The following analysis examines the admissions essay topics from the MIT Sloan School of Management. The Sloan MBA essays for the 2022-2023 admissions season are below. You can also review essay topic analyses for other leading MBA programs as well as general Essay Tips to further aid you in developing your admissions essays.
Sloan MBA Essays & Analysis 2022-2023
Let’s take a closer look at this year’s Sloan MBA essays:
Sloan MBA Essay – 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).
MBA aspirants, just like job applicants, need to demonstrate that they know how to market themselves. This is why the school requires a cover letter as part of the Sloan MBA essays.
As you approach this assignment, keep in mind the many standard cover letter themes—your attributes and skills, why you are interested in joining the ‘company’ (MIT / Sloan), and what you feel you could contribute. These certainly intersect with the ideas covered by other schools’ “career goals” essays, so much so that it may be tempting to simply tack a greeting onto the beginning of a career goals essay you’ve prepared for another program. MIT’s request for these ideas in a cover letter format, however, actually makes it very easy to spot recycled material, so it’s important that you tailor your response to the school’s unique process. It’s also worth noting that the Sloan admissions team has been open about their decision to avoid direct questions about ‘why MIT’ or ‘specific career goals’ – so while those themes may play a role in your cover letter, the focus should be largely on who you are and what you have accomplished, as opposed to a simple expression of your love of the program/plans for the future. With such a limited length, all points must be concise, yet informative.
A potential outline for this Sloan MBA essay might open with a couple detailed sentences about who you are and what you would bring to the school; then a short statement of your career goals with a summary of the ways in which your experience to date has prepared you to accomplish them; and finally a brief “why MIT” section explaining why Sloan is the best place for you in terms of what you need from an MBA and your fit with the school, concluding with a thank you. To effectively convince the adcom that your background is uniquely suited to MIT Sloan, it will be important to conduct a fair amount of research on the program. Taking the time to learn about MIT’s curriculum, special programs and extracurricular activities—whether through online events or conversation with alumni—will pay dividends here.
Sloan MBA Essay – Video Prompt
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 second) in length
- Single take (no editing)
- Speaking directly to the camera
- Do not include background music or subtitles
Note: While we ask you to introduce yourself to your future classmates in this video, the video will not be shared beyond the admissions committee and is for use in the application process only.
Once again, this year’s video Sloan MBA essay specifies an audience: one’s fellow students (rather than the admissions committee). While a brief mention of your professional background and career goals may be appropriate, we encourage applicants to use this opportunity to showcase elements of their personalities and candidacies that they will not have the chance to address in their other application materials. Perhaps you have a particularly interesting work or extra-curricular experience to share, or a personal accomplishment or aspect of your heritage of which you’re especially proud. Then, you may wish to connect to why MIT Sloan is the ideal program for you, keeping in mind that you will be sharing this with “future classmates.” Talking about clubs, courses, the community itself will work here—the key is to be specific and to show the adcom that you have done your homework. Moreover, the more specific you are, the easier it will be for the adcom to get a sense of your fit with the program.
In regards to length, do not hesitate to practice your response to ensure that it will be within the time limit—after all, you will only have one chance to record this. You should also record your response on your own and watch it so you can improve before the actual recording. The key caveat here is to not allow the practicing to lead to a robotic/overly rehearsed final video.
As this is a visual presentation that will be recorded live, ensure you are dressed in appropriate professional attire. In terms of a background, clean and steady may work best—you do not want to make the adcom dizzy by taking them on an unsteady walking tour with your laptop. While many applicants will be tempted to introduce props into their video, such as signs, souvenirs, or any prized possessions that might quickly convey who you are, we would like to urge some degree of caution in this domain for the Sloan MBA essay. A focused, one-minute, heartfelt introduction (while looking your audience in the eye) may be far more effective than a distracting string of props, signs, charts—each requiring valuable time to make transitions—not to mention careful attention to readability/visibility on screen. This isn’t to say that displaying a prized souvenir from traveling along the Silk Road in Asia can’t work, it’s just that we want you to think carefully about how to best convey your message on video.
Optional Short Answer Question
Please do not include any links in your response. 250 words or less.
Overall, Sloan is trying to get a better understanding of the context from which a candidate has evolved. Candidates should reflect more on how family, culture or community have informed their character. You may be able to incorporate how the lessons you learned from hardships and unusual circumstances have informed your approach to your career, but professional setbacks should not be the main focus of this essay. Sloan is seeking an understanding of what drives you, your values or simply other aspects of your identity. Also keep in mind that this Sloan MBA essay is optional—do not feel pressure to make a mountain out of a molehill to deliver more content in your application. Take some time to reflect and tell the adcom how circumstances influenced you.
Clear Admit Resources
Thanks for reading our analysis of this year’s Sloan MBA essays! As you work on your Sloan MBA essays and application, we encourage you to consider all of Clear Admit’s offerings: