2006 MIT Sloan MBA Admissions Chat with Jon McLaughlin


2006 MIT Sloan MBA Admissions Chat with Jon McLaughlin

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Linda Abraham (Nov 15, 2005 10:01:12 AM)
First I want to welcome you all to Accepted.com's MIT admissions chat.

JenBurkeMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:01:14 AM)
Hi Everyone, I'm Jen Burke from MIT Sloan MBA Admissions. Welcome!

Linda Abraham (Nov 15, 2005 10:01:46 AM)
I also want to welcome Jon McLaughlin, Assistant Director of MBA Admissions; Jen Burke, Admissions Coordinator, and Michael Iger (07), who should be here shortly.

bosapp (Nov 15, 2005 10:02:16 AM)
Hi Jon. A question about candidates; what percentage are/were from startups and out of whom are/were IT engineers? Also, what is the the reason that you did/didn't will/won't admit them?

Abhitab (Nov 15, 2005 10:03:07 AM)
Jen: For reapplicants, does the admissions committee look at last year's application as part of the process, or do you just focus on the current application?

JenBurkeMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:04:12 AM)
Abhitab, yes, we do look at your old application.

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:04:16 AM)
bosapp--lots of people are from startups...some IT engineers who want to make a transition to business, though the skills required are very different. We are looking for people who can make clear that they understand the strategic drivers of the industry.

ME_Consultant (Nov 15, 2005 10:04:28 AM)
Jen: For those that applied in Round 1, when do expect to start issuing interview invitations?

Abhitab (Nov 15, 2005 10:04:49 AM)
Jon: Could you tell us about some of the Entrepreneurship initiatives at MIT?

JenBurkeMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:05:21 AM)
ME, we'll start the interview invites in late November and continue to send invites up until the notification deadline.

Linda Abraham (Nov 15, 2005 10:05:22 AM)
Welcome Michael! Could you tell us a little about yourself? What did you do before MTI? What do you want to do after you earn your MBA?

MITFan (Nov 15, 2005 10:05:57 AM)
Jon, I have already sent in my application, however, can I supplement it with new information that could help my candidacy?

Steven in Japan (Nov 15, 2005 10:06:01 AM)
Jen -- what about interview timing for Round 2? Is it different for students currently living abroad?

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:06:23 AM)
abhitab--lots and lots. The best known one is the 50k, which just had its 1k entrants last night, but the enterprise forum is well used, also new initiatives like Xteams and Iteams (through the Deshpande Center) focus on real time work with startup companies. Fair to say its an intense environment.

Linda Abraham (Nov 15, 2005 10:06:48 AM)
What are Xteams and Iteams?

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:07:06 AM)
MITFan--Hi, I'm afraid we need to just go with the info on the application. You can imagine the confusion if we accepted supplemental information afterward.

JenBurkeMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:07:07 AM)
Steven- interview invites are the same for Round 2. Invites begin going out about 4 weeks after the deadline, and continue up until the notification date in April.

MikeIgerMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:07:48 AM)
Thank you Linda. It is a pleasure to be here. I'm currently a first-year student in MIT Sloan's MBA program. I'm in the midst of the core semester as we chat. Before Sloan, I worked for a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. I'm happy to try and answer questions about what it is like to be student here.

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:07:51 AM)
Linda-I didn't think I'd get away with that - they are Xfunctional teams of business students and others throughout the institute focused on solving business problems in innovative ways in lots of different industries.

Steven in Japan (Nov 15, 2005 10:08:18 AM)
Jen -- thanks. Do you hold interviews abroad? As my nickname says, I'm in Japan.

Linda Abraham (Nov 15, 2005 10:08:30 AM)
Jon: MIT Sloan's next and last deadline is January 11, 2006. Any advice for applicants at this point in time? Why is Sloan's final deadline so early?

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:08:51 AM)
Linda--Xteams and Iteams also work on bringing new technologies to market.

JenBurkeMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:08:56 AM)
Steven, yes, we hold interviews in Japan, both rounds.

Steven in Japan (Nov 15, 2005 10:08:58 AM)
Mike -- how would you describe Sloan's school culture?

mit_aspirant (Nov 15, 2005 10:09:31 AM)
Jen: Is there anyway I can check the status of my application?

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:09:41 AM)
Linda--we like our model of 2 equal rounds of admissions. Lots of time...

JenBurkeMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:10:05 AM)
MIT_aspirant... sorry, there is no way to check the status of your application at this time.

ME_Consultant (Nov 15, 2005 10:10:15 AM)
Jen: For interview purposes, are there Sloan alumni in Beirut or Dubai or will candidates from the Middle East have to go to Cambridge?

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:10:17 AM)
Steven--interviews are held around world, including Japan.

MikeIgerMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:10:36 AM)
The culture here at Sloan is fantastic. It is obviously highly intellectual, but it's also extremely supportive.

Abhitab (Nov 15, 2005 10:10:41 AM)
Mike: What's a typical week like for students? How many hours are spent in lectures, case studies, team projects, and experimental learning?

JenBurkeMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:11:22 AM)
ME-con. - We have a trained group of processionals who sit on the MBA Admissions Committee - everyone admitted to the program interviews with one of about 8 different people. Unfortunately we will not be interviewing in Dubai or Beirut.

Linda Abraham (Nov 15, 2005 10:11:30 AM)
Jon and Jen: If you are looking at an application and the numbers and basic profile is in the ballpark for a Sloan student, what distinguishes an application that is accepted from one that is rejected?

MikeIgerMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:12:24 AM)
Abhitab: The typical is a mix of classes, recruiting events, and get togethers. Last week, I went to NYC on a trek sponsored by the media club. We visited four different companies and got inside looks at how they operate and what they wanted from MBAs.

Linda Abraham (Nov 15, 2005 10:13:01 AM)
Mike: Why did you choose Sloan? Are you glad you chose Sloan?

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:13:43 AM)
Linda, we have a lot of different things we look for. Certainly a track record of making a positive difference in whatever environment you are in. Also, our students work very closely together (we assign you to core teams that are highly diverse) so the ability to manage peers and contribute in that kind of environment is key.

Babak (Nov 15, 2005 10:13:49 AM)
Is it possible to "simulate" a start-up at MIT? For example, can students write a business plan, find money, and start building a product? More specifically do you have “workshop” style classes in which the course’s content is made of business ideas (by students) that will be developed for final presentation to investors?

MikeIgerMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:15:29 AM)
I couldn't be more happy with Sloan. I'm a career changer and I chose Sloan because I though it's supportive culture and reputation for producing students with strong analytical and quantitative backgrounds, would be most helpful to me when looking for job in a new industry, for example consulting or high-tech.

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:15:48 AM)
Babak--yes to all of the above, and with groups like the 50K competition VCs and other industry experts are involved at each stage, refining and guiding. Classes like Entrepreneurship Lab and Global Entrepreneurship lab put you in actual high growth startups. We had a recent Glab team work with a VC firm in Hong Kong defining growth sectors for new funds, etc.

Steven in Japan (Nov 15, 2005 10:16:03 AM)
In the supplemental information, number four mentions "special circumstances related to your academic program". What are you referring to here?

Linda Abraham (Nov 15, 2005 10:17:03 AM)
Mike, I noticed you came form a position in the House of Representatives. What did you do there?

bosapp (Nov 15, 2005 10:17:13 AM)
Jon, could you elaborate a little on the "strategic drivers of industry" for IT engineers to transit to business? Thanks.

MikeIgerMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:17:18 AM)
Babak: the 50K is a great example of an opportunity to get involved in a startup project. I have a bunch friends in the competition and it's just a great chance to get experience with a startup plan with little risk involved.

JenBurkeMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:18:18 AM)
Steven- my advice for supplemental info is summarized in one word "judgment." This is an opportunity for you to add important info to your application that you could not otherwise communicate. Special circumstances means just that, i.e. you took a leave of absence from school or work, etc.

MikeIgerMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:18:50 AM)
Linda: I was the legislative director for the a member of congress. I was responsible for coordinating his legislative agenda, drafting bills, developing and coordinating political strategy, etc. I was responsible for over 20 different policy issues ranging from agriculture to telecommunications.

co (Nov 15, 2005 10:18:57 AM)
Mike, how much time can a student spend on activities like the 50K, etc?

boston_guy (Nov 15, 2005 10:19:10 AM)
Do you know when would the people form Boston start hearing about Round I interviews?

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:19:14 AM)
bosapp--are people focused on business results rather than what is "the best" technology? Do they have a customer focus? Do they work with other departments well and see their value? This isn't an exhaustive list but just to give you an idea of the kinds of things we are looking at...

Linda Abraham (Nov 15, 2005 10:19:20 AM)
Jon: How does application volume for Sloan's first round this year compare to first round last year?

bosapp (Nov 15, 2005 10:20:08 AM)
Thanks Jon!

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:20:57 AM)
Linda--looks like we are on track for a similar year as last year, though too soon to tell completely.

JenBurkeMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:20:59 AM)
Boston-guy -- applicants from the northeast can hear about interviews at any time. We interview here on campus throughout the months of December and January, and same is true for R2.

Leticia (Nov 15, 2005 10:21:11 AM)
Jon: Can you be more specific about positive difference? Can you give us examples?

Abhitab (Nov 15, 2005 10:21:30 AM)
Jen: How is the recruiting scene for international students?

MikeIgerMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:21:38 AM)
co: You could spend as much time as you want on outside activities as the 50K. We do have a good workload, but I'm a member of the Sloan Senate, as well as the Media Tech Club and the Entertainment, Media, Sports club. I'm trying, actually, to get involved in more activities, like the 50K, because there's so much you can learn from them. It's all about balance here.

Steven in Japan (Nov 15, 2005 10:21:49 AM)
Mike - now that you're in Sloan, how have you found the environment for career changers like yourself? Does it seem like a fairly easy transition to make?

Linda Abraham (Nov 15, 2005 10:22:37 AM)
Mike, did you have a strong quant background prior to your work in the House? Do you feel a little lost with atypical work experience at Sloan?

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:22:45 AM)
Leticia--not trying to duck you here, but it really depends on where you are and what you have done. We have had successful applicants tell us about big improvements at work, or about mentoring particular individuals, or creating new ideas. We are very open to all different types of success.

ME_Consultant (Nov 15, 2005 10:23:06 AM)
Jen: Will some candidates be admitted without an interview?

JenBurkeMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:24:10 AM)
Abhitab - job placement for international students is strong. Many of our international students look for and find jobs in the US and abroad.

MikeIgerMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:24:11 AM)
Steven: The environment for career changes is extremely supportive. Jon or Linda could give you the statistic, but it seems like almost everyone I know is trying to switch careers. On my core team, there is an operations person looking to get into investment banking, a consulting person looking to get into alternative energy.

Abhitab (Nov 15, 2005 10:24:28 AM)
Jen: Can you comment about the alumni network in India and Asia in general?

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:24:46 AM)
ME consultant--Nope everyone is interviewed.

JenBurkeMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:25:20 AM)
ME-Cons - All admitted applicants will be interviewed. We typically interview about half of the applicants who apply, and about half of those who are interviewed are admitted.

Linda Abraham (Nov 15, 2005 10:25:32 AM)
Mike: What are your favorite classes or professors so far? (I realize it's early in your MIT career.)

Steven in Japan (Nov 15, 2005 10:26:32 AM)
Jon or Jen - thanks for answering my questions on interviews. One more for you - how does the scheduling process work? I will likely be traveling for a while after submitting my application, returning to Japan to interview, and was wondering what I can expect in terms of a timing window, once contacted (thinking positively!)

MikeIgerMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:26:35 AM)
Linda: I didn't really have any quantitative background before Sloan. My responsibilities focused on analysis and strategy. It was a little challenging getting up to speed at first, but I feel quite comfortable now with the course load, which is why I'm trying to get involved in more activities here.

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:27:44 AM)
Abhitab: The networks are very vibrant. Rod came back from a trip to Japan and China and had hosted events with dozens of alumni. We have students working with companies from the region all the time, and many leading experts come to campus to work with people like Lester Thurow on macroeconomic issues. Taken all together MIT is a real force in the region. On a more personal note, I joined the MIT Sloan trip to India for the last day (around interviews) and they had just come back from a very fun dinner at Adi Godrej's house; a Sloan alum and head of one of the Godrej group.

MITFan (Nov 15, 2005 10:27:58 AM)
Jon: What do you look for in an interview? What is considered a good interview and what is considered a bad one?

JenBurkeMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:29:09 AM)
Steven - If you are lucky enough to be invited for an interview, we will invite you to a location for your interview based on the city locations you indicate in your application. We try to be as flexible as possible with the interview timing/location.

Abhitab (Nov 15, 2005 10:29:21 AM)
Jen: Is it ok to ask for a recommendation from some one outside of the work environment. I plan to get a recommendation from president of a local Rotary club under whose guidance I worked for social projects.

JenBurkeMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:30:18 AM)
Abh - sure, recommendations from outside of work are welcomed.

bosapp (Nov 15, 2005 10:30:30 AM)
Jen: In regard to the cover letter, since the word limit is 500, should we spend 50 words on the routine thank-you at the beginning and end of the letter?

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:31:40 AM)
MITFan--well, we look at the interview as a continuation of our application evaluation, in more human terms; its our last best chance to get to know your story and how you have worked, so much of it will be focused on your past experiences and how you made decisions, why you did what you did, etc. People who succeed in the interview have good self awareness about their actions, a nice blend of the big picture and personal strengths, and the ability to be specific about their accomplishments. We try and make it very straightforward.

MikeIgerMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:32:23 AM)
My favorite classes so far are the data, models, and decisions (dmd) and the marketing class. These are both classes that really challenge you to think. In dmd, we learn how to address and analyze different problems, like how to select an insurance policy for an airline, just to give an example. In marketing, we use case discussions to analyze business problems facing companies who want to enter new markets or are facing new competitors. And the professors for both these classes, as with all my classes, have been amazing.

Linda Abraham (Nov 15, 2005 10:32:39 AM)
Do you have any advice for applicants who are wait-listed at Sloan?

Steven in Japan (Nov 15, 2005 10:33:03 AM)
Mike - do you have much interaction with students from other MIT schools?

JenBurkeMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:33:09 AM)
Bosapp - The letter should be close to 500 words, but we will not penalize you if you are slightly over due to thank you's and salutations.

david (Nov 15, 2005 10:33:21 AM)
Jen: What do you expect to see in the cover letter for application?

bosapp (Nov 15, 2005 10:34:15 AM)
Thanks Jen!

MikeIgerMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:35:25 AM)
Steven: I actually have had pretty good interaction with students from other schools. On my recent media trek to NYC, there were students from MIT's comparative media studies program. And the 50K business competition is school wide, so I've met a number of students from the engineering department and other departments, at the 50K team building events. These are events designed for students who are interested in the 50K and are looking to build or join a team to enter the competition.

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:35:33 AM)
Linda --well, each year we have used the waitlist and we have gotten very successful students, so we take it very seriously and feel everyone on it would be good at Sloan. As you know at some point you have to make hard decisions. We encourage people on the list to update us and be "pleasantly proactive" keeping in mind Jen's earlier comment about judgment. We'll try and post our timing about the waitlist and let people know what we are up to...but do realize its an inherently uncertain if and or how we will use it.

JenBurkeMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:36:07 AM)
David - the cover letter is your chance to tell us why an MBA from MIT Sloan is right for you. Explain why at this point in your career an MBA makes sense and why Sloan's program can help get you to where you want to be in the future.

Linda Abraham (Nov 15, 2005 10:36:24 AM)
Jon, any special advice for reapplicants?

Joe (Nov 15, 2005 10:36:42 AM)
Jen, just out of curiosity, the application specifically asks for grades in Microeconomics and Calculus, even apart from the transcript - how come?

MikeIgerMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:38:02 AM)
Bosapp - In my cover letter I tried to get across two things. Why MIT Sloan was the right school for me and what value I believed I could bring to Sloan. I also wanted to make sure that the letter gave some insight into my personality.

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:38:11 AM)
Linda--just that many successful applicants are reapplicants, and that we look at each application with fresh eyes

Linda Abraham (Nov 15, 2005 10:38:29 AM)
When evaluating a reapplication, do you refer to the original application?

mit_aspirant (Nov 15, 2005 10:39:01 AM)
Mike: I heard that you have partner program with HBS through which students can register for classes offered by HBS. Is it true?

JenBurkeMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:39:21 AM)
Joe - these grades are useful in determining how prepared you are for some of the more quantitative courses in the core curriculum. These courses (microeconomics or calcus) are not required for admission, they just help us determine who might need to participate in summer prep before arriving in the fall.

yonca (Nov 15, 2005 10:39:27 AM)
Jen: Is it true that applicants residing in Boston will hear last about interviews?

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:39:56 AM)
Linda--yes, we do look at the old application but the primary evaluation is the new application. Referring to the old one helps us see how far someone has developed in the year and also what may have been a poorer application as opposed to a candidacy.

david (Nov 15, 2005 10:40:03 AM)
Jon: What will be a right mix between professional and non-professional experience in the first five essays?

MikeIgerMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:41:04 AM)
mit_aspirant: We do have cross registration with HBS, as well as cross registration between the other MIT and Harvard schools.

JenBurkeMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:41:05 AM)
Yonca - no that is not true. Applicants living in Boston will continue to hear about interviews throughout the whole process. If you applied in Round 1, interview invites will start to go out in late November and continue up until the notification date in January. We interview candidates in Boston throughout December and January.

ME_Consultant (Nov 15, 2005 10:41:08 AM)
Mike - In a few words, what do you feel makes MIT better than Harvard and Wharton?

Leticia (Nov 15, 2005 10:41:16 AM)
Jen: Do you have a high percentage of reapplicants that get accepted on the second time they apply?

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:42:35 AM)
David--it depends, but I think you are on the right track in identifying a mix. We are trying to get a glimpse of the person so examples from different areas are often useful. A mix doesn't mean just the essays, however, but supplemental and extra curricular, the resume. Make sure YOU come out. If you look at your application and its ALL about work or ALL about very personal things you may be in for difficulty.

MikeIgerMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:42:50 AM)
ME_Consultant: Those are all great programs. What I like about MIT Sloan is its smaller, tight-knit community. I really enjoy knowing that my classmates are going to support me and I'll do the same for them

JenBurkeMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:42:58 AM)
Leticia - honestly, I'm not sure what the acceptance rate of re-applicants is. We evaluate re-applicants along with the whole pool each year, and admit the best people.

mit_aspirant (Nov 15, 2005 10:43:06 AM)
Jon: Do you give any feedback to rejected applicants? If so, when and how specific is your feedback?

Abhitab (Nov 15, 2005 10:43:29 AM)
Jen: What steps can applicants take before they enroll in business school to enhance their chances of obtaining an internship and post-MBA job?

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:45:11 AM)
mitaspirant--we don't have a formal feedback program except for seniors in college but we have tried in the past to offer useful advice where we can for people on the waitlist, etc. One caution: candidates who were unsuccessful often feel there is one reason, and that so rarely is the case, its a gestalt of many factors.

Linda Abraham (Nov 15, 2005 10:45:16 AM)
Jon: What are the acceptance rates for the two different rounds?

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:45:43 AM)
Linda--we don't know yet :)

JenBurkeMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:45:47 AM)
Abh - it depends on what your prior experience is and what you would like to do for an internship/post MBA. If you are a career changer, the most important thing is for you to do your research, so when you enter the program, you are able to make educated decisions about the electives you take and outside activities you participate in.

Steven in Japan (Nov 15, 2005 10:45:56 AM)
Jen - I took Calculus my freshman year, but received a somewhat less-than-stellar grade. However, my grades improved significantly over the remainder of my academic career. Will this be an issue and is it something that you think I should address?

Linda Abraham (Nov 15, 2005 10:46:24 AM)
Jon, Wharton recently announced that it is welcoming early-career applicants, those with little full-time work experience. What is MIT Sloan's position?

JenBurkeMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:47:29 AM)
Steven - don't worry about a calculus grade you had in freshman year. We look at your entire transcript :-)

JenBurkeMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:48:46 AM)
ME - we have no quotas. We take the best people from wherever they come from. We are lucky to have a pool of applicants from all over the globe, so fortunately we find great people from everywhere.

MikeIgerMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:48:49 AM)
Abh: As someone going through the internship process right now, I couldn't agree more with what Jen wrote. As a career changer, it definitely helps to identify some of the clubs you'd like to join when you get to school, as well as doing some research on industries you're interested in so you can ask good questions of other students and alums.

techphile (Nov 15, 2005 10:49:03 AM)
Jon: I applied in Round 1; when will the interview invites start going out? Also, will it make any difference to my application if I visit the school now?

