Why We Ask MBA Interviewees for an Additional Essay

All MBA interviewees are asked to answer one important question before interviewing at MIT Sloan:

“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 how you, as a member of the MIT Sloan community, would work to create a campus that is welcoming, inclusive and increasingly diverse.”

I want to shed some light on why we ask this question and what we value in responses.

First, why do we ask this question?

MIT Sloan is a mission-driven school.  In fact, that’s one of my favorite things about working here! MIT Sloan students are smart and collaborative, grounded and inventive. Together, we cherish inclusivity and embrace unique differences because we know that building this culture is critical to fostering world-changing ideas.

Over the years, I have seen how our MIT Sloan culture has been enriched by the incredible diversity of people and ideas coming together in one place. Now, as our Admissions Team builds the next class of MBA students, our goal is to admit students who will complement and contribute to our dynamic culture.

We love talking about our mission – in fact, we will likely bring it up during your interview. This essay gives you time to contemplate the culture you are looking for in a business school and prepare to have a deeper conversation about it when we meet in person for your interview.

Second, what are we looking for in responses?

This question is all about fit. Reading this essay gives our Admissions Committee a unique opportunity to learn more about you, beyond your resume and written application.

We’re looking to find out how your values and goals align with MIT Sloan. We are curious to find out how you articulate your individuality and best characteristics. We love seeing how you have impacted the community and culture of organizations you have been a part of and we look forward to using our interview-time to dive deeper into your responses.

To write an essay that stands out, I recommend learning as much as you can about who we are and what we stand for. Explore our website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, student blogs. Think about what matters to you in communities you have been a part of and how you have chosen to make an impact on people. Show us how you’re already living out the MIT Sloan mission.


See You Soon

How to Prepare for MIT Sloan’s Master of Business Analytics Interview Process

Thank you for submitting your application to the Master of Business Analytics Class of 2019! I have to say, we are extremely impressed by the academic accomplishments and professional ambitions shared in the applications we have read so far.

In late-January to early February, we will be sending emails to invite a subset of applicants to participate in a 30-minute interview with a member of our admissions committee. An interview is a required step in the process and receiving an invitation is a great sign that you’ve moved to an advanced standing in the application process.

Interviews will be held on campus here in Cambridge and in several hub cities around the world. Those of you who opt to come to campus will be able to attend a class and have lunch with current MBAn students. This is a great way for you to get a better sense of the vibrant Sloan culture and community.

During the interview, we are looking to learn more about your intellectual ability and problem-solving skills, as well as your passion for business analytics. My colleague, Jennifer Barba, shares some information about the interview format and questions:

Here’s a quick recap:

  • We will ask a few technical questions. Our goal is to get a deeper sense of how you might utilize statistics, probability, math, or computer-science fundamentals to navigate a hypothetical situation.
  • We will ask some behavioral questions. An example might be “Tell me about a situation where you had to work with someone you found to be challenging or difficult.” With this question, we are looking to understand how you work with other people.
  • We will ask about your career goals. Our goal is to understand how you plan to use your MIT Sloan MBAn degree to achieve your specific professional goals.
  • Always be prepared to ask questions. Think beyond information that is already available on the website.

After interviewing, all applicants will be notified of their decision by Thursday, March 8, 2018.


Dawna Levenson

Applying to MIT Sloan’s Master of Finance Program: What Happens After You Hit Submit?

You submitted your Master of Finance application – congratulations! That is definitely a significant milestone!

Our MFin Admissions committee is already busy. As we review your application, we are looking to learn about your academic ability, your passion for finance, and your leadership and teamwork skills.  I imagine you are probably eager to find out more about the evaluation process and start preparing for the next step.

In mid-January to early February, we will email interview invitations to a subset of applicants. Interview invitations are sent in no particular order, so try not to stress (easier said than done, I know!).

I would like to share some interview tips with you:

Preparing for the Interview:

There are two main areas of focus for an MFin interview:  one section will have questions focused on your personal attributes and the other section will have questions about your career aspirations.

Here are some ways you can prepare:

  • Be ready to provide additional context to experiences you have previously shared AND discuss additional examples not included in your written application.
  • Practice talking about what you have learned from your experiences.
  • Focus on highlighting your own qualities and experiences. There will be no technical questions.
  • We will ask about your aspirations for a career in finance. Be prepared to share the work you have done in finance related jobs / projects. 
  • Be prepared to ask a few questions about the MFin Program and/or the MFin experience.
  • Remember, there are no tricks, just bring your authentic self.

After the Interview:

  • Our Admissions Committee will notify interviewees of their final decisions on or before Monday, March 5, 2018.

We look forward to getting to know you better and helping you learn what MIT Sloan is all about.


Talk soon.png

3 Best Tips When Applying to MIT Sloan’s Master of Business Analytics Program

(The Master of Business Analytics application deadline is January 9, 2018. Apply here.)

It’s December, which means one thing for us here in the MIT Sloan Admissions office: application season is in full swing.

One of the highlights for me? The day AFTER the January 9th Master of Business Analytics (MBAn) application deadline, when we start reading applications. We look forward to building the next class of data-enthusiasts who will bring their talents to our Sloan community, and to organizations around the world.

