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# MIT SDM Program

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20 Dec 2009, 12:13
Hello.

I was wondering if anyone has any experience with the MIT SDM (Systems Design and Management) program and would like to share. Is is being promoted as a tech MBA, for mid-career proffessionals. I took a look at their website and I really like the way the programme combines curriculum on macro (i.e. generic) systems engineering and management. I am from Europe, and was also wondering how strong is the MIT alumni network here.

I have 2 years of experience in the telecom sector and 4 years in computer software industry in Sweden. I will also be finishing my company-sponsored Phd on communication systems fall 2010.

Thanks,
Tony
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08 May 2010, 12:49
Here's one perspective from a current student:
http://sdm.mit.edu/index.php?fileName=n ... encio.html
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08 Aug 2010, 03:56
I have 7 yrs of experience in software and have been involved in both technical and mid-level management roles.

I am PMP certified.

My preference is to take up management roles that allow technical involvement and hence am more inclined to do programs like MSIS than an MBA. I am interested in universities like Kelley college of business, CMU etc.

Yesterday, one of my friends told me about MIT-SDM and I have been trying to get more info on this since then.

Does anyone know about the prospects, acceptance rate etc of this program.
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08 Aug 2010, 06:50
The class size is much smaller - 55 or 65 students, I think. My impression is that fewer students apply to SDM as it is a specialized program, unlike a general MBA, and the acceptance rate may therefore balance out. I don't believe SDM releases such numbers. One important factor to consider is that SDM does not (cannot?) use Sloan career office. This definitely has an impact on recruiting, but you'd have to find out for yourself how good/bad things are for your area/industry.
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31 Aug 2010, 00:06
Thanks for sharing
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31 Aug 2010, 04:34
wiredo wrote:
The class size is much smaller - 55 or 65 students, I think. My impression is that fewer students apply to SDM as it is a specialized program, unlike a general MBA, and the acceptance rate may therefore balance out. I don't believe SDM releases such numbers. One important factor to consider is that SDM does not (cannot?) use Sloan career office. This definitely has an impact on recruiting, but you'd have to find out for yourself how good/bad things are for your area/industry.

Thanks for this info. It helps.
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30 Mar 2016, 08:29
Hi,

I am a current SDM student at MIT. In SDM, the average experience level is around 8 years. SDMers are from quite diverse backgrounds ( engineers, soldiers, PHDs, MDs, Managers, Scientists etc) who generally hold awards, honors and achievements (I think the admission look at achievements, leadership as well as the academic competencies). The acceptance rate is comparable to the other programs at MIT (I wont give a number because SDM program dont give any number), and the GMAT point that we got is also comparable to MBA program (I and my friends - I talked to 7 of them - we got above 710). Noting that GMAT is not the only consideration for acceptance. But I strongly suggest you to focus on your score!

For MBA vs SDM, my point is simple. If you want to stay in engineering or high-tech industry and not "obsessed" to have an MBA tag, SDM is the option. SDMers are good (I think even better) at getting into top engineering and technology companies as managers (e.g. even tough I am from aerospace, I interviewed with the top four high-tech companies). Even most of us got acceptance to top consulting firms. You can check the recruitment page in SDM website. SDMers are good at business case competitions such as 100K or at initiating startups. High experience level and the particular SDM curriculum that teaches "how to think" not "what to think!" really helps in business cases. Systems thinking approach is extremely powerful... Moreover, future leaders are considered to be complex system thinkers. Engineering/high-tech companies, even consultant firms start to look at people with strong analytical skills. I think this is the reason why SDM people are flourishing in the job market each year (like average salary of SDM is just passed the MBA - Sloan this year. Noting that it is not a good way of comparing two programs as the salary is based on the industry that hires the students.)

One of the most important distinguishment of SDM compared to MBA is that we have very close relationship with MIT engineering that makes a huge difference (for example, I worked with MIT Mech Professor for one of my patents in my home country). Generally, you can easily continue with a PhD if you want to (each year one or two SDMers continue with PhD). You can easily find yourself in contributing an engineering project at MIT as a fellow student. Does Joining to MIT engineering projects help to find a job? My answer would be "Oh yes!" for both management and engineering roles.

I have never been questioned about an MBA degree or asked anything in my interviews. We got acceptance to internships like "MBA internships" or "only for MBAs": simply the companies never cared. However, the disadvantage of SDM is that we cant directly use Sloan CDO career service which is a big deal. Fortunately, SDM career office does very good job at finding jobs for us and generally we get those positions via Sloan clubs or friends etc. Finding a job in SDM is not a big issue (see the details in the SDM website). SDM is something that you can weld it towards the aimed company, if you seek to a manager position, you can highlight the management part of your study or if it is the engineering role, then you can focus on the engineering part of SDM. (Noting that the engineering courses that I mentioned are also managerial but more quantitative - analytical - engineering focused). The people are already very experienced and have a profound technical background (some of my friends competed with the MIT undergrad engineers here during the challenges:)).

Another important thing is that most of us found an assistantship to fund their masters at MIT. Having extensive technical background helps us to be accepted by Professor as assistants, researchers or mentors etc. As MIT is mostly an engineering place, SDMers are good at getting into engineering roles also.

I am very happy to be in the SDM program. The people here in SDM is outstanding! I learn a lot from the fellows. I can say 20% of what I learned here is from the other SDM fellows.

Most importantly, my final word is that MIT is an amazing place!!! MBA, MSMS, SDM, LGO, PHD whatever the program is, you should come to MIT

I hope the above explanations are helpful.
MIT SDM Program   [#permalink] 30 Mar 2016, 08:29
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