The MIT Sloan Fellows Program was invented to solve a problem.
In 1930, President of General Motors Alfred P. Sloan, Jr., found himself with a dilemma: the confounding disconnect between technology and business. The engineers at GM understood little about management. The business heads understood even less about technology. Progress was in danger of disappearing into the gulf between the two.
Sloan, who had graduated from MIT just before the turn of the 20th century, found himself turning to his alma mater for a solution. The man for the job was clearly Erwin H. Schell, who had just taken the helm of MIT’s Department of Business and Engineering Administration. Schell suggested a solution: a program for engineers with executive potential. These “sponsored fellows” would build on the knowledge they already possessed as engineers, but broaden their business knowledge and perspectives so that they could excel in senior management positions.
Thus began the MIT Sponsored Fellowships Program, renamed the MIT Sloan Fellows Program in 1938 to honor the steadfast support of Alfred P. Sloan, Jr. That same year, The New York Times celebrated the five talented managers chosen to be the first MIT Sloan Fellows for their exceptional promise. In the decades that followed, this revolutionary program achieved renown for educating visionary leaders.
Merging two powerhouses of innovation education.
At the close of the 20th century, the needs, goals, and challenges of corporate and nonprofit leaders, entrepreneurs, and technologists around the world began to intersect. MIT faculty and program architects realized that the most effective way to serve the executive of the 21st century would be to integrate the MIT Sloan Fellows Program with a companion program, the MIT Management of Technology Program (MOT).
Established in 1981 as a joint program of the schools of management and engineering, the MIT Management of Technology Program was a specialized one-year master’s program that provided technologists with the management expertise to drive successful ventures in a hypercompetitive marketplace.
The inspiration for nearly 250 similar programs around the globe, the MOT Program provided technical professionals with the core essentials of management, the opportunity to strategize with technologists from around the world, and access to the unparalleled resources of MIT.
Eventually, the program evolved into a product of the school of management only. Geared for mid-career professionals in technology-based organizations, the MOT Program taught hundreds of engineers to assess, mine, and market technological enterprises.
In 2004, the Institute fused these two landmark programs. The result: an intense, leading-edge learning experience that no leadership development program in the world can match. Many characteristics of the MIT Sloan Fellows Program have evolved over the decades, but its mission remains constant: bring together mid-career executives from every corner of the globe, give them a forum for collaboration and growth, and prepare them for the most important challenges of their lives.
The person who moves information from Hong Kong to New York five seconds faster doesn't make some of the money, he or she makes all of the money. Managing technology is the key.Lester Thurow
Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Professor of Management and Economics, Dean
Emeritus, MIT Sloan School