Rachel (Nov 15, 2005 10:49:26 AM)
Mike: What programs, activities do you have for spouses?

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:49:32 AM)
Linda--I think we (our colleague programs) are trying to get across the message that our average years of experience is not a requirement; if you are 2 years out we are not going to compare your career trajectory with someone who is 5 years out. At MIT Sloan, we have always wanted people from every stage of their careers, but we have seen many people who would thrive at MIT Sloan and feel they are ready, be scared to apply because they feel disadvantaged by the average years of work experience. They don't need to feel that way and some of our outreach programs are designed to counter that false impression.

yonca (Nov 15, 2005 10:49:48 AM)
Jon: For the essays you recommend writing about the last two years. How strict are you about that rule?

JenBurkeMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:51:34 AM)
Leticia - Do your research. Make sure you are applying to programs that are a good fit for you. Visit the school, talk to current students, alumni, attend a class. We want to admit applicants who are passionate about being here.

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:51:40 AM)
techphile: I think Jen covered this earlier, but we get through a bulk of the reading and start sending out invites after that. It usually starts around/just after the latter part of November and continues from there all the way to our notification deadline. As to visiting, I think it will make a difference in your knowledge of the school and your comfort level with your ultimate decision, but it wont be part of your evaluation.

pankajgupta (Nov 15, 2005 10:51:48 AM)
Jen: I have most unimpressive grades and a much better GMAT score. Do they sort of cancel out each other or do I need something else? Are there any individual cutoffs?

MikeIgerMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:52:28 AM)
Rachel: that's a great question. There are actually a lot of activities for spouses. I'm married, and it is really important to me that my wife is a part of my school experience. At Sloan, there is a club for significant others that organizers different events, like going out to dinner, a book club, a move. It's a lot of fun and my wife is involved in that. We also have a lot of social events that significant others help organize, like weekly "C" functions.

Linda Abraham (Nov 15, 2005 10:53:03 AM)
Mike is there anything you did or wish you had done to ease your return to student-hood?

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:53:18 AM)
yonca--we won't be incredibly strict, especially if an earlier example is still playing out in your current experience, but do realize we put that guideline in their because we are interested in who you are NOW. Long ago examples will be less useful to us.

mer2008 (Nov 15, 2005 10:53:53 AM)
Jon: I have applied in the first round and am awaiting an interview decision. Is there anything I can do to reiterate/show that MIT is my first choice? Or is it just a waiting game now? Thanks!!

JenBurkeMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:53:56 AM)
Pank - there are no minimum requirements for anything (work experience, GMAT, GPA, etc). We look at the entire application, and nothing is looked at in isolation. To answer your question - yes, they can help balance one another out.

Abhitab (Nov 15, 2005 10:54:33 AM)
Jen: How can I contact past alumni to know about their experience at Sloan?

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:55:00 AM)
mer2008--I'm afraid it's a waiting game right now. We know how tough this is but we will be going through all the applications thoroughly and it takes some time.

MikeIgerMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:55:38 AM)
Linda: I'm not sure that I'd do anything very differently. Transitioning back to school after being out of school for a while is a significant transition. I made sure I had some time between when I left my job and when school started, and I found that very helpful because it gives you time to relax and adjust to your new environment. I should also mention that I attended the pre-term session here, which was really helpful in refreshing my memory on things like economics.

Steven in Japan (Nov 15, 2005 10:55:48 AM)
Mike -- any thoughts on the international aspects of Sloan?

JenBurkeMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:56:50 AM)
Abhitab - look online at our alumni website. You can find chairs of alumni clubs throughout the US and abroad. Alums are incredibly open to helping prospective students. In addition, once you become a student we have alumni mentorship programs where you can work directly with an alum in a field of your interest.

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 15, 2005 10:58:01 AM)
Abhitab--we had an event in Boston last night and one of the mentors, a very senior person at Wellington Capital, came running in from his mentor meeting with a student!

