MIT SLoan Admissions Chat with Rod Garcia and Jon McLaughlin

MIT SLoan Admissions Chat with Rod Garcia and Jon McLaughlin

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

Linda Abraham (Oct 31, 2006 9:46:48 AM)
Hello. My name is Linda Abraham. I am the founder of and the moderator of today’s chat. First I want to welcome all applicants to the MIT Sloan chat today, and I want to congratulate you for taking the time to learn more about Sloan. To make a sound decision and to get accepted you know as much as you can about the schools you are applying to. Being here today allows you to ask the experts about this outstanding business school.

Linda Abraham (Oct 31, 2006 9:47:16 AM)
I also want to welcome our special guests, Rod Garcia, MIT’s Director of Admissions; Jon McLaughlin, Assistant Director of MBA Admissions; and Alex Slawsby, MIT Student. Alex, could you tell us a little bit about your background?

AlexSlawsbyMIT (Oct 31, 2006 9:47:29 AM)
Hey everyone, Alex Slawsby here. I'm a second-year MBA student at Sloan. I attended Brown University and studied Political Science, graduating in 2000. I spent 4 years working for IDC, a technology industry analysis firm, covering the mobile and wireless industry.

RodGarciaMIT (Oct 31, 2006 9:47:47 AM)
Hi Linda. Good morning, afternoon, evening to everyone joining us.

Linda Abraham (Oct 31, 2006 9:48:44 AM)
What did you do for your internship Alex?

AlexSlawsbyMIT (Oct 31, 2006 9:48:48 AM)
I also spent the summer before Sloan interning at IDG Ventures in Boston. At Sloan, I am Co-President of the Innovation Club. I spent my summer internship at Innosight, an innovation consulting and training firm founded by Clayton Christensen - it's in Watertown, MA

Linda Abraham (Oct 31, 2006 9:49:23 AM)

AlexSlawsbyMIT (Oct 31, 2006 9:49:29 AM)
My pleasure - very happy to be here...

Linda Abraham (Oct 31, 2006 9:50:13 AM)
Rod and Jon: MIT Sloan's 1st deadline is tomorrow. Any last minutes words of advice for R1 applicants?

RodGarciaMIT (Oct 31, 2006 9:50:55 AM)
First advice is to beat the rush and submit the application when it's ready.

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Oct 31, 2006 9:51:17 AM)
Proofreading is always good.. On the serious note, think of the application as the first part of the MBA now hopefully you have done some hard thinking about what you want and how you will get there, and that will show up in the application...promise

Linda Abraham (Oct 31, 2006 9:51:27 AM)
Alex, why did you choose Sloan? Are you glad you chose Sloan?

kla1980 (Oct 31, 2006 9:51:35 AM)
Question: I am polishing up my essays for submission. Is the 500 word limit a hard cutoff, or is there some wiggle room? I have heard that +10% is considered an acceptable overage for many schools -- will Sloan look unfavorably at a 540-550ish word essay that still fits 1 page? I want to make sure I provide the proper details in my essays.

AlexSlawsbyMIT (Oct 31, 2006 9:52:21 AM)
I am very very happy that I chose Sloan. I was particularly attracted to the program for the down-to-earth students and emphasis on a practical management education..  Combined with my social science/liberal arts background, Sloan is giving me the technical abilities to be the most well-rounded leader that I can be. I've made a ton of lifelong friends as well and just love hanging out with my classmates...Just c ool, down-to-earth people and very little competition between students. More than happy to chat about any aspects of the Sloan experience...

kla1980 (Oct 31, 2006 9:52:23 AM)
Rod: Is the deadline at 9am EST or 3pm EST? I have seen conflicting information. I think it was 9am EST last year?

RodGarciaMIT (Oct 31, 2006 9:53:14 AM)
The deadline is 3 p.m. EST or 9 p.m. Greenwich time (for those outside the U.S.)

