MIT Sloan MBA 2019-2020 Video and Essay Tips

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Following up on the publication of our MIT deadlines, we’re including our breakdown the MIT MBA application for the 2019-2020 admissions period. Compared to last year’s app, MIT Sloan has made only one major change by removing the optional essay. Instead of that essay, you are provided with two small spaces within the Academic Information and Employment Information sections to explain away any problems in your profile, such as poor school performance or significant job gaps. It goes without saying that it is in your best interest to use that space, should there be any red flags in your history.

As MIT has a highly competitive MBA admissions process, do be sure to start your application by learning and connecting with the program. Take a deep dive into the course structure and offerings (professors, resources, etc.), as well as grow to understand its culture. Joining events, visiting the school and speaking with alumni is also an important part in preparing yourself for the MIT Sloan application process.


ESSAYS


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 professional examples that illustrate why you meet the desired criteria above, and be addressed to the Assistant Deans of Admissions, Rod Garcia and Dawna Levenson (300 words or fewer, excluding address and salutation).

One of the questions we most often get asked in relation to this essay is whether MIT really wants a cover letter. The answer is yes and no. While the format of this essay is that of a standard cover letter, the content must be oriented to match the tone and unique preferences of MIT.

In terms of substance, there should be two areas of focus: your experiences and MIT’s MBA. The larger portion should focus on specific examples from your life that reflect MIT values. It might be best to concentrate on recent professional experiences and successes, though you can extend your focus in certain cases, making sure to highlight those qualities that MIT finds invaluable, including leadership, teamwork, creativity, and communication.

For the second portion of this essay, you should connect the experiences you mentioned to concrete aspects of MIT. Include only relevant and specific points that you’ve gathered from your prior research and outreach. The purpose of this section is to show that you fit the type of profile that MIT is searching for.

Finally, while cover letters might at times come across as rather dry, it’s important to show a bit of style and creativity in your approach to writing this particular one. Try to avoid generic devices when possible. Instead, pique the interest of the reader by employing an engrossing and positive tone.

Potential Additional Essay (Interview Dependent) – 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. We believe that a commitment to diversity, inclusion, equity, and well-being is a key component of both principled leadership and sound management practice. In 250 words or less, please describe how you, as a member of the MIT Sloan community, would work to create a campus that is welcoming, inclusive and increasingly diverse. Details for submitting your response will be included in the interview invitation.

MIT wants to create a strong, supportive network. To do so, they need to make sure that potential candidates are going to actively participate in Sloan’s MBA community. In order to best answer this question, try to identify where your previous interests and activities meet with those available at MIT Sloan, especially outside of the classroom. Be creative with what you can bring to the table. Ask yourself, how can you improve the community or a particular association? And how is that improvement linked with your particular strengths, interests and former experiences?


VIDEO ESSAY


Please take a minute to introduce yourself to your future classmates via video. Tell us about your past experiences and why MIT Sloan is the best place for you to pursue your MBA.

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.

Video recordings make a lot of people nervous, however this isn’t an INSEAD-type video essay where you’re asked different topics and need to think on your feet (you can read more about that sort of requirement here). In fact, you can plan this video out as much as you want. So, what should you do with all of that control?

Well, before we get to the shoulds, let’s quickly go over the shouldn’ts. This is not a section of the application where you should be mentioning any topics that have already been discussed in its other parts. Neither is this question about your future objectives, nor is it about MIT. This essay is all about you.

In most cases, you want to take a personal approach here. Take some time to figure out what are the big passions that define your life. There are many questions you could pose to yourself to help identify them. What hobbies take up most of your time? What events have recently caused you to change your opinion? What principles guide you?

Once you have a general idea of what you’d like to present about yourself in mind, you then need to consider different aspects of presentation. Firstly, this isn’t a movie shoot: a camera crew is not necessary (unless you happen to actually work in the film industry). However, there are ways you can bring your interests to life without having the video come across as overwrought. For example, if your passion revolves around flight, shooting your video surrounded by aeronautical materials or even in an airplane hangar could be a simple way to visually connect the viewer with your message. Beyond the mise-en-scène, you want to practice your pitch to make sure that your speech comes across in a natural, friendly and attractive manner, while remaining professional.  


For those interested in building a powerful Sloan application, be sure to take the time to get in touch with our MIT MBA experts.