Linda Abraham (Nov 15, 2005 10:58:47 AM)
Jon, applicants are frequently asked by recommenders to draft the letters for the recommenders signature. Any suggestions on how to handle this request from a boss?

pankajgupta (Nov 15, 2005 10:59:15 AM)
Jen: How important is the blue-chip experience? How much better does a recommendation look from, say, a VP of a blue-chip company than one from an owner of a mid-level manufacturing firm? Do you need to sort any credibility issues?

MikeIgerMIT (Nov 15, 2005 11:00:35 AM)
Steven: Sloan has terrific international opportunities. First, there are a lot of international students here. On my core team, there is a student from Japan and another from India. There's also a lot of opportunities to travel to other countries as part of either a club or a class. In the G-Lab class, students travel to other countries, this year they're going to New Zealand, and Vietnam, and others, to help startup companies get off the ground. The leadership club is sponsoring a trek to Chile.

JenBurkeMIT (Nov 15, 2005 11:01:08 AM)
Pankajgupta- we prefer letters to come from people who know you well. It does not matter to us where they work or what their title is. Recommendation letters can give us valuable data when evaluating your application. When a recommendation comes from someone who does not know you well, this can be a lost opportunity for the applicant.

hhhbo (Nov 15, 2005 11:01:30 AM)
Jen: What is the average number of years of work experience of applicants? Does MIT accept younger applicants?

JenBurkeMIT (Nov 15, 2005 11:02:21 AM)
HHHBO - the average years of work experience is 4.5, but the range is what is important, and this year's class represents a range of 0 - 16 years of experience. We do accept younger applicants.

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 15, 2005 11:02:28 AM)
Linda--I'm sure some recommenders would like to delegate as much as they can, since it's hard work doing writing a letter of recommendation, but just signing a draft doesn't do the applicants any favors and it is against the spirit of this process. Better for the applicant to give the recommender some bullet points and PLENTY OF TIME. Show your application, remind them of specific examples and achievements and let them go at it. The recommender will be honest and more effective.

Rachel (Nov 15, 2005 11:04:47 AM)
Would you consider accepting someone who previously denied an acceptance offer from MIT?

Abhitab (Nov 15, 2005 11:05:06 AM)
Mike: What were some of your preconceptions about attending business school, particularly Sloan, and how have they played out in your Sloan year?

mba_2008 (Nov 15, 2005 11:05:52 AM)
Jen: I have applied in Round 1 and am awaiting an interview. Once invited to interview, what is the time-frame for me to schedule and complete it? I am asking since I will be out of the country mid-November to mid-December and do not want this to jeopardize my chances.

Steven in Japan (Nov 15, 2005 11:05:55 AM)
Jen, Jon and Mike (and Linda) - thanks for your time and for answering all of my questions! Good night!

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 15, 2005 11:06:02 AM)
Rachel--sure we would consider it, why the decision and how the person handled it would probably make a difference. Usually those decisions are bound up with very personal circumstances for each applicant and we understand that.

Linda Abraham (Nov 15, 2005 11:06:06 AM)
You're welcome. Good luck Steven.

MikeIgerMIT (Nov 15, 2005 11:06:44 AM)
Abhitab: That's a great question. I thought business school was going to be a little more competitive among students, but that didn't turn out to be the case.  That was more of a general preconception I had of most programs. For Sloan, I was nervous about being able to handle courses that were new to me, like accounting or dmd. It turned out that they were challenging, but also manageable. I also thought Boston would be colder.

 Leticia (Nov 15, 2005 11:06:59 AM)
Jon: When Sloan says that they have a strong academic focus, what do they mean by that? I have heard that this is one very important part of your program.

JenBurkeMIT (Nov 15, 2005 11:07:35 AM)
MBA 2008 - we are flexible with interview invites. We travel all over the globe for interviews, so if you are out of the US, we might be able to meet you in a different location, or you could postpone until January.

Abhitab (Nov 15, 2005 11:08:19 AM)
Mike: How is the housing situation in  Boston?

mba_2008 (Nov 15, 2005 11:08:51 AM)
JenBurke: Thanks for the response. Wouldn't postponing the interview be viewed negatively?

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 15, 2005 11:09:11 AM)
leticia--we want to turn you loose on the world with great fundamental skills to go with your desire to make a difference. You get those skills here and the ability to dive deep. People who are excited by ideas, like it here. If they are just trying to get enough info to get by or to make the next step they probably won't enjoy it as much.

