MIT Sloan Essay Topic Analysis 2010-2011

10已有 3117 次阅读  2010-07-28 01:00   标签Analysis  MIT  Topic  Essay  Sloan 
With only the second essay changed from last year’s set of application essays, this season’s batch reflects an emphasis on proactiveness, encouraging applicants to reflect upon how they have taken charge and led others to achieve some objective.  As with last year, the essay questions are open in terms of the nature of the examples an applicant can use – work, current activities and even appropriate personal stories are fair game here.  In answering the questions, applicants should touch on their thoughts, feelings, words, and actions.  It’s important to note that the philosophy behind Sloan’s approach is that past behavior is a reliable predictor of future behavior, so it will be wise to select examples that show you at your best.

One final thing to note is that MIT once again requests that applicants select experience or events from the past three years.  While it’s possible that there is some flexibility to draw essay subject matter from early experiences if the subject matter is very compelling, it would probably be prudent to showcase experiences from the past three years in as many essays as possible.

Cover Letter
Prepare a cover letter seeking a place in the MIT Sloan MBA Program. Describe your accomplishments and include an example of how you had an impact on a group or organization. Your letter should conform to standard business correspondence and be addressed to Mr. Rod Garcia, Director of MBA Admissions. (500 words or fewer)

Rod Garcia has long likened the MBA application process to the recruiting process; 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 their application.

As you approach this assignment, keep in mind that many of the standard cover letter themes need to be discussed – 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 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. A potential outline for this essay might open with a ‘greeting’ to the committee followed by a statement of your interest in MIT 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, then a “why MIT” section explaining why it 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.

With the “impact” angle, there’s a good deal of ground to cover in this essay. The best way to satisfy this requirement might be to build a brief professional accomplishment into the overall career background narrative. It will also be important to conduct a fair amount of research on the program in order to efficiently reference the most relevant programs and offerings.

Essay 1
Please describe a time when you went beyond what was defined, expected, established, or popular. (500 words or fewer, limited to one page)

This prompt calls for an anecdote in which a candidate sets his or herself apart from the pack by demonstrating the confidence to deviate from the norm or explore new channels, or the ability to see a situation or problem in a different light.  Fitting topics might include developing an innovative solution through a nontraditional avenue or challenging the status quo with an eye for how operations could be enhanced.  Ideally, the end result would be one in which you reached new insight or perspective, created a new process, took a stand in a professional or extracurricular setting, etc.

Essay 2
Please describe a time when you convinced an individual or group to accept one of your ideas. (500 words or fewer, limited to one page)

The only new question in MIT’s application, this prompt signals the adcom’s interest in how potential students handle opposition while managing potential interpersonal fall-out in navigating the situation.  In providing a detailed description of the situation and the steps taken to garner support, applicants should highlight their ability to persuade and inspire others to accept their ideas in a positive manner.  In doing so, applicants will highlight their problem-solving and leadership skills, thus showing the adcom that they possess the abilities to succeed through challenges at MIT Sloan and in their future careers.

Essay 3
Please describe a time when you took responsibility for achieving an objective. (500 words or fewer, limited to one page)

Through this prompt, the Sloan adcom seeks evidence of a candidate’s willingness to take initiative and assume accountability.  A range of situations might apply here; one might choose an anecdote in which he or she was assigned (and readily accepted) responsibility for a project, or a story in which he or she took on an objective on his or her own accord after recognizing some need.  The common element here is that applicants will want to provide a detailed description of their thought process and actions as well as touch on the success that they achieved through pursuing the particular objective.

A few things to keep in mind while choosing an example is that it’s important to avoid vilifying or putting down others.  It’s one thing to step up and take charge in the absence of clear leadership or direction, and another to push others out of the way to take over a project.  Even if others weren’t pulling their weight, it will be best to keep the discussion positive by reflecting on how you saw some real need and acted upon it rather than, for example, getting into a discussion of how you took over because teammates or co-workers failed to do their part.

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