Bret Valerio (Oct 31, 2006 9:53:27 AM)
Rod: How much does the CFA charter add to how you judge one's academic abilities? and what can someone in finance do to differentiate themselves?

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Oct 31, 2006 9:53:34 AM)
Hi KLA- the 500 word limit it is not a hard cutoff, just use it as a guide and come close to the mark. Think of it like a meeting where the client has given you 1/2 hour. You don't want to run an hour.

Ashish T (Oct 31, 2006 9:54:13 AM)
Jon: Why isn't a details section not there in the Employment History section of the online App; does the admissions committee intend to gauge that from the resume only, or would sending supplementary docs detailing the activities by mail be of any help.

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Oct 31, 2006 9:54:42 AM)
Brett--we have a number of people here with CFAs and I think it is a positive but just one more data point.

lindsay (Oct 31, 2006 9:55:00 AM)
Jon: Are pictures or other extras allowed (along with the essays) or frowned upon?

MCuyegkeng (Oct 31, 2006 9:55:11 AM)
Alex: What sets apart MIT Sloan from other top business schools?

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Oct 31, 2006 9:56:19 AM)
Ashish--you are welcome to (and should) get details on the resume, and the supplementary section can certainly help flesh out things

Anzhansen (Oct 31, 2006 9:56:32 AM)
Jon: what are some of the main companies that recruit MIT grads?

Lakshmi Potluri (Oct 31, 2006 9:56:43 AM)
Hi Rod, how do you evaluate applicants who have a poor undergraduate and have excelled in the masters program.

AlexSlawsbyMIT (Oct 31, 2006 9:56:59 AM)
MCuyekeng: A number of things sets Sloan apart. I love how down-to-earth, yet talented, my classmates are...we hang out at places in Kendall Square (nearby) to play pool and foosball....There are a ton of opportunities to get involved and help direct and shape clubs and Sloan activities. I got involved in the Innovation Club last year and with some classmates, helped to grow the Club from 30 members to nearly 180 members. Sloan is also fantastic about getting students involved and giving them the opportunity to shape classes and clubs through the Sloan Innovation Period each semester and the MIT Independent Activities period....

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Oct 31, 2006 9:57:42 AM)
Lindsay- I think pictures are frowned upon unless they are so critical to your candidacy you can't imagine leaving them out. Not sure exactly what you have in mind but in general we want you to excel using our template

MCuyegkeng (Oct 31, 2006 9:57:57 AM)
Rod: Even though MIT is much more than just technology, what would you say are the qualities / programs in MIT Sloan that make it especially enriching for people with interests in technology and business?

MCuyegkeng (Oct 31, 2006 9:59:10 AM)
Thanks Alex. Is there any particular program / course specialty that you found truly excellent?

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Oct 31, 2006 9:59:41 AM)
MCUY-short answer to MCUs question: We have MIT sitting right next door and those opportunities are unbelievable. Iteams for instance is a course that looks at how to commercialize technology coming out of MIT labs

AlexSlawsbyMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:00:00 AM)
MCuyekeng: Great question - as an industry analyst with IDC, I was immersed in technology and business for several years and was able to broadly apply that experience to Sloan in our Strategies classes and in some MediaLab classes. The Innovation Club and MediaTech Clubs are great student organizations that revolve around innovation and technology as well....

RodGarciaMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:01:11 AM)
Anzhansen: there's too many companies that recruit MIT grads to list and I didn't want to leave out important companies. You can find the full listing at

Lakshmi Potluri (Oct 31, 2006 10:01:18 AM)
Hi Rod, How do you evaluate applicants with poor undergraduate GPA's but very good graduate GPA's

AlexSlawsbyMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:01:20 AM)
MCuyekeng: Wow...there's a lot that I found excellent...I loved the core Strategy class, perfect combination of case method and theory. I'm taking a class right now in Practicing Management...this is a new course...much more than just theory without application or real-world challenges...we're simulating real business challenges in class and thinking through how to prepare for them, act on them, and then learn from them....

