Mba Essays Forum

2017-2018 MIT Sloan MBA Essay Tips

MIT Sloan School of Management has updated their MBA application essays for this year, keeping the cover letter essay and adding a personal video statement. The Sloan MBA program is focused on innovation with a diverse and accomplished group of students. MIT’s motto is “Mens et Manus” or “Mind and Hand,” which MIT interprets as a mission to transform and improve the world through innovation. According to MIT, its alumni entrepreneur’s companies have generated nearly $2 trillion in annual revenue and millions of jobs. Applicants are expected to be exceptional and continue the tradition of practical innovation.

Cover letter

MIT Sloan seek 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 to find those whose presence will enhance the experience of other students. We seek thoughtful 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.

Taking the above into consideration, please submit a cover letter seeking a place in the MIT Sloan MBA Program. Your letter should conform to a standard business correspondence, include one or more examples that illustrate why you meet the desired criteria above, and be addressed to Mr. Rod Garcia, Senior Director of Admissions (300 words or fewer, excluding address and salutation).

The cover letter is an interesting format for an MBA application, and reflects the MIT goal to admit candidates who have practical ideas and experience. The cover letter is a way to describe your key accomplishments and use them to prove that you embody the criteria for admission outlined by the committee.

Approach this essay as if you are applying for a demanding new job. What would you highlight in your background to prove you take an innovative approach? What are the stories you can tell about your experience that will show you have integrity and passion?

Specifically, think about examples of a time when you have approached a business problem and provided a creative solution. Have you innovated a process at work? Perhaps you have suggested a new approach to a customer problem? Think about times when you have been able to provide a fresh perspective at work and describe what you did in those situations to demonstrate problem-solving skills and passion.

As directed, you should have one or more examples to show what kind of student you will be at Sloan. Those examples can focus on two different accomplishments in your background but should demonstrate the qualities Sloan is seeking.

Video statement

Please introduce yourself to your future classmates via a brief video statement.

You will need to use an internet-connected computer, with a webcam and microphone.  As part of the application review, the Admission Committee will evaluate your response to see how you express yourself and to assess fit with the MIT Sloan culture. The simple, open-ended question is designed to help us get to know you better.

  • Once the video statement question is viewed you will have 60 seconds to prepare, and then 60 seconds to record your answer.
  • You will only have one attempt to record your response.

This video essay is designed to capture your personality and how you think on your feet. Similar to an interview, you won’t have a lot of time to react and prepare, and you won’t have an opportunity to review your response.

We suggest preparing for this video statement the way you might prepare for an interview. The intent is to introduce yourself to your classmates, so you will want to think of interesting personal stories to tell. Consider writing out several possible examples and stories that you could use. For example, you might be passionate about travel and experiencing new cultures. You have made several interesting trips in your life, and each has given you new perspective. Write down each of them and what you learned from each experience.

Maybe you developed a passion for Thai cuisine after a trip there, and have collected Brazilian art from your travels to that country. Think of a few discrete examples and practice those stories and the introduction several times before you open the application link and start recording.

When recording the video essay response, take your time and speak slowly and clearly into the camera. Think of it as an interview, and try to be natural and comfortable as you respond. The most important part is to convey your personality!

Optional essay

Please provide any additional information you would like the Admissions Committee to know that may be helpful in evaluating your candidacy (i.e. choice of recommenders, areas of concern in your academic record, other extenuating circumstances, etc.). This information should be provided in a written format (200 words or less).

This optional essay provides space for you to add your own context to any areas of concern that should be explained to the admissions committee. For example, if you have a lower than average test score, any grades below a C on your transcript, academic probation or a significant resume gap, you can explain here.

Keep your explanation concise and factual, and focused on context for the issue rather than excuses. While last year’s version of the optional essay provided flexibility to use the space to add to your overall application, this question is narrower in scope. If you do not have extenuating circumstances to provide context for, it’s best not to use this optional essay.

Stumped by your MIT Sloan MBA application? Contact Stacy Blackman Consulting to learn how we can help.

