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 redefine and reshape industries and functions to meet the needs of the future. 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 the MIT EMBA. While the statement of purpose challenges you to succinctly create your applicant portrait, the three 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.
In an overall plan for the essays, the statement of purpose works as a positioner, an opening pitch, a frame. In each of the three essays, strategically select experiences that show different facets of your experience to give a comprehensive view. Also, if possible, discuss recent experiences in at least 2 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. A pitfall of the essays is potential overlap in topics and examples. Before drafting essays, I suggest mapping out your topics and examples to ensure you present different types of impacts and experiences and “allocate” your relevant examples/experiences optimally. Finally, MIT EMBA’s mission is stated at the start of the essay questions; keep it on the radar for context as you draft the essays.
MIT Executive MBA application writing prompts
MIT Executive MBA statement of purpose
Please provide a statement on your personal and professional qualifications. What is motivating you to apply to the MIT Executive MBA at this point in your career? (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 before drafting the essay, and be guided by it in selecting and elaborating the content details.
Beware of a potential pitfall: in discussing the qualifications (ideally reflecting accomplishments), 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. Don’t forget to include at least one personal (non-work) accomplishment!
For why you are pursuing the MIT EMBA, of course you’ll discuss your professional goals and objectives. Focus not only on what you want to do, but also why — your vision, what motivates this plan. Addressing “why now” should be part of this goals discussion. Finally, address how this program will help you realize your plans – note 2-3 specific attributes and components of the program and thoughtfully link them concretely to your needs.
MIT EMBA application essays
Three essays are required. The two short-form essays, and one long-form essay will provide you with the opportunity to highlight recent experiences from your professional life.
MIT Executive MBA essay #1
Lasting impact can happen on large and small scales. Tell us about how you inspired your team, and what you learned about yourself as a leader, through a recent difficult time. (300 words or less)
The bulk of the essay will focus on action – your chosen story of leading/inspiring your team through difficulty to achieve a lasting impact. While the story should reflect MIT’s educational mission, don’t strain to find something that literally mirrors all the specific points (innovative, principled, generate ideas, advance management practice). Rather, your story can reflect the spirit of this mission. The key to making this a gripping, memorable essay is including a bit about your thought process as you narrate your actions – at a key point, why you made an important decision, etc. And note the word “recent” in the question – hence the experience should have occurred within the last couple of years.
MIT Executive MBA essay #2
MIT Sloan finds strength through diversity. We believe that a commitment to diversity, inclusion, equity, and well-being is a key component of both principled leadership and sound management practice. We seek to create a community that encompasses all dimensions of diversity and fosters excellence within MIT Sloan. This includes diversity of identity, thought, role, and perspective.
Please describe a time when you contributed toward making a work environment or organization more welcoming, inclusive, and diverse. (250 words or less)
Again, MIT seeks evidence that you take actions and have an impact that are consistent with its values. They are interested in learning how you implement change in what essentially is culture: diversity, inclusivity, welcoming – a potential pitfall here is to use “warm and fuzzy” verbiage; MIT is interested in concrete changes that make a real difference. You should cite actual outcomes as a result of your contributions. With only 250 words, keep it simple: focus on telling the story. Be sure to clarify your own actions and note your thinking at 1-2 key points. In selecting your example, keep in mind your topics for essays 1 and 3, to ensure that all together you are representing strategically meaningful aspects of your experience.
MIT Executive MBA essay #3
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. What factors did you consider, what barriers or obstacles did you face, and how did you measure success? (500 words or less)
This question requires you to address both thought (idea) and action (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, and how you measured the success.
There are 2 ways to address the last part of the question. Option A: As you narrate the story, include and “zoom in” on factors you considered and the barriers/obstacles 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.
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MIT Executive MBA 2023 application deadlines
|Round 1||January 12, 2023|
|Round 2||February 9, 2023|
|Round 3||March 9, 2023|
|Round 4||April 6, 2023*|
|Final Round||May 4, 2023|
Source: MIT Sloan EMBA website