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Fridays from the Frontline: A Day in The Life @ MIT Sloan

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The life of an MBA student is a hectic one, academically and socially.  It may be hard to imagine cramming multiple classes, extracurricular activities and personal health into a single day. So, what does it look like?  How does the daily schedule shake out?  In this edition of Fridays from the Frontline, we find out from a current MIT Sloan MBA student.

Isaac Santos MBA ’20 took to the Sloan blog to offer a play-by-play of an average day in the life of a Sloanie.

A Day in the Life @ MIT Sloan

by Isaac Santos

Hi everyone!

My name is Isaac Santos and I’m a Class of 2020 MBA student at MIT Sloan. I’ve very much enjoyed my time at Sloan so far and am excited to share what a typical day looks like for me. But, before getting started, I’ll share a little bit about myself.

I was born in Honduras and grew up on a coffee farm. I moved to Chicago when I was 11 and eventually made my way to New York City, where I studied Art History at Columbia University (yes, it’s possible to major in the humanities and still end up at MIT!). I worked in marketing analytics post-graduation, most recently at Integral Ad Science, in a role that merged business development and product management. I decided to pursue my MBA to switch industries to management consulting and will be joining BCG once I graduate.

Here’s a look at one of my days from last semester:

Monday, 7:30AM: Getting Started

Mondays and Wednesdays are my packed days – 4 classes from 8:30AM to 5:30PM. As such, I try to get a good night’s sleep. I live in East Cambridge, on a beautiful tree-lined street, and either walk or bike to school. Having lived in New York for the past 9 years, my one housing rule was not to have to take the subway to school. The walk is 15 minutes, the perfect amount to clear my head and get ready for the day ahead.

8:30AM – 10AM: Essential Law for Business 

I love this class. It is co-taught by Professor John Akula and a practicing lawyer (Lou Rodriquez) and covers everything from M&A to Employment Law and beyond. Rather than getting lost in specific laws, the class tackles issues from the perspective of a manager, a role we’ll likely be in post-Sloan. I’ve learned that the law is not black and white, and it is in that grey zone that a manager’s discretion can make all the difference.

10:00AM – 11:30AM: Managerial Finance

Coming from a humanities background, Finance was definitely the subject that I knew the least about prior to Sloan. I can now say that’s changed. This class is great in that it exposes you to foundational finance concepts and builds on Core semester classes like Financial Accounting. Professor Zhu just got tenure, so it feels like a transformational semester for both of us.

11:30AM – 1:00PM: Meeting with Sloan Pride over Lunch

As the co-president of Sloan Pride, the LGBTQ+ organization on campus, I’ve found a great community of diverse peers that have become some of my closest friends. Over the course of the school year, various clubs and student groups host C-F(x)s or “C-Functions”– gatherings for the greater Sloan student body to mingle and enjoy programming put on by the hosts. Sloan Pride hosts a C-F(x) every year and we pride (pun-intended) ourselves on being the most fun. We’re planning to have a professional drag queen perform as well as five Sloanies compete in a dance battle. Since it’s coming up, we’re down to the wire on last minute planning but are confident it’ll be a night to remember. And, as always, food always helps bring people together, so hosting our meeting at the Sloan cafeteria was a no-brainer.

1:00 PM – 2:30 PM: BAUFS (Business Analysis Using Financial Statements)

While the name of this class makes it sound like a snooze fest, it is actually one of the most entertaining classes I’ve taken at Sloan. Professor Noe has won an Excellence in Teaching award and brings Accounting to life. Learning techniques that range from forecasting revenues to company valuation methods are all valuable skills. Fun fact: I now own a $2 bill because our presentation on Spirit Airlines won the crowd-favorite award.

2:30 PM – 4:00 PM: Boot Camp for Athletes

This “class” is perfectly timed – sandwiched between two afternoon classes, which gives me an energy boost to finish off the day. Hosted at the Z-center, MIT’s largest gym, the class incorporates elements of high intensity interval training to boost endurance. MIT offers a wide array of gym classes, from classics like swimming and running to more adventurous options like golf and triathlon training. I like this class because it keeps me accountable, as working out is built into my schedule.

4:00 – 5:30 PM: Statistical Consulting

I think most of my classmates would agree that Professor Barnett is one of the most entertaining teachers. His sense of humor makes Statistics fun! I like this course because it teaches statistical concepts through real-world examples from business settings. As someone who’s going into consulting, I also wanted to get a better grasp of the analytical techniques that can help me validate an argument.

6:00 PM – 10 PM: Catching Up

Once classes are over, I like to relax, grab dinner and catch up on life. I prefer to separate work and play, so if I have any meetings for group projects or any HW assignments due, I try to get those done before heading home. If there’s an event – networking with a company, a small group dinner with my core team or a Sloan-wide social event – I try to sneak in a cat nap before heading out ☺

Sloan has been incredible so far and I’ve learned that time is my most valuable asset. While balancing schoolwork, social life and personal time isn’t easy, I’ve never been more satisfied by how my time here has played out. Every person I’ve met has a unique perspective that’s enhanced my understanding of business and life at large, and for that I’m very grateful.

Hope you’ve enjoyed coming along for the ride, even if it’s just one day. ‘Til next time!


Jonathan Pfeffer
Jonathan Pfeffer joined the Clear Admit and MetroMBA teams in 2015 after spending several years as an arts/culture writer, editor, and radio producer. In addition to his role as Contributing Writer at MetroMBA and Contributing Editor at Clear Admit, he was also a co-founder of the Clear Admit MBA Admissions Podcast. He holds a BA in Film/Video, Ethnomusicology, and Media Studies from Oberlin College.