2004 MIT Sloan MBA Admissions Chat with Rod Garcia

2004 MIT Sloan MBA Admissions Chat with Rod Garcia

Please feel free to let us know if you would like to be informed of future chats by sending e-mail to chat@accepted.com. We would also be interested in knowing if you would prefer a different format or different topics.

Chat Transcript:

Linda Abraham (Nov 20, 2003 8:58:50 PM)
First I want to welcome you all to Accepted.com's MIT admissions chat.

Linda Abraham (Nov 20, 2003 8:58:59 PM)
I also want to welcome Rod Garcia, Director of MBA Admissions; Jon McLaughlin, Assistant Director of MBA Admissions; Maria Valdivieso, a second-year student from Ecuador and member of the Student Senate. And last but not least, I want to welcome Paul Bodine and Cindy Tokumitsu, two of Accepted.com's editors.

Linda Abraham (Nov 20, 2003 8:59:06 PM)
Thanks to everyone for joining.

sp75 (Nov 20, 2003 9:00:28 PM)
Rod, could you comment on the number of applications received in Round 1 this year, compared to last year.

Linda Abraham (Nov 20, 2003 9:00:47 PM)
What's new this year at MIT?

01GSL (Nov 20, 2003 9:01:24 PM)
Hi Rod. I'm wondering how things are going with the new curriculum?

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:01:25 PM)
We launched a new curriculum this year and we're really excited about it.  We just concluded the Sloan Innovation Period (SIP) two weeks ago and the reviews have been positive. Now the semester is almost over.

TTC (Nov 20, 2003 9:02:14 PM)
Hi Rod, could you please explain what should an applicant expect after he submits his application?

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:03:12 PM)
After you submit an application, you will get a two-page email from us explaining what to expect next (such as when the interviews will be conducted, etc.).

aloke (Nov 20, 2003 9:03:16 PM)
When do the interviews begin this year?

aloke (Nov 20, 2003 9:03:31 PM)
Rod, I am a Round 1 applicant. Can we have some statistics on the Round 1 applications? How many did you get in comparison with previous years?

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:03:48 PM)
We are hoping to start notifying candidates by next week. Our goal is to start interviewing beginning in December.

rakesh (Nov 20, 2003 9:03:59 PM)
Does an international student need to take the TOEFL if he has worked 4+ year in the USA and has done his Masters degree in English medium from India?

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:04:24 PM)
Aloke: applications are down in the first round, a pattern that we have seen at other schools.

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:04:33 PM)
Rakesh: We do not require the TOEFL.

diudiu (Nov 20, 2003 9:04:35 PM)
Hi Rod, I've heard about international students having difficulty getting their visa to attend Sloan, does that mean MIT will cut down the percentage of international students?

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:05:55 PM)
Give me a minute to compose my reply to Diudiu.

Rachel (Nov 20, 2003 9:07:34 PM)
What are the most common mistakes people make in their application?

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:07:42 PM)
Diudiu: I am not aware of international students having difficulty getting visas. It's true that some visa applicants are denied but this is not rare. International students must prove to the satisfaction of the immigration/visa officer that he/she is not an intending immigrant. We're not cutting down our percentage of international applicants.

Linda Abraham (Nov 20, 2003 9:08:13 PM)
The most common mistake is focusing on what you think the adcom wants to read instead of what you want the adcom to know about you.  The application is your introduction to the admissions committee. Think about what is most important to you and impressive about you.  That's what they want to know...

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:08:54 PM)
Rachel: the most common mistake is candidates do not read instructions. Read and follow the instructions.

Linda Abraham (Nov 20, 2003 9:09:01 PM)
Rod, please correct me if I'm wrong.

Rajeev (Nov 20, 2003 9:09:08 PM)
I had keen interest in a general MBA at Sloan but I have been advised by many to explore the transportation masters program at MIT.

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:09:23 PM)
Linda, you are correct.

Linda Abraham (Nov 20, 2003 9:09:27 PM)
Thanks, Rod.

01GSL (Nov 20, 2003 9:10:08 PM)
Are you able to provide any details on what goes on behind the scenes in the admissions office after we click "submit"? Do multiple people read each applicants work?

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:10:23 PM)
Rajeev: the transportation master's program is different from Sloan. It is through civil engineering program.

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:10:42 PM)
01GSL: give me a minute to compose my answer to your question.

MBA04 (Nov 20, 2003 9:11:58 PM)
Rod, I live in west coast. Will it reduce my chance of admission if I have not done a campus visit?

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:12:38 PM)
01GSL: After the application is processed and prepared for reading, it is distributed to a member of the Admissions Committee. The turn around time to read is about a week. Once it's returned the scores are recorded and based on those scores we will decide who to invite for an interview.

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:13:11 PM)
MBA04: Not visiting the campus will not hurt your chances.

TW (Nov 20, 2003 9:13:16 PM)
Hi - I was wondering roughly what percent of candidates live on or near campus, and how many commute in via the T or by car -- any general sense?

MariaValdiviesoMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:13:49 PM)
Hi, my name is Maria Valdivieso and I am a second year student.

MariaValdiviesoMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:14:32 PM)
About 40-50% of students live on campus and about 80% of students live nearby (about 2 - 3 stops from campus).  Most of the students commute by T, walking, bicycle ... the few students who commute by car are typically those who have families and live farther away. 

Rachel (Nov 20, 2003 9:14:33 PM)

MBA_RBT (Nov 20, 2003 9:14:44 PM)
Hello Rod, for Round 2 applicants, is there any advantage in sending the applications earlier?

sp75 (Nov 20, 2003 9:16:26 PM)
Rod, how does the recruiting scene for this year stack up to those of last year....Likewise for internships?

