Prepare a cover letter (up to 500 words) seeking a place in the MIT Sloan MBA Program. Describe your accomplishments and include an example of how you had an impact on a group or organization. Your letter should conform to standard business correspondence and be addressed to Mr. Rod Garcia, Director of MBA Admissions.
MIT's request for a cover letter is a bit unorthodox and can thus be perplexing to candidates-particularly because the Admissions Committee asks for an example of your impact in addition to implying that you should also explore your career goals and explain Why MIT? Still, you need not be daunted by the cover letter-as in any traditional personal statement, you should not just blandly document your work history, but rather should reveal your strengths and indeed your impact.
You would be wise to offer a powerful example; typically, we advise selecting a story from your work life and then showing a connection between it and your post-MBA goals. Thereafter, you should make the next logical connection, tying your goals to MIT Sloan (not just listing Sloan's attributes). A quick point about your introduction: for some reason, candidates feel compelled to start cover letters with some version of my name is X and I am applying to MIT.... This is a typical and boring introduction that offers information the school already possesses-and thus is not one that will bolster an applicant's candidacy or profile. By creating a different and more compelling opening, you will grab and hold the attention of an Admissions Officer who has read thousands of these essays.
While the MIT cover letter differs from the typical personal statement, some global fundamentals still apply. Thus, we offer our mbaMission Personal Statement Guide to you, free of charge, via our online store. Please feel free to download your copy today.
We are interested in learning more about you and how you work, think, and act. For each essay, please provide a brief overview of the situation followed by a detailed description of your response. Please limit the experiences you discuss to those which have occurred in the past three years.
In each of the essays please describe in detail what you thought, felt, said, and did.
Essay 1: Please describe a time when you went beyond what was defined, expected, established, or popular. (500 words or less, limited to one page)
Typically, candidates consider times in which they possessed a bold vision and achieved ambitious goals, despite being discouraged by others, or times when no one had even realized an opportunity existed. While either circumstance is reasonable as a starting point, we suggest that candidates also consider instances when they revealed themselves to be independent thinkers, capable of finding their own path and/or adhering to morals and principles they hold dear. Regardless of which path you choose, by creating a clear picture of what was expected of you and then contrasting your choice-by describing your actions and outlining your reasoning and thoughts-you can present a compelling picture of yourself as a strong-minded and adventurous hero.
Essay 2: Please describe a time when you coached, trained, or mentored a person or group. (500 words or less, limited to one page)
Coaching, training and mentoring need not be considered exclusively in a formal context: I was part of my company's mentorship program and.... You can contemplate times when you were successful in an informal way, when you simply took the new hire under your wing or started and ran a few unsanctioned pre-work training sessions. The key to writing a strong essay is showing how you connected with your audience and, again, revealing your impact. Ideally, you would prove that there was a before and after and that your efforts led to a significant improvement in others' abilities to contribute and in their confidence levels as well.
Essay 3: Please describe a time when you took responsibility for achieving an objective. (500 words or less, limited to one page)
This essay question is pretty open ended and will likely be a relief for those who felt constrained by the other two far more narrow questions above. Still, you should not simply paste in your favorite leadership story. You will need to be very clear about how you took responsibility-that you did not just lead but that you stated your intention to lead and thus created expectations for yourself. You can then explore how you achieved your goals and delivered on the expectations you created. (Note: You do not need to exclude instances in which you only partially achieved, or did not achieve, your goals, as long as you reveal the positive attributes of the experience.) At mbaMission, we recommend that candidates present their stories via a narrative structure. Do not just tell the reader what you accomplished, truly show the reader how you did it.
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