MCuyegkeng (Oct 31, 2006 10:01:47 AM)
Jon: Are interviews absolutely mandatory in the application process? If so, is a personal interview required or phone interviews are done?

RodGarciaMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:02:39 AM)
MCuyegkeng: all admitted applicants are interviewed, so it's a requirement. If face-to-face interview is not possible, a phone interview will do.

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:02:42 AM)
Lakshmi--In regards to GPA, we look at everything, all the grades to come up with the complete picture. If the grades don't reflect your capabilities let us know the reason. Good grad grades can certainly help

gg (Oct 31, 2006 10:02:47 AM)
Hi Rod, I have a question - I have two options - to submit a not-so-furnished application in round 1, or review the application further and submit a fool-proof application in Round 2. I also would get the chance to visit MIT Sloan during these two months. What do you suggest? Would R2 be really bad?

Afreen (Oct 31, 2006 10:03:14 AM)
Hi Jon! I have question about the cover letter. Is it supposed be written like a business letter, where I explicitly state what I will bring to Sloan? Can I just discuss about my background, interests and passion...what I will bring to Sloan would be implicit in that letter.

RodGarciaMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:03:26 AM)
GG: better to submit your application in R2 than submitting a half-finished work in R1.

kla1980 (Oct 31, 2006 10:03:43 AM)
Rod: How much of my extra-curricular/ leadership experience should go on the "business resume"? I know the supplemental section asks for them, so should I totally omit them from the resume (and focus on jobs only) or include highlights of my activities on the resume (and put greater detail on the supplemental)?

AlexSlawsbyMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:04:00 AM)
What's amazing is that if you take the initiative, you can truly impact Sloan and MIT - so many opportunities to do be a student, to TA/teach, to do original research and make an impact on an area that you're passionate about...I'm doing a thesis in organizational structures and innovation to better understand how organizations can structure themselves to be more competitive and to capitalize more quickly on new ideas...

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:04:02 AM)
Afreen-I think you are on the right track in terms of your resume

lindsay (Oct 31, 2006 10:04:17 AM)
Jon: What types on things do you like to see (or don't want to see) in the supplemental essay?

RodGarciaMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:04:35 AM)
KLA1980: All of that extra should go in supplemental section instead of resume.

bipin (Oct 31, 2006 10:04:45 AM)
Hello Rod , how easy it is for an international student (I am Indian) to start a high technology company while at Sloan?

Anzhansen (Oct 31, 2006 10:05:12 AM)
Alex: What is the student to professor relationship like?

PaulBodine (Oct 31, 2006 10:05:33 AM)
Rod, can you disclose what Sloan's yield was last year? Business Week had it listed as "100%"! (wow)

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:05:54 AM)
lindsay--The supplemental essay is not necessarily an essay. it is our safety valve for anything that you don't feel was adequately represented in the application. Don't feel you have to use it

Afreen (Oct 31, 2006 10:05:56 AM)
Thanks Jon!

RodGarciaMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:05:57 AM)
Paul: once again, BW got it wrong!

kla1980 (Oct 31, 2006 10:06:10 AM)
Jon: What role does the AWA portion of the GMAT score play, if at all? Would a very strong score there compensate for a mid-range verbal score?

Guest (Oct 31, 2006 10:06:33 AM)
Rod: In the supplemental info, you ask for contacts for leadership experiences. Will you be contacting those people listed or is it just in case you see something fishy. I want to know if I need to warn my references that you'll be calling.

bipin (Oct 31, 2006 10:06:41 AM)
Rod : How strong is the collaboration between MIT graduate engineering students and those at Sloan? Are there any examples of startups which have been launched in recent years as a result of this collaboration"?