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:16:29 PM)
MBA_RBT: Applications are read in batches and sending in your application early for Round 2 will not necessarily give you a competitive advantage. We start reading applications after the deadline.

aloke (Nov 20, 2003 9:17:27 PM)
Thanks for the answer Rod. I heard that international applications on the other hand, notably from Asia, have soared this year. Is that true?

MariaValdiviesoMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:17:28 PM)
sp75, the recruiting scene for this year is going a lot better than previous years, the economy is picking up and companies are recruiting again.

01GSL (Nov 20, 2003 9:17:33 PM)
I participate in an online forum where people applying to MIT share experiences and application woes. In the MIT forum, out of 30 people who participate regularly, almost 25 of them are international. Is this an anomaly, or does MIT have that many more international applicants that can actually be admitted (I know the actual international population is under 50% at Sloan)?

Maple (Nov 20, 2003 9:17:59 PM)
I would like to know the method (i.e. conversion) with which Sloan treats percentage grades (as opposed to the GPA)?  Also, do you have a mechanism to recognize an increase in academic performance through the undergrad years?

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:18:15 PM)
Aloke: Not true.

TW (Nov 20, 2003 9:18:29 PM)
What is the environment for married students at Sloan -- and what is the environment for their spouses? Are spouses generally involved on a social level?

sp75 (Nov 20, 2003 9:18:31 PM)
Rod: How is the interview weighted in the overall scheme of things?  Is it a make or break situation, or are the results then considered again in the overall context of the application?

MariaValdiviesoMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:18:46 PM)
Most of my friends who want to go into traditional jobs (consulting, banking, general management) already have jobs. Non-traditional firms typically recruit in the Spring when they now better their needs. Recruiting for summer internships are mostly in January but companies are expecting to hire more than last year.

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:19:06 PM)
Maple: yes, we do have experts in reading Canadian marks.

MBA04 (Nov 20, 2003 9:19:07 PM)
Thanx, Rod.

Nutty (Nov 20, 2003 9:19:09 PM)
What characteristic(s) do you feel most differentiate MIT Sloan from its peer institutions?

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:19:10 PM)
As to international students we are usually between 35-40% international, one of the highest percentages. I think the forums are skewed internationally a little bit, but that percentage seems high.

rakesh (Nov 20, 2003 9:19:16 PM)
How can I benefit from a MIT MBA if I want to pursue my career in Social Entrepreneurship?

MariaValdiviesoMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:19:53 PM)
TW - I think that more than 50% of the students are married by their second year. Many of my friends came to Sloan married and many more have gotten married in the past year.  TW, there is a very active Significant Others Club and in addition most of the social activities at Sloan are opened to significant others as well.

diudiu (Nov 20, 2003 9:20:02 PM)
Hi Rod, some people stereotype Sloan students as quiet scientists. While we know that's not true, I got the impression that Sloan is purposely accepting less engineers to the program. What's your take on this?

TW (Nov 20, 2003 9:20:11 PM)
Thanks Maria.

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:20:52 PM)
SP75: Interviews are make or break situation since we would have already considered the written application before we interview you.

sp75 (Nov 20, 2003 9:21:08 PM)
Roughly what percentage of the applicants are called for interviews?

01GSL (Nov 20, 2003 9:21:16 PM)
Does Sloan have any current goals to attract younger applicants? I know at other schools such as Harvard and Chicago, the average age upon enrollment is lower, and years of work experience is closer to 3. As an applicant who will have 3 years work experience next summer, but very interested in Sloan, I am a little intimidated by the class averages...

01GSL (Nov 20, 2003 9:21:30 PM)
Regarding your response to the "scoring system", Rod, is this pretty much a one shot deal, and if someone doesn't make a cutoff score from the person that read their application, they're pretty much toast?

MBA_RBT (Nov 20, 2003 9:21:32 PM)
Thanks Rod.

Maple (Nov 20, 2003 9:21:54 PM)
Maria, I understand that MBA students have demonstrated leadership. Would you briefly explain how you demonstrated leadership prior to Sloan? It will certainly provide us with benchmarks. Thanks.

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:22:28 PM)
Diudiu: Unfortunately that's how outsiders label us but it's not true. We spend an enormous amount of time interviewing (all) admitted candidates so that we are admitting those who have proven track record and personal attributes.

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:22:33 PM)
Nutty--MIT distinguishes itself with the emphasis on innovation and practical learning. We have courses like global elab where you spend a semester learning the theory and strategy of a particular company and region, and then go to one of almost 20 countries and over 30 companies where you work at a CEO level on a vital project. Over 130 students per year do that. That's only one example. Now, all top programs are very good at the fundamentals of business--but I think things like that set us apart.

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:23:13 PM)
SP75: Last year, 30% of our applicants were invited to interview and slightly more than half were admitted.

Linda Abraham (Nov 20, 2003 9:23:13 PM)
Rod, what personal attributes does Sloan value?

MariaValdiviesoMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:23:24 PM)
Hi Rakesh! Sloan gives you many opportunities to prepare yourself for Social Entrepreneurship. First of all, we have a Club focused on Social Entrepreneurship, the Socially Responsible Business Club. They will help you find internships in that area and we have a fund to help fund internships in that area as well. In addition, Sloan is great for Entrepreneurship in general, tons of classes and activities to get involved with.

sp75 (Nov 20, 2003 9:23:42 PM)
Thanks Maria.

