We originally included this in yesterday’s post on the resume essay content as part of our Resume Week series — but Sloan is different! This deserves to be discussed separately — and despite the title of this post, this is NOT specific only to Sloan! Tips for your other apps also found here. Q:…
A bunch of schools including Wharton and MIT have essay questions this year asking “How will you contribute?” They’re formalizing what we’ve long suggested that BSers do in their apps. Some enterprising BSers come up with the idea of telling the adcom that they’ll start a club. This sounds great! But is this something that…
Today we’re talking about MIT and their “cover letter” which is not really an essay but yeah it’s an essay. These are the instructions from MIT: 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…
Perhaps the ultimate of the “sexy” post-MBA career goals is the desire to go into the sports business. We’ve supported quite a few Brave Supplicants with their MBA apps over the years where they pitched this idea to the adcom, and while we can say that in recent years, it’s become a bit more feasible,…
Yesterday we announced that MIT Sloan earned the first-ever Radcom Award for the 2016 admissions season.
But the REAL reason why Sloan gets the 2016 Radcom Award from EssaySnark?
It’s because of this:
— Essay Snark (@EssaySnark) August 11, 2016
None of you Round 2 BSers would’ve cared about that, but those mock classes were a huge gift for wanna-be Sloanies trying in Round 1 last fall.
The thing is, if you’re a plan-ahead type — say, a new Brave Supplicant who’s just now thinking about applications for the MBA Class of 2020 — then right about now, you’re busy with first steps of the process like the GMAT. You’re eating up the bandwidth on those applicant forums, learning about data sufficiency problems, and getting googly-eyed with dreams of applying to Harvard. You might be kicking the tires on specific schools but probably your research is currently limited to only the schools you’ve heard of – HBS, Wharton, Kellogg, Columbia. You maybe haven’t yet gotten your feet wet with schools like Tuck or Darden. That won’t come till later, after you’ve become a near-obsessive on all this bschool stuff, and you have heard about the concept of “school fit” so many times that you try to figure out what they’re talking about when they say it.
But again, if you’re like most BSers, you’re not worried about actually starting on your apps for months and months – not till maybe July, when everyone on the forums is discussing essay questions after the new app information is released. And that’s when you roll up your sleeves to figure out which schools to apply to, and that’s when you find EssaySnark after some serious Googling, and that’s when you actually READ the essay questions and realize that the schools are asking you to tell them why you belong there. And that’s when you discover the truth behind our near-constant advice, that visiting the school is the best way to find out about them.
And by then, in mid-summer, with Round 1 deadlines looming in early September, if you visit campus, you get only half the experience. Because the campus visits in summer, in the months before Round 1 hits, are missing the important element: The students.
The reason we’re going through all of this today is not only to acknowledge the innovation that MIT Sloan displayed by having these mock class visits for interested applicants to experience the MBA community outside the standard academic calendar. But it’s also to serve as your official reminder:
If you’re going to be applying to bschool in the Fall, then NOW is the time to be planning your VISITS to the bschools, which you’ll want to do in the Spring.
In January, springtime feels very far away, however it’ll be here soon enough and that’s when you should be putting your butt on a plane and getting to campus. An ideal time to do your bschool tour and experience these schools for yourself is end of March through April. After that, class will let out and all those second-years will be graduating, and the first-years will be off to their internships. There won’t be many students around campus and there won’t be any classes to sit in on (at least, not at most schools; places like Columbia have class visits available even in summer based on their J-Term format).
So. Kudos to MIT Sloan for coming up with this new way to offer prospective students a chance to experience the MBA class, even when classes are not in session. We hope they’ll do it again this summer. For this innovation, along with the other applicant-friendly policies, they have earned our Radcom Award for 2016.
