Early Thoughts on MIT Sloan’s 2016-2017 Application Essay Questions

MITApplication season at MIT Sloan is officially underway with the release of the school’s 2016-2017 essay questions. Let’s discuss from a high level some early thoughts on how best to approach these new essay prompts.

This year, Sloan has made some changes that echo prompts used in the past. Let’s explore how to best approach your responses:

Cover Letter:
Please submit a cover letter seeking a place in the MIT Sloan MBA Program. Your letter should conform to a standard business correspondence and be addressed to Mr. Rod Garcia, Senior Director of Admissions. (250 words)
This year, Sloan brings back its “Cover Letter” essay, which it retired a few years back. Sloan was one of the schools that ushered in this recent trend of non-traditional essay prompts. Your response here is limited to only 250 words so it is important to be even more concise as you address the prompt.

Given the word count, it may make sense to leverage a story-like narrative to touch on a few relevant personal accomplishments that distill your goals, passion, values and interests. The key here is to orient your response around Sloan’s core values that have always been heavily influenced by the ability to problem solve and drive impact. So with these factors in mind, really think about what you can uniquely bring to the student community at Sloan.

Do not limit your impact just to the Sloan community – MIT alumni have impacted the world in many different forms so think about how the school can be the impetus for you to do the same. This is where research comes in handy, so do your due diligence. Keep in mind, with the tight word limit you don’t want to stray far away from the prompt, so stay focused on the type of support you choose to include in your response.

Similar essay prompts in the past have asked applicants to “describe accomplishments” and/or “address extenuating circumstances,” so keep these elements in mind as well as you structure your response.

Optional Essay:
The Admissions Committee invites you to share additional information about yourself, in any format. If you choose a multimedia format, please host the information on a website and provide us with the URL. (500 words or 2:00 minutes)
Not all optional essays should be considered optional, and in this case I suggest candidates utilize this essay accordingly. This essay is a really an opportunity for Sloan to get to know you, and with so few other touchpoints in the application process, you should make the most of this space.

Sloan gives candidates a pretty good runway on this one with a lengthy word and multimedia count (as far as “optional” essays go), but you will still want to keep things focused. Use as much of the real estate as you need for your answer and none more. You should really use this space to get personal; it is a great opportunity to differentiate yourself so make sure it is not something you have previously covered elsewhere in your essays.

Just a few thoughts on the essays from Sloan – hopefully this will help you get started. For more thoughts on MIT and its application essays, check out our free Essential Guide to Top Business Schools.

Applying to MIT Sloan or other business schools? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or take our free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation for personalized advice for your unique application situation! As always, be sure to find us on FacebookYouTubeGoogle+ and Twitter.

Dozie A. is a Veritas Prep Head Consultant for the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. His specialties include consulting, marketing, and low GPA/GMAT applicants. You can read more articles by him here.

MIT Sloan Application Essays and Deadlines for 2015-2016

MIT Sloan recently released its admissions essay and deadlines for the Class of 2018. While hardly any top business schools have cut essays this year (after several years of doing so), Sloan actually did cut an essay, going down to just one required essay this year. But, here’s a twist: The Sloan admissions team has added a second essay just for those who are invited to interview. So, you’re still going to need to write two strong essays to get into Sloan, and we break down the essay prompts below.

Here are MIT Sloan’s essays and deadlines for the coming year, followed by our comments in italics:

MIT Sloan Admissions Deadlines
Round 1: September 17, 2015
Round 2: January 14, 2016
Round 3: April 11, 2016

Several noteworthy things here… First, Sloan’s Round 1 deadline has moved up by almost a week, pushing into mid-September for the first time ever. And, the school’s Round 2 deadline comes almost a week later than it did last year. If you apply to Sloan in Round 1, you will get your decision by December 16, which will give you plenty of time to get Round 2 applications ready for other MBA programs, if needed.

The other interesting thing here is that Sloan has added a Round 3! For a while, Sloan had been unique among top U.S. business schools in that it only had two admissions rounds. For instance, last year, if you hadn’t applied by January 8, then you weren’t going to apply to Sloan at all. Now stragglers actually have a chance of getting into MIT Sloan, although our advice about Round 3 is always the same — there are simply fewer seats available by Round 3, so only truly standout applicants have a real chance of getting in. Plan on applying in Round 1 or 2 to maximize your chances of success.