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Applying to The Consortium is easy, but we do ask that you follow the steps below carefully. We recommend you read this entire page before you begin filling out your application. Please contact us with any questions you may have about applying with The Consortium.

Early Application Deadline Oct. 15, 2017

Traditional Application Deadline Jan. 5, 2018

Fellowship Notification March 23rd, 2018
Applications and all supporting materials are due at 11:59 p.m. EST on the deadline date. If your application is missing any of the supporting materials, it will be marked as incomplete and will not be released to the schools you listed in the application.  Once we have received all of your supporting materials, we’ll release your application to the schools listed.

Eligibility ▼

If you meet the following requirements, you are eligible to apply for membership through The Consortium:

  • U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident of any race or ethnicity
  • Demonstrate a commitment to The Consortium’s mission of helping to reduce the serious underrepresentation of African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Native Americans in both our member schools’ enrollments and the ranks of management
  • Hold a four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in the U.S. or an equivalent degree from a college or university outside the U.S.

Application process ▼

An application with The Consortium enables you to apply to up to six of our 19 member schools. During the process, you’ll be asked to rank the schools to which you are applying. The Consortium will forward completed applications to the schools in your application. Your application will influence three key factors during the process – admission, membership and fellowship.

MBA admission decisions are based on your proven academic ability (GMAT® and/or GRE, along with academic transcripts), professional potential (career, resumé, recommendations and interview) and personal characteristics. Admission decisions are made by the committees at member schools and are communicated to Consortium members by the schools. Decisions are final.

Consortium membership is treated separately from school admittance. Once you are accepted to a school, your commitment to The Consortium’s mission will be evaluated. However, if you are admitted and granted membership, you must enroll in a member school program to enjoy the benefits. Membership is not transferrable to non-Consortium schools. Individual schools may offer you school-specific, merit-based scholarships that are not related to Consortium membership or fellowship decisions.

Fellowship (and school rankings)
All Consortium members will be considered for two-year fellowship (Emory offers one-year programs), which covers tuition and required fees. The rankings you assign to each school determine the order in which schools may consider you for a Consortium Fellowship. If your first-ranked school does not reward you the Fellowship, the option passes to your next-ranked, admitted school, and so on. The rankings you assign to each school will only be released to schools once they have provided their admissions decisions to The Consortium. Fellowships are awarded through an overall review of the overall merit of your application. They are made by the admissions and scholarship committees at each member schools – not by The Consortium. Decisions regarding fellowships are typically made in mid-March and will come from the school. You are required to accept or decline your Consortium offer by April 15. Although some schools may offer deferred admission, the Fellowship may not be deferred. If you decide to defer your admission, you must reapply for a Fellowship.

Interview ▼

Many of our member schools require or invite students to interviews as part of the application process. We encourage you to visit individual school websites to learn about each school’s interview process. The school will contact you directly to schedule an interview as necessary.

GMAT™ and GRE ▼

The Consortium must receive an official copy of your GMAT® score from Pearson VUE or your official GRE score from ETS.  All Consortium schools accept the GRE or the GMAT®.

The Consortium’s GMAT® code is number 9X4-6J-59 and the GRE code is 0483. The test company will forward your results to The Consortium. You do not need to forward your scores to Consortium member schools.

If you did not use The Consortium’s code when you registered, contact Pearson VUE ( or ETS ( to request that your official results be forwarded to The Consortium. The Consortium recommends that the test be taken 20-25 days before the application deadline to allow for processing and sending score reports.

Transcripts ▼

When completing the application, you will be asked to upload a scanned copy of your official hard copy transcript(s). A screen shot of your grades/transcripts is unacceptable. While schools will begin their review process using the scanned uploaded transcript(s), offers of admission are not binding until official transcripts are received and verified. You will be required to submit an official hard-copy transcript to your school prior to matriculation.  At any point in the application process, member schools or The Consortium reserve the right to request that official transcripts be sent directly from institution.

When requesting official transcripts to send to your member school prior to matriculation, provide the university with your full name, any previous names used, student number, present address, dates of enrollment, the degree awarded, and year the degree was received.

