MIT Sloan Master of Finance Admissions Interview
Diane Jordan, Associate Director, Admissions, MIT Sloan School of Management
Scott Edinburgh, Founder, Personal MBA Coach
Personal MBA Coach: How did you first get involved in admissions?
Diane Jordan: …. After 15+ years in Human Resources talent acquisition and development, I am excited to be working in admissions where I can apply my background and experiences in a meaningful way. MIT Sloan School of Management is a mission-driven school with amazing faculty, students, and staff. The excitement and energy felt on our campus and while traveling around the globe meeting prospective students is very rewarding.
Personal MBA Coach: As an undergrad at MIT, I remember the focus analytics has had. It has only exploded since then, which has permeated throughout Sloan. What is driving this change and how do you see this further impacting students?
Diane Jordan: …. Innovation continues to be part of what drives the work we do at MIT Sloan and analytics helps us apply it to the world we live in. MIT Sloan has been and continues to be a pioneer in modern finance. Our strength in educating students who can analyze massive amounts of data and understand the complexities of the global financial marketplace keeps us at the forefront of innovation.
Personal MBA Coach: How has the volume of MFin applications changed over the last couple years?
Diane Jordan: ….The MIT Sloan School of Management has experienced a steady increase of applicants since the program was established in 2008. We find the current class size of approximately 120 students an ideal size and do not see it growing in the near future.
Personal MBA Coach: Why do you think more applicants are applying to the MFin program at Sloan?
Diane Jordan: …. Prospective students with an undergraduate degree in a quantitative subject or finance, and internships and/or some work experience are looking for tangible skills to use as a springboard for their careers in finance. There is a demand for graduates who have acquired a deep knowledge and understanding of finance theory and methodologies.
Personal MBA Coach: What gets you most excited when you read MFin applications?
Diane Jordan: …. Each applicant is distinct and has something unique about his/her background and experience. It is exciting to read about the motivation and passion that draws applicants to the program and drives them in their careers.
Personal MBA Coach: I get questions from clients who are occasionally concerned that they don’t have enough experience to demonstrate success. How does an applicant at the beginning of his/her typically demonstrate success?
Diane Jordan: …. Our program is geared primarily to early-stage professionals who have 0-4 years of prior work experience. Many students in our program enroll directly after earning a bachelor’s degree. For these candidates, summer internships while in college are helpful and can provide examples of their accomplishments.
Personal MBA Coach: What do you wish applicants would do differently when applying?
Diane Jordan: …. Be authentic and genuine. We really want to get to know our applicants. This will also help make an application stand out from the others.
Personal MBA Coach: Given the fact that The MFin program qualifies as a STEM and foreign students can extend their training by 24 months after graduating, how do you think the mix of applicants or students will change?
Diane Jordan: …. the STEM classification is recognition of the strength of the quantitative components of the program and our expectation is that both domestic and international students who are eager to enroll in a rigorous finance program will find it beneficial, as organizations are looking for employees with these skills.
Personal MBA Coach: What changes are you looking forward to at the MFin program or Sloan in general?
Diane Jordan: ….We will be admitting our 9th class of MFins in 2017 and, the program continues to develop and evolve around the student experience whether that is in coursework offered, clubs and competitions as well as opportunities for students to develop professionally. Each MFin class is different and helps to shape the community here at MIT Sloan.
Personal MBA Coach: What is a common misconception about MIT Sloan’s MFin program?
Diane Jordan: …. Our students understand that coming to the MFin program will provide them with a deep dive into finance and are excited when they get here to learn about the many opportunities to collaborate across MIT Sloan and MIT overall.
Personal MBA Coach: How do you advise applicants to think about the 12 vs 18 month option?
Diane Jordan: …. The degree is the same whether students are enrolled in the 12 month or 18 month. Students who are interested in the option of a summer internship and/or extending their courses over a longer period of time as well as possibly doing a master’s thesis will want to be considered for the 18-month format.
Personal MBA Coach: What advice do you have for an applicant eager to attend Sloan’s MFin program that is not posted on the MIT website or usually discussed?
Diane Jordan: …. A lot has already been written about the topic. One thing for certain is that the application process yields both relief and stress for prospective students—as I have witnessed in my role in admissions. Being prepared and giving yourself plenty of time to put your application materials together should be first and foremost. However, if I were to give applicants one piece of advice it would be to relax and be yourself!
I founded Personal MBA Coach in 2008 in order to provide applicants around the world with personalized and in-depth support as they develop their career progression and application strategies. If you are interested in applying to MIT Sloan or other programs, contact me to discuss your situation further. firstname.lastname@example.org www.personalmbacoach.com