MIT Sloan Admissions Essays

  1. Tell us about a recent success you had: How did you accomplish this? Who else was involved? What hurdles did you encounter? What type of impact did this have? (500 words)This question is new to MIT Sloan’s application this year. What we like about it is how it very explicitly spells out what Sloan’s admissions team wants to see. For these types of questions, we always advise applicants to use the “SAR” method — spell out the Situation, the Action that you took, and the Results of those actions. There is no hard and fast rule for how many words you should devote to each section, but the situation is where you want to use up the fewest words; you need to set the stage, but with only 500 words to work with, you want to make sure that you give the bare minimum of background and then move on to what actions you took. And, make sure you leave enough room to discuss the result (“What type of impact did this have?”) Your individual actions and the impact that you had are what the admissions committee really wants to see.One final thought here: Don’t only think about the impact that you had on your organization, but also spend some time thinking about the impact that the experience had on you. What did you learn? How did you grow as a result? And, how did you put this lesson to work in a later experience? That may be a challenge to fit into a 500-word essay, but this is the type of introspection and growth that any business school admissions committee loves to see.
  2. For those who are invited to interview: The mission of the MIT Sloan School of Management is to develop principled, innovative leaders who improve the world and to generate ideas that advance management practice. Please share with us something about your past that aligns with this mission. (250 words)The wording of this prompt has changed slightly since last year, but the biggest change (other than the fact that it’s become the essay only for those invited to interview) is that the word count has dropped from 500 to 250 words. At its core, this is a “Why MIT Sloan?” question. The admissions committee wants to see that you have done your homework on Sloan, that you understand what the school stands for, and that you really want to be there.When Sloan asks you to share something that “aligns with” its mission, it’s not just asking about what you will do while you’re in school for two years, but also about how you plan on taking what you’ve learned (and the connections you’ve built) and going farther than you could ever have without an MIT Sloan MBA. Note the very last part of the question: The key to a believable essay here will be to cite a specific example from your past when you got involved and make things better around you. Don’t be intimidated by the high-minded ideals in the first part of the essay prompt — making an impact (rather than just standing idly by and being a follower) is what they want to see here, even if it’s on a relatively small scale.

The MIT Sloan MBA admissions team just posted a brief video that has some good basic advice on how to tackle their essays. There are no huge “Ah ha!” moments in the video, but it’s always good to hear advice straight from the course. Here is another article with some advice for the essay.

Do you dream of getting into MIT Sloan? Give us a call at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today. And, as always, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!

By Scott Shrum

MIT Sloan Admissions Essays and Deadlines for 2014-2015

The MIT Sloan School of Management has released its admissions essays and deadlines for the 2014-2015 application season. Sloan has actually bucked the trend we’ve seen lately; the school still has two admissions essays, and actually increased the maximum allowed word count for its second essay (which is new this year)! The new question that Sloan added is a good one, but it will present you with some unique challenges, which we discuss more below.

Here are MIT Sloan’s admissions deadlines and essays for the coming year, followed by our comments in italics:

MIT Sloan Application Deadlines
Round 1: September 23, 2014
Round 2: January 8, 2015

MIT Sloan’s deadlines are virtually unchanged since last year. Keep in mind that MIT Sloan is fairly unique in that it only has two main admissions rounds, so there is no “Round 3 or not Round 3?” dilemma here. Although Round 2 is Sloan’s final round, you should not assume that applying in Round 2 is as bad as applying in Round 3 anywhere else. If you need the extra several months to get your application in order, then take that time to improve your chances. Round 2 is a very valid round in which to apply when it comes to MIT Sloan.

MIT Sloan Application Essays

  1. The mission of the MIT Sloan School of Management is to develop principled, innovative leaders who improve the world and generate ideas that advance management practice. Discuss how you will contribute toward advancing the mission based on examples of past work and activities. (500 words)

    This question carries over unchanged from last year (when it was new). Consequently, our advice mostly remains the same. At its core, it is a “Why MIT Sloan?” question. Sloan admissions officers have stated before that they don’t love explicit “Why this school?”-type questions, but it’s clear that this type of insight is what they’re looking for here, at least in part. The admissions committee wants to see that you have done your homework on Sloan, that you understand what the school stands for, and that you really want to be there.