For transcripts from universities outside the United States, an original-language transcript is required, along with a document that shows conferral of degree (i.e. a copy of your diploma) and an official English translation from your university.

Resumé ▼

During the application process you’ll be asked to upload your resumé directly into the system in Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) or portable document (.pdf) format. This should include your full employment history, including job titles and responsibilities, along with employer names and locations. Please also include post-secondary education, non-academic interest and activities and awards.

Professional and Membership Recommendations ▼

There are two required professional recommendations and one required mission support recommendation (see section below regarding Demonstration of Commitment to The Consortium’s mission).

Your professional recommendations should come from individuals who can comment meaningfully, yet objectively, on your performance in a work environment — preferably your current position. Ideally, one of your professional recommendations should come from your current supervisor.

As professional recommendations should be from an objective third party, recommendations from peers, family, and social acquaintances are discouraged.

The mission support recommendation should be from an objective third party who can comment on your demonstrated support of The Consortium’s mission. Member schools will not see the mission recommendation.

You must submit the reference request forms to your recommenders through the online application. Upon receiving the request, your recommenders should follow the automatically generated instructions and submit the completed reference forms online.

Essays ▼

A preview of the 2017-2018 Consortium essay questions is now available.

There are two required essays for all applicants, one optional essay and, of course, additional required school-specific essays for each school you have ranked on your application. For the core essays, follow these guidelines:

  • Include your full name and date of birth (mm/dd/yyyy) on each page
  • Include the essay number, page number and number of pages in the footer for each essay (Example: Essay #1 — Page 1 of 2)
  • Limit each essay to no more than two double-spaced pages
  • Please use 12-point font
  • Must be a Microsoft Word document

The core application essays are:

  1. Please describe your short- and long-term goals post-MBA. How has your professional experience shaped these goals and influenced your decision to pursue an MBA degree?
  2. Optional additional essay: Is there any other information you would like to share with us that is not presented elsewhere in your application?
  3. The mission of The Consortium is to enhance diversity in business education and leadership by helping the serious underrepresentation of African American, Hispanic Americans and Native Americans in both our member schools’ enrollments and the ranks of management.
    • What have you done pre-MBA in your business, academic or personal life to demonstrate commitment to this mission?
    • What will you do while enrolled in your MBA program to demonstrate your commitment to the mission?
    • What will you do post-MBA with respect to community service and leadership involvement to demonstrate your continued commitment to The Consortium’s mission of diversity and inclusion?

When you respond to these essay questions, please provide several specific examples of your involvement and the results of your actions whenever possible. The first essay is required and used for admission purposes only. It provides an opportunity for you to express your strengths, attributes, experiences and other traits or abilities you believe are relevant to your educational goals and career objectives. The optional essay lets you bring additional information to the attention of the admissions committee. These may explain gaps in employment or shortcomings in your academic record, specific plans to retake the GMAT®/GRE or other relevant information. If you answer “yes” to any of the questions in the Personal Certification/Signature section (described below), you must provide an explanation. If necessary, you may use this essay to explain your circumstances. The last Consortium-required essay will assess your commitment to The Consortium’s mission and will be used to determine your fit for membership. Please navigate to the Membership section within the core application to view the membership essay.

Please note: You will be required to write at least one school-specific essay for each school to which you plan to apply. Schools only see their individual essays. To complete these essays, navigate to each school’s supplemental page within your core applications. Text boxes with specified word limitations will be provided for the membership essay and all school-specific essays.

Demonstrate your commitment to the mission ▼

As you know, The Consortium’s mission is to bring diverse perspectives into the workplace by reducing the under representation of African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Native Americans in American MBA programs and, in turn, in the ranks of American business. While you may be admitted to member schools without a dedication to this mission, to be granted membership, you need to demonstrate a significant commitment. We use two key tools to assess your commitment to The Consortium’s mission. The first is the membership essay. The second is the membership recommendation letter from objective third parties (preferably former supervisors or professional associates).

