UPDATE: The Tips For MIT SLOAN’S 2009 Application Are Now Online- Please Post Questions or Comments On The New Post.
Application Received By: Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Decisions Released On: Monday, January 28, 2008
Monday, April 7, 2008
Applications must be received by 12 noon Pacific Standard Time(2000 GMT) on the "Application Received" dates.
Sloan has tweaked its application this year and provides somewhat less direction than it did last year. I suspect that Sloan simply wants to give you more latitude, but examining last year’s instructions will give you a good idea of what Sloan still values. Nonetheless, if you feel you can better present yourself by taking advantage of the longer leash you have this year, then do so. Just weigh the pros and cons.
The rest of my comments are in red.
Prepare a cover letter (up to 500 words) seeking a place in the MIT Sloan MBA Program. Please comment on your career goals and those factors which influenced you to pursue an MBA education at MIT Sloan. The cover letter provides a chance for you to discuss your passions, values, and interests, thereby helping us to determine whether you will thrive at MIT Sloan, and how you will contribute to our diverse community. Address your cover letter to Mr. Rod Garcia, Director of MBA Admissions.
Like all cover letters, this is a sales document. Make your case for admission. What are you going to bring to the school? Where is your fit with the Sloan program? How will Sloan, with its tight community, focus on leadership, and emphasis on innovation, bridge the gap between your past experience and your future goals?
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 uninformative at best. Writing that you "led a 6-member team working on a biotech outsourcing project to Eastern Europe with a budget of X and that you came in on time and under budget" says much, much more.
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.
- Essay 1: Please tell us about a time when you had an impact on a group or organization. Describe in detail what you thought, felt, said, and did.(500 words or less).
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.
OK. The question. When did you effect change? When did your presence make a difference? What was you contribution? How did you innovate? In terms of structuring this essay, you can start in so many different ways, here is a good one: PAR. (Problem. Action. Response.) Here are a few variations on the PAR theme: The situation before you got involved. The challenge. Your statement that turned the tide. Your mood when things were not going the way you want. The list of variations goes on and on.
- Essay 2: Please tell us about a challenging interaction you had with a person or group. Describe in detail what you thought, felt, said and did.(500 words or less).
Somewhat different than last year’s #2, this one allows for greater latitude, but is still focused on interpersonal challenge. You could use a professional experience or a non-professional one for this — sports, community service, or even the arts could you provide you with a situation where a team that you were a part of had members going in different direction, or where you simply were dealing with a person you found difficult, or even a person you normally get along with but disagreed with. What did you think? How did you overcome the challenge?
- Essay 3: Please tell us about a time when you defended your idea. Describe in detail what you thought, felt, said and did.(500 words or less).
Again, slightly different for 2008. When did you persuade others to follow your lead? How was your idea challenged or attacked? How did you defend it? With logic, facts, humor, or interpersonal skill? A combination? If you can, in addition to revealing what you thought, felt, said, and did, describe the outcome. How did your defense influence and contribute? Quantify if possible.
- Essay 4: Please tell us about a time when you executed a plan. Describe in detail what you thought, felt, said and did. (500 words or less).
Very similar to last year’s question, only this year the question asks about executing a plan; last year MIT asked about putting an idea into action. This year you are past the idea phase and already at the planning stages when you respond to this question. Still even with that slight distinction, this question relates directly to the MIT Sloan emphasis on innovation as well as its motto: mens et manus or "mind and hand." How can you translate your ideas from potential to reality, from thought to action? More important to MIT, when have you done so?
If you take a step back and look at these four questions they relate to MIT Sloan’s core values: innovation, leadership, and collaboration as well as its motto of mens et manus . MIT Sloan clearly — and this is true of most schools — wants to see that you have the qualities it values, and it wants to develop (not create) them. Keep those values in mind as you choose what and how to portray yourself in your essays. Also realize that if you don’t share those values or can’t demonstrate that you share them, you are probably not a fit for MIT Sloan.
Use this part of the application to give us any additional information that might help us understand the choices you have made, your leadership activities and skills, and your scholastic and professional achievements. Please elaborate on your personal interests, activities and hobbies, as well as any special circumstances you feel are relevant.
We would like to know what you’ve learned and how you learned it. Please tell us anything that will round out our impression of you as a unique individual.
Several years ago Rod Garcia told me that he starts reading an application with the answer to this question, which at the time was optional. This is not a throw away. Make a good impression on Rod if he is the one reading your file. Give everyone reading it another reason to admit you.
If you would like help with your MIT Sloan MBA application, please consider Accepted.com’s MBA essay editing and admissions consulting or a MIT Sloan Comprehensive Package, which includes essay editing, interview coaching, consultation, and a resume edit for the MIT Sloan MBA application.