    When Sloan asks you how you will contribute, it’s not just asking about what you will do while you’re in school for two years, but also about how you plan on taking what you’ve learned (and the connections you’ve built) and going farther than you could ever have without an MIT Sloan MBA. Note the very last part of the question: The key to a believable essay here will be to cite specific examples from your past when you got involved and make things better around you. Don’t be intimidated by the high-minded ideals in the first part of the essay prompt — making an impact (rather than just standing idly by and being a follower) is what they want to see here, even if it’s on a relatively small scale.

  2. Write a professional letter of recommendation on behalf of yourself. Answer the following questions as if you were your most recent supervisor recommending yourself for admission to the MIT Sloan MBA Program: [see the rest of the question here] (750 words)

    This is a new question for Sloan this year. In some ways, it’s a descendent of Sloan’s old “Write a cover letter describing your accomplishments” prompt that MIT Sloan used to include in its application. This is a tricky one because most applicants actually tend to be too humble when describing themselves. After all, it’s easy to fear coming off as too confident or obnoxious, especially when the stakes are this high, so your natural tendency may be to not toot your own horn enough.

    The key to tooting that horn, and doing in a way that’s believable, is to provide specific examples. This is exactly what we tell applicants to tell their recommendation writers, and this advice also applies when you write your own letter of recommendation. The easy part is that the specific questions Sloan asks (e.g., “Please give an example of the applicant’s impact on a person, group, or organization.”) make it very clear what the admissions committee is looking for. Now it’s your job to find examples in your recent professional past to show them that you have what they want.

    Finally, the question that asks “Which of the applicant’s personal or professional characteristics would you change?” don’t be afraid to talk about a weakness here. Even though you’re writing your recommendation (as if your boss were writing it), some introspection is really what the admissions officers want to see here. Here is a weakness or undeveloped area for you… here is what you’re doing to improve on it… and here is a recent example of how you have made progress toward this goal.

Are you thinking about applying to MIT Sloan? Download our Essential Guide to MIT Sloan, one of our 14 guides to the world’s top business schools. If you’re ready to start building your own MBA application plan, call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today. And, as always, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!

By Scott Shrum

MIT Sloan Application Essays and Deadlines for 2013-2014

MIT’s Sloan School of Management has released its admissions essays and deadlines for the Class of 2016. There are a few big changes this year, including Sloan’s removal of the cover letter that had famously accompanied its more traditional MBA admissions essays over the years. Sloan’s application is now down to just two essays, and they’re both new this year, continuing the trend that we have seen at most of the top-ranked MBA programs.

Here are MIT Sloan’s deadlines and essays for the 2013-2014 application season, followed by our comments in italics:
Continue reading “MIT Sloan Application Essays and Deadlines for 2013-2014”

MIT Sloan Admissions Essays and Deadlines for 2012-2013

MIT Sloan has released its admissions essays and deadlines for the Class of 2015. Sloan has made some tweaks this year, including dropping an essay, which continues a trend that we have seen among top MBA programs so far this year. However, the school’s famous cover letter returns. This cover letter is still unique among other top MBA programs’ application essays; apparently it still works well enough that the Sloan admissions committee wants to keep it around.

Here are MIT Sloan’s application deadlines and essays for the coming year, followed by our comments in italics:

MIT Sloan Application Deadlines
Round 1: October 24, 2012
Round 2: December 27, 2012
Continue reading “MIT Sloan Admissions Essays and Deadlines for 2012-2013”

Six Things That Make MIT Sloan Different

Among top MBA programs, MIT Sloan stands apart for its reputation for producing grads with strong quantitative skills. But there’s a lot more to Sloan than spreadsheets and operations models. If you’re aiming for the top business schools, you will want to take a long, hard look at Sloan. But how do you know if Sloan is a good fit for you? Today we dig into six things that make MIT Sloan different than other top business schools. If you like the way these sound, then Sloan should probably be on your short list of MBA programs:

Technology
Given the strength of MIT and engineering, it’s no surprise that Sloan has a superior offering in the area of tech ventures and IT. Innovation is a buzzword at many top business schools, but Sloan embodies it, particularly in the area of high tech. Support for an entrepreneur in launching a new venture at business school is stronger at MIT than almost anywhere else (schools like Berkeley Haas and Stanford also have extensive resources and are good choices for those wanting to pursue a technology career).
Continue reading “Six Things That Make MIT Sloan Different”

MIT Sloan Application Essays and Deadlines for 2011-2012

MIT Sloan has released its admissions essays and deadlines for the Class of 2014. (You can view the essays once you create an online account to access Sloan’s application.) There are some small changes to the essays this year, although not many, and Sloan’s famous cover letter returns. This cover letter is still unique among other top MBA programs’ application essays; apparently its still works well enough that Sloan wants to keep it around.

