Only one required essay. MIT Sloan is once again asking applicants to submit a professional-style cover letter along with their résumé, but there’s a big difference to note this time around: Whereas, in the past, the prompt was one of three essays and allowed for answers up to 500 words, it’s now the only required essay, and the word limit has been cut to 300 words. Beyond that, the admissions committee also requires a video statement and offers an optional essay that invites prospective students to share “additional information” about themselves.
MIT Sloan seeks students whose personal characteristics demonstrate that they will make the most of the incredible opportunities at MIT, both academic and non-academic. We are on a quest to find those whose presence will enhance the experience of other students. We seek thoughtful leaders with exceptional intellectual abilities and the drive and determination to put their stamp on the world. We welcome people who are independent, authentic, and fearlessly creative — true doers. We want people who can redefine solutions to conventional problems, and strive to preempt unconventional dilemmas with cutting-edge ideas. We demand integrity and respect passion.
Taking the above into consideration, please submit a cover letter seeking a place in the MIT Sloan MBA Program. Your letter should conform to a standard business correspondence, include one or more examples that illustrate why you meet the desired criteria above, and be addressed to Mr. Rod Garcia, Senior Director of Admissions (300 words or fewer, excluding address and salutation).
What’s your headline? Whatever core themes you have decided to emphasize in your application, be sure that they are well represented here. Just like if you were composing a cover letter to a prospective employer, you want to play to your strengths. If you feel that something doesn’t shine through as much as you’d like in your résumé, this is a good place to connect the dots. You only have 300 words, so you need to pick carefully.
Be efficient. What are those two or three pieces of information that you want the admissions committee to take away from this? Feel free to use bullet points, stick to the facts, and avoid the “extraneous” language. Creative or flowery language can all be saved for the optional essay, should you choose to answer that. But this is an elevator pitch on you, so be efficient on making your points.
You have options. It’s not necessary that your cover letter speak only to your professional accomplishments. If your work experience represents the best side of who you are as a candidate, then it’s fine to focus your efforts there. But it’s also completely acceptable to write a cover letter that primarily speaks to how you intend to participate and get involved during your time at Sloan. Are there student organizations you’re excited to join? Is there an event you’d like to take part in, or help organize? Be specific, be concise, and be sure to support your answer with concrete examples of how your time at Sloan will prepare you for your post-MBA goals.
Greater focus makes it more memorable. Regardless of the chosen theme of your cover letter, this is your opportunity to give the admissions committee a nicely packaged summary of who you are, highlighting the two or three pieces of information you’d most like them to remember from your application. So, find your theme, identify the key headlines about you within that theme, and then tie it all together in a clear, to-the-point cover letter.
Please introduce yourself to your future classmates via a brief 60 second video statement. (This video will be used for application purposes only and will not be shared.) Videos should be a single take (no editing) lasting no more than one minute and consisting of you speaking directly to the camera. We recommend using an application such as QuickTime or iMovie to record yourself.
Upload the video file according to the detailed instructions within the application. We support the following file formats: .avi, .flv, .m1v, .m2v, .m4v, .mkv, .mov, .mpeg, .mpg, .mp4, .webm, .wmv
Should you experience difficulties uploading your file, please ensure that you’re using a modern web browser (Chrome, Firefox, or Safari) on the fastest wired Internet connection available. An intermittent or slow Internet connection can cause uploads to timeout.
Have a clear goal in mind. Think about your personal brand and showcase something specific that you want the admissions committee to learn about you. This is a great opportunity for the admissions committee to get a more in-depth glimpse of your personality. Ask your friends or impartial observers who don’t already know you to review it before you submit. What is the the impression they get about you? What did they learn? Is this what you want the admissions committee to take away? Whereas Sloan’s “cover letter” essay provides the opportunity to highlight your concise headlines, this is where you can go deeper and demonstrate that unique angle of yourself that may not be evident elsewhere in your application. This is not the time to be shy; it’s a chance to let them know who you really are, beyond what’s already highlighted in your résumé.
Be yourself. It’s ok to have a lighter, more personal tone. Some applicants may be tempted to focus on adversity they have experienced prior to business school, such as surviving cancer or overcoming a death in your family during a particularly trying time. We recommend highlighting something positive about yourself such as a fun passion, a unique perspective, a personal value system, or something else that would contribute to the vibrancy and diversity of the MIT Sloan class. If you feel that a story about adversity would really show the admissions committee how you became the person you are today, briefly mention the incident itself and then focus exclusively on the lessons, passions, change in personal motivations, or the impact it had on your life.
Additional Information (Optional):
Please provide any additional information you would like the Admissions Committee to know that may be helpful in evaluating your candidacy (i.e. choice of recommenders, areas of concern in your academic record, other extenuating circumstances, etc.). This information should be provided in a written format (200 words or less).
Your standard optional essay. Answer only if you have extenuating circumstances such as gaps in work experience, poor academic performance or test scores, disciplinary actions, and so forth.