We sat down with a former client to discuss what he thought "went right" while he was applying to business school.
Meet Chuck. He’s currently attending MIT’s Sloan School of Management.
When Chuck decided to apply to Sloan he was 27 years old with a GPA of 4.8 (5.0 scale) and a 730 GMAT.
Now that he’s all settled into B-School and gearing up to take over the world, we decided to sit down with our former client and pick his brain about what he did to gain admittance at a top MBA program. Here’s what he had to say!
1) So Chuck, why do you think YOU got into MIT Sloan School of Management?
The mission of MIT Sloan is to “develop principled, innovative leaders who improve the world and to generate ideas that advance management practice.”
In my applications, I concentrated on the stories and experiences that showed these elements. I think it’s very important to emphasize the element of advancing management practice. It means that your ideas and actions will improve the way the company operates in the future, and not only in one specific situation.
2) What was the most challenging part of the MIT Sloan app for you? And how did you overcome that challenge?
For me, the most challenging part about applying to business school was to start my applications. Initially, I had no idea how to get started, but Mark from Admissionado, the best MBA admissions consultant I’ve met, helped me structure my past experience. It was much easier going from there.
3) Tell us about your Sloan interview. What do you think you did right?
I believe, three things went well in my interview.
First of all, I tried to be as natural as possible. It’s important to have the right level of detail in your stories – emphasizing your specific role, but not overloading with details.
Secondly, good structure is very important (e.g., saying I did something for 3 reasons – one, two, three and then offering relevant details). It’s a good habit because it helps a listener follow your story, and yourself, as you structure your own thoughts.
Thirdly, and probably most importantly, don’t stress out and just be yourself. In the end, an interviewer is trying to understand how you behave naturally to see if you would fit the class, so being genuine is crucial.
4) What advice do you have for future Sloan applicants, or MBA applicants in general?
- Start your process as early as possible. The GMAT is only one part of application, and keep in mind that you may need to retake it.
- Focus on only a few schools. Take your time to really understand what each school is looking for, if that appeals to you and recall your personal stories that would represent what the school is looking for. The more schools you focus on, the harder it is to get a high quality app together.
5) What was the most surprising thing about the application process at MIT Sloan for you?
The application process for top schools in general just takes a ton of energy, especially if you work full-time. There is a lot of actual work to do like crunching for the GMAT, but there is also a lot of self-reflection. For the latter, it’s hard just to say that I’ll spend one hour a day thinking about my past experience and what’s important for me. Oftentimes good ideas come after a few weeks of thinking unexpectedly. That’s why it’s so important to start working on your stories early.
6) What was most HELPFUL for you in the process?
As I mentioned earlier Mark from Admissionado helped me a lot to both initially kick things off, and then polish my stories by emphasizing relevant details. Without him, it would have been much harder and took much more time.
Learn more about the MIT Sloan School of Management class of 2018 in this post by Poets & Quants.
[photo credit “In 30 Minutes guides“]