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!