• Scott Edinburgh

MIT Sloan Class of 2020 - Essay Questions & Analysis - Fall 2017 - Spring 2018

MIT Sloan is the latest M7 school to release application details for class of 2020 hopefuls. Sloan has retained the cover letter requirement from last year, with an increased limit of 300 words. NEW this year is a required 60 second video introduction. With these two requirements, Sloan is introducing an admissions process that is even closer to what candidates can expect post-MBA. The cover letter is already a staple that job applicants must master and the video interview is becoming increasingly popular for many companies. This is a great way for Sloan to assess not only your fit with the program but your long-term potential.

2017 - 2018 Deadlines:

Cover Letter:

From MIT: 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).

Personal MBA Coach’s Take:

Treat this cover letter as you would a traditional cover letter. Think about the highlights of your career and focus on quality over quantity. There is no need to restate your resume here or explain every career move you made. Instead, go into detail on your key accomplishments, including stories that demonstrate your abilities and your passions. Your highlights should naturally demonstrate leadership and how you have excelled beyond expectations. This is a very short essay, particularly compared to other top schools, so you will need to choose each word very carefully. Be sure to get across why you would be a good fit at Sloan and show (don’t say) how you would add value on campus by sharing past successes.

The Video Statement:

From MIT: Please introduce yourself to your future classmates via a brief video statement…. 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.

Personal MBA Coach’s Take:

This video is your chance to demonstrate your fit with Sloan’s culture and show the admissions committee the type of person you will be on campus. As I mentioned in the opening, this form of interview is being used more and more by companies around the world. By requiring a video, Sloan is assessing how you are likely to perform during an on-campus interview and how you will perform in your professional interviews post-MBA.

I advise candidates to prepare for this as they would any other interview, with the added advantage of knowing the question ahead of time. Be sure to spend considerable time thinking through your approach. In many ways, think about your answer here the same way you would your personal story. If you haven’t thought about your personal story, check out my recent video. Don’t repeat what is already in your cover letter. Instead, give it a personal touch.

Focus on what is most important to you, what type of person you are, and what you want to do on campus. Perhaps share a brief interesting fact about yourself, your family, your past, etc. Show how you will add diversity to campus and interest to classroom discussions. Be true to yourself and be confident. And it goes without saying, practice! You only get one shot and only 60 seconds so make it count. Much like outlining an essay, make sure to jot down the key facts you want to cover to keep yourself organized and on point. Most of all, relax!

Pre-Interview Question

Sloan’s pre-interview question also worked well last year and will remain.

Those invited to interview will be asked to answer 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. Please share with us something about your past that aligns with this mission. (250 words or fewer). Details for submitting your essay will be included in the interview invitation.

Applying to LGO?

LGO applicants must submit an additional letter of recommendation (total of three letters of recommendation). The third recommendation must be from an academic source or someone who can speak definitively of your technical skills (this letter does not have to follow our outlined questions). Please advise the person you have chosen that he or she is the technical recommender. All three recommendation letters must be submitted by the LGO application deadline.

You will also have to select an engineering master’s program you wish to pursue.

See details here on the entire application, including specifics for HKS applicants

Personal MBA Coach is here to help! If you would like individual and personal support while applying to MIT Sloan, please find information about Personal MBA Coach’s comprehensive packages or contact me to learn how I can help! As an MIT Sloan BS graduate (and Wharton MBA grad), I have been helping candidates get into the schools of their dreams with a 96% success rate for over 10 years and I have helped applicants get into MIT Sloan every year. Email me at:

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