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Real Humans of the MIT Sloan MBA Class of 2024

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mit sloan class of 2024Andrew Lydon, MIT Sloan MBA Class of 2024

Age: 28
Hometown: Medfield, MA
Undergraduate Institution and Major: University of Miami – Major in Finance, Minor in Math
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 6 years – Finance (FinTech & Portfolio Management)

Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now?
It wasn’t in my initial plan to go to business school, but through conversations with friends and coworkers who pursued their MBAs, the experience seemed invaluable. I enjoyed my pre-Sloan experience working in finance. I developed great soft and hard skills, but I wanted to expose myself to other industries and learn from peers with differing backgrounds, and there is no better way to do that than by attending business school.  

Through my experience in finance, I became captivated by financial technology and climate investing. I believe that each of these focus areas will be instrumental in driving innovation in the industry. I came to business school to deepen my expertise. I’m most interested in exploring these fields as an investor, but I am also taking the opportunity to understand adjacent roles in the financial technology and climate space to see how I can have the greatest impact.  

Why did you choose MIT Sloan? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
For me, the interactions I had with current students and alumni made it clear that I should come to MIT Sloan. When applying to schools, I spent a lot of time reaching out to students to get a better understanding of life as a student. Sloanies were incredibly open and willing to lend me their time. Even as an applicant, I felt a deep connection and sense of support from the student body. Before I even stepped on campus, I knew it would be a great community to join for business school.  

Additionally, Sloan’s focus on sustainability and technology aligned perfectly with my focus areas. Sloan has fantastic resources, including the Sustainability Initiative and Analytics certificate, that will help me incorporate these interests into a business framework.  

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the MIT Sloan Class of 2024?
I’ve always felt that I’ve been a good social connector to different groups of people in my life. While at Sloan, I’m making it a priority to cultivate meaningful relationships with as many of my classmates as possible. Through building this community, I’m hoping I will be able to connect students who may not have otherwise met.   

Tell us a fun fact about yourself that didn’t get included on your application:
I’m a big golfer and love to travel. I want to marry these two interests and play golf in all 50 states across the U.S. I’m currently at 17 states, so I still have a long way to go. 

Post-MBA career interests:
I’m interested in a career in venture capital, either focusing on Climate Tech or FinTech.

Advice for Current Prospective Applicants: 
–What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
Do your research. This includes not only exploring your desired school’s website to discover the programs and initiatives that set it apart, but also reaching out to current students and alumni. There is no better way to learn about a school than by talking to students who have lived the experience. Oftentimes, they will provide you with new information that will make it easier for you to think about what school you’d want to attend. 

–What is one thing you would change or do differently?
I wish I would’ve have done a better job of getting more feedback on my essays and applications from people that know me best. I waited until later in the process to get feedback from friends and family, and, in hindsight, their advice would have been even more helpful earlier in the process. So, if you are having trouble with crafting your essays, don’t wait to reach out and get feedback from your trusted circle. People are always willing to help more than you think.

–What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
The GMAT. When I was originally applying, I had my test date moved around several times, which extended my study period and caused me even more headaches during the application process. I would encourage students to prepare and plan to take the GMAT/GRE as early as possible, so they can focus on the other important aspects of the application. Even if you might apply in the next couple of years, I would encourage you to take the test, so you don’t run into a time crunch come application deadlines.  

What is your initial impression of the Sloan students/culture/community?
The community is inspiring and encouraging. The students here all have incredible backgrounds, but everyone is down-to-earth and humble about their experiences. Sloanies are eager to learn about one another and to help in any way they can. Whether that’s workshopping a start-up idea or just acclimating to a new city, students are there to support each other. Sloanies have such diverse interests and are intentional about exploring their passions while here. It’s easy to feel this energy while on campus and it’s what makes being at MIT so special.

What is one thing you have learned about Sloan that has surprised you?
Everyone here is so open to trying new things! I think this connects to the culture of continuous learning at MIT, both inside and outside the classroom. And for every Sloan student who wants to try something new, there is another Sloanie ready to teach them that new skill.

What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year? 
I’m most anxious about optimizing my time at Sloan. I’ve been here for just over a month and a half now, and I’ve started to realize I can’t take advantage of all the opportunities we as students are provided with. I’m casting a wide net in terms of the clubs and events I’m involved in, and I’m loving the chance to experience these new interests. There is an abundance of opportunity at MIT, and I do not take it for granted, but it does require the need to pick and choose what I attend. I’m hoping as the year progresses, I will get a better feel for how to make the most of all the opportunities.  

What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year?
To start, I’m most excited to meet the rest of my amazing classmates. I’m still meeting new people each day, and I am constantly impressed by how interesting and accomplished they are, but also how inviting they are. The Sloan staff and professors have also been remarkable, and they’ve gone out of their way to make themselves vital resources for students. I’ve already had several one-on-ones with professors, each of whom has provided candid and thoughtful guidance. I’m looking forward to building more of these relationships throughout my time at MIT. Additionally, I’m excited to help host this year’s Sloan Investment Conference. I was able to attend this event virtually last year as a professional, and I’m really looking forward to having a hands-on role as a student this year.

Christina Griffith
Christina Griffith is a writer and editor based in Philadelphia. She specializes in covering education, science, and history, and has experience in research and interviews, magazine content, and web content writing.