Ho-hum and dry theory isn’t for you. You’re looking for an elite MBA program firmly grounded in practice but capable of soaringly creative innovation. Then you need to learn more about MIT Sloan. In today’s episode, meet Dawna Levenson, MIT Sloan’s Director of Admissions.
Introduction to Dawna Levenson: (1:30)
Her background and the professional experiences that brought her to MIT.
What makes MIT Sloan distinctive? (1:14)
Dawna gives us an overview of some of the unique features of MIT Sloan’s curriculum: three customizable tracks (in finance, entrepreneurship, and enterprise management) and two certificate programs (in sustainability and healthcare). Students can do both a track and a certificate. Content-delivery includes traditional lectures, case method, and action learning/project based courses. Students also have the opportunity to take courses elsewhere at MIT.
The cohort/team system is carefully planned out: you take your first semester core with a cohort of 60-70 students, and work together with a team of 6-7 students, who are brought together to balance experiences and strengths.
Sloan’s “lab” courses (6:04)
Experiential courses based around real-world problems. She gives the example of G-Lab (Global Entrepreneurship Lab), where students spend the fall semester working on solving a problem for a real business and then, in January, travel to where the sponsor company is located. Students have traveled globally, including to countries in Africa and Latin America. “China Lab” is a separate program in the spring. The result: hands-on experience working for a real company solving real problems.
Dawna highlights other strengths of MIT Sloan (10:27)
The integral connection with MIT (though this does not mean Sloan is only for engineers!); the very strong finance faculty; the exciting joint degree programs (including a joint MBA/Master’s in Engineering @ MIT and a joint MBA/MPP with Harvard’s Kennedy School).
A few exciting (and diverse!) projects launched by recent grads (13:32)
A product that allows you to detect the level of gluten in your food; “Spoiler Alert,” dedicated to addressing food waste; and a brewery.
GMAT vs GRE (15:36)
Is there a difference or preference between the GRE and GMAT? Dawna gives a firm NO.
IR Update (17:00)
With regard to the GMAT: any updates on how MIT Sloan is considering the IR section?
Since this is a new section and all applicants don’t have IR scores, it’s not weighed as heavily as quant or verbal scores.
Insights on the application process (17:33)
Your application will be read fully by 1-2 readers. In addition, if you’re invited to interview, your interviewer will review your application carefully.
The essays (19:04)
1 required essay (describing a recent success), 1 optional essay, and a second required essay for candidates invited for an interview.
The first essay is meant to get to know applicants and assess competencies. The second required essay (for interview candidates) is about fit—to ask applicants to reflect on their goals and their fit with MIT Sloan’s values before the interview. The optional essay provides a chance to supply any other information you want the committee to know.
Around 50% of applicants submit the optional essay.
Interview advice (22:20)
The interview is an extension of the application—the point is to get to know the applicant, identify skills and fit. It’s a conversation.
Expect behavioral questions, and be prepared to ask questions. If your interview is on campus, you’ll have the opportunity to meet current students, visit classes, etc. All interviews are conducted by admissions staff who have reviewed your full app.
What to do if you’re waitlisted (24:12)
If you’re waitlisted Round 1, your app will be carried over and reconsidered Round 2, so definitely send (significant) updates. Your waitlist letter will let you know where to direct this information. Demonstrate interest in the school.
Newly added Round 3 (25:00)
Why? By popular demand.
What makes an applicant stand out in a good way, and in a bad way? (25:39)
People whose goals align with the school’s mission and who are familiar with and excited by the program stand out. People who come across as overconfident, or who don’t show interest/knowledge about the school, stand out for the wrong reasons. It’s bad to ask questions that are already answered on the webpage!
Advice for applicants (28:20)
Be yourself- your best self. Tell your story in a professional way.
• MIT Sloan School Of Management Admissions Website
• Accepted’s MIT Sloan 2016 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines
• Accepted’s 2016 MIT Executive MBA Application Essay Tips
• MIT Sloan Zone
• Top Dog Takes MIT Sloan by Storm