Here are MIT Sloan’s deadlines and essays for the coming year, followed by our comments in italics:
Continue reading “MIT Sloan Application Essays and Deadlines for 2011-2012”

MIT Sloan Is a Good Fit for You If…

We get no shortage if inquiries about MIT Sloan, and for good reason. Its rigorous curriculum and terrific faculty make it one of the first schools that many MBA applicants consider, particularly those who are interested in pursuing careers in operations or supply chain management. If you’re gunning for a top-tier MBA, chances are that MIT Sloan is on your radar. But, besides knowing that it’s a top-ranked school with an analytical bent and a brand new campus, how well do you really know Sloan? How do you know if it’s a good fit for you? And, perhaps more importantly, how do you know if the admissions committee will decide you’re a good fit for Sloan?

Today we look at six things that might make MIT Sloan a perfect fit for you:
Continue reading “MIT Sloan Is a Good Fit for You If…”

MIT Sloan to Begin Using iPads to Review Applications

MIT Sloan Admission Guide
Rod Garcia reviews your application on his iPad
Today the Wall Street Journal reported that the MIT Sloan admissions office has purchased 15 iPads, which its admissions officers will use to review applications in a 100% paper-free environment. Sloan, which was one of the first business schools to require applicants to submit their applications online back in the 1990s, estimates that the move will save the school $10,000 per year in paper costs.

The way many schools work now is fairly inefficient. Virtually every school now accepts (or even requires) online applications, but often the first thing that admissions officers do with a newly received application is print it out. From there, the paper application goes through a process that has barely changed in decades: It moves from one pile to the next, from one admissions officers’ hands to the next, until it has been reviewed at least a couple of times. While the online application systems make for better tracking, today schools rarely take advantage of this. Now, however, if Sloan can keep every application entirely online, it can make for much more efficient reviewing and tracking of each application.
Continue reading “MIT Sloan to Begin Using iPads to Review Applications”

MIT Sloan Unveils Its New Building

Last week MBA students began streaming into MIT Sloan’s impressive new building on the eastern edge of MIT’s campus in Cambridge. Sloan, which until now had housed its classrooms and offices in a patchwork of new and old buildings, now has a single new building to call home.

Named E62 in MIT’s tradition of giving every building on campus an alphanumeric designation, the new 215,000 square-foot building will hold offices for Sloan faculty and administration, classrooms, a cafeteria, group study rooms, and more.

As impressive as E62 looks, what has impressed many visitors the most is the building’s energy efficiency. Much of the material that went into the building actually came from the old structures on the site. While E62 has a great deal of glass on its exterior, that glass is heavily glazed and reflective, so that it lets in a great deal of light without creating the need for constant air conditioning to keep the building cool. The roof is covered in plantings to keep it shady, and it will eventually hold solar panels to partly power the building. MIT Sloan plans to apply for LEED gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

MIT Sloan is just the latest top MBA program to unveil a new building in the past decade (Businessweek ran a piece about this trend recently). Yale and Stanford are coming up next, Columbia has talked about a new building, and Kellogg has already picked the site for its new building, sitting on the Lake Michigan shore. It’s not unlike the wave of new baseball parks that started after the Baltimore Orioles opened Camden Yards in 1992. Who’s next?

Applying to MIT Sloan this year? Download our MIT Sloan Annual Report, one of 15 completely free guides to the world’s top business schools. And, as always, be sure to find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

MIT Sloan Admissions Essays for 2010-2011

A few weeks after releasing its application deadlines for the coming year, the school has published its admissions essays. Here they are, followed by our comments in italics:

MIT Sloan Cover Letter
Prepare a cover letter seeking a place in the MIT Sloan MBA Program. Describe your accomplishments and include an example of how you had an impact on a group or organization. Your letter should conform to standard business correspondence and be addressed to Mr. Rod Garcia, Director of MBA Admissions. (500 words)

While this isn’t an essay in the traditional sense, the cover letter is a rite of passage of MIT Sloan applicants every year. Over the past couple of years the prompt has evolved slightly to place more emphasis on your “impact on an organization.” (And regular readers of this blog know how much emphasis we place on demonstrating impact!!) This year the question remains the same, so the Sloan admissions office must think that this phrasing helps them more effectively get at what they’re looking for in MBA applicants.


