"A year after coming to MIT Sloan, I ran for Cambridge City Council, and won. The support network here pushed me to 'go for it.'"
What We Look For
What does a premier graduate institution with a powerfully synergistic student body look for in applicants?
We look for excellence and cast a wide net to capture all its possible definitions. We seek thought-leaders with exceptional intellectual abilities and the drive and determination to put their stamp on the world. We welcome people who are independent, authentic, and fearlessly creative — true doers. We want people who can redefine solutions to conventional problems, and strive to preempt unconventional dilemmas with cutting-edge ideas. We demand integrity and respect passion.
We seek students whose personal characteristics suggest that they will make the most of the incredible opportunities at MIT, both academic and non-academic. We are on a quest to find those whose presence will enhance the experience of other students. We look for students who will practice innovation beyond the “nuts and bolts,” recognizing that it is crucial to every endeavor. We strive to find students who will capitalize on and contribute to the School’s entrepreneurial spirit and collaborate freely, with passion for the issues, organizations, and people involved.
The Admissions Committee looks for applicants with high academic potential, demonstrated personal achievement, strong self-motivation, and a natural sense of leadership. High academic potential and personal achievement are typically reflected in test scores, academic records, and recommendations that go beyond a polite endorsement. An applicant’s leadership qualities and ambition should be apparent in their personal and professional experience, essays, and recommendations.
We are as interested in your path to accomplishment as we are in the results that you have attained. We want to know the effect you have on the people with who you engage, and, in turn, how you influence the world around you.
We welcome applications from college graduates from all areas of concentration, including the humanities, the social and physical sciences, and engineering. However, accepted applicants may be required to take a course(s) in microeconomics, calculus, or financial accounting, prior to starting their MBA studies.
No single characteristic in the application is more or less important than any other. An area of apparent weakness — for example, a low test score — may be offset by demonstrated strengths in other areas. Each applicant is evaluated as a whole.
Work experience is not required for admission, although having career exposure could help leverage the MIT Sloan experience. Students who already have a framework of experience against which to apply their education, and who understand workplace issues, generally get more out of the program and contribute more to classroom discussions and team projects.
“I knew about American business, but not enough about what’s really become a global economy. … You can read about it all you want, but there’s no substitute for being there and seeing the context and seeing how completely different these [other countries] are.”
“[The India Lab] program is one of the reasons I came to Sloan. ... The hands-on learning that MIT offers was a huge differentiator.”
“Because of the diversity of our backgrounds, when we hit the ground in Tanzania it almost was a natural play where different people assume different roles.”
“I love being in a place that is such a nexus of people and ideas — people coming to learn something new and to define themselves. Being a part of that process is a real honor and a real gift.”
“We are very much an action-learning environment. The way to learn leadership is not only through reading cases, not only through learning theory — in fact we don’t want people to regurgitate the theory. We want people to take theory and to live it, use it.”
“The conditions in the neighborhoods we were visiting were different than what we realized before getting there. Beyond that, what was surprising was that there weren’t surprises!”
“The concept behind enterprise architecture is that you have all these machines, you have all these business processes, you have all these people doing things, how do you make sure they all come together and achieve business objectives that make you more competitive.”
“One of the reasons I came to Sloan was because I wanted to be at a top MBA institution worldwide. But I also wanted access to working with the latest innovations and the highest technology that was coming out of the MIT labs.”
“It was really rewarding that they wanted to know what we thought. We left there being fairly certain that they will do some of the things that we suggested.”
“At MIT Sloan you have a lot of opportunities to explore entrepreneurship. Especially in a place like Kampala where you have a lot of development, entrepreneurship can be very exciting.”
“I came to Sloan because of its high rankings within the sustainability community, specifically the professors. The S-Lab class itself is part of what drew me to Sloan. And the reason I came to business school was to learn the business speak that really is what connects with people."
“We’re very interdisciplinary. Among the faculty in the group are an economist, a political scientist, a sociologist, and an industrial relations specialist. We’ve always made a big effort to be open to a variety of perspectives, but also to go beyond being open to them, to want to bring them in, because it makes for a richer environment.”
"After we gave our recommendations, the great part was that the very next day the CEO was in the boardroom implementing them with his top vice presidents."
“The assistant to the CEO was like our host mom while we were there. She arranged our housing for us, she took us out to her friend’s game farm, and we got driven around in 4x4s. She was just wonderful to meet, and we developed a personal as well as professional relationship with her.”
“It has made an enormous difference to have so many other wonderful women here, students and faculty.”