Atila (Nov 20, 2003 9:23:48 PM)
For married couples, can the spouses of an MBA student receive assistance in finding a local job? (For example, mine is an elementary school teacher).

TTC (Nov 20, 2003 9:24:03 PM)
Will an interviewer have read the interviewee's profile before the interview?

aloke (Nov 20, 2003 9:24:10 PM)
Hi Jon! Nice seeing you again! What is the format of the interview and how is it done in international locations?

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:24:33 PM)
01GSL: A candidate gets several scores and we add them up.

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:25:32 PM)
01gsl--we are working with our peers schools (see the 10 school event scheduled just recently) to make sure that early career applicants know they are viable candidates--which is the case) we also offer feedback to applicants just graduating from college if they are not accepted. Our average of experience is around 4-5 years, but that's an average. In the application we are going to compare you with your peer group, not to people who have been out longer. It really is the quality not the quantity and I think all of us schools are getting better at making sure that word is out there

MariaValdiviesoMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:26:07 PM)
Hi Maple! In terms of leadership, I think that myself and my classmates have many leadership experiences, at work and outside work. For example, although I was the most junior employee at my previous firm, I still managed a couple of projects so although I did not have anyone reporting to me I still had to manage other people. In addition, I was extremely involved in undergrad, organizing conferences and Latin American events. Finally, I managed a couple of community service activities.

Linda Abraham (Nov 20, 2003 9:26:17 PM)
Rod, are the scores holistic or is it that GMAT results of X get a score of Y with a weight of Z%, GPA is another score and weight, etc., or does a reviewer just rank an applicant overall?

Bernardo (Nov 20, 2003 9:26:47 PM)
Hey Maria, what have you liked the most about your experience at Sloan?

John (Nov 20, 2003 9:27:31 PM)
Would a MBA student be able to take finance classes from Andrew Low?

sharonw (Nov 20, 2003 9:27:34 PM)
Any new changes for Sloan during the next three years?

MariaValdiviesoMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:28:18 PM)
Hi Atila, yes, spouses get tons of help, formally and informally, to find jobs in the area. For example, many significant others work on campus and around the area.

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:28:20 PM)
Linda: the personal attributes we look for are leadership (essay #1), ability to be creative or innovative (#2), team work (#3), goal setting and achieving (#4), etc., etc.

Linda Abraham (Nov 20, 2003 9:28:54 PM)
Yes, those question are pretty revealing as to what you value. Thanks.

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:29:36 PM)
aloke--the format is us asking about your past experiences and probing in depth about your thoughts, actions, feelings at the time. This gives us a great glimpse at your style of working and some insight into how you might behave here. We will have read the application and use that as the basis of our questions. You will hear it called a behavioral event interview, but that's not meant to scare you: we even post a guide to give you some insight into the format. It is our last best chance to get to know you, and we don't want you to be rattled or stressed by the format.

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:30:00 PM)
SharonW: Hopefully a new building,

MBA04 (Nov 20, 2003 9:30:23 PM)
Will the interview be a blind interview or applicant-specific?

Hanagur (Nov 20, 2003 9:30:27 PM)
Hi Rod, thanks for your time. I am from South America; will off-campus interviews be held by alumni or by the adcom?

MBA_RBT (Nov 20, 2003 9:30:34 PM)
Hello Maria, what can you comment on the SCM (Supply Chain Management) concentration in MIT?

sp75 (Nov 20, 2003 9:31:28 PM)
Thanks Rod.

rakesh (Nov 20, 2003 9:31:30 PM)
Thanks Maria.

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:31:39 PM)
John--yes, Andy also offers SIP seminars in financial engineering and was actively involved in the evolution of the curriculum. He's great!

01GSL (Nov 20, 2003 9:31:41 PM)
Maria, given that you are an international student, I'm wondering how open you found the student body. Did you tend to hang out mostly with Latinos, or were things pretty integrated socially?

MariaValdiviesoMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:31:41 PM)
Hi Bernardo! There is so much I love about Sloan, I will just say a couple of things. First, the people. Sloan has an extremely diverse and supportive student body. Students are extremely smart but at the same time they are very down to earth and supportive. Something else I really like about Sloan is all the opportunities it has to offer. For example, I spent last Spring Break in China as part of an international management class with a group of 27 students.

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:31:50 PM)
MBA04 and TTC: We would have read your application by the time we interview you; hence, it's not blind.

MariaValdiviesoMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:32:33 PM)
Hi MBA_RBT, I am not sure I understand what you mean with SCM?

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:32:33 PM)
Linda: in reply to your question, it's the latter.

Linda Abraham (Nov 20, 2003 9:32:53 PM)

Maple (Nov 20, 2003 9:33:05 PM)
Rod, Jon, I am an Indian national with Canadian citizenship. Do I compete with Indians or Canadians? Also, are Indians with backgrounds in IT involved in higher competition? Thanks.

alan (Nov 20, 2003 9:33:10 PM)
Rod, do applicants who already have an MBA from an international institution stand at a disadvantage while applying to Sloan?

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:33:21 PM)
Hanagur--Hi, actually, it will be me in South America. And all our interviews are done by members of the adcom, we train together/calibrate often. There are alumni on the committee, but they are not alumni interviews per se.

aloke (Nov 20, 2003 9:33:53 PM)
Thanks a lot Jon! That was very insightful indeed! Are they alumni or adcom interviews?

01GSL (Nov 20, 2003 9:34:06 PM)
New building????? Where???

sharonw (Nov 20, 2003 9:34:12 PM)
How flexible is the curriculum? Can I take courses from other schools, say the law school?

