Unlike other schools, MIT Sloan does not require an application essay, per se; rather, it asks students to write a “cover letter” that follows the format of standard business correspondence and to address it to Assistant Dean of Admissions Dawna Levenson. (Do not address it to longtime assistant dean of admissions Rod Garcia; he retired in May 2021 after being at MIT for 33 years.)
That noted, the creative process is still the same, in that your goal is to provide a clear picture of who you are, what you have accomplished, why you want to earn an MBA, and why you want to attend Sloan—all in 300 words. Sloan also requires applicants to submit a much feared one-minute video, in which they introduce themselves to their future classmates. Although this portion of the application is the most daunting for most applicants, it is also the part that allows the MIT MBA admissions committee to really get to know an applicant as a person, instead of as a piece of paper.
Remember, MIT Sloan has something of a different take on what it is looking for, particularly when compared to the other top business schools. For MIT Sloan, “past is prologue,” meaning that it believes the greatest indicator of future success is past success. So, you should share your accomplishments in a very detailed way, rather than attempting to wow the MBA admissions committee with your aspirations for the future. You can briefly discuss your hopes and dreams in your cover letter and video, but what moves the needle for Sloan is the successes you have had, not the dreams you dream.
As previously noted, Sloan’s admissions committee cares why you want to attend MIT Sloan in particular. Therefore, this subject must be discussed somewhere in your application. Again, specificity is key, meaning you should cite specific elements of the Sloan experience that interest you, such as courses, events, and clubs. If you have spoken with any Sloan alumni or faculty members who were influential in your decision to apply to the program, you can mention them by name in your application.
Sloan uses a two-stage application process. This means that if you get an interview, you will be asked to write two additional essays, to be delivered prior to your sitting down with a member of the Sloan admissions staff. Though these essays are both short, at just 250 words, they are not so simple.
In our essay analysis, we provide in-depth guidance on each of MIT Sloan’s 2021–2022 pre-interview essay questions, as well as the main essays that all Sloan applicants must submit:
- 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 Admissions Committee (300 words or fewer, excluding address and salutation).
- Video: Introduce yourself to your future classmates. Here’s your chance to put a face with a name, let your personality shine through, be conversational, be yourself. We can’t wait to meet you! Videos should adhere to the following guidelines:
- No more than 1 minute (60 seconds) in length
- Single take (no editing)
- Speaking directly to the camera
- Do not include background music or subtitles
- Pre-Interview Essay 1: 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 a time when you contributed toward making a work environment or organization more welcoming, inclusive, and diverse.
- Pre-Interview Essay 2: We are interested in learning more about how you use data to make decisions and analyze results. Please select one of the following prompts to respond to:
- In 250 words to less, please describe a recent data driven decision you had to make, and include one slide presenting your analysis. The slide may include a data visualization example and should present data used in a professional context. Your slide must be uploaded as a PDF.
- Please select an existing data visualization and in 250 words or less explain why it matters to you. The data visualization should be uploaded as a PDF. Examples may come from current events, a business analysis, or personal research.
Click here to read our analysis