When we review your application, we want to learn about you – your academic knowledge, your analytics experiences, and your goals for a career in data science.

If you have already started your MBAn application, you might have some questions about how our Admissions team will review the application components. In our latest application tips video, Jennifer Barba, Senior Associate Director of Admissions, explains and offers some insight:

A few takeaways and additional tips:

  • Essay questions: We want to know about a project that best represents your abilities. This can be from either work or school. In addition to knowing WHAT you did, we also want to know HOW you did it. Focus on process.
  • Video question: This part of the application is not about technical knowledge. We use this to get to know you in a different way. A question might be, “What do you do for fun?” Relax and show your personality!
  • Optional Question: Consider whether or not there is anything else we should know about you, and if so, use the Optional Question space to share it with us. Some applicants might use this space to add additional context to their undergraduate performance. Others might use it as a different outlet to introduce themselves. That being said, it is truly optional. If you feel like the other components of the application show off your talents, you do not need to submit anything.

If you have additional questions about your application, check out our FAQ, send us an email or give us a call 617-258-5434.

Happy and Healthy New Year!


Dawna Levenson

MIT Sloan Master of Finance Application Tips

As we approach the holiday season, we know that many of you are also gearing up to submit your Master of Finance (MFin) applications in January.

The strongest candidates for the MFin program embody a diversity of strengths from academic excellence and a passion for finance to communication and leadership. Our most attractive candidates are able to highlight these characteristics. We are looking for you to tell your story and explain to us why the MFin program is the next best step in your career.

To help you put together your applications, check out our latest video featuring Diane Jordan, Associate Director of Admissions, with information and tips on the MFin application process.

Here’s a quick recap with some important tips on the application:

  • Be authentic – Tell your own story!
  • You should self-report your test scores on the online application even if the official score report will not arrive in time.
  • Speak with your recommenders early to give them time to write the letter; make certain they know what is expected of them and remind them of the importance of our deadline—they are busy people!
  • Consider your goals and decide whether the 12-month or 18-month format is best for you. You will only be considered for the format you select in your application. If you are undecided (or open to either), we recommend selecting the “Both 12-month and 18-month” choice.

What happens next? A subset of applicants will be invited to interview. Interviews are conducted in person and will take place either on-campus or in several hub cities around the world.

Should you have additional questions, please email us. We look forward to receiving your application to the MFin program!

MBA Round 1 Interview Insights

Starting this week, we are entering one of my favorite times of year – interview season! From your perspective, this is likely a time filled with anxious excitement a bit of nervousness, but I speak on behalf of my entire team… we cannot wait to meet you!

For those of you preparing for interviews, our goal is to continue getting to know you and your story better. We use a Behavioral Interview model to assess candidates for the MBA program. Our interviewer will spend 30-45 minutes asking questions about your past experiences to better learn how you think, act, and reflect.

Check out my video with additional information on what to expect during the interview process.

Here’s a quick recap with some important tips on the interview:

  • Your interviewer will have reviewed your application prior to meeting with you, so come prepared with stories and examples that you did not discuss within your written application.
  • Ask important & thoughtful questions that are meaningful to you! (Hint: if the answer can be easily found on the website, it may not be the best question to ask.)
  • Dress for success!
  • Do your research prior to the interview!…We are not only assessing your past experiences but also your fit with, and enthusiasm for MIT Sloan.

Don’t stress! We are simply looking to gather even more information about you to supplement your application and to help support your candidacy for MIT Sloan!


Dawna Levenson


MBA Round 1 Application Updates: Interview Invitation Dates & Process

Our Admissions Committee is busy reviewing Round 1 applications for the MBA Class of 2020! Now that you’ve spent many hours working on those applications and have finally hit “submit,” you may be wondering, what happens now?…

An interview is an important next step in our admissions process, and we meet with everyone who is admitted. The goal of the interview is to personally get to know you better and to hear more about your story and background.

Interview invites will be sent by 2 PM ET on the following dates:

  • Thursday, October 5, 2017
  • Thursday, October 12, 2017
  • Thursday, October 19, 2017
  • Thursday, October 26, 2017
  • Thursday, November 2, 2017 (By end of day, all Round 1 applicants will receive either an interview invitation or final decision)

We expect to interview around 20% – 25% of the Round 1 applicant pool. For Round 1, we plan to conduct interviews in approximately 15 cities around the world, as well as on campus. The location of the interview will not be a decision factor, but for those who can make it to campus, we host special programming for interviewees, including lunch with current students and a class visit. Please note that all applicants invited to interview have the option to come to Cambridge for their interview.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • Interview invitations are sent based on our interviewers’ travel schedules, and not in any preferential order!
  • If invited for an interview, you will receive an MIT Sloan Interview Guide with details on how to best prepare for the Behavioral Interview
  • This is not a stress interview, so don’t panic! The interviews are conversational and are meant for us to get to know you on a deeper, more personal level.
  • Interviews are conducted by members of the Admissions Committee only. We don’t use alumni or current students in the evaluation process.

We’ll plan to post another blog with interviewing tips soon, so keep an eye out for that! Please contact us if you have any further questions!