MIT Sloan 2012 MBA Application Questions, Deadlines, Tips.

The 2013 MIT SLOAN tips are now available.  Click here to check them out!

This MIT Sloan 2012 MBA Application tip post is one of a series of posts providing MBA application and essay advice for applicants to top MBA programs around the world. Check out the entire 2012 MBA Application Tips series for more valuable MBA essay advice.

MIT Sloan 2012 MBA Essay Questions

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).

Go beyond mere job description 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.

Cover Letter
Prepare a cover letter (up to 500 words) seeking a place in the MIT Sloan MBA Program. Describe your accomplishments and include an example of how you had an impact on a group or organization. Your letter should conform to standard business correspondence and be addressed to Mr. Rod Garcia, Director of MBA Admissions.

Like all cover letters, this is a sales document. Make your case for admission using your accomplishments, specifically those where you “had an impact on a group or organization” and can show above-average progression. How do the talents revealed in these examples demonstrate fit with the Sloan program, its tight-knit community, and its innovative culture?

We are interested in learning more about you and how you work, think, and act. For each essay, please provide a brief overview of the situation followed by a detailed description of your response. Please limit the experiences you discuss to those which have occurred in the past three years.

In each of the essays please describe in detail what you thought, felt, said, and did.

The devil is in the details, and Sloan wants them for each of these stories. Look for moments that stand out in your mind. You don’t have room for anything but those stand-outs.

Also, if Sloan is asking for events that occurred in the last three years, that’s what you should write about. “But!!!” No but’s. Stick to the last three years.

Essay 1: Please describe a time when you went beyond what was defined, expected, established, or popular. (500 words or fewer, limited to one page)

The question on one hand provides direction and is clearly defined. On the other, it provides plenty of latitude for individuality. One of the more interesting and unusual options in this question is “beyond what was … popular.”

You need to write about an experience with an expectation of outcome or performance that you surpassed — perhaps blew past. In writing your essay you could start with the expectation, i.e. what you went beyond. Or you could start with the achievement. You could start with the moment when you accepted the challenge or when you realized you were going in an unexpected direction.

Remember to include analysis in the answer. To what do you ascribe your success? What motivated you? What did you learn from the experience? Say what you felt and thought as well as what you said and did.

Essay 2: Please describe a time when you convinced an individual or group to accept one of your ideas. (500 words or fewer, limited to one page)

This question really reflects two ideas at the very heart of the Sloan MBA: leadership and innovation. Persuasion is one element in leadership and “your idea” should showcase your problem-solving and innovative thinking.

As in your Essay 1, focus on one event. Make room for analysis. Tell a story, and tell a different tale from the one told in Essay 1. You can use a professional or a non-professional experience for this essay. Sports, community service, or the arts can provide the context.

Essay 3: Please describe a time when you had to make a decision without having all the information you needed. (500 words or fewer, limited to one page)

Ambiguity. Lack of a clear path or obvious “right choice.” That’s the stuff of life and leadership. Rarely does one make a decision with complete information and certainly not with 100% certainty. When you have compete information and 100% certainty, the best outcome is obvious and there’s not much to decide.

You can choose an example from your professional or non-professional sphere, just balance what you include here with what preceded this essay. Again, choose one experience, describe the uncertainty, reveal your decision making process or how you compensated for the unknowns.

Supplemental Information (Optional)
You may use this section to address whatever else you want the Admissions Committee to know. (250 words or fewer, limited to one page)

If there is some facet of your experience, be it professional, academic or personal, that you have not discussed elsewhere and would like the adcom to know about, include it here, in this optional essay. Give them another reason to admit you, but don’t submit the grand summary, appeal, or closing statement. Keep it focused and cogent. Yes if necessary, you can use this question to address specific circumstances that may have negatively affected your academic performance. Don’t leave them wondering or guessing.

If you would like help with your MIT Sloan MBA application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our MIT Sloan School Package which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the MIT Sloan MBA application.

MIT Sloan 2012 MBA Application Deadlines

Round I               Round II

Application Due: Oct 25, 2011      Jan 10, 2012

Decisions Released: Feb 6, 2012       Apr 2, 2012

Application must be received by 12 noon pacific time.

* Reapplicants must submit their application by the Round I deadline. LGO reapplicants must submit their reapplication by the LGO deadline.
**Decisions will be released early for some candidates who will be denied admission without an interview.

Linda Abraham By , President and Founder of

Another US News Top Ten!

US News is at it again!  The magazine’s newest top ten list is the top 10 Business Schools That Receive the Most Full-Time Applications. Not surprisingly, almost all the top 10 programs listed in US News’s rankings of the best business schools were also on the list of the top 10 business schools that received the most applications for full-time admissions in the 2010-2011 academic year (Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business was the only exception).

A total of 261 business schools provided US News with application data. On average, programs received 525 applications for admission.  But Harvard Business School surpassed them all with 9,524 applications, 32% more than the Stanford Graduate School of Business, which received the second highest number of applications.

However, the US News data does not reveal the number of students accepted into the class, making application numbers misleading. For example, Stanford has a class of fewer than 400, whereas Harvard’s class size is approximately 930. These statistics are also just a close approximation of the upcoming US News’ top 10.

Other schools that made the list of “the 10 business schools that received the most applications for full-time admission in 2010” were: University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)Columbia University, Northwestern University (Kellogg), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan), New York University (Stern), University of Chicago (Booth), University of California—Berkeley (Haas), and Duke University (Fuqua).

find-out-which-b-schools-are-best-with ~ Helping You Write Your Best


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Forbes Announces Top Ten Business Schools


Forbes has just released its list of the top business schools in America. The Forbesranking methodology is based on the return on investment achieved by the class of 2006. They surveyed 16,000 alumni at over 100 schools and received feedback from 30% of those grads. They then compared the earnings of the respondents from 2006-2011 to the cost of business school.

While Forbes lists 74 top schools, the top ten are:

  1. Harvard
  2. Stanford
  3. Chicago (Booth)
  4. Pennsylvania (Wharton)
  5. Columbia
  6. Dartmouth (Tuck)
  7. Northwestern (Kellogg)
  8. Cornell (Johnson)
  9. Virginia (Darden)
  10. MIT (Sloan)

Poets and Quants analyzes the Forbes’ data in terms of winners and losers, those who went up in the Forbes’ rankings and those who went down; it provides a useful table comparing the salary data by school to previous years’ salary data.

Of greater interest to me is the overall profitable MBA picture presented by the Forbes data: every single program in the top 74 has positive ROI, admittedly less in more expensive locales and a few in single digits, but the overwhelming majority showed a greater than 20% gain after five years. And that’s despite the recession.

So for those of you who have professional goals that require an MBA, it looks like a solid investment.   

Linda AbrahamBy , President and Founder of



MBA Admissions News Roundup


  • An article in Fortune Magazine looks at how MBA job recruiters are courting military veterans because of their management experience and ability to work under pressure. Although veterans sometimes struggle with the lingo of the business and consulting world, with the help of their affinity groups and military networks they are rising to the occasion.
  • The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania has announced that it is relocating its San Francisco campus to the Hills Plaza building on the San Francisco Embarcadero.  The new campus will provide more space for alumni events and include up-to-date hi-tech equipment.  There are also rumors that Wharton may use this campus to extend its full-time MBA program’s presence on the West Coast.
  • Future MBA applicants should look into the DMAC, the Diversity MBA Admissions Conference held annually at UCLA. The DMAC provides the opportunity for underprivileged or underserved applicants to meet admissions directors from top-tier business schools looking for unique candidates.
  • GMAC explains how it maintains the integrity of the GMAT. Lawrence M. Rudner, vice president of research and development at GMAC, highlights the ways in which the organization ensures that the test is accessible to all, that there is no cheating, and that all the questions are culturally appropriate.
  • Bloomberg Businessweek has posted the top-10 full-time MBA programs with podcasts on iTunes U. MIT’s Sloan School of Management, Columbia University, University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business, and Wharton  are just some of the schools offering online resources.
  • The Economist describes the hardships faced by a business management program launching in Africa while the country falls into civil war. In January the IESE, a Barcelona-based business school, partnered with Management et Développement d’Entreprise (MDE) in Abidjan, the capital of Côte d’Ivoire, to launch the country’s first advanced management program.

best-mba-guide ~ Helping You Write Your Best

MBA Admissions News Roundup


  • The Chronicle presents an interesting article on the physically active, improvisational nature of one of MIT Sloan‘s courses, “Improvisation and Influence: An Experiential Leadership Lab.” Among other things, the class stresses the importance of flexibility in business relationships. (Source: “Future Business Leaders Cut Loose at MIT,” The Chronicle of Higher Education)
  • Business school grads are seeking out less conventional careers as compared to their Wall Street- and S&P 500-pursuing peers of a few years ago. In response to this shift, which is set to be driven by the students, top business schools are spending more time and money reaching out to more startups and nonprofits. “We have to be much more proactive,” says J.J. Cutler, Wharton‘s career services manager. “I need to have thousands and thousands of relationships with these small firms around the world….Part of this is a reaction to the financial crisis, part of it is a generational shift, part of it is that they are coming from much more diverse backgrounds.” (Source: “MBA Students Give Career Services a New Assignment,” BusinessWeek)
  • Stanford University is hoping to open a satellite campus in New York City, reports a recent Poets & Quants article. Apparently, so are 26 other universities including Columbia, Cornell, and the University of Chicago. If Stanford’s proposal is accepted, the top university would first offer business degrees at its new New York campus before expanding to other degree programs. This possibility could materialize as early as 2015. (Source: “Stanford May Offer MBA in New York,” Poets & Quants) ~ Helping You Write Your Best