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:06:47 AM)
kla-- The AWA portion of the GMAT is one more piece of evidence...I will say we have our own essays to judge writing ability as well

AlexSlawsbyMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:07:03 AM)
Anzhansen: Much like my classmates, professors are really approachable and willing to chat. They know that they learn things from students much as students learn from them. So, opportunities to do research assistantships with huge names in their fields - I had a research assistantship in Behavioral Policy Studies around video casework and I'm TAing two classes right now, working closely with their professors. Again, just take the initiative to reach out and make the connection and frequently, it will pay-off with an opportunity to work closely with professors, many of whom wrote the textbooks that we and other MBA programs use .such as Stewart Myers (Finance), Eric von Hippel (Innovation), Jim Utterback (Innovation). It's just amazing to learn from these people and then get the opportunity to sit with them, talk to them one-on-one, and then work with them...just huge :)

diggs999 (Oct 31, 2006 10:07:15 AM)
Hi John, Though I do understand that MIT encourages people from all field of life to apply, still how do you view applicants who are already in early 30s and have spent 10-12 yrs in industry hardly connected with anything merchant navy?

RodGarciaMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:07:43 AM)
Bipin: We don't expect our graduates to start companies after they graduate. The advice that our Entrepreneurship Center gives is to learn from your mistakes on other people's money.

bipin (Oct 31, 2006 10:08:13 AM)
Rod , how does the adcom select people for E&I program? Specifically , what are the attributes they look for over and above an MBA admit?

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:08:19 AM)
diggs--we have actually had people from several different merchant navies, as well as boat captains. Certainly an interesting perspective, and shipping is a major industry...

Anzhansen (Oct 31, 2006 10:08:25 AM)
Jon: how do you look at volunteer church service?

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:09:48 AM)
anzhansen--we look closely at all volunteer work. We expect our students to be role models in their future careers and that kind of initiative is laudable

diggs999 (Oct 31, 2006 10:09:57 AM)
Jon: For LFM program, how do you view applicant who has worked in technology intensive area but has undergrad degree in social it necessary to have a degree in engineering to pursue LFM?

Linda Abraham (Oct 31, 2006 10:10:12 AM)
Alex: What aspect of the Sloan program do you like best? Least?

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:10:50 AM)
diggs--I think almost always it is necessary to have a degree in engineering. I'd contact LFM direct if you think you can convince :)

bipin (Oct 31, 2006 10:11:05 AM)
Jon : MIT must be the only B School which offers TA/RAships to MBA students? What is the motivation for doing this? How many students are eventually selected for these assignments? Is it very competitive?

RodGarciaMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:11:06 AM)
Bipin: Akamai, a publicly listed company, was started as a result of a collaboration between students from engineering and MIT Sloan. It got the top prize in $50K contest.

AlexSlawsbyMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:11:53 AM)
Linda: Tough tough question - I have to say that I love Sloan's willingness to let its students shape the MBA program and if they see opportunities, to go for them. Probably the toughest thing about the program is the intensity of the learning experience, particularly in the first semester. MBA students learn so much when they first arrive and it can be daunting. But, having successfully completed the first year (particularly as a social science/liberal arts guy), I am extremely well-positioned to be competitive going forward. So, at times, stressful and tough, but the results are already paying off...

Linda Abraham (Oct 31, 2006 10:12:47 AM)
Bipin also asked about the E&I program and the attributes sought specifically for that program.

RodGarciaMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:12:52 AM)
Bipin: regarding E&I, interest or a background in entrepreneurship is a plus. But the final decision will be based on the strength of the application as well as the applicant.

benbenr (Oct 31, 2006 10:13:06 AM)
Rod: hi somehow I have the impression that Sloan students are more from a technical background than liberal arts? - correct me if I'm wrong. what's the percentage of each? thx!

