For anyone interviewing at MIT Sloan: Here’s some advice that we offered in response to a Round 1 BSer looking for input on their idea for essay topic for the “mission” prompt that MIT asks you to write about when they invite you to interview.
Here’s the prompt that they give you:
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. 250 words or less, please describe a time when you contributed toward making a work environment or organization more welcoming, inclusive, and diverse.
This BSer had an idea about creating a new-hire program at work. That could certainly be a fit to the question. However, it’s all about how it’s presented.
This advice pertains to their idea specifically but it’s very relevant to most any topic you might be thinking of for use with this question.
What would be great establish at the outset of the story would be: How was your company less welcoming before? In other words, what was the motivation for you to do this? Did something happen that you were like, “Dang, that ain’t right, let’s fix the culture” or did you have trouble with retention, or from what was the basis of you taking these actions?
Even if that’s a quick statement about how your own experience was poor in some way, could be worthwhile (as long as there wasn’t too much time between you coming on board and experiencing the lack of a program, to your initiating of a new program – would need to be captured as cause->effect in some way). Mostly looking for some baseline that says “Here’s what the culture was first (and how it was not great)” and then “Here’s how the culture was better after I came along” with a direct connecting line from one to the next.
A caution: Be careful about being too negative on critiquing your employer! It’s possible to identify a problem without being overly critical.
What would also be valuable at the end of such a story (any story for this essay) is: Can you point to third-party proof (not easy but would be super valuable to have) that this new program did in fact add value? That the experience of the new hires was somehow different? Even if it’s just a mention of “So-and-so commented that….” Something objective would be awesome.
For any of you nervously awaiting your interview invite for Sloan — you can start thinking about a topic today! Don’t put off all the hard work of ideation until you’re under the gun and operating at a really fast turnaround deadline. Ideally you would have at least put together initial thoughts when you were constructing your overall app strategy for Sloan (which is what our MIT Essay Guide recommends) but we know many people do not do that — but now is a great time to tackle it!!
We hope you end up with the invite, and then you can crank on this essay (and get a fast-turnaround Interview Express review of it!) and also be parallel-processing your interview prep (with our Custom Interview Questions service for added support!). And our MIT Sloan Essay Guide is of course going to add value to this part too given the detailed discussion of what works well — and what doesn’t (eek!) — for this particular prompt.