Trust Me, I’m a Doctor

Okay, okay, so I’m not a doctor, but I would consider myself a pretty stand-up sort of guy, so you should trust me either way, in my opinion.  So if you do trust me, I am going to tell you something good about the MIT Sloan interview and how to best set yourself up for success.  So listen up!  Doctor’s orders 🙂

You may, as I certainly did going into the interviews, have some preconceived notion about what the interviewers are looking for.  Some ideas about what sort of traits you are supposed to portray or some sort of checklist that you have to meet to get in.  While that is partially true, that is not even close to the whole story.  Yes, your interviewer is going to make darn sure that you can talk through your resume, speak about times when you were a leader and gain some insight into how you work with a team.  But that is not what they are looking for, really.  What are they really looking for, you may ask?  Well, they are looking for the REAL YOU.  All of those questions, the entire 45 minutes, they are trying to figure out who you are, to see if you will be someone that will add to and contribute to the most sacred thing, the absolute most important thing, at MIT Sloan.

Our Culture. (Notice the capitalization and the separate paragraph.  It is that important)

As you may have already found out, each B-school has its own, very distinct, character.  Its feel, if you will.  Excuse the multitude of Harry Potter references, but just like Durmstrang and Hogwarts and Beauxbatons, each Business School has a culture and certain strengths that make each one great.  MIT is no exception.  As easy as it is to wax about a school’s culture, it is just as difficult to pin down exactly what constitutes the culture of any one school.  MIT is known for a collaborative environment and a strong entrepreneurial spirit, and, sure, all of those descriptors are true. But they are true even though not everyone here is an entrepreneur, and some people are more collaborative than others.  One thing that IS true, however, is that everyone here does contribute to the culture that makes this place so great.  Choosing these students, it’s an art, not a science.  As they say, Rod Garcia (The Dean of Admissions) doesn’t make admissions mistakes.

So why am I telling you this?  What can you garner from this rambling?  I’m telling you this because I want to give you some advice.  The only way that you are going to guarantee that you DON’T get in, is to try to be someone that you are not.  So let the real you come through.  Let the interviewer take a glimpse into who you are when no one else is watching.  Only then will they know whether or not Sloan can make you great, and whether or not you can make Sloan great as well.  I’ll let a real doctor have the closing remarks:

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is You-er than You.

-Dr. Seuss

Good luck.  Relax.  Be yourself.

I’ll be seeing you next year.

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