Bernardo (Nov 20, 2003 9:34:18 PM)
Thanks Maria.

MariaValdiviesoMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:34:26 PM)
Hi 01GSL. Sloan is an extremely open and diverse environment, and students from all over are very excited to get to know other cultures and traditions. I have many friends from Latin America and I do see them often, but my closest friends are from all over the world! My core team include 2 Americans, 1 Cuban-American, 1 Japanese and 1 French student, and I am still very close to them all.

rakesh (Nov 20, 2003 9:34:57 PM)
For the third recommendation, if I had a choice between someone from the work place and someone from community work, with both knowing me very well and both giving very good recommendations, who should I choose?  My other two recommendations are from the work place.

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:35:08 PM)
Maple: you compete with the general pool. As much as we would like to sort applicants by nationality, region, etc., the reality is we can't since we barely have time to read the applications. If any, we read the applications based on our travel schedule (hence some applicants from California are read before Texas, etc.)

Nutty (Nov 20, 2003 9:35:24 PM)
In contacting current students, I discovered that there are very few Sloanies (some years <5) who openly identify as Lesbian / Gay / Bisexual / Transgender. Is this type of diversity not as appreciated or are these students historically not as represented?

MariaValdiviesoMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:35:30 PM)
01GSL, also, my best friends are American, Australian, Turkish and Israeli.

01GSL (Nov 20, 2003 9:35:34 PM)
Jon, you're lucky, you'll get to enjoy the South American summer, if only for a few days ;-)

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:35:35 PM)
alan--it doesn't happen often but we do get those applications and we have accepted some but I think it's rare. I would say you would have a higher hurdle to jump in terms of explaining your goals, etc.

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:36:03 PM)
01GSL: there is a vacant space behind the Sloan School building.

TW (Nov 20, 2003 9:36:17 PM)
Rod- I remember reading in previous chat transcript that, regarding the GMAT, you basically look to see that the student is competent, like - if they have a 650, they can handle the curriculum. Does that mean it's not worth working hard to move from, say, a 700 to a 730 (and correct me if I misquoted you)?

Rachel (Nov 20, 2003 9:36:23 PM)
Are there any clubs for people with families?

01GSL (Nov 20, 2003 9:36:28 PM)
Thanks Maria. When I visited Sloan I truly was impressed by the international representation in the student body. It was really cool.

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:36:49 PM)
Aloke: members of the admissions committee interview (some of whom are graduates).

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:37:08 PM)
TW: yes.

Maple (Nov 20, 2003 9:37:15 PM)
What methods of compensation for professional experience do you recommend college applicants provide in order to demonstrate strong candidacy for Sloan? Thanks.

John (Nov 20, 2003 9:37:22 PM)
Would the Adcom award any points for entrepreneur spirit? I left my job to start a venture but the venture was not successful. Do the Adcom give any weighting to risk taking and entrepreneur spirit?

MariaValdiviesoMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:37:24 PM)
Hi Sharonw. Sloan is extremely flexible and you have the opportunity to take classes at MIT, HBS and the Kennedy School. In addition, we have a couple of exchange programs. For example, I have 2 classmates in Barcelona doing and exchange program with IESE.

alan (Nov 20, 2003 9:38:18 PM)
Thanks Jon. As long as my application does not get rejected outright just because I have an MBA in marketing and would like to do one in entrepreneurship and international business from Sloan.

sharonw (Nov 20, 2003 9:38:25 PM)
Thanks, Maria.

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:38:31 PM)
Rakesh: It depends on what you want to signal - good worker or someone involved in outside work.

WW (Nov 20, 2003 9:38:34 PM)
Rod, is there any specific attributes do you expect the applicants to address in essay #5?

01GSL (Nov 20, 2003 9:38:43 PM)
Maria, was the exchange program in Spain a semester long, or just for a few weeks? I wasn't aware Sloanies could do long term study abroad.

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:39:02 PM)
Nutty--it's true that some years the Gay population is not a large population but it's very much appreciated. We were one of the only 2 or 3 schools to get an A rating from the American Association of GBLT business students (I think I have the title wrong since I am not in my office, but I can give you the accurate name offline later)

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:39:17 PM)
Maple: Did you really mean compensation?

Nutty (Nov 20, 2003 9:39:46 PM)
Thanks Jon. I am familiar with that report.

MariaValdiviesoMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:39:54 PM)
Hi Rachel! Yes, we have the Significant Other Club. In addition, we organize many social events geared towards students with families, including going to the circus, day at the pool, professional games, etc. Also, many significant others are also very active in other clubs (a capella singing, ...)

Maple (Nov 20, 2003 9:40:00 PM)
Rod, Jon, does the Sloan application ask for prior salary information (I know HBS does)? If yes, how is this information used to judge an applicant? Thanks.

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:40:29 PM)
Wenkui: In essay #5 we want to see someone who is bias for action.

diudiu (Nov 20, 2003 9:40:41 PM)
Hi Maria, you mentioned the exchange programs, how hard is it for Sloan students to get in to the exchange programs?

rakesh (Nov 20, 2003 9:40:44 PM)
Thanks Rod.

MBA04 (Nov 20, 2003 9:40:51 PM)
Will this year's percentage of interviews and admissions be similar to last year?

aloke (Nov 20, 2003 9:40:58 PM)
Jon, given that businesses are getting more and more international, do my language skills (French/Spanish) count for Sloan as much as they do for some European schools?

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:41:13 PM)
01GSL: The exchange program was one semester.

diudiu (Nov 20, 2003 9:41:18 PM)
Thanks for the answer Rod. Somebody asked the percentage of female applicants, seems it didn't get answered. Also, how active are female applicants in Sloan community?