For all of you:
If you do not currently have an admit to an MBA program locked up from Round 1, there’s a chance that you might end up a reapplicant in the Fall (we hope you get in this year of course! but just staying on the prudent side of things, if you’re not in yet, you can’t assume you will be, no matter how many apps you crammed in two weeks ago). Or, if you’re one of those forward-thinking BSers who’s planning ahead for Class of 2020, who’s on the early side of your research project, then kudos to you too for getting started so soon.
In both cases, we would like to suggest that you flip a few pages ahead in your 2017 calendar, to see about getting a few days’ vacation and booking a flight or two, to get out to these schools that you’d like to be applying to in the Fall.
No, it’s not mandatory to visit before applying, but it ALWAYS is beneficial to your process.
Now that most Round 2 deadlines are behind us and the frenzy of another MBA admissions season is winding down, we wanted to step back and catch our breath and acknowledge some of those hard working admissions teams out there. We’ve done this before, with a few posts in the “adcoms that we love” series that we started five years ago, where we talked about sometimes overlooked schools like IESE and INSEAD. In 2014, we posted our Five Faves which at the time were Darden, Tuck, Yale, Columbia and our #1 favorite, NYU Stern.
This year we’re christening The Radcom Award which we’re going to bestow on the adcom that’s the raddest.
In the ‘Snark’s opinion, of course.
So, who will it be???
We wanted to give it to Ross because they’ve got the coolest videos!! But then they went and put their Round 2 deadline on January 2. C’mon guys! That’s not playing nice! Yeah yeah yeah, that early deadline meant that they’ve already started issuing interview invitations way ahead of most everyone else, which is definitely exciting. But sorry, that doesn’t make up for the pain inflicted on so many a few weeks ago and it’s also, from our perspective, shortsighted.
We simply can’t give it to Haas based on how mean they are with international applicants over the TOEFL. It seems that they’re more and more restrictive on this policy every single year (you can see evidence of that in the comments from BSers on that post).
Coincidentally or not, the adcom that we’ve chosen for our 2016 Radcom Award has policies on the exact opposite side of both of those issues:
- Their Round 2 deadline is the latest of all the top schools
- They don’t even require the TOEFL at all – not for nobody
Yep, you guessed it, we’re giving the Radcom Award to MIT Sloan!
Those aren’t the only reasons for why we like MIT right now.
While their cover letter requirement has proven difficult for many BSers, they are remarkably open and flexible in allowing you to submit almost anything else in support of your candidacy, through their Optional Essay (which is totally different from any other school’s optional essay, just FYI). For MIT, you have free rein on what you want to tell them about or how you want to present the best of your bad self to them. You can cover the traditional “optional essay” topics of low GPA or why you’ve chosen the recommenders that you did, and you can do that in a written essay. OR — or hopefully, AND — you can choose to share something about who you are as a person, through a PowerPoint or a video or anything else you can transmit through the Internet.
They’re not the first school to have such an opportunity (NYU and Booth have both done so for ages) but we like the combination of one very structured yet still fairly free-form submission with the cover letter, plus the do-what-you-will-with-it additional submission alongside.
That’s not the reason we’re giving them this honor of the Radcom Award, though.
It’s also because of how accessible they are to their applicants. It seems like practically every other week there’s been a chat with the Sloan adcom where they’ll let you people hit them up with questions. Other schools do these chats too so again, it’s not like Sloan is blazing a new trail or anything. It’s just that they’re offering them often, and they’re also longer (last one was 1.5 hours; some schools cut you off at half an hour) which is a significant investment of time from the admissions folks. Good stuff.
There’s one more reason why MIT has gotten the highest honor in Snarkville, which we will present along with its significance to all of you
For now, you can learn all about Sloan on our dedicated MIT Sloan MBA info page or check out all our previous posts about MIT’s business school.
But they do happen to be schools with Round 2 deadlines in the future. Does that mean you should apply? It would be in our self-interest to say YES! APPLY! Because then we could try and sell you the need for some consulting services to increase your chances of success. However these two schools do…