MIT Sloan Application Essays
  1. Please describe a time when you went beyond what was defined, expected, established, or popular. (500 words)

    Sloan added this question last year, and it must have liked what it saw in applicants’ responses. Just as the cover letter prompt has evolved to place more emphasis on impact, this change suggests that Sloan is really looking closely for evidence of how you have gone beyond your regular job description to make a positive impact on those around you. We consider this as one of the key ingredients of leadership, and Sloan clearly wants to see more of it in its applicants.

  2. Please describe a time when you convinced an individual or group to accept one of your ideas. (500 words)

    This question is new this year, and it is yet another example of how Sloan is really looking for leaders in its applicant pool. If you just read that last sentence and thought, “Oh no, I’ve never managed anyone or been a team lead,” that’s okay. That’s not how Sloan (or any top MBA program) defines leadership. One practical definition of leadership is the ability to positively influence others, and Sloan directly asks for an example of that ability with this question. Even if your example feels fairly mundane (such as an engineer convincing other engineers to pursue a certain technical solution), you will be successful if you can show real skill maturity in HOW you go it done.

  3. Please describe a time when you took responsibility for achieving an objective. (500 words)

    This question carries over from last year. Once again, we see a question that gets at signs of leadership. In this case, it’s a willingness to take on the burden of achieving a goal. Once again, the “SAR” technique will be critical to demonstrating not just what you accomplished, but also HOW you accomplished it, which is what the admissions committee really wants to see. They don’t want to simply hear about how you were handed a goal and you easily achieved it; discuss an instance when you took on an especially challenging goal, maybe when others avoided it or had failed in achieving it, and describe what exactly you did to make it happen.

  4. You may use this section to address whatever else you want the Admissions Committee to know. (250 words)

    Our usual words of warning here… Applicants tend to err on the side of overusing this essay to explain away small details in their profiles. Only use this essay if needed! Two examples are if you have a low undergrad GPA (this is the most common use that we see) or if your current supervisor does not write a recommendation for you. But don’t waste the admissions office’s time unless you really need to answer a significant question that admissions officers might have about your application.

Getting ready to apply to MIT Sloan? Download our MIT Sloan Annual Report, one of 15 completely free guides to the world’s top business schools, available on our site. And, be sure to subscribe to this blog and follow us on Twitter!

MIT Sloan Application Deadlines for 2010-2011

The MIT Sloan admissions office has just posted its application deadlines for the 2010-2011 season. Here they are, followed by our comments in italics:

MIT Sloan Admissions Deadlines
Round 1: October 26, 2010
Round 2: January 4, 2011

MIT Sloan’s Round 1 deadline is virtually unchanged from last year, but its Round 2 deadline moves up by almost two weeks. This continues a trend that we have seen at other top business schools, which seem eager to push the Round 2 deadline to as close to the holiday season as possible.


Note that Sloan only has two main admissions rounds, so there’s no “Round 3 or not Round 3” dilemma with Sloan. Although Round 2 is Sloan’s final round, don’t assume that applying in Round 2 is as bad as applying in Round 3 anywhere else. If you need the extra two months to get your application in order, then take that time to improve your chances.

If you plan on applying to Sloan this year, download our MIT Sloan Annual Report, one of 15 completely free guides to the world’s top business schools, available on our site. And, be sure to subscribe to this blog and follow us on Twitter!

Signs of Green Shoots in the MBA Job Market?

MBA Admissions
In a recent Reuters article, MIT Sloan students had a rather optimistic outlook on the job market, considering how gloomy it has been for the past couple of years. As they returned from their annual “Tech Treck” job trips, in which they visit employers all over the United States, students expressed that they think the worst of the bad job market is behind us.

It sounds as though companies — especially the more tech-oriented ones that Sloan students visit — could finally start hiring again this year. While it will likely be a while before companies again start hiring at the levels that MIT Sloan and other top business schools have grown accustomed to, it sounds like the trend is clearly positive.


According to the article:

“Our MBAs are unbowed, and they came back with a lot of gusto,” said Sloan adviser Paul Denning, who has made the trek to California for several years. “The general consensus is that things are better, particularly in Silicon Valley.”

Last year, Denning said, even tech giant Google, “was really not hiring. Everything had contracted after the financial market collapse.” Now, green shoots are popping up.

Like those of other top business schools, MIT Sloan graduates find themselves choosing among multiple six-figure job offers, but that changed last year, when even healthy and growing companies such as Google significantly cut back on the number of Sloan grads that it hired. Now, as companies expect demand to warm up and some spot opportunities that they will need managerial talent to go after, grads at Sloan and other top business schools can expect the job offers to start flowing again, at least more than they did last year.

For MBA students who will graduate this year, many of whom still hope to land jobs before they graduate this spring, the news that some companies are ready to hire again is obviously a very welcome sign. It’s even better news for the Class of 2011, though — assuming they can find some sort of meaningful internship work this coming summer, they still have at least a year’s more time for the economy to warm up again before they they need to find full-time work. And, the job market for today’s applicants (the Class of 2012) looks even rosier, assuming that a steady thaw continues.

For more advice on your own candidacy for MIT Sloan or any other top business school, call the MBA admissions experts at Veritas Prep at (800) 925-7737, and we’ll gladly give you an initial assessment of your candidacy!

Four Things That Set MIT Sloan Apart

Business School GuidesContinuing our series of admissions insights clipped from Veritas Prep’s Annual Reports, our in-depth insider’s guides to 15 of the world’s top business schools, this week we look at four things that make MIT Sloan’s MBA program unique among top business schools. (Our Annual reports are absolutely free with registration, but we thought we’d share some snippets here to help get you started in your MIT Sloan research.)

To help you get started with your Sloan application strategy, our MBA admissions consultants have pulled together five things you really should know about the school before you apply. Take these all into account when you start planning your Sloan application:


The MIT Sloan approach to the business school education can be summarized with the Institute’s motto, “mens et manus”, or “mind and hand.” Both in and out of the classroom, it is very much a part of Sloan culture to learn by doing. MIT Sloan wants its students to not only possess a deep understanding of business management theories, but to also be well equipped to execute the practical application of these concepts. Below are some of the key elements of the MIT Sloan experience:
  • Action-based Learning: While case studies and lectures have their place in the Sloan curriculum, there is an emphasis on action-based learning (commonly referred to at other programs as “experiential learning”) as being one of the best ways to learn important business management lessons. Sloan offers a host of project based “lab” classes focused on global entrepreneurship, innovation, and sustainability, which pair student teams with companies and organizations around the world. The faculty also embraces the idea of learning by doing, whether piloting experimental classes to share their ground-breaking research, or making significant adjustments to flagship courses based on student and partner feedback. Going beyond theoretical discussion to take action is a deeply engrained aspect of the MIT Sloan culture.
  • Collaboration: A lesser-known fact among many potential applicants is that MIT Sloan enjoys a deeply collaborative culture. From the first moments of the intense “Core Semester” experience, to the launch of fledgling start-ups upon graduation, the desire to work with and help out fellow students is shared by most Sloan students throughout their MBA experience. Sloan views the art of developing high-performing teams as crucial to addressing today’s business challenges, and strives to cultivate effective teams and leaders through action-based learning in the field.
  • Entrepreneurship and Self-direction: The MIT Sloan MBA program is customizable, allowing for each student to focus on developing specific leadership and analytical skill sets, while pursuing unique set of interests. Following the rigorous and intense experience of the first-semester Core, students are given the remaining 75 percent of their time at Sloan to craft their own curriculum. Sloan students tend to be proactive, creative, and comfortable with ambiguity. These entrepreneurial traits are all helpful in this environment, where each individual student has a higher degree of responsibility of making the most of their time at Sloan.
  • Global Focus: The school boasts a well-respected global curriculum and actively seeks to further expand the MIT Sloan name and network around the world. Over the course of the two-year MBA program, most students will travel internationally as part of a Sloan sponsored project or trip, or on a student-organized event.

Today’s installment was clipped from our MIT Sloan Annual Report, one of 15 guides to the world’s top business schools, available for purchase on our site. If you’re ready to start building your own application for MIT Sloan or other top MBA programs, call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today!

MIT Sloan Tech Treks Begin This Week

MIT Sloan Guide
This week more than 150 MIT Sloan MBA students will kick off the annual rite of passage known as “Tech Treks,” visiting companies in Boston, Seattle, and Silicon Valley. While they will mostly hit tech-related companies (as the name of the trips implies), many of the companies they’ll visit are heavily consumer-oriented, such as Apple and Facebook.