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:41:37 PM)
Diudiu: The percentage of women remains strong.

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:42:04 PM)
John--as to entrepreneurial spirit, it is in the walls of this place and it's a key component of a successful Sloanie. We have a lot of people here who have been in startups and given the bubble burst of the last couple of years more than a few came to an untimely end--doesn't mean you didn't have success under some terms or learn a lot.

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:42:58 PM)
Maple: we don't ask for salary information since that data is irrelevant to our selection process.

aloke (Nov 20, 2003 9:43:53 PM)
Rod, given that consulting isn't as popular since last year, which job-functions attracted the best compensations this year?

Maple (Nov 20, 2003 9:43:57 PM)
Rod, regarding the term "compensation", I'm sorry to be unclear; I meant, in what other ways can we, college applicants, make up for not having lots of professional experience in order to be on the same playing field with someone, say with 6 years of IB experience at Goldman Sachs? Thanks.

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:44:18 PM)
mba04: It's too early to tell whether admissions this year will be similar to last years.

MariaValdiviesoMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:44:38 PM)
diudiu, my understanding is that you just have to apply if you want to participate in an exchange program.

sp75 (Nov 20, 2003 9:44:57 PM)
Jon, on a related note, if an applicant wants to pursue an entrepreneurship track but has no prior entrepreneurial experiences to boot, how is this viewed?

alan (Nov 20, 2003 9:45:10 PM)
What is the current schedule to send out interview invites for R1 applications? Also, how do you plan to interview applicants outside the USA, not based at one of your interview locations (as listed in the application)?

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:45:44 PM)
aloke--language skills are always welcome and in the global business climate are a real advantage. I would say that most Sloanies speak a second language. Maria just told me one of her friends speaks 5 and that's probably not the record.

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:46:13 PM)
Maple: work experience is only one component in the admissions process. There are other characteristics/attributes that we value in an applicant.

MariaValdiviesoMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:46:13 PM)
Hi aloke. Consulting remains extremely popular. Another job function that attracts high compensations is banking.

ck (Nov 20, 2003 9:46:19 PM)
Rod, I get the impression that Socially Responsible Business Club is not a very active club at MIT. I even read at the MIT website that due to lack of participation it even became inactive at one time (around 2001). How much is community involvement a part of day to day life at MIT Sloan? Please correct me if I am wrong.

Linda Abraham (Nov 20, 2003 9:46:49 PM)
Is there an advantage to applying in different rounds? Do you accept more people first round than second, second than third?

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:47:03 PM)
Alan: interview invites will start to go out next week up to the decision deadline.

diudiu (Nov 20, 2003 9:47:25 PM)
Rod, Sloan has a unique request for a cover letter. Since the essays did specifically ask why MBA/Why now/Why Sloan, do you think it's a good idea to treat the cover letter as an essay for these questions?

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:47:52 PM)
sp75--we don't have tracks, and that's fine, a lot of students do. I think there should be something in your experience that indicates your comfort with risk, capacity to organize work in teams etc. so we don't say "where did this come from?"

WW (Nov 20, 2003 9:48:10 PM)
How did the international students of class 2004 fare in placement and internship?

MariaValdiviesoMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:48:23 PM)
Hi ck. The Socially Responsible Business Club is extremely active at Sloan. Let me tell you about a couple of activities that they do: recently they organized a food fight, collecting (in creative ways) food and money for Boston's Food Bank. They also have a internship fund, where they collect money to help fund students who want to take non-for-profit jobs over the summer. In addition, they organize some community service events, bring speakers to campus ... they are a very active club on campus.

01GSL (Nov 20, 2003 9:48:26 PM)
Rod, Jon, this might not make any sense but I'll ask anyway. Do you find that in extending interview invitations, there are just tons of applicants you *wish* you could interview but because of the sheer size of the pool, you can't? Or are you confident that all people who would be promising Sloanies are offered an interview? I ask because in an attempt to reassure myself slightly....if I have been sufficiently introspective and have appropriate numbers, recs, etc. can I be confident I should get an interview?

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:48:42 PM)
Linda: in the past, it was advantageous to apply in the early round but the fact is a strong applicant will be admitted regardless of which round he/she applies. Conversely, a weak applicant will not be admitted regardless of the round they apply.

Linda Abraham (Nov 20, 2003 9:49:24 PM)
Maria, what do you like best at MIT? What would you like to see improved?

ck (Nov 20, 2003 9:49:50 PM)
Interesting, thanks Maria. I also see that a new website is in the works.

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:50:31 PM)
Diudiu: the why MBA/why now/why Sloan is not one of "personal" attributes that we look for; hence we don't have that specific essay topic.

MariaValdiviesoMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:50:31 PM)
WW, international students of class 2004 also did very well in terms of internships. I have many international friends who worked in the US as well as outside the US over the summer. Many of them went to their home countries but also many of them went to a third country (i.e. someone from Mexico worked in Spain, someone from Turkey in London, from Australia in Hong Kong ...)

alan (Nov 20, 2003 9:50:55 PM)
Thanks, Rod. What are the options available for an interview if I am not in the US or in the locations listed on the application?

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:50:59 PM)
ck--Maria's answering this but just my own perspective from other parts of the university: MIT is one of the more socially conscious universities anywhere, and departments like Urban studies and planning, workplace and family life, energy and the environment, etc. are hugely active. Many Sloanies utilize them and similar ones as they pursue that interest. It is an interesting marketing problem for us, because I think we have access to more options than almost anywhere, but since they are not in one place it is hard to talk about it as a whole.

