MIT Sloan Fellows MBA Program
Students Seeking Sponsorship
Securing corporate sponsorship – both for time and financial support – is often a process that requires you to sell your plan and to navigate your organization’s policies and politics. Many Fellows receive some level of company financial sponsorship. You can improve your chances by carefully planning your request.
How it works
Funding typically falls into three categories:
- Full organizational sponsorship: your employer funds the full cost of tuition, expenses, and may continue your salary during the program.
- Partial organizational sponsorship: your employer funds a portion of the tuition or holds your position for you while you attend the program.
- Self-funded: candidates leave their organizations and fund their studies at MIT themselves. Entrepreneurs also fall into this group.
In the first two cases, the employee often agrees to stay at the organization for a period after graduation so that the organization can directly benefit from this investment.
Five tips for negotiating sponsorship
1. Start early
While some applicants are hesitant to begin the process of negotiating sponsorship before they are admitted to the program, there are things you can do to lay the groundwork. Identify a mentor or champion who can advocate for you and test the waters to see if the organization is open to a sponsorship proposal.
2. Make your case
Understand what makes the MIT Sloan Fellows program unique, and how it aligns with and supports your organization’s objectives. Outline the reasons for choosing the MIT Sloan Fellows program for professional development. Make clear how you will use the program’s resources for the benefit of your organization.
3. Sell benefits, not features
Think about your request in terms of the benefits that your organization (or boss) will realize through you. Demonstrate how you might be able to solve key challenges facing the organization by concentrating on the company’s growth and success.
4. Frame your financial request
Depending on how your organization’s fiscal year falls, your enrollment in the program may split over two fiscal years. Framing your sponsorship in terms of how much you request each fiscal year can make the financial commitment more manageable. Think about asking for a portion of your costs per fiscal year. Consider asking for less than the full tuition to show mutual commitment.
5. Be persistent and follow through
Earning company sponsorship can feel like an endurance test. It can help to think of it as a diplomacy process that has multiple avenues to success and requires patience and persistence navigating to a successful solution. While this may be a high priority for you, you may need to follow up with your organization’s leadership.