Anyone applying to the MIT sloan Fellows program in 2015.
If so what is your perspective/Analysis on the third essay requested.
Tell us about a personal or professional decision in which you took a minority perspective in a group and what did you learn about yourself from this experience. (500 words or less, limited to one page)
This question is a classic behavioral question, though it is not one we see often in MBA applications. And I think the reason for that is not everyone has encountered this type of situation, though the longer you have worked, the more likely it will be that you have such an experience. This should be from work or an extracurricular type experience that is managerial in nature. They want to know when you stood alone, took an unpopular view, went against the consensus at your organization. The answer can follow a classic 3 act structure of what was the problematic background, what did you (the protagonist) do, and what were the results. Then you can reflect on what you learned in hindsight.
As in all of these behavioral questions, choose a story with compelling stakes. Deciding to postpone a food drive will never rise to the level of importance worthy of a question like this. Explain what was at stake, and what the implications were for this decision. Let the reader know this issue mattered, and explain why. Then explain why you took your position and what you did to persuade others or socialize your view. Of course, the reader will be dying to know what actually happened and what were the results. Though most of you will likely choose a scenario where your view was ultimately vindicated, the brave may choose a situation where they were mistaken or partially mistaken, and learned from others. It's OK to show vulnerability in an MBA application. Most people try to sound perfect and omnipotent and adcoms get tired of that.
Alex Leventhal HBS '98
Founder, Prep MBA Admissions Consulting
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