MIT Sloan has released its admissions essays and deadlines for the Class of 2015. Sloan has made some changes this year which includes dropping an essay, which continues as a trend that we have seen among top MBA programs this year. However, the school’s cover letter returns. This cover letter is still unique among other top MBA programs’ application essays.
Here are MIT Sloan’s application deadlines and essays for the coming year.
MIT Sloan Application Deadlines
Round 1: October 24, 2012
Round 2: December 27, 2012
MIT Sloan’s Round 1 deadline is virtually unchanged from last year, but its Round 2 deadline has moved up by about two weeks. Note that Round 1 applicants may not receive their decision from Sloan until early January 29, so you may not know the status of your Sloan application until most other school’s Round 2 deadlines have come and gone in early January.
It is important to note here at the Round 2 deadlines are right in between the holidays. So, plan accordingly. Make sure you have all the necessary documents ready and get your problems solved beforehand as queries may not be answered immediately during that time.
Also, remember that Sloan only has two main admissions rounds. Although Round 2 is Sloan’s final round, do not assume that applying in Round 2 is as bad as applying in Round 3 anywhere else. If you need the extra two months to get your application in order, then take that time to improve your chances.
MIT Sloan Cover Letter
Please prepare a cover letter (up to 500 words) seeking a place in the MIT Sloan MBA program. Your letter should describe your accomplishments, address any extenuating circumstances that may apply to your application, and conform to standard business correspondence. Your letter should be addressed to Mr. Rod Garcia, Senior Director of Admissions.
This is not exactly an admission essay. Simply said, the cover letter serves as your all-in-one, “This is who I am, this is what I’ve done, and this is why I want to earn an MBA at MIT Sloan.” That’s all that needs to be mentioned here. Make sure you arrange your content well and mention about all the important events in your life.
MIT Sloan Application Essays
We are interested in learning more about how you work, think, and act. For each essay, please provide a brief overview of the situation followed by a detailed description of your response. Please limit the experiences you discuss to those which have occurred in the past three years.
In each of the essays, please describe in detail what you thought, felt, said, and did.
Please describe a time when you had to convince a person or a group of your idea. (500 words)
This question carries over from last year with a small amount of tweaking. Last year, Sloan’s questions put a great deal of emphasis on the traits that demonstrate leadership. Sloan has toned it down a bit this year, but you can be certain that Sloan admissions officers are still looking for leaders in the applicant pool.
Do not worry if you haven’t had the chance to lead a team yet. One practical definition of leadership is the ability to positively influence others, and Sloan directly asks for an example of that ability with this question. So, even if the task was really small and mundane, it’s your skill that will showcase how you got the work done. That is what MIT is looking for. Make sure you word it well.
Please describe a time when you overcame a personal setback. (500 words)
This question is new this year, and it also addresses some of the traits that admissions officers look for in emerging leaders: the ability to objectively take a challenge and setback and turn it into something positive, coming out better in the end.
The word “setback” should not necessarily be taken in the negative sense. Many applicants get worried that they have to write about a failure. You should never be worried about mentioning the failures of life. But, at the same time, it should show what you learnt from the failure and how you grew as a person. In fact, writing a response about overcoming a failure or weakness will usually prove more powerful than answering about something that only sounds impressive but does not honestly reveal sufficient information about you. Make sure your answer is honest and speaks more about you as a person, the developmental changes that you went through and how the experience can make you a better leader.
Finally, make sure you always keep a documented track of all the deadlines so that you do not miss any and have sufficient time to work on your application.