanage for 2 years.
    President and Co-founder of Toastmasters Community Club – a much awaited one. First in the district.
    Involvement in several camps with varied target populations – elderly, children, teenagers, tobacco addicts, sex-workers etc, as an organizer and dental consultant.
    Research Experience – out of interest and own accord – conducted two original research work, with one a first of its kind in India. Part of one more original research work. Have written a review paper on professional negligence and its implications, it is accepted for publication.
    5) Verified online course in marketing in Wharton. Workshops in biostatistics and research methodology, one from Christian Medical College, VelloreTo cover up for my quant, taken course in test mode in mbamath. Will work under two eminent professors (One of them a gold medalist of M.Phil from NYU) post-application phase on a research business project.
    6) Marketing in healthcare and later a health foundation of my own.

    I am applying to MIT, Kellogg, Yale, Duke Stanford, Ucla, Cornell, Tepper, Hass, USC Marshall, UT-Austin, UNC and Kelley. Please let me know my chances for these schools.

    Thanks and Warm Regards :)

    Have a good day!

    • SH

      I am also a member of a dance group and used to be a script writer and artist for a theater group and we targeted issues important to environment. I can speak 3 languages fluently and two more languages in a broken fashion.

      • Linda Abraham


        MIT, Kellogg, Stanford, and Haas, are stretch programs. You are more competitive at Yale, Duke, and UCLA, and have a competitive profile for the rest of the programs you listed.

        I suggest you drop MIT, Kellogg, Stanford, and Haas. IMO you’re trying to apply to too many programs and quality could suffer. You may want to consider Johns Hopkins MBA.


        • SH

          I am only applying to three programs in round one. Thank you for you suggestion and advice :)

  • anejehcii

    Could you please comment on Sloan, Stanford, Wharton, Columbia, and Tuck?

    1) Korean-American. 2 years in Silicon Valley startup operations
    (manager positions), then moved abroad to work in for-profit educational
    consulting in East Asia for nearly 2 years (recently promoted)
    2) 730 96% (Q 74%)
    3) University of Pennsylvania, 3.42/4.0 Cum Laude (final two years = 3.8),
    History of Art, 2011. Worked several jobs all 4 years to pay for
    tuition not covered by my significant need-based aid, experienced family
    trauma right before college which accounts for initially low GPA.
    4) Editor-in-Chief of college newspaper, Design Editor of another college
    publication, nonprofit teaching fellow, Board Member of an organization
    that serves children w/ autism, Co-Founder of thought leadership group
    on increasing educational access for disadvantaged
    5) None
    6) Management consulting in social/public sector, eventually found educational non-profit

    Thank you!

  • AA

    Hello Linda,

    I am from India and have work experience in US, India and Malaysia. I am interested in applying to MIT, Booth, Kellogg, Wharton and Ross

    1) 8 years of work experience at the world’s largest office furniture manufacturer. Started at Manufacturing Engineer in US, then moved to India to start manufacturing operation for same company. After running operations for 2 years as plant manager, moved to Kuala Lumpur Malaysia to run procurement group for Asia in Director position, again for same company. Handling purchase of $90 mm worth of direct and indirect materials. Responsible for awarding multimillion dollar contracts. Direct reports in 3 different countries.
    2) GMAT 760 (99 percentile), verbal 90 percentile, Quant 99 percentile
    3) Indian Institute of Technology, GPA 7.9/10
    4) Mediocre extra curricular activities.
    5) CFA level 2 candidate
    6) Post MBA goals to come back to same company to run global operations in long term

    Graduate degree from University of Michigan, 3.9/4.0 GPA, learned mandarin due to need to working frequently with China suppliers.

    If my company sponsors my MBA, will that increase my chances of getting in ?


  • PP

    Hello Linda,

    1.- 3.5 years of experience as a analyst and consultant in a global firm. 3.5 years of experience in airline industry, first as a senior analyst and then I was promoted to a lead department.
    2.- 80%
    3.- USM, a top five university of Chile based on its quality. I’d studied business administration.
    4.-during the college I was, one year, President and representative of all students. Operational coordinator of national business administration congress, basketball player in “national business administration Olympic Games”. Academic assistant in several courses, HR, leadership, entreprenurial spirit. Actually I’m a Teacher in to universities of chile. I Made classes for graduates student in a specialist program about total reward.
    5.- none
    6.- pursuit entreprenurial opportunities in apps industry and develop my own company

    Thanks Linda


  • FirstTry

    Linda, here’s my profile.
    1) Investment banking at a bulge bracket. Structured Finance for 3 full years as of today
    2) 720 GMAT (V over 80%, M slightly under 80%)
    3) NYU, GPA: 3.45, finance major
    4) iMentor for the past 3 years
    5) N/A, besides job license
    6) Investment management

  • LB


    Would you evaluate my candidacy for MIT (also looking at Wharton, Fuqua, Harvard, Kellogg and Columbia)

    1) 4 years as a strategy consultant focusing on operations strategy (supply chain); promoted 2x within first three years, potential for a 3rd promotion before enrollment; experience leading teams of up to 5 people and have owned/managed own project end-to-end as a first year consultant
    2) GMAT 700 (89%) as high as 47 in Quant
    3) Undergrad 3.3 at Duke (3.5 and 3.6 respectively for major GPAs) ; struggled with health issue during first two years which lead to a low overall GPA; took online coursework in financial accounting and corporate finance to supplement low quant
    4) College: COO of sorority, committee lead for Relay for Life
    Post College: Member of board for charity to end homelessness in home state; started chapter of non-profit in home state; lead for company recruiting at alma mater; strategic adviser for national health and fitness organization
    5) No important certifications; lean six sigma green belt in progress
    6) Retail operations strategy consulting


  • Linda Abraham

    You have an almost competitive profile for your target programs and in terms of your goals have chosen them well. You may also want to consider Yale, Darden, and Georgetown.

    Regarding the initially low GPA it shouldn’t stop you. Let them know what was happened before you started school and that you worked throughout and point to the 3.8 as evidence of what you can do, not to mention your GMAT. While it would be nicer if the Q was a bit higher, given that you were an Art History major, it’s not too shabby. (However, if you don’t get in, retake or looks seriously at the programs I suggested.)


  • anejehcii

    Thank you. I am retaking my GMAT next week in hopes of getting a Q 78%+. If I don’t, would it significantly help to take an online math for management course at UC Berkeley? Just worried it wouldn’t be time-efficient since I’m applying R1.

  • Linda Abraham

    It would help. I don’t know how significantly. If you are wait listed or end up applying to some programs R2, it could make a difference.


  • Linda Abraham


    Yes. Having company sponsorship is a very real vote of confidence on the part of your employer. It means you won’t need financing and you won’t need placement so you will place less of a burden on school resources. If you are sponsored, let your target programs know.

    You have a competitive profile for your target schools and have chosen them well. You may also want to consider CMU Tepper and Darden.

    If you’d like help with your application, please let me know.

  • Linda Abraham

    Any community involvement or hobbies either in college or since?

  • Linda Abraham

    Hi FirstTry,

    Any community involvement or hobbies either in college or since?

  • Linda Abraham


    Wharton, HBS, Kellogg, and Columbia are stretches. You may have a slightly better chance at Fuqua. Consider CMU Tepper, Cornell Johnson, Darden, Michigan Ross, and Yale,