Since some recruiters (especially those at smaller firms) may be reluctant to make the trip to Cambridge to visit MIT Sloan, these trips help bridge the gap by bringing the students right to the companies. Of course, these students know that the job market still looks very soft for new MBA grads, but the Tech Treks give them a head start in the recruiting process, allowing them to network with MIT Sloan alumni and other people at their target employers.


Tech Treks started out in the mid 1990s, when a group of MIT Sloan students organized a job-hunting and networking visit to Silicon Valley. Since then the trips have expanded, now covering most major markets in the U.S. where there’s a critical mass of tech-related companies. What started with a handful of students in the first year has grown to include almost 20% of the MIT Sloan student body.

To learn more about Sloan, download our MIT Sloan Annual Report, one of 15 completely free guides to the world’s top business schools, available on our site. If you’re ready to start building your own application for Sloan or other top MBA programs, call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today!

MIT Sloan Admissions Essays and Deadlines for 2009-2010

The MIT Sloan admissions office has just posted its application deadlines and admissions essays for the coming year. Note that, aside from MIT Sloan’s cover letter, all of the essays are new this year. Our comments follow in italics:

MIT Sloan Application Deadlines
Round 1: October 27, 2009
Round 2: January 13, 2010

(As is normally the case for Sloan, the school has just two application rounds. MIT Sloan has bucked the trend of top business schools moving their Round 1 deadline to the beginning of October. These deadlines are virtually identical to last year’s.)

MIT Sloan Admissions Essays

  1. Prepare a cover letter seeking a place in the MIT Sloan MBA Program. Describe your accomplishments and include an example of how you had an impact on a group or organization. Your letter should conform to standard business correspondence and be addressed to Mr. Rod Garcia, Director of MBA Admissions. (500 words)

    (While not a traditional essay, MIT Sloan’s cover letter is a consistent part of its application. This question has been in place for a while, although last year it changed to place more emphasis on your “impact on an organization.” This year the question remains the same, so the Sloan admissions office must think that this phrasing helps them more effectively get at what they’re looking for in MBA applicants.)

  2. Please describe a time when you went beyond what was defined, expected, established, or popular. (500 words)

    (This is a new question for Sloan this year, and, like last year’s change in the cover letter question, this change suggests that Sloan is really looking closely for evidence of how you have gone beyond your regular job description to make a positive impact on those around you. We consider this as one of the key ingredients of leadership, and we expect that Sloan wants to see more of it in its applicants.)

  3. Please describe a time when you coached, trained, or mentored a person or group. (500 words)

    (This is also a new question for this year, and it also gets at another trait of leadership — putting aside one’s own problems and tasks to help someone else better themselves or overcome an obstacle. As is the case with similar questions, you should use the “Situation-Action-Result” format for your essay. Don’t just say what happened, but rather put a good deal of emphasis on what YOU specifically did to help the person who needed your mentorship.)

  4. Please describe a time when you took responsibility for achieving an objective. (500 words)

    (Again, this is a question that gets at signs of leadership. In this case, it’s a willingness to take on the burden of achieving a goal. Once again, the “SAR” technique will be critical to demonstrating not just what you accomplished, but also HOW you accomplished it, which is what the admissions committee really wants to see. They don’t want to simply hear about how you were handed a goal and you easily achieved it; discuss an instance when you took on an especially challenging goal, maybe when others avoided it or had failed in achieving it, and describe what exactly you did to make it happen. While this is not a “failure” question, the right story here can show how you maybe stumbled a few times in achieving your goal.)

    LGO applicants only:

  5. Why do you wish to pursue the LGO program? What are the goals that you hope to accomplish both as a student and as a graduate of the program? Be sure to include a description of your post-LGO career plans. (250 words or less, limited to one page) You are welcome to copy and paste text directly from your cover letter.
  6. Why do you wish to pursue the engineering field and specialty area you have selected? (250 words or less, limited to one page) You are welcome to copy and paste text directly from your cover letter.

    (While MIT Sloan’s LFM program has evolved into the new Leaders for Global Operations (LGO) program, the essays for the program remain pretty much the same vs. last year’s essays. Here the admissions office is looking for signs that you really understand what the LGO program is about, and that you have what it takes to get more out of the LGO program than from the traditional two-year MBA program.)

For more information about application strategies for MIT Sloan, visit our MIT Sloan information page, or download our FREE Veritas Prep Annual Reports!

MIT Sloan 2008-2009 Application Now Live

MIT Sloan applicants, get ready! The school’s online application is now live for the 2008-2009 admissions season. Last month we posted our analysis of MIT Sloan’s 20082-2009 admissions essays.