JenBurkeMIT (Nov 15, 2005 11:09:19 AM)
MBA - 2008, as long as we interview you before the notification date it's fine.

pankajgupta (Nov 15, 2005 11:09:26 AM)
Jon: Are any loan waivers awarded to grads who join a nonprofit after the MBA?

Leticia (Nov 15, 2005 11:10:15 AM)
Jen: What's the average time that a applicant takes to do all of their essays, recommendation letters, prepare for the GMAT, etc.?

MikeIgerMIT (Nov 15, 2005 11:10:46 AM)
abhitab: The housing situation in Boston is diverse. There are some fantastic neighborhoods that are very affordable, like South Boston or Davis Square. There's also some fantastic neighborhoods that are a little pricey, like Beacon Hill.

JenBurkeMIT (Nov 15, 2005 11:11:11 AM)
Leticia, it depends on the applicant. I'll ask Mike to share how long he took to prepare his application.

Rachel (Nov 15, 2005 11:11:23 AM)
Jen: If I'm anticipating a raise in salary, should I mention it somewhere in my application or wait till i receive it and then write to the adcom about it when it happens. Will it be noted in my file?

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 15, 2005 11:11:38 AM)
pankaj--loan forgiveness no, but we have a couple of different mechanisms to support people who go into not for profits, including the Sloan Not for Profit internship fund which is supported by donations from the student body as a whole.

JenBurkeMIT (Nov 15, 2005 11:12:22 AM)
Rachel, a salary increase is not that relevant for our evaluation process, but if your title changes or you are given a promotion, please share that with us.

MikeIgerMIT (Nov 15, 2005 11:12:55 AM)
Leticia: I think your question has two parts. Preparing for the GMAT can either take a lot of time, some time, or no time, depending on you. The application part took me a few hours, I can't remember how much exactly. What helped me was doing it in parts. Writing an essay or two or three, etc. and then taking a break and going back to look them over.

Linda Abraham (Nov 15, 2005 11:13:21 AM)
Thank you again all for participating this today. Special thanks to Jon , Jen, and Mike for joining us.

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 15, 2005 11:13:45 AM)
Mike--a few hours??? hmmm...Realistically, I think the application should take as much time as you can possibly give it.

pankajgupta (Nov 15, 2005 11:14:09 AM)
Jen, you mentioned that there aren't any pools, but in case of numbers (salary, sales, etc.) are they compared to the people from specific locations/industries or as a whole?

MikeIgerMIT (Nov 15, 2005 11:14:26 AM)
I'll throw out 6 - 10 hours as a reasoned guess.

Linda Abraham (Nov 15, 2005 11:14:39 AM)
Have a very good day! Good luck with your applications!

Linda Abraham (Nov 15, 2005 11:15:23 AM)
My view: you should start roughly on year before the fall that you want to apply. That allows time for the GMAT, school research, clarifying your goals, beefing up your community service, if necessary, and doing what you should do before investing $100,000 and two years of your life.

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 15, 2005 11:16:05 AM)
08All--One firm estimated their people spend 80 hours on an application (not trying to scare anyone here.)

JenBurkeMIT (Nov 15, 2005 11:16:08 AM)
Pank, we look at every application individually, but of course we're aware of different industry standards.

MikeIgerMIT (Nov 15, 2005 11:16:15 AM)
I agree completely with Linda's suggestion. Looking back, I wish I started the process much, much earlier than I did. It made for some, shall we say, long nights.

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 15, 2005 11:17:58 AM)
Linda--this was fun.

MikeIgerMIT (Nov 15, 2005 11:18:02 AM)
To clarify a little more, my response was just about the time spent on a single application. It does not reflect the time I spent studying for the GMAT, looking up schools, thinking about why I went to b-school.

Linda Abraham (Nov 15, 2005 11:18:31 AM)
Mike, I also think your idea of working on the essays and then putting them away is a great way to go.

Linda Abraham (Nov 15, 2005 11:19:49 AM)
Good luck again. Thanks for coming.

JenBurkeMIT (Nov 15, 2005 11:19:58 AM)
Thanks Linda!

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Nov 15, 2005 11:20:03 AM)
Thank you all and best of luck to everyone! Information about Accepted.com's consulting and Editing Services

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