Application Fee ▼

When you submit your application, you must also include your nonrefundable application fee. You may make a secure online credit card payment.

Consortium Application Fees

1-2 schools $150
3 schools $200
4 schools $240
5 schools $275
6 schools $300

The Consortium does not grant application fee waivers or refunds.

Verification and Signature ▼

You must verify that you have understood the Consortium application instructions and application policies. In addition, during this final section of the application you will need to truthfully answer the following questions:

  • Have you ever been convicted of a crime?
  • Have you ever been disciplined or placed under academic sanction (for example, expulsion, suspension, probation or formal reprimand) by any college or university, or are there any disciplinary charges pending against you?
  • Have you ever entered a plea of guilty, no contest, nolo contendere, or an Alford plea to a criminal charge or received a deferred prosecution or prayer for judgment continued?
  • Do you have any criminal charges pending against you?
  • If you are a former member of the military, were you honorably discharged?

Please note that answering “yes” to one or more of these questions will not disqualify you from admission. However, your failure to provide complete, accurate and truthful information may be grounds to deny your admission, dismiss you after enrollment or rescind your degree after graduation. For the purposes of these questions, “crime” or “criminal charge” refers to any crime other than a traffic-related misdemeanor or infraction. You must, however, include all alcohol or drug offenses even if they are not traffic-related. If you answer yes to any of these and there is no space for an application, you are required to provide an application in the space for Essay #2.

You must electronically sign your application. ▼

When you sign, you will need to agree to the following statement:

I agree that all statements made in this application are accurate and complete, the essays were written by me, and the letters of recommendation were written by my designated recommenders. I understand that The Consortium and its member schools reserve the right to contact appropriate sources to verify the accuracy of all information I have provided. I understand that if I accept admission into any of the member schools, they or their agents may conduct a background check on my credentials, and I may be responsible for any fees associated with this service. I must promptly notify The Consortium and all member schools to which I am applying if any of my information changes, including, but not limited to, my résumé and contact information. I understand that member schools may revoke my admission and /or scholarship(s) if they learn that I have misrepresented and/or omitted information during or after the admissions processes or that I have engaged in behavior showing a serious lack of judgment or integrity prior to or after admission. I understand that The Consortium may release my relevant information to member schools and partner/external organizations to be considered for admission, relevant school-specific scholarships and programs, as well as relevant partner/external organization scholarships and programs. I understand that materials received by The Consortium in connection with this application are not returnable and that the application fee is not refundable. I certify that I have read, understand and agree to all of the application instructions and policies prior to submitting my application.

Change your contact information. ▼

It’s your responsibility to keep The Consortium and all member schools up to date if your contact information changes. Failure to update your contact information may cause you to miss critical information. This could jeopardize your membership to The Consortium, receipt of your fellowship or cause you to miss your place in the class at your member school.The Consortium and its member schools are not responsible for any technological filters (including email filters, etc.) that prevent applicants from receiving communications.

Reapplication procedure. ▼

The Consortium keeps application materials from the previous two application cycles.  If you applied earlier than two years ago, you will have to submit an entirely new application.

Re-applicants who applied in the last two years must submit a new application that includes all required data forms and essays, an updated résumé, and the application fee. You may re-use the following items: GMAT®/GRE score if not expired, professional recommendations, mission recommendation and transcripts.

If you wish to have new recommendations submitted, you may follow the regular instructions for requesting a recommendation.  If you would like to re-use a recommendation, please email with your name, the recommender’s name, and the date of your last application.

If you have re-taken the GMAT®/GRE since your last application, you should have the updated scores sent to The Consortium. If you have taken additional coursework since your last application, please upload the new transcripts to your application (see above section on Transcripts).

Information subject to change. ▼

The policies, requirements, offerings, timelines, activities and fees of The Consortium and its member schools, departments and programs set forth in this publication do not form a contract of any kind and are subject to change without notice at any time at the sole discretion of the administration. Such changes may be of any nature, including, but not limited to, the content of any of the aforementioned.

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