Maple (Nov 20, 2003 9:51:07 PM)
Maria, where else did you apply? Why did you pick Sloan? Thanks.

WW (Nov 20, 2003 9:51:34 PM)
In this tough economy, do you have any special efforts to help internationals land a job/internship?

Linda Abraham (Nov 20, 2003 9:52:25 PM)
Are you seeing an improvement in recruiting this fall?

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:52:28 PM)
Alan: We interview in major cities in the U.S., Europe, Asia or by telephone.

diudiu (Nov 20, 2003 9:53:10 PM)
Rod, I understand that you look for increased responsibilities at work in applicants. But what if, the person goes to a different country and has to start all over again, while he/she demonstrated very strong growth in terms of work responsibilities and command of a second language, will it be viewed as an inconsistency in the application? Does he/she need to address that in the optional essay?

sp75 (Nov 20, 2003 9:53:22 PM)
What role does the student body play either in opening new community/extra curricular clubs, or redefining the curriculum?

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:53:59 PM)
01gsl--about interviews: yes, we have more people who we would like to interview than we do...but our job is to make decisions and we have to start somewhere. So the bad news is that there are undoubtedly some potentially great Sloanies that don't make it that far...but your method is correct, be introspective and make your best case.

MariaValdiviesoMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:54:12 PM)
Linda, as I mentioned earlier, my favorite aspect of Sloan is the people. Everyone here is extremely impressive, nice and supportive. In addition, Sloan has offered me numerous opportunities, in a personal and professional level, from traveling with classmates to different parts of the world to working with start up companies while at Sloan.

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:54:52 PM)
Linda: job postings are up this year. In fact, I think this is the best year to apply to business schools since the economy will only get better when candidates who apply this year graduate in two years.

ck (Nov 20, 2003 9:55:09 PM)
Rod/Jon: Sloan's primary strength is MIT specially for IT based MBA goals; how many courses can Sloan students take outside of Sloan to gain from the tremendous brain trust at MIT, such as say in the area of Nanotechnology?

ck (Nov 20, 2003 9:55:12 PM)
Thanks for your answers about SRBC club.

alan (Nov 20, 2003 9:55:21 PM)
Thanks, Rod. I am a R1 applicant from India and India is not on the list of interview locations. When I call the admissions office they said I had to choose one of the locations listed as telephone interviews were not an option. Not that you say they are, is it ok if I switch my preference and go for a telephone interview?

Linda Abraham (Nov 20, 2003 9:55:39 PM)
Rod, I agree completely.

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:55:50 PM)
Wenkui: yes, we have Treks, such as Euro Trek, High-Tech Trek, Silicon Valley Trek. These are trips organized by students where they visit companies/potential employers.

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:56:19 PM)
diudu--I think that could read like a sign of commitment to a goal and real independence of thinking. You made it sound appealing in this sound bite; so I wouldn't worry too much about overly explaining things.

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:56:41 PM)
Alan: A phone interview will do or we might ask you to travel to a nearby city.

TW (Nov 20, 2003 9:57:25 PM)
Do you read everyone's letter of recommendations -- or only those applicants' whose essays/experiences intrigue you?

ChattyChad (Nov 20, 2003 9:57:29 PM)
How long usually is an interview session?

diudiu (Nov 20, 2003 9:57:32 PM)
Thanks for the answer Jon. That's encouraging.

MariaValdiviesoMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:57:37 PM)
Maple, I applied to HBS, Columbia, Tuck and Darden. I choose Sloan for the people, the academic depth and  rigor and tight community. My brother graduated from Sloan '98 so I had the opportunity to get to know the culture and the place even before coming here as well as to see his tight alumni network

cali (Nov 20, 2003 9:58:06 PM)
Maria and John, What did you think of Sloan before you applied and went there, and how did that change over the past couple of years?

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:58:17 PM)
TW: we read all of the recs. ChattyChad: 45-60 minutes.

WW (Nov 20, 2003 9:58:36 PM)
Rod, thank you for your responses. They're helpful.

aloke (Nov 20, 2003 9:59:04 PM)
Jon, are applicants who finished school and entered the industry earlier than others, e.g., with 3 years work-experience at the age of 23, at an advantage or a disadvantage from the adcom's perspective ?

01GSL (Nov 20, 2003 9:59:16 PM)
Rod, Jon, do you have any figures on the percent of students that receive grant-based aid from Sloan......perhaps even the average tuition bill that Sloanies pay/finance themselves?

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 20, 2003 9:59:40 PM)
ck--leveraging MIT takes place in different ways: we have over 40 courses that are co-taught with other departments in all areas of the university. Also clubs (started by Sloanies!) such as Tech Link bring the MIT brains out of their labs and into the cocktail parties so we can make companies out of their ideas.

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 10:00:02 PM)
The majority of our alumni are based in Northeast Coast and then Northern California. However, they work in a variety of industries in those locations (banking, strategy, hi-tech, etc.).

MariaValdiviesoMIT (Nov 20, 2003 10:00:21 PM)
sp75, at Sloan most students are extremely active. A few ways of getting involved ... we have the student Senate, where students form committees and address specific issues. Some of the committees include Academic, Alumni, Admissions, etc. In addition, students form clubs depending on their interests. For example, some classmates just started a Sloan Public Policy Forum and has been a great success so far!

Bernardo (Nov 20, 2003 10:01:10 PM)
If I was invited to an interview, how much time will I have to prepare documentation (official transcripts for example)? I am an international applicant; will I need to bring a translated version of my transcript to the interview?

