MIT Sloan MBA Application Tips & Deadlines
What’s new at MIT Sloan? While innovation is “in the air” at MIT Sloan, they are enjoying a period of relative stability amidst the excitement of constant creativity. They added a Round 3 two years ago to their application process, and in contrast to their neighbor on the Charles River – Harvard – have not announced any intention to abandon it. Unlike many top MBA programs, MIT Sloan is enjoying not having to search for a new dean or admissions director this year.
In terms of their selectivity, per Accepted’s Selectivity Index, MIT Sloan is once again the 4th most difficult MBA program to get into when you look at GPA, GMAT score, and acceptance even though their average GMAT score for matriculating students declined slightly to 722 from the entering class of 2016’s 724. Their acceptance rate is still a stingy 11.6%.
This year’s MIT Sloan MBA application, like most MIT applications in the last fifteen years, includes its signature cover letter and resume. It also retains the video component, which was introduced approximately two years ago.
My tips for these parts of the MIT Sloan application are in blue below.
MIT Sloan MBA Cover Letter and Resume:
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, Assistant Dean of Admissions. (300 words or fewer, excluding address and salutation)
MIT helpfully provides insight into what it’s looking for in the cover letter. Like all cover letters, this one is a marketing document. If you apply for a job, you research the firm to learn what it values and is seeking. Based on your research, you send your resume with a cover letter designed to make you as attractive to the company as possible, one that shows you have what the firm wants.
Similarly, your MIT Sloan cover letter should show that you have what MIT is looking for. Make your case for admission using your accomplishments, specifically those where you show the qualities mentioned above. How do the talents revealed in your examples demonstrate fit with the MIT Sloan program, its tight-knit community, and its innovative culture? Your resume should reveal above-average progression on the job and increasing responsibility, as well as the creativity and contribution that MIT Sloan requires.
In making your case and mentioning your accomplishments, highlight your role and the impact on the entities you contributed to. Those results are “your stamp on the world” so far.
Note: this is not an essay. Make sure your letter is formatted as a professional letter with a date, address, header, salutation, and close.
Please submit a one-page resume (Times New Roman 10-point font preferred) that includes your employment history and academic record in reverse chronological order. Other information appropriate to a business resume is welcomed and encouraged, including extracurricular activities, awards, and achievements.
For formatting purposes, please list the information in the following order:
For the MIT Sloan’s detailed resume formatting instructions, visit the MIT Sloan website.
In your resume, go beyond mere job descriptions to highlight achievement. If your title is “consultant,” saying that you “consulted on projects” is redundant and uninformative at best. Writing that you “Led a 6-member team working on a biotech outsourcing project to Singapore with a budget of $X; it came in on time and under budget” conveys infinitely more.
Quantify your impact as much as possible. You want the reader to come away with a picture of you as an above average performer on a steep upward trajectory who has the hands-on, problem-solving focus that demonstrates you belong at MIT Sloan.
MIT Sloan MBA Video Statement:
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.
The video statement was introduced at MIT Sloan about two years ago. Your goal here: deliver your statement with poise and presence. I suggest you outline a 60-second statement that you would use to introduce yourself to your classmates (not the admissions committee members; they’re just important flies on the wall who happen to be listening in).
Don’t be too casual; your classmates are your future professional network and social group, but do be friendly and remember to smile. What would you tell them about yourself? What would show that you are already a member of MIT’s community – you just don’t happen to pay tuition yet?
A few tips for the video part of this exercise: Practice in front of a webcam so that you get used to talking to a little lens that has no affect, feedback, or expression. Recording yourself on video is not the same as talking on Skype with another human being. I suggest you put a smiley face beneath or above the camera to remind you to smile at appropriate points in your statement. Then view your practice videos looking for poise and presence. During some of the practices, maybe have a friend present to encourage you, but also practice without anyone else in the room. We here at Accepted are happy to help you prepare too.
For the real statement, dress in business or business casual attire. If you’re not confident that your attire is appropriate, it probably isn’t; dress more conservatively. Make sure your location is quiet and that pets and children are in a location where they won’t be heard or disturb you. Make sure your background is neutral and not a distraction. Blank walls make a great background.
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)
If there is an issue or concern that may confuse the admissions readers or incorrectly detract from their evaluation of your application, address it succinctly here. For more suggestions on writing the optional essay, please see Optional Essays: When and How to Write Them.
There are no required essays unless you are invited to interview. If you are so lucky, you will also be asked to answer, in under 250 words, the following question:
“The mission of the MIT Sloan School of Management is to develop principled, innovative leaders who improve the world and to generate ideas that advance management practice. We believe that a commitment to diversity, inclusion, equity, and well-being is a key component of both principled leadership and sound management practice. In 250 words or less, please describe how you, as a member of the MIT Sloan community, would work to create a campus that is welcoming, inclusive and increasingly diverse. Details for submitting your response will be included in the interview invitation.”
For expert guidance with your MIT Sloan MBA application, check out Accepted’s MBA Application Packages, which include comprehensive guidance from an experienced admissions consultant. We’ve helped hundreds of applicants get accepted to MIT Sloan’s MBA program and look forward to helping you too!
***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***
By Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted and co-author of the definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.
• Fitting In and Standing Out: The Paradox at the Heart of Admissions, a free guide
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