INTRODUCTION

MIT Sloan’s two-year MBA Program is comprised of a combination of case studies, team projects, lectures, live case discussions, interactions with industry leaders, and hands-on lab classes. Throughout the first-semester core, students build the foundation of their MIT Sloan education. Working with a team of five or six classmates, they gain fundamental skills through required course work in economics, accounting, managerial communication, business statistics, and organizational processes (as well as an elective in either strategic marketing or finance).

Only one-semester long, the core allows students freedom and flexibility in pursuing their personal goals throughout the rest of the program. And students enjoy the company and intellectual stimulation of their cohort — a group of roughly 60 students (made up of 10-12 teams) who take their courses together.

The quality of the MBA experience here is second to none and the prestige of the school’s top employers tends to confirm it. The major hirers of Sloan MBA talent were McKinsey & Company (31), Amazon (22), Boston Consulting Group (14), Google (14), Deloitte Consulting (13), Bain & Company (12), Apple (7), Microsoft Corporation (7), Parthenon-EY (6), Boeing (5), and Morgan Stanley (5). That’s a gold-plated outcome for sure.

RANKINGS

19
Financial times
19
The Economist
5
US News ranking

MIT SLOAN MBA CLASS PROFILE

MIT SLOAN MBA PLACEMENT STATISTICS

MIT SLOAN MBA APPLICATION ESSAY TIPS

MIT Sloan School of Management has maintained both the cover letter essay and personal video statement this year for the MBA application.

The MIT Sloan admissions committee has compiled a set of useful video tips on their YouTube channel, including a “day in the life” of a Sloan student. In watching the videos you can see a bit of what Sloan values. Students are engaged, creative, and thinking outside the typical MBA frameworks. A study group that is profiled includes engineering and design students. The student in the video just returned from a trip to Africa. The video describes vibrant social events and life in Cambridge and Boston.

Experiencing Sloan, perhaps in person, through networking or virtually, will likely show you if you can see yourself as part of the Sloan community. Then your task is to convince the admissions committee that you have the profile they are seeking.

COVER LETTER
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, Senior Director of Admissions (300 words or fewer, excluding address and salutation).

The cover letter is a format that MIT has used for many years to select candidates. In some ways this structure reflects the MIT goal to admit candidates with practical (though innovative) ideas and experience. The cover letter is a way to describe your key accomplishments and use them to prove that you embody the criteria for admission outlined in the prompt: independent, authentic, and fearlessly creative — true doers.

Take the cover letter idea literally and approach this essay as if you were applying for a demanding new job. What would you highlight in your background to prove you take an innovative approach? What are the stories you can tell about your experience that will show you have integrity and passion?

Specifically, use one or more examples. You could discuss a time when you have approached a business problem and provided a creative solution. Have you innovated a process at work? Perhaps you have suggested a new approach to a customer problem? Think about times when you have been able to provide a fresh perspective at work and describe what you did in those situations to demonstrate problem-solving skills and passion.

While showcasing your skills and talents is crucial, don’t forget to demonstrate your ability to work with others and support them. The hint that MIT Sloan is on a quest to find those whose presence will enhance the experience of other students is important and you want to demonstrate that you will be an asset to the community and will embody a collaborative approach.

VIDEO STATEMENT
Please introduce yourself to your future classmates via a brief video statement.

This video will be used for application purposes only and will not be shared. You will need to use an internet-connected computer, with a webcam and microphone. As part of the application review, the Admission Committee will evaluate your response to see how you express yourself and to assess fit with the MIT Sloan culture. The simple, open-ended question is designed to help us get to know you better.

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.

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.

As the MIT Admissions committee advises in a short video, this is about getting to know you and seeing your presence and personality. Because you will need to record the video in one take, we suggest preparing for this video statement the way you might prepare for an interview. Write down the stories you might tell about yourself, ideally personal, interesting and revealing of who you are.

For example, you might be passionate about travel and experiencing new cultures. You have made several interesting trips in your life, and each has given you new perspective. Maybe you developed a passion for Thai cuisine after a trip there, and have collected Brazilian art from your travels to that country. Think of a few discrete examples and practice those stories and the introduction several times before you open the application link and start recording.

When recording the video essay response, take your time and speak slowly and clearly into the camera. Though it will feel awkward, try to be natural and comfortable as you respond. The most important part is to convey your personality.

OPTIONAL ESSAY
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).

This optional essay provides space for you to add your own context to any areas of concern that should be explained to the admissions committee. For example, if you have a lower than average test score, any grades below a C on your transcript, academic probation or a significant resume gap, you can explain here.

Keep your explanation concise and factual, and focused on context for the issue rather than excuses. If you do not have extenuating circumstances to provide context for, it’s best not to use this optional essay and to make sure that you have covered your accomplishments and personal qualities in the cover letter and video essay.