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:13:20 AM)
bipin--we have amazingly talented students and wanted to put them to work! It makes sense to make financial aid (which these TA/RA ships are) benefit the school as a whole. On any given year we have about 13-14% of students who TA/RA. Lots of the positions have good professional implications too. I'll let Alex talk a bit about TA finances

Bret Valerio (Oct 31, 2006 10:13:47 AM)
Rod or Jon: What has changed the most about Sloan since you've been there?

AlexSlawsbyMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:13:49 AM)
bipin: I'm actually TAing two classes now and will TA one in the spring. I'm TAing Organizational Processes and Communications now and then will TA Disruptive Technology in the spring. TA positions are EXTREMELY rewarding...right now, my two TA positions give me an 83% tuition reimbursement for this semester + a stipend...that's huge. So, naturally, a ton of people want to TA and by making connections with professors and laying the foundation early, you can make it happen.....

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:14:13 AM)
Bret--hmm, I have an answer, but Rod has been here forever :)

Linda Abraham (Oct 31, 2006 10:14:23 AM)
Alex, as a "liberal arts guy" how did you prepare for the quant demands?

RodGarciaMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:15:22 AM)
Benbenr: 34% of our students studied engineering; 31% studied humanities, arts and social sciences, 14% studied business.

AlexSlawsbyMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:16:25 AM)
Linda: As a liberal arts guy, I made sure to take advantage of all the resources that Sloan offers to help folks with limited quant experience...the TAs and professors are great...there are tutors as well and second-year students available to help counsel first-year students on skills and strategies. I'm running a program now to match second-year mentors with first-year students to help them take advantage of all that the program has to offer and to ensure that they get the most out of their first year (and, that the first year goes by smoothly)....

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:17:38 AM)
Linda--sure. I joined at the height of the bubble and it has been interesting to see how people adapt their job search strategies to different markets. On the school side we are seeing a great deal of interest in the social impact side of the MBA. People want to make a positive difference with their careers, and there seems to be a growing willingness to incorporate social impact into the mainstream of their careers

Gop (Oct 31, 2006 10:18:26 AM)
Jon: Do you have joint courses/programs with MIT engineering school? Some of us who have tech background would find such programs very interesting. An example is the Management of Technology offered by Haas, UCB.

Linda Abraham (Oct 31, 2006 10:18:38 AM)
Interesting answer, Jon.

AlexSlawsbyMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:19:02 AM)
Just can't say enough about my classmates - such cool people who became lifelong friends during the first semester - so down to earth and just psyched to be here...celebrating birthdays together...we actually hosted a movie night where we got a bunch of students together with food in a classroom and watched a movie on the big screen....

bipin (Oct 31, 2006 10:19:48 AM)
Alex , this is really huge. Congrats!

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:19:59 AM)
gop--we have a number of joint courses with different departments. Examples: New Product Design and Development is with engineering (and RISDI), Medical Innovations with engineering and MGH hospital.

AlexSlawsbyMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:21:05 AM)
Gop: The course I'm TAing in the spring, Disruptive Technology, is a joint class between Sloan and Engineering...check it out online...15.365 is the course number and it educates students how to identify innovative technologies and then capitalize on them, either as individual entrepreneurs or as entrepreneurs within larger organizations...

Bret Valerio (Oct 31, 2006 10:21:43 AM)
Rod: What are some of the typical things that people can do to get off the waitlist?

AlexSlawsbyMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:21:50 AM)
bipin: Yeah, I think you can see why TAships are in such demand....

RodGarciaMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:22:12 AM)
Bret: when on the waitlist, a lot of patience is helpful.

AlexSlawsbyMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:22:25 AM)
Bret: Great question and here's a great answer - I was on the waitlist (and I'm still bitter, Jon and Rod) ;-) Seriously, though, once I was on the waitlist, I did my best to keep in touch, demonstrate my commitment to Sloan, interest in Sloan, and just show the Admissions folks that this was the only place for me...

AK (Oct 31, 2006 10:22:48 AM)
Jon: I have a question for the essay # 2 on compromise. Will compromising to the decision of senior management be considered relevant for this essay?

