These essay questions show that the MIT EMBA adcom seeks applicants who have the judgment and practical skills to take on the challenges that will fly at them as they re-define industries and functions. Applicants who push the boundary of what’s possible and provide “principled leadership” amidst a torrent of change. The essays (including Statement of Purpose) are your main means to show that you possess the qualities that indicate fit for MIT EMBA: leadership impact, global mindset, functional depth, and experience with innovation. While the statement of purpose challenges you to succinctly create your applicant portrait, the two essay questions probe how your perspective, ideas, and thinking lead to specific impacts and outcomes. As always, MIT Sloan is interested in what you’ve done – actions you’ve taken and impacts you’ve created – based on your reading of a situation.
Notably, in two out of the three writing prompts, the question refers to the program’s culture and values. There is no one formula for these elements (I’ve seen people with vastly differing views of what an “improved world” would look like be admitted); the key is that you have such a dimension in your goals and life. Ensure your essays portray your fit in this regard.
In an overall plan for the essays, the statement of purpose works as a positioner, an opening pitch, a frame. In each of the two essays, strategically select experiences that show different facets of you to give a comprehensive view. Also, if possible, discuss a recent experience in at least 1 of the essays, to allow the adcom to see you working at a high level and to show what you’ll bring to the table.
MIT Executive MBA application writing prompts
MIT Executive MBA statement of purpose
Taking the above into consideration [description of MIT fit], please tell us why you are pursuing the MIT Executive MBA now. What has influenced your decision to apply, and what you will contribute to your classmates and the MIT community? Include examples of success working with organizations, groups, and individuals. (500 words or less)
This is your portrait – your candidacy at a glance. It should convey a vivid, immediate sense of you as a person and as a candidate for this program. It should go beyond just facts to present a point of view and a message (theme). Determine your message first, before drafting the essay, and let it guide you in selecting and elaborating the content details.
Beware of a potential pitfall: in discussing the requested examples of success working with organizations, groups, and people, do not repeat your resume in prose format. Select your examples thoughtfully, focusing on those that (a) are truly distinctive and relevant to the EMBA and/or (b) support your goals directly or indirectly, and (c) reflect your message. Make a short, meaningful point about each, such as the insight it lends or its influence on you.
For why you are pursuing the EMBA, of course you’ll discuss your professional goals and objectives. Focus not only on what you want to do, but also why — what you want to accomplish for the organization and/or its customers/market (your “vision”). Addressing “why now” should be part of this goals discussion.
The contributions should reference your experience from work or outside work; think of what about you would be most meaningful and interesting to prospective classmates. This element of your response is an opportunity to show that you understand the program.
MIT Executive MBA essay #1
The educational mission of the MIT Sloan School of Management is “to develop principled, innovative leaders who improve the world.” Please discuss how you will contribute toward advancing this mission based on examples of past work and activities. (500 words or less)
In answering this question, clarify what “principled, innovative leader” and “improving the world” mean to you – this needn’t be a separate statement, but it can be shown through the requested examples with perhaps an added phrase of explanation. These points represent your values, your perspective. This essay should convey that you stand for something, which is a step beyond just being a nice person. The bulk of the essay will focus on action – your examples of past work and activities that make the case for how you have been, and will continue to be, a principled, innovative leader who improves the world. The key to making this a gripping, memorable essay is strong experiences and examples combined with your reflection on them pertaining to the essay’s theme. End by briefly discussing how you will build on these experiences to be such a leader in the future.
MIT Executive MBA essay #2
Please tell us about a time when you introduced an idea that changed the way in which your organization approached a business challenge or opportunity. Comment on the factors considered, and the barriers/obstacles faced. (500 words or less)
This question requires you to combine two realms: thought (idea) and action (you introduced…). MIT Sloan seeks people who have strength in both areas – who have vision and can execute that vision.
A suggested approach is to draft it straightforwardly, as a story: start with your idea and what prompted it, and then narrate your action – how you introduced the idea, and how you implemented it. Conclude with the results, clarifying the change in approach to the opportunity or challenge.
There are 2 ways to make this approach work. Option A: As you narrate, include and “zoom in” on factors you considered and the barriers you encountered in the process; make them part of the story. Option B: narrate the story, and then in a concluding paragraph discuss the factors you considered and the barriers/obstacles faced.
For expert guidance with your MIT Sloan EMBA application, check out Accepted’s MBA Application Packages, which include comprehensive guidance from an experienced admissions consultant. We’ve helped hundreds of applicants get accepted to MIT Sloan’s EMBA program and look forward to helping you too!
MIT Executive MBA application deadlines for 2019-2020
|Deadline 1||January 7, 2020|
|Deadline 2||March 12, 2020|
|Deadline 3||May 28, 2020|
***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***Want Cindy to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch!
• Ace the EMBA: Expert Advice for Rising Executives, a free guide
• A Non-Traditional Applicant Accepted to the Columbia EMBA Program, a podcast episode
• MIT Sloan EMBA and Sloan Fellows Programs: Move from Success to Significance, a podcast episode