MIT SLOAN MBA APPLICATION ESSAY TIPS

MIT Sloan Cover Letter: Prepare a cover letter (up to 500 words) seeking a place in the MIT Sloan MBA Program. Describe your accomplishments and include an example of how you had an impact on a group or organization. Your letter should conform to standard business correspondence and be addressed to Mr. Rod Garcia, Director of MBA Admissions.

MIT Sloan Cover Letter Sample:

Mr. Rod Garcia
Director of MBA Admissions
MIT Sloan School of Management
E52-126
Cambridge, MA 02142-1347

Dear Mr. Garcia, I am writing this letter to apply for MIT Sloan’s two-year MBA program. Presently I am working with Company 1, a global generic Pharmaceuticals company in India. I am passionate about the Pharmaceutical industry and want to contribute towards its growth in India by playing a pivotal role in conquering challenges that lie ahead of Indian Pharmaceuticals industry.  I realized that, in addition to building upon my industry knowledge, I need to gain new perspectives from people experienced in other industries.

Hitherto, diligence has shaped the outcomes of my life, be it a state-topping academic performance in 12th grade (among approximately 1 million students) that propelled me to a premier institution, Institute XYZ or an atypical career progression that made me the youngest Business Development Manager in my company.  Over a short span I had insightful stints at various departments such as Process Engineering, Market Intelligence and Business Development. These stints helped me foster my interest in Pharmaceutical industry. At Company 1, I formed Analytics team to aid senior management in decision making, my team skills came to fore when I got a chance to lead 26-member cross functional team for an ISO certification. Over the last two years I have been working closely with CXOs and Business Heads of top Korean and Japanese pharmaceutical companies. My adaptability has grown exponentially through four international assignments where I represented Company 1 at trade fairs to spearhead business development activities. I believe this quality will go a long way in coping with life at MIT Sloan which in itself is a melting pot of different cultures and nationalities.

These experiences have not only helped me immensely in understanding the dynamics of the industry but have also helped me discover a path to reach my career goals. MIT Sloan’s world renowned faculty, its emphasis on inclusive learning and its global reach would certainly help me achieve my goal. I have always balanced my work with extracurricular activities and I aspire to be an active member of vibrant Student Senate of MIT Sloan. I am certain that the knowledge-sharing platforms such as Alumni Student Mentor Program will help me cultivate an industry focused perspective thereby nurturing my evolution into a leader who can welcome and manage change.

My candidature has a proven track record of merit and competence throughout my academic, professional and personal life and I am confident that it will distinguish me amongst the talented pool of MIT Sloan applicants. I look forward to the opportunity for a personal interview and would be pleased to answer any questions you may have regarding my candidacy.

With warm regards,
Applicant ABC

MIT Sloan Essay 1: Please describe a time when you went beyond what was defined, expected, established, or popular. (500 words or less, limited to one page)

I consider this decision unpopular because it prevented my company from gaining short term revenues during a recession hit financial year. Being the youngest business development manager of my unit I faced stiff resistance from senior management. However, I could not only convince our senior management but also seal a long term contract from a leading Korean Pharmaceutical Company.

One of my Korean clients is a leading innovator pharmaceuticals company. As a part of its global strategy my client had decided to venture into US market with a newly discovered drug. This company synthesized one new drug on a gram scale and then outsourced the manufacturing to one of our competitors. This arrangement posed a challenge for our competitors to manufacture the drug with high levels of purity on a challenging delivery schedule. During my dealings with this client on another project, I discovered that our competitor was having trouble with the execution of the project. My client was very anxious about the delivery of 1 kg as it was a bottleneck to initiate clinical trials in USA. Immediately I approached client with a counter offer and promised aggressive delivery targets. This also allowed me to negotiate better terms in the contract. However towards the end of this project our execution team informed me that the client had failed to notice that their newly discovered molecule was vulnerable to generic threats on account of its polymorphic nature.

My team was faced with a choice between keeping quiet which, as per the contract, was a wise decision and informing the client of the molecule’s polymorphic nature thereby losing the follow-on order of 5 kilograms. Unlike my team, I was of the opinion that our observation need to be communicated to the client as her launch strategy and market lifetime would be ruined if she did not protect every polymorphic form of the molecule via patents. My diverse experiences with South Korea pharmaceutical market taught me that relationship holds the key in the market and once the trust gets established fetching business is not that difficult. I explained the situation to my senior management and talked about how the business relationship was at stake. Initially I faced stiff resistance but given my expertise in dealing with global clients, I was entrusted by senior management to make decision and prepare a business case for that.

Eventually, I chose what I felt was right way in long term despite being unpopular choice in short term. I arranged a two-way technical discussion between my execution team and her development team and informed them about the polymorph issue.  To strengthen our claim we shared our results and requested our client to perform similar polymorphic tests at her facility. I went on to sensitize my client on the long term impact of this threat.