In other news, Sloan announced that it will roll out a new course in ethics, moving away from the case study approach in this area. While the topic of ethics isn’t as hot on business school campuses as it was a couple of years ago, it’s clear that top programs have no forgotten about the importance of ethics in a graduate business education.

Hopefully this will always be the case as other management education philosophies and fads come and go.

For advice on how to tackle your Sloan application, visit the Veritas Prep MIT Sloan information page. And for more information on deadlines, visit our business school admissions deadlines page.

MIT Sloan Application Essays for 2008-2009

Attention, MIT Sloan applicants! Sloan has released its application deadlines and admissions essays for the 2008-2009 season. Our comments are in italics:

MIT Sloan Application Deadlines

Round 1: October 28, 2008
Round 2: January 13, 2009

(These dates are virtually the same as last year’s. Note that Sloan has just two rounds of admissions, while most other top programs have three.)

MIT Sloan Application Essays

All applicants:

  • Prepare a cover letter (up to 500 words) seeking a place in the MIT Sloan MBA Program. Describe your accomplishments and include an example of how you had an impact on a group or organization. Your letter should conform to standard business correspondence and be addressed to Mr. Rod Garcia, Director of MBA Admissions.
  • (Yes, the MIT Sloan cover letter is back. Note that the question is a little different this year. While last year’s cover letter asked you to “discuss your passions, values, and interests,” this year’s cover letter wants to see how you’ve made an impact on an organization — this used to be a standalone essay question.)

  • Essay 1: Please tell us about a challenging interaction you had with a person or group. (500 words or less, limited to one page)
  • Essay 2: Please tell us about a time when you defended your idea. (500 words or less, limited to one page)
  • Essay 3: Please tell us about a time when you executed a plan. (500 words or less, limited to one page)
  • Essay 4: Please tell the Admissions Committee whatever else you would like us to know. (250 words or less, limited to one page)

(The biggest change is that last year’s “Tell us about a time when you had an impact on a group” question has been replaced by the “whatever else you would like us to know” question. Also interesting is that each of last year’s questions asked the applicant to “Describe in detail what you thought, felt, said, and did,” while that has been dropped from this year’s application.)

LFM applicants only:

  • Essay 5: Why do you wish to pursue the LFM Program? How does this fit into your future plans? (250 words or less, limited to one page) You are welcome to copy and paste text directly from your cover letter.
  • Essay 6: Why do you wish to pursue the engineering field and specialty area you have selected? (250 words or less, limited to one page) You are welcome to copy and paste text directly from your cover letter.

For more information about application strategies for MIT Sloan, visit our MIT Sloan information page.

The Properties of Structured Language

Today, I was looking at an MIT article on language genetics and it had me thinking about some important aspects of how we deal with language. I’ve spent a lot of time going through language structure, as I actively study Japanese as a second language. This has lead me to come to some interesting conclusions about “structured language”.

You often heear people referring to “That’s not proper grammar”, or citing some rule about sentence structure. Where does this so-called “proper grammar” come from? Most would point to school, where teachers instill the foundations of “proper grammar”. However, do we really get our day-to-day grammar from educational institutions?

It’s my opinion that language is actually circumstance based. This is how slang tends to travel so fast. People here it from someone and think it’s cool to say, then another person thinks the same, etc. Finally, enough people start to use it in certain situations, to where it becomes a defacto standard to use this word/phrase in that situation.

I think it’s this sort of situational learning that establishes how language ends up being structured. How else would the word Google end up in a dictionary? People used “Google it” enough that it was decided it was the best word to use in such situations.

This theory, is in my opinion, a good way to approach languages. In fact, a lot of language books that I went through for learning Japanese, the ones that stood out where the ones that used this approach. You can also see it in various “Situational (Language)” series books. I really wonder what would happen if teachers didn’t just teach grammar, but actually had their students use it frequently in class, and at home.

Engineering Logistics MBA

A joint effort between the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics, the Instituto de Empresa Business School, and the Zaragoza Logistics Center now gives studetnst he opportunity to earn an exciting new dual degree. Students who enroll in this program earn an International Degree from the Instituto de Empresa, along with a master’s of engineering in logistics degree from either MIT or Zaragoza. The driving force behind this joint effort is the globalization of buisiness, which demands versatile business leaders.

Source: MIT Offers New MBA In Engineering Logistics