These essay questions show that the MIT EMBA adcom seeks applicants who have the judgment and practical skills to take on the challenges that will fly at them as they redefine industries and functions. Applicants who push the boundary of what’s possible and provide principled leadership amidst a torrent of change. The essays (including Statement of Purpose) are your main means to show that you possess the qualities that indicate fit for the MIT EMBA. While the statement of purpose challenges you to succinctly create your applicant portrait, the three essay questions probe how your perspective, ideas, and thinking lead to specific impacts and outcomes. As always, MIT Sloan is interested in what you’ve done – actions you’ve taken and impacts you’ve created.
In an overall plan for the essays, the statement of purpose works as a positioner, an opening pitch, a frame. In each of the three essays, strategically select experiences that show different facets of your experience to give a comprehensive view. Also, if possible, discuss recent experiences in at least 2 of the essays, to allow the adcom to see you working at a high level and to show what you’ll bring to the table. A pitfall of the essays is potential overlap in topics and examples. Before drafting essays, I suggest mapping out your topics and examples to ensure you present different types of impacts and experiences and “allocate” your relevant examples/experiences optimally. Finally, MIT EMBA’s mission is stated at the start of the essay questions; keep it on the radar for context as you draft the essays.
MIT Executive MBA application writing prompts
MIT Executive MBA statement of purpose
Please provide a statement on your personal and professional accomplishments. What is motivating you to apply to the MIT Executive MBA at this point in your career? (500 words or less)
This is your portrait – your candidacy at a glance. It should convey a vivid, immediate sense of you as a person and as a candidate for this program. It should go beyond just facts to present a point of view and a message (theme). Determine your message first, before drafting the essay, and let it guide you in selecting and elaborating the content details.
Beware of a potential pitfall: in discussing the accomplishments, do not repeat your resume in prose format. Select your examples thoughtfully, focusing on those that (a) are truly distinctive and relevant to the EMBA and/or (b) support your goals directly or indirectly, and (c) reflect your message. Make a short, meaningful point about each, such as the insight it lends or its influence on you. Don’t forget to include at least one personal (non-work) accomplishment!
For why you are pursuing the MIT EMBA, of course you’ll discuss your professional goals and objectives. Focus not only on what you want to do, but also why — your vision, what motivates this plan. Addressing “why now” should be part of this goals discussion. Finally, address how this program will help you realize your plans – note 2-3 specific attributes and components of the program and thoughtfully link them concretely to your needs.
MIT EMBA application essays
The educational mission of the MIT Sloan School of Management, “to develop principled, innovative leaders who improve the world and to generate ideas that advance management practice,” has never been more important.
MIT Executive MBA essay #1
Lasting impact can happen on large and small scales. Tell us about a time you either inspired others to achieve success or created conditions that led to improvements for a group. (250 words or less)
The bulk of the essay will focus on action – your chosen story of making an impact. This necessarily involves leadership. While the story should reflect MIT’s educational mission, don’t strain to find something that literally mirrors all the specific points (innovative, principled, generate ideas, advance management practice). Rather, your story can reflect the spirit of this mission. The key to making this a gripping, memorable essay is including a bit about your thought process as you narrate your actions – at a key point, why you made an important decision, etc.
MIT Executive MBA essay #2
Please describe a time when you contributed toward making a work environment or organization more welcoming, inclusive, and diverse. (250 words or less)
Again, MIT seeks evidence that you take actions and have an impact that are consistent with its values. They are interested in learning how you implement change in what essentially is culture: diversity, inclusivity, welcoming – a potential pitfall here is to use “warm and fuzzy” verbiage; MIT is interested in concrete changes and make a real difference. You should cite actual outcomes as a result of your contributions. With only 250 words, keep it simple: focus on telling the story. Be sure to clarify your own actions and note your thinking at 1-2 key points. In selecting your example, keep in mind your topics for essays 1 and 3, to ensure that all together you are representing strategically meaningful aspects of your experience.
MIT Executive MBA essay #3
Please tell us about a time when you introduced an idea that changed the way in which your organization approached a business challenge or opportunity. What factors did you consider, what barriers or obstacles did you face, and how did you measure success? (500 words or less)
This question requires you to address both thought (idea) and action (introduced…). MIT Sloan seeks people who have strength in both areas – who have vision and can execute that vision.
A suggested approach is to draft it straightforwardly, as a story: start with your idea and what prompted it, and then narrate your action – how you introduced the idea, and how you implemented it. Conclude with the results, clarifying the change in approach to the opportunity or challenge, and how you measured the success.
There are 2 ways to address the last part of the question. Option A: As you narrate the story, include and “zoom in” on factors you considered and the barriers/obstacles you encountered in the process; make them part of the story. Option B: narrate the story, and then in a concluding paragraph discuss the factors you considered and the barriers/obstacles faced.
For expert guidance with your MIT Sloan EMBA 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 EMBA program and look forward to helping you too!
MIT Executive MBA application deadlines for 2020-2021
|Round 1||January 7, 2021|
|Round 2||March 11, 2021|
|Final Round||May 27, 2021|
Source: MIT Sloan EMBA website
***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***
Cindy Tokumitsu has advised hundreds of successful applicants, helping them gain acceptance to top MBA and EMBA programs in her 20 years with Accepted. She would love to help you too. Want Cindy to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch!
- Ace the EMBA: Expert Advice for Rising Executives, a free guide
- A Non-Traditional Applicant Accepted to the Columbia EMBA Program, a podcast episode
- MIT Sloan EMBA and Sloan Fellows Programs: Move from Success to Significance, a podcast episode
- EMBA: The Ultimate Guide for Applicants
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