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The 2013-2014 Sloan Application
The Sloan School of Business at MIT has released their 2013-2014 application essays for the Class of 2016. As we have seen with many of the top-rated business schools, Sloan has also undergone several major changes in their essay portion of the application, most notably reducing the number of required essays. In previous years, Sloan required a traditional cover letter as well as two 500 word essays. This year, Sloan has eliminated the requirement for a cover letter, leaving the essay requirement to two never-before-seen essay questions.
The 2013-2014 application essays will appear on the Sloan application as they do below:
We are interested in learning more about how you work, think, and act. For each essay, please provide a brief overview of the situation followed by a detailed description of your response. Please limit the experiences you discuss to those which have occurred in the past three years.
In each of the essays, please describe in detail what you thought, felt, said, and did.
Essay 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 or fewer, limited to one page)
Essay 2: Describe a time when you pushed yourself beyond your comfort zone. (500 words or fewer, limited to one page)
Optional Question: The Admissions Committee invites you to share anything else you would like us to know about you, in any format.
These prompts represent a substantial cut in total word count allowable in the essay portion of the application. In following the mantra that “less is more”, which seems to be the trend among business schools this year, Sloan cut out its traditional requirement for a 500 word cover letter, which was mandatory in the 2012-2013 application cycle. The former belief in the 2012-2013 application cycle was that, in requiring a cover letter, MBA applicants should be able to market themselves effectively and know how to appeal to their audience. In doing so, the Sloan application procedure attempted to mirror the business school application process to the job recruitment process.
This year, on the other hand, Sloan has limited its applicants to the two above essay questions (as well as an optional question for applicants with extenuating circumstances or other unique situations). The two essay questions above seem to ask for two main pieces of information: (1) How will you be a good cultural fit at Sloan? (2) How have you been able to face challenges and succeed in doing so, both intrinsically and extrinsically? While these questions are both fairly broad and give applicants a wide range of material to work with, because of the word limit, it will be especially crucial to choose words as carefully as possible in order to depict your experiences in the most compelling manner possible.
Dr. Shel (Shelly Watts)
President, MBA Admit.com