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Real Humans of the MIT Sloan MBA Class of 2024

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mit sloan class of 2024Dan Giambrone, MIT Sloan MBA Class of 2024

Age: 28
Hometown: Irvington, NY
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Binghamton University; Finance major – economics minor
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 6 years in financial services doing fundamental credit research

Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now?
I decided to go back to school because I felt stagnant, was unsure that credit was the right long-term fit for me, and I wanted to explore the opportunity set opened up by a top-tier MBA program. It was the right time for me because I had enough experience to know my strengths/weaknesses, interests, and goals. 

Why did you choose MIT Sloan? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
I selected my target schools based on geography (preferred the NE), perception of my own ‘fit’, orientation towards entrepreneurship, and the quality of opportunities that the degree opened up.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the MIT Sloan Class of 2024?
I think that I tend to be good at finding opportunities, rallying people together, and then navigating the uncertainty to make things happen. So far, I have worked to take our ETA club to the next level in response to growth in interest in the industry at Sloan. Look out for our first-ever in-person Sloan ETA conference this spring!

Tell us a fun fact about yourself that didn’t get included on your application:
I love to cook and some have said that I make the world’s best risotto.

Post-MBA career interests:
I plan to leave Sloan running a company. So far, I have gone headfirst into both startups and entrepreneurship through acquisition (ETA). The startup a classmate and I have been working on was accepted into MIT Sandbox. Although unconventional for a first year, I am also the co-president of the Sloan ETA club.

Advice for Current Prospective Applicants:
–What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
I spent a ton of time talking to current students and alumni at the programs I was interested in. I think that it helped give me a flavor of the differences between schools, informed my application content, and helped to guide my own goals.

–What is one thing you would change or do differently?
I procrastinated on some of the application materials. All worked out in the end but I could have saved myself some stress by having the applications ready a few days earlier than needed.

–What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
I was a round 1 admit, so the several months between admittance and the start of school felt tedious. I managed by traveling a bit, seeing family, doing a pre-MBA internship, and trying to organize my life as much as possible before the chaos of first semester hit. That time can be useful to get your house in order, but many days I felt as though I were just waiting around for the next stage of my life to kick in.

What is your initial impression of the Sloan students/culture/community?
I have been blown away at how smart, humble, and accomplished my classmates are. They all have interesting stories to share, unique perspectives, and are incredibly nice people. I think that the smaller size of Sloan compared with some other programs leads to a tighter nit community.

What is one thing you have learned about Sloan that has surprised you?
Access to the rest of the campus is strong if you are proactive about it. Sloan is incredible, but I felt it would be a shame to spend time on the MIT campus and not really experience everything that the university has to offer.

What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
Your first year of business school is truly drinking through the fire hose. It’s common to experience ‘FOMO’ because there are opportunities for career development, interest exploration, and fun all day every day. If you had three copies of yourself, you could not attend all the events. I am focused on doing less as much as possible to make sure that I spend time on the things that are most relevant to my mission in the brief time that I am here.

What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year?
Continuing to get to know my classmates, validating start-up ideas, and the annual Colorado ski trip.

Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your personal application or admissions process in any way? If so, how?
I chose to delay my application by a year to have as normal of a business school experience as possible. I have been very happy with that decision. 

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.