Bernardo (Nov 20, 2003 10:01:20 PM)
Hey Jon, what interview locations (cities) will you have in South America this year?

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 10:01:33 PM)
01GSL: Not too many students receive fellowships. However, most of our students avail themselves of our guaranteed loan program.

MariaValdiviesoMIT (Nov 20, 2003 10:01:59 PM)
Hi cali. As I mentioned earlier, my brother graduated from Sloan so I had a good sense of the school and the culture. One of the things that really surprised me though is how down to earth, friend and supportive everyone is here! Students really go out of their way to help each other, it is a great environment

Linda Abraham (Nov 20, 2003 10:03:23 PM)
Here is a question that someone e-mailed me:

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 10:03:27 PM)
Bernado: You should already be in possession of a transcript (after all, you needed it when you self-reported your grades), right?

Linda Abraham (Nov 20, 2003 10:03:41 PM)
11) Hi Rod, I am a prospective applicant and have sent my application before the round one deadline. When I met David Capodilupo at the information seminar, he told me that Sloan will conduct hub interviews in Shanghai, China with its admissions staff. I would like to know approximately what time the interview invitation will be sent out and around when the interview is scheduled to take place. Thanks a lot.

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 10:03:42 PM)
Bernardo: Where are you located?

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 20, 2003 10:03:54 PM)
aloke---Entering the work force earlier then most applicants could be an advantage or a disadvantage, depending on how you portray it.  "Nothings good or bad but thinking makes it so;" we definitely have people with that profile.

TW (Nov 20, 2003 10:03:57 PM)
Thanks, Rod. Also, is it worth explaining one stand-out bad grade in a college course, or would you rather not have people make excuses (especially if there's no extraordinary excuse)?

ZIVY_LEAGUE (Nov 20, 2003 10:04:00 PM)
Do you have plans of coming to Istanbul for interviewing?

MariaValdiviesoMIT (Nov 20, 2003 10:04:02 PM)
Hi 01GSL. In addition, students can apply for teaching assistant positions to reduce their tuition expenses. I do not know the exact numbers but I would not be surprised if 25-30% of the 2nd year students are TA's. MIT probably pays the highest rates for TA's. For example, I am a TA for financial accounting (again, I'm a 2nd year student) and I get 67% of tuition for the semester.

Paul_Bodine (Nov 20, 2003 10:04:05 PM)
Will you give feedback to wait-listed applicants on how they can get off the waiting list?

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 10:04:14 PM)
Interviews in China (Shanghai) will be in mid-December (around December 20 or 21).

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 10:05:06 PM)
Paul: we will give feedback when asked.

Maple (Nov 20, 2003 10:05:14 PM)
Rod, Jon: Is the academic rigor of a program looked at closely when judging a GPA? For example, engineering may be more involved than drama, for example. Is this considered? Thanks

MBA_RBT (Nov 20, 2003 10:05:24 PM)
Is it appropriate to address a less favorable aspect of the application in the optional essay?

cali (Nov 20, 2003 10:05:28 PM)
Maria, thanks for your response. How many Sloanies avail of the ability to take classes at other departments/HBS? Is there a limit on the number of credits that Sloanies can take from other departments?

01GSL (Nov 20, 2003 10:05:38 PM)
Maria, wow, that's an amazing amount. I never expected it would be that high.

aloke (Nov 20, 2003 10:05:40 PM)
Thanks a lot Jon!

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 10:05:45 PM)
Maple: but of course!

ck (Nov 20, 2003 10:05:49 PM)
The teaching assistant position info is very new for me. Thanks Maria!

Maple (Nov 20, 2003 10:06:13 PM)
Whew, thanks Rod!

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 10:06:13 PM)
MBA-RBT: Yes, you should address a less favorable aspect of your application in the optional essay and tell us what you learned from it.

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 20, 2003 10:06:18 PM)
TW- Explaining a poor grade isn't bad, whining is. If it is obviously an exception I wouldn't worry too much about it. If there was a clear reason (illness, etc) by all means say it and move on.

Atila (Nov 20, 2003 10:06:21 PM)
What do most students find the most surprising by the time they finish their first semester/year?

Bernardo (Nov 20, 2003 10:06:50 PM)
Hi Rod, I have a copy of my transcript but is not in a sealed envelope (I used it to report my grades).

CrazyAboutSloan (Nov 20, 2003 10:06:56 PM)
Hi Rod! I am not sure if this has been answered already as I am a little late. Could you give us idea of how many applications you received in R1? How many will be invited to interview?

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 10:07:05 PM)
Bernado: That should be fine so long as it is official.

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 20, 2003 10:07:27 PM)
Zivy league--Istanbul is on our schedule right now and we are planning to go.

Linda Abraham (Nov 20, 2003 10:07:37 PM)
What percentage of 2003 grads have jobs at this point? Were there any relatively strong markets for MIT grads this past year?

Bernardo (Nov 20, 2003 10:07:44 PM)
I am in Santiago, Chile.

Rachel (Nov 20, 2003 10:08:05 PM)
How can one prepare for the interview?

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 10:08:26 PM)
CrazyAboutSloan: Applications were down in the first round and we're hoping to interview around 30% of our applicants.

MariaValdiviesoMIT (Nov 20, 2003 10:08:30 PM)
Hi cali. I am not sure what the exact number of credits is but I believe you can take 2 classes from outside Sloan. Many people do take advantage of the opportunity. Some students don't take classes outside, like me,  because there are a lot of great classes and opportunities at Sloan and we want to take advantage of that.

