The MIT Sloan Master of Finance program is significantly influenced by being part of both the Sloan School of Management and MIT more broadly. The culture and values of those two entities infuse the MFin program. Yes, being a quant geek helps, but the program’s adcom wants more: people who have a distinctive perspective, a sense of purpose, curiosity about and interest in using their quant chops to make a difference and build a better future, and the capacity become a leader within their area of finance. The written essays and video essays together will draw out those qualities and help the adcom identify the applicants who best fit the program.
MIT Sloan MFin 2020-21 application essays and video questions
Using relevant, verifiable details, such as awards, rankings, media references, etc., please respond to the three short answer questions below. (Each response should be 200 words or less.)
MIT Sloan MFin essay #1
Please discuss past academic and professional experiences and accomplishments that will help you succeed in the Master of Finance program. Include achievements in finance, math, statistics, and computer sciences, as applicable.
The challenge here is to avoid being merely redundant of your resume and transcript. And the solution is to identify accomplishments and achievements that are meaningful to you in some way AND will be relevant to your future path. Rather than listing, say 5 or 6 items, present 3-4 and (for at least 1-2) succinctly explain their importance to you – the quality of your insight is what will set this essay apart and show you to be an engaged, appealing candidate.
MIT Sloan MFin essay #2
Describe your short-term and long-term professional goals. How will our MFin degree help you achieve these goals?
Be specific for your short-term goals: type of position, industry, what special experiences you’ll bring to the role (beyond an MIT MFin), possibly geography – and perhaps most important, WHY you want to do that role. Longer-term goals can be less specific and detailed, but motivation should be clear. Of course, link specific elements and qualities of the MFin program to your goals – it may seem obvious how it will help you, but you need a thoughtful discussion. This essay is core to portraying your fit with the program in terms of making productive use of its content and resources.
MIT Sloan MFin essay #3
Please share personal qualities that will enable you to contribute to the advancement of our mission.
This essay is the other part of “fit” – where you will show that you understand and align with MIT and the program in terms of culture and values. Again, avoid lists of qualities. Select 2-3 qualities that enable you to contribute to the mission as indicated and present those qualities via anecdote – MIT is always interested in what you’ve actually done; just “talk” doesn’t convey credibility. An anecdote can be as short as a sentence sometimes (“When ABC happened, I did DEF, and realized GHI, which gave me the courage to XYZ…”). And, please, avoid using qualities that don’t really add to the picture, like strong analytic skills, hard worker – the adcom knows that already!
MIT Sloan MFin video question #1
Please upload a one-minute (60 second) video introducing yourself to your future classmates and letting us know why you are interested in the finance industry.
The video should be a single take (no editing) and lasting no more than one minute, consisting of you speaking directly to the camera. You should not use background music or subtitles.
Don’t feel the need to be clever or funny or dramatic. Start with a brief intro – where are you from? What are you doing now? Then tell a story – the story of how you became interested in the finance industry. Include a setting – when, where – and share that first spark of interest. Also, the question says “finance industry” but that is too broad for the video purposes; be more specific, i.e. what aspect of finance or finance industry. Are you interested in Investment Banking, Quantitative Finance, Corporate Finance, PE, VC, something else? Public Investment? Research? Delineate your interest in the specific area in the video. That will be both more credible and more interesting than “finance” broadly.
For process: write a script, practice a few times to feel natural, and test out the visuals. Then go for it!
MIT Sloan MFin video question #2
All MFin applicants must submit a brief video statement in response to a simple, open-ended general interest question. The question is designed to help us get to know you better; to see how you express yourself and to assess fit with the MIT Sloan culture. It does not require prior preparation and will not be a technical question. The Video Question 2 is a part of your required application materials and will appear as a page within the application, once the other parts of your application are completed.
Each applicant receives a randomly generated question and has one minute to prepare a 60-second response.
This is more like an interview, and the best way to prepare is simply to practice random questions in front of a video camera with the same specs, i.e., 1-minute prep time. The aim is to practice enough so that generating a strong, engaging reply is second nature by the time you do it for real.
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MIT Sloan Master of Finance 2020 – 2021 application deadline
|Application deadline||January 5, 2021 (Applications must be submitted by 3:00 p.m. EST)|
|Notification of admissions decision||March 11, 2021|
***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***After a successful career in business publishing, Cindy Tokumitsu has worked for the past 15+ years with Accepted, every year helping clients get accepted to top MBA, law, and med programs. She is a pioneer in the niche of EMBA application consulting. Want Cindy to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch with Cindy Tokumitsu.