MIT Sloan: Sitting on Top of the World

John Byrne - Tue, 07/18/2017 - 03:07
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It may just be the glory days of MIT Sloan. By sitting in the middle of the booming Boston economy, centered in the emerging world of biotech, leading a movement in sustainability, and sitting one block (yes, really one block) away from Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Amazon and more venture capital firms than you can count, MIT Sloan has never been better positioned as a business school.

And the numbers support this. MIT Sloan has the third lowest acceptance rate of all top MBA programs at 11.7%, just above HBS and Stanford.

So how to craft a winning application? An application that now includes a video component. Here are five tips:

1. Past is prologue.

MIT Sloan believes that the best indicator of future success is past success, so don’t spend a lot of time talking about your dreams. Instead, talk about your accomplishments. They are explicit: they want “doers,” so show them what you have done.

2. Number talk.

It’s MIT so bring on the numbers. Anywhere you can, adding metrics to your accomplishments would be a big advantage. Did you increase sales by 50%? Cut costs by $100M? Or increase efficiency by 30%? Let them know.

3. Show the love.

MIT Sloan is looking for candidates whose first, and maybe only, choice for b-school is MIT Sloan. And, they want to see it from more than just your application but from other ways you have gotten to know the school. Stay on top of webinars and be sure to attend local events. If possible, make a trip to Cambridge to visit campus and sit in on classes. And by all means, talk to alumni.

4. And tell them why.

Specificity is credibility. So be prepared to say exactly what you love about Sloan. Maybe it is taking a certain course with a certain professor, perhaps it is taking advantage of Sloan’s entrepreneurial community, or maybe it is just the overall “pirate” vibe. Let Sloan know with as many details as possible.

5. Video? Simple but not easy

For the first time, Sloan has added a video component to the application. The process is straight-forward: they ask you an open-ended question, you then get 60 seconds to prepare, and then, bang! you have 60 seconds to respond … only, no do-overs. Obviously, not something to be taken lightly and it will require some preparation on your part. Last year, my colleague Donna wrote an article on preparing for a Skype interview, some great tips that will be valuable for your video interview.

If MIT Sloan is your dream school, go for it. But be prepared to submit a pristine application—there are just too many applicants fighting for too few slots—and, make sure to show the love.

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