Scott Edinburgh
November 3, 2023

MIT Sloan EMBA Application Deadlines and Essay Tips: 2023-2024

MIT Sloan School of Management has shared its Executive MBA application essays for the 2023-2024 application cycle. This year, the school’s application essays remain unchanged. Once again, there are four required essay questions (including a statement of purpose) and one optional essay.

For those interested in the MIT EMBA Program, take a look at the latest class profile to assess whether the school may be a good fit for you. Keep in mind that MIT Sloan is looking for MBA applicants with considerable pre-MBA experience. In fact, the average EMBA student arrives at Sloan with 17 years of experience. While some EMBA programs will consider less-experienced professionals, MIT Sloan is not one of them. (Wondering if you have enough experience for MIT Sloan’s EMBA program? Reach out today.)

The 2024 class had two cohorts of about 63 students each. Those encompassed one-third women, about half international students, and about 17 percent underrepresented minorities.

Below, please find the upcoming application deadlines and our analysis of the MIT EMBA application essays.

The 2023-2024 MIT EMBA Application Deadlines Are:

Early Round: December 7, 2023

Round 1: January 11, 2024

Round 2: February 8, 2024

Round 3: March 7, 2024

Round 4: April 4, 2024

Round 5: May 2, 2024

2023-2024 MIT EMBA Application Essays

MIT Sloan EMBA Statement of Purpose: Please provide a statement on your personal and professional qualifications. What is motivating you to apply to the MIT Executive MBA at this point in your career? (500 words or less)

Open this first MIT Sloan EMBA essay by telling the Admissions Committee where you are in your career. Discuss what you have accomplished in the past and state what you consider to be your main achievements in your field.

Next, discuss your short-term and long-term goals. It is acceptable (and often expected) that you remain in the same role post-MBA. Therefore, focus on what you hope to accomplish in this role. Check out this blog for tips on how to articulate your goals.

Finally, think through the skills and knowledge you seek to develop to achieve these goals. That should fully explain why you are seeking an Executive MBA at this point in your career. As you discuss your skill gaps, think about the ways in which Sloan can help: cite specific programs, classes, and activities that will position you to conquer any challenges you expect to face in your future career. Do not make a laundry list. Instead, think carefully about what you will take advantage of on campus and how it will help you to achieve your goals.

MIT Sloan EMBA Essay 1: Lasting impact can happen on large and small scales. Tell us about how you inspired your team, and what you learned about yourself as a leader, through a recent difficult time. (300 words or less)

With 300 words at your disposal, we recommend choosing a recent difficult time that can be easily described and whose complexity is clearly stated. After describing the difficulty, explain quickly and concisely what you did that had impact in this situation: a decision you made or an action you took. Be specific and show the impact or effect it had on your team. Finally, devote the last few sentences to what you learned about yourself from this. Perhaps you rose to a challenge you had not expected, or you discovered leadership skills you did not know you had, or perhaps you learned that people rely on you more than you thought.

End by looking toward the future and how the power from that lesson will stick with you.

MIT Sloan EMBA Essay 2: MIT Sloan finds strength through diversity. We believe that a commitment to diversity, inclusion, equity, and well-being is a key component of both principled leadership and sound management practice. We seek to create a community that encompasses all dimensions of diversity and fosters excellence within MIT Sloan. This includes diversity of identity, thought, role, and perspective.
Please describe a time when you contributed toward making a work environment or organization more welcoming, inclusive, and diverse. (250 words or less)

This short answer is even shorter so, again, choose a situation that can be easily explained.

Quickly set the stage for your action: The company was facing a layoff, or colleagues who had been hired were not receiving the proper training, or the company was hiring only white male scientists.

Then explain what you did to make the situation or environment more inclusive or better, giving the necessary detail. Show any leadership you practiced and any opposition you may have faced. Finally, cite information/statistics to show how your action made the situation more inclusive or welcoming. If you can show systemic change, even better.

Before tackling this short question, you might want to read the prompt for essay 3  to make sure you allocate your stories to the right places and that they complement each other.

MIT Sloan EMBA 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 essay gives you the opportunity to evidence your leadership beyond the brevity confines of the previous essay prompt.

Here, choose something meaty from your leadership and initiative pile that you can develop in detail. This does not have to be an initiative in your professional context: It could be extracurricular as well if it brought about lasting change in an organization.

Start by sharing the idea and any context readers need to know to appreciate its value. For example, a systemic problem in organizational structure or an opportunity that would be sadly missed because of poor communication between departments. Or a situation that made you think, “Why don’t we try XXX?”

Then, discuss how you developed your idea, the research and analysis you put into showing that it would work, any opposition or challenges you faced, and the creative initiative you engaged to put your idea forward and sell it. That is the bulk of the essay. Show your analytical and problem-solving prowess.

Finally, tell the Admissions Committee what came of your effort—how the nearly missed opportunity was turned around or how the business problem was solved. Show results through statistics, if possible. Dedicate the final words to any important lessons you may have learned.

MIT Sloan EMBA application also has an optional 200-word essay:

Here you may provide any additional information you would like the Admissions Committee to know that may be helpful in evaluating your candidacy. For example:

  • How has the world you come from shaped who you are today? For example, your family, culture, community, all help to shape aspects of your life experiences and perspective. Use this opportunity if you would like to share more about your background.

  • Would additional context help the committee to understand the significance of an honor or award from your resume?

  • What would you like to tell us about your hobbies or non-profit work?

  • Is there anything else you want to share?

For guidance on whether you should write an optional essay, check out Personal MBA Coach’s blog here.

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