Ultimately, our client appreciated my approach and offered us a long-term polymorph screening project, a bonus deal that will fetch us significant revenues in the long run.

MIT Sloan Essay 2:  Please describe a time when you convinced an individual or group to accept one of your ideas.

In my third year of college, I decided to contest Student Union elections for the post of General Secretary. I wished to take up this role as I was deeply interested in representing interests of the student community effectively to the administration. Nominating myself for general secretary required me to harness the support of wide sections of people and ensure that my candidature was a popular choice. The formation of my campaign team was preceded by a lot of interactions where I had to convince my peers of the merits of my nomination and my manifesto. The task was challenging since it meant convincing not only my batch mates and junior students but also senior students who were more aware about the issues since they had spent more time on the campus.

I realized that biggest pain point for students’ community was the power outages while villages surrounding campus were reeling from drought-induced water shortages. I put an initiative to sensitize the student population about water and power conservation measures and increase awareness of eco-friendly practices. Initially this manifesto promise met with scepticism from the election commission and from fellow contestants. During the election debate, an event that is eagerly followed by the electorate on the eve of the election to make an informed choice using their votes, my proposal was put to the test. I decided to use this platform as an opportunity to convince the student community of the necessity of this initiative and of the fruits it would accrue.

I fielded various questions put forth by the election commission panel, by my opponents and by the audience that probed the viability of this idea, the plan of action that I had visualised and my willingness to follow it through. My performance at the debate combined with my campaign team’s efforts garnered support and approval for this initiative. Though I lost the elections narrowly due to political reasons, I approached the winning candidate to get it implemented in his tenure. I convinced him by showing value in my proposal and assured him that I would take complete ownership of the project. We started out by pasting small “switch off” posters in common rooms, hostel rooms and near bathrooms and screening awareness videos during cultural events. Gradually our effort gathered momentum and we held membership drives and reach-out sessions on a regular basis.

My determination to see change happening in my student community would not have crystallized into action had it not been for my efforts to get my fellow students to see the larger picture. Inspired by the prospect of positive changes I had envisaged, the members of subsequent batches ensured that it grew significantly in proportion and purpose after I graduated. This initiative has grown into NGO ABC, an NGO that has spread its roots into college campuses across India. As one of the founders I take pride in my persistence in bringing about an attitudinal shift in my community.

MIT Sloan Essay 3: Please describe a time when you took responsibility for achieving an objective. (500 words or less, limited to one page)

I work with Custom Pharmaceutical Services (CPS), a strategic business unit of Company 1, operating in the Contract Research and Manufacturing (CRAMS) space. In this business Customer Information security and confidentiality play a critical role in client’s outsourcing strategy.

CPS’ management was highly concerned about the customer trust that Company 1, with its image as a “generic company” might inspire. Hence, to counteract this perception it was decided to make our information security systems compliant to international information security standards.  It was a tough ask as this exercise had not been attempted before in Company 1 and our management had placed this project on high priority. As I was working closely with our business unit head at that time, I was a part of the initial discussions on this initiative. I understood immediately that this project would be a great opportunity to work within a cross functional team and exhibit my leadership potential. I expressed my interest in taking this initiative through and my business head, being impressed with my enthusiasm entrusted me with this responsibility.

I was nominated as the Project Manager for Information Security Management System (ISMS), ISO 27001:2005 standard implementation.  My key deliverable was to make our information security systems ISMS complaint within six months. After selecting and organizing a 26-member cross functional team for ISMS implementation, I realized that as first-timers to information security protocol, we needed to acquire an understanding of standard procedures. To address this difficulty, I arranged for professional training providers and later worked with them to create a customized internal training program. Later I set up a curriculum and a team of internal coaches to train my team on fundamentals of standard protocols.

I realized we needed to assess overall awareness of information security at CPS and to discover areas where this understanding could be improved. I collaborated with our Information Technology staff to volunteer to work on online surveys. We got positive results and a 900-strong organization was conversant with basic ISMS requirements and was aware of the corrective and preventive actions that a confidentiality breach entailed. Since each member was involved in multiple projects, motivating them to schedule their regular tasks around ISMS demands was challenging. On unfamiliar terrain and with a tight deadline we were required to work seamlessly. One of the ways, I motivated my team was to ask them to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. In January 2009, we were accredited by Organization XYZ for Information security management standard ISO 27001:2005. With this we became India’s first Pharmaceutical business to get this certification, a definitive competitive advantage. Our team was honored with “Best Teamwork” award at the annual awards ceremony.

Over the course of this project execution, I discovered that I had a gift for driving a large group of people towards a shared purpose. I realized that when I am pushed I do better; I push boundaries and do not confine myself to the job responsibilities.

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