Rajeev (Nov 20, 2003 10:08:56 PM)
Do you eliminate candidates on the basis of some predetermined cut offs or read the entire application and then arrive at a decision to invite for interview or eliminate?

TW (Nov 20, 2003 10:08:58 PM)
Thanks, Jon.

cali (Nov 20, 2003 10:09:30 PM)
Thanks, Maria

SREEKANTH (Nov 20, 2003 10:09:34 PM)
What do you consider as the most important factor while evaluating a candidate?

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 10:09:35 PM)
Rachel: we'll give you an interview prep guide.

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 20, 2003 10:10:10 PM)
Rajeev--no cut offs, Every application is read thoroughly.

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 10:10:15 PM)
Bernado: We'll most likely ask you to fly to BA.

MariaValdiviesoMIT (Nov 20, 2003 10:10:18 PM)
Hi Atila. A couple of things that students find surprising, it is more fun that what you expected, although you are always super busy, it is not rocket science, and that you have to start your career search very early on in your first semester, especially if you do not know what to do after graduating.

CrazyAboutSloan (Nov 20, 2003 10:10:48 PM)
Thanks Rod! What is the acceptance rate of reapplicants?

Rajeev (Nov 20, 2003 10:11:11 PM)
thanks, Jon.

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 20, 2003 10:11:14 PM)
Linda--Latest figures are on the web,  but I'm not sure the newest numbers have been released yet. I know we are very near the top of our peer schools in terms of job placements.

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 10:11:21 PM)
CrazyAboutSloan: we looked at our reapplicant acceptance rate last year and it's exactly the same for first-time applicants.

Rajeev (Nov 20, 2003 10:11:51 PM)
Do you accept students on a transfer basis from other MBA programs?

aloke (Nov 20, 2003 10:11:54 PM)
Jon and Rod, on a lighter note what were the most hilarious essays you have received?

Linda Abraham (Nov 20, 2003 10:12:24 PM)
Thank you again all for participating this evening. Special thanks to Rod, Jon, and Maria for joining us this evening and to Paul Bodine for his assistance.

Linda Abraham (Nov 20, 2003 10:12:38 PM)
We look forward to seeing you at future chats. On deck:

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 10:12:38 PM)
Rajeev: We don't give credit for work done outside of the Sloan School.

Rajeev (Nov 20, 2003 10:12:52 PM)

Maple (Nov 20, 2003 10:12:55 PM)
Thank you Rod, Jon and Maria for your precious advice.

Linda Abraham (Nov 20, 2003 10:12:58 PM)
USC - December 9 UCLA December 15

TTC (Nov 20, 2003 10:13:00 PM)
Thanks for the informative chat.

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 20, 2003 10:13:01 PM)
aloke--That's probably better offline...:)

Linda Abraham (Nov 20, 2003 10:13:06 PM)
We are also going to have a few chats earlier in the day in December and January so that European and Middle Eastern applicants can attend. Please check the Web site for exact dates and times.

rakesh (Nov 20, 2003 10:13:09 PM)
Thanks all.

sharonw (Nov 20, 2003 10:13:10 PM)

sp75 (Nov 20, 2003 10:13:12 PM)
Thanks a lot Rod, Jon & Maria.

Linda Abraham (Nov 20, 2003 10:13:13 PM)
Jon, LOL.

Paul_Bodine (Nov 20, 2003 10:13:13 PM)
Thank you, Sloan and good luck everyone!

CrazyAboutSloan (Nov 20, 2003 10:13:14 PM)
Thank you Rod, Jon and Maria.

aloke (Nov 20, 2003 10:13:19 PM)

Linda Abraham (Nov 20, 2003 10:13:20 PM)
Have a very good evening! Good luck with your applications!

RodGarciaMIT (Nov 20, 2003 10:13:20 PM)
Thanks and good luck to everyone!

alan (Nov 20, 2003 10:13:21 PM)
Thanks very much!

Hanagur (Nov 20, 2003 10:13:22 PM)
Maria, Rod and Jon, THANK YOU!!!!

ChattyChad (Nov 20, 2003 10:13:22 PM)

WW (Nov 20, 2003 10:13:23 PM)
Thank you!

aloke (Nov 20, 2003 10:13:26 PM)
Infinite thanks to Rod, Jon, and Maria for their insightful replies. Hoping to hear from you soon. And Thanks a lot Linda for organizing this very useful session!

sp75 (Nov 20, 2003 10:13:31 PM)

Bernardo (Nov 20, 2003 10:13:34 PM)
Rod: thanks for your answer..

diudiu (Nov 20, 2003 10:13:37 PM)
Thank you Rod, Jon, Maria. Thank Linda for hosting :)

Linda Abraham (Nov 20, 2003 10:13:37 PM)
You're most welcome. Thanks for coming.

Maple (Nov 20, 2003 10:13:38 PM)
Yeah thanks Linda!

TW (Nov 20, 2003 10:13:40 PM)
Thanks so much.

MBA_RBT (Nov 20, 2003 10:13:41 PM)
Thanks everyone.

Rachel (Nov 20, 2003 10:13:43 PM)
Thank you!!

Linda Abraham (Nov 20, 2003 10:13:45 PM)
You're welcome.

Linda Abraham (Nov 20, 2003 10:13:47 PM)
Good luck!

aloke (Nov 20, 2003 10:13:59 PM)

vst631 (Nov 20, 2003 10:14:02 PM)
Linda: when will the transcript be available?

Linda Abraham (Nov 20, 2003 10:14:18 PM)
The transcript will probably go online after Thanksgiving.

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