In my two-decades plus of assisting MIT Sloan Fellows applicants (successes every year!), I have seen that the adcom values applicants who, among other things, demonstrate consistent, outstanding impact; are on track to become leaders in their company and even in their industry; and bring to the table a point of view and bold yet nuanced, perceptive verbal expression. While your application as a whole will convey these points about you, the cover letter and video statement present ideal opportunities to make the case affirmatively, directly, and vividly, with examples and details strategically chosen to amplify desired qualities, experiences, and messages.
Optimizing your MIT Sloan Fellows cover letter and video statement
Use the cover letter and video to convey fit with MIT Sloan’s enduring emphasis on admitting students who will be proactive, innovative leaders and agents of change. These items together should create a vibrant, multifaceted view of your candidacy:
• The cover letter serves as a lens, sets the context for understanding your candidacy, and, through the requested examples, delves (albeit briefly) into your experience.
• The video essay is your chance to show your fit with your prospective classmates, your understanding of what value you bring to them, and your social and emotional IQ. This last is important because the adcom wants people who, while being amazing in multiple ways, also can connect with people. Sloan Fellows students are expected to contribute substantially and distinctively among highly accomplished peers.
MIT Sloan Fellows cover letter
This global leadership development program is a 12-month, full-time executive MBA program designed to prepare an elite group of global mid-career managers with the management skills necessary to magnify their impact as leaders and innovators. Our guiding principles are to help you develop critical skills essential for future leaders; to instill a spirit of innovation through exceptional opportunities at Sloan and across MIT; to foster a deep spirit of community among fellows; to provide a breadth of electives and depth through one-on-one relationships with senior faculty; and to offer a flexible curriculum to allow you to tailor the program to meet your specific professional objectives. We accomplish this by maintaining a foundation in our three pillars of: leadership, innovation and global perspective.
Taking the above into consideration please submit a cover letter seeking a place in the MIT Sloan Fellows MBA Program. Your letter should conform to a standard business correspondence, include one or more examples that illustrate why you meet the desired criteria and be addressed to the Admissions Committee (300 words or less).
Let’s break this question into two parts:
1. Your fit with the program. This part may include a brief summary of your professional goals (note that the question does NOT specifically ask about goals so don’t overdo this component) in order to contextualize “fit.” This fit should encapsulate aspects of the program’s unique character; be specific about why they are important for you in the future. In addressing this future, frame it more in terms of what you want to achieve, what impact you desire to have, not so much on things like job title.
2. Examples that show you meet the desired criteria. MIT is always interested in what you’ve done (action, not talk), so present 1 or 2 specific examples (at least one fairly recent) of your actions that reflect the stated criteria. Use these examples strategically: selecting ones that let you zoom in on notable, relevant aspects of your experience, expertise, and/or character.
MIT Sloan Fellows video statement
Introduce yourself to your future classmates. Here’s your chance to put a face with a name, let your personality shine through, be conversational, be yourself. We can’t wait to meet you!
Videos should adhere to the following guidelines:
• No more than 1 minute (60 seconds) in length
• Single take (no editing)
• Speaking directly to the camera
• Do not include background music or subtitles
First, keep your dual audience in mind: the hypothetical future classmates AND the very real adcom. You need to personally engage the former while also enhancing your candidacy for the latter. Your future classmates will not know your resume, so feel free to sketch your professional portrait but in a way that adds value for the adcom, and keep it short. Do discuss a non-work point or two – something that helps “your personality shine through.” It could be a compelling formative experience, unique geographic or cultural background, important avocation or activity, etc. Think about (a) what will differentiate and distinguish you, and (b) what will represent a contribution in some way.
If you aren’t accustomed to doing video presentations, practice and put some effort into visual elements like background and lighting. Keep the background simple, clean, and uncluttered. Have the light somewhere behind the camera and shining on you.
MIT Sloan Fellows optional short answer question
Applicants are invited to expand on their background by responding to the following optional 250 word short answer question:
How has the world you come from shaped who you are today? For example, your family, culture, community, all help to shape aspects of your identity. Please use this opportunity if you would like to share more about your background.
This question is truly optional; applicants will not be evaluated more positively or negatively should they choose to respond. This is an opportunity for you to share more about yourself with the Admissions Committee, should you choose to do so.
This optional essay question differs from most such questions, which direct applicants to use the optional essay to explain things like gaps in resume, lack of supervisor recommendation, or a low grade. This question, in both words and tone, truly invites you to share a relevant dimension of your life that adds meaningful context to your application. I suggest writing it. This essay can complement the cover letter nicely, adding a lens into your motivations and perspective. If you go ahead with it, keep it focused on 1-2 topics only and make it concrete (don’t abstractly explain values and culture, but give actual examples/anecdotes that animate your values and/or represent a cultural influence). This short essay, if done right, will also further demonstrate what you’ll bring to the MIT EMBA table.
Has this blog post helped you feel more confident about approaching your MIT Sloan Fellows application? We hope so. It’s our mission to help smart, talented applicants like you gain acceptance to your dream school. With so much at stake, why not hire a consultant whose expertise and personalized guidance can help you make your dream come true? We have several flexible consulting options—click here to get started today!
MIT Sloan Fellows 2022-2023 application timeline
|Application Deadline||Decision Notification|
|Round 1||October 3, 2022||December 13, 2022|
|Round 2||January 11, 2023||February 16, 2023|
|Round 3||February 15, 2023||March 23, 2023|
All applications should be received by 3:00 p.m. EST on the deadline date.
Source: MIT Sloan Fellows website