Linda Abraham (Oct 31, 2006 10:23:29 AM)
Alex, and you probably did so without being a pest. There is a line that the waitlisted applicant has to watch between showing interest and being a pest.

AlexSlawsbyMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:24:05 AM)
Linda: Exactly right :-) I kept them up-to-date on new developments in my career and life etc..., but yes...worse thing to do is follow-up too much and become a burden - that will have the opposite impact that you intend....

MCuyegkeng (Oct 31, 2006 10:24:07 AM)
Rod: MIT appears to rank highly among B-schools as being strong in IT and Operations Management. Can you comment on why this is so and/or which are other particularly strong programs?

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:24:17 AM)
AK--is that really a compromise? Also the question focuses on teams, so the dynamics of a particular decision playing out on the team is one thing, but simply a change in focus from above might not be the most useful choice.

diggs999 (Oct 31, 2006 10:24:46 AM)
Thanks Jon.Will try my luck with LFM surely. Just another thing. Since May I sailed for only 7-8 months, how do I show the vacation time in the application form. There is no break in service, its the pro -rata leave I get for the time I worked on the ship.

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:25:26 AM)
diggs--we understand your vacation, you can always remind in supplemental

dahiya (Oct 31, 2006 10:25:56 AM)
Jon: Is the E&I program limited to Tech Entrepreneurs?

Linda Abraham (Oct 31, 2006 10:26:32 AM)
Rod: How is the Entrepreneurship and Innovation program being received? How is the first group handling it? I realize it’s very early for assessment, but any initial feedback from the first group of participants?

RodGarciaMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:27:01 AM)
MCuyegkeng: MIT Sloan is also strong in other areas such as finance, marketing research, strategy, system dynamics, etc. We're also strong in the two areas you mentioned because of links with MIT.

Anzhansen (Oct 31, 2006 10:27:06 AM)
Alex: when applying, what other schools did you all look at?

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:27:10 AM)
dahiya--you need to be tech savvy for E and I but not a techie

LisaU (Oct 31, 2006 10:27:55 AM)
Jon: Can one qualify for a TA position in the first year?

RodGarciaMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:28:48 AM)
Linda: E&I is going well. A number of admitted candidates applied last year and we had to turn down many qualified candidates. So far, the feedback from E&I students is positive.

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:28:57 AM)
LisaU--I think Alex was a TA in the first year. Stay tuned

Guest (Oct 31, 2006 10:29:02 AM)
Rod - Do you use last year's application to evaluate re-applicants? How should they address their failed attempt to be part of the '07 class?

dahiya (Oct 31, 2006 10:29:12 AM)
Rod: Almost all top b-schools state their strengths as leadership, diversity, curriculum etc. In your opinion what are MIT's strengths when compared to other top schools?

lindsay (Oct 31, 2006 10:29:35 AM)
Jon: If I wanted to take a microecon course this winter to prepare....are there only certain institutions that Sloan will recognize? Any suggestions?

AlexSlawsbyMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:29:38 AM)
Anzhansen: Being from New England, I really focused on top schools in the Boston/New England area and quickly found Sloan to be the perfect place for me (i.e. students, classes, student clubs, and MIT connection)

PaulBodine (Oct 31, 2006 10:29:40 AM)
Has Sloan noticed an increase in its MBAs using a self-directed approach to placement to land their first positions?

Bret Valerio (Oct 31, 2006 10:29:47 AM)
Alex, I know that team work is highly valued at Sloan, but are there any inherent conflicts when you have too many smart people in the room. I hear that Sloanies are relatively humble, but I'd like an inside perspective

AlexSlawsbyMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:30:39 AM)
LisaU: As a first-year student, you may be able to get a research assistantship that will help provide some tuition reimbursement/stipend support in the spring...the bulk of effort, however, is focused on landing TAships for the following year as a second-year TA for first-year students...

RodGarciaMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:30:45 AM)
Dahiya: what sets MIT Sloan apart from other schools is the combination of the following strengths: entrepreneurship, innovation and intellectual power.

bipin (Oct 31, 2006 10:31:06 AM)
Rod: If an applicant articulated interest but was denied in E&I , does it harm her/his admit to the MBA program?

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:31:08 AM)
lindsay--I think a course anywhere really can get you in the mindset and give you a leg up on vocabulary, etc. if you haven't taken. We don't really discriminate in the choice because it is so location/profession dependent (and because our course, no matter where you take, will notch it up a bunch of levels!). Kudos to you for doing that kind of preparation

Bret Valerio (Oct 31, 2006 10:31:28 AM)
Jon: What happened to the Financial Technology Option? It was very appealing to us finance types.

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:32:36 AM)
Bret--we are looking at offering a one year masters in finance for that group interested in FTO. First the new building and keeping E and I rolling and then we will see

Lakshmi Potluri (Oct 31, 2006 10:33:09 AM)
Jon: Rod/Jon, I am an applicant from India and for the extracurricular activities that I was involved with during my undergraduate, I do not have the contact information of the individuals for some activities. How crucial is it to provide the contact information.

Guest (Oct 31, 2006 10:33:26 AM)
thanks John., that answer my question.

RodGarciaMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:33:27 AM)
Bipin: the E&I selection process is similar to LFM in that your application is reviewed for the MBA program first and, after it's approved, it is referred to the E&I program. So, it's possible to receive admission to the MBA program but not E&I.

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:34:01 AM)
Lakshmi--provide what you can for the contacts for your extra-curricular activities. We understand time moves on and this is not a "gotcha" kind of thing.

Jennifer (Oct 31, 2006 10:34:05 AM)
Rod: I'm wondering about letters of recommendations for applicants from non-native-English speaking countries. If my recommender doesn't speak English - and yes, he is the best recommender since he's been my senior manager for nine years - can he write the letter in his native language and submit an official translation along with that? Or should he get it translated and submit it only in English?

Bret Valerio (Oct 31, 2006 10:34:26 AM)
Jon: Should we list college activities in the supplemental section? The instructions for the application say to use experience from the last 2 years, but does that include the supplemental?

AlexSlawsbyMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:35:00 AM)
Bret: A couple thoughts - just because you have a lot of smart people in the same room, doesn't mean that conflict will happen...and, like I said, I can't say enough about my classmates - so down-to-earth, supportive, and happy to be, at Sloan, the conversations and brainstorming sessions in class are just amazing with folks building upon each other, rather than coming into conflict....

RodGarciaMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:35:26 AM)
Bret: the two-year limitation applies only to examples in your essays.

Lakshmi Potluri (Oct 31, 2006 10:35:52 AM)
Rod, As a woman in technology, does Sloan take special effort to encourage women in business. Are there any apprehensions about older women applicants?

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:37:00 AM)
Jennifer--well don't worry it is not a writing contest and most recommendations are surprisingly useful even if the recommender isn't completely comfortable. If you are concerned you could find a translator and offer to pay them (you still wouldn't have to see the recommendation)

dahiya (Oct 31, 2006 10:37:14 AM)
Jon: I agree that you need to be tech savvy but as Linda pointed out that past performance dictates the future. So should I infer that for an applicant to be considered for E&I program, he/she must have worked in core technology and his/her goals should lead to some technology innovation etc.

RodGarciaMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:37:28 AM)
Lakshmi: Alex can give you examples but quick answers. Yes, Sloan encourages women in business; no, there are no apprehensions about older women applicants.

AlexSlawsbyMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:37:46 AM)
Lakshmi: Just to offer my thoughts - Sloan Women in Management (SWIM) is a very successful and very large student club here at Sloan. They bring in speakers (successful female executives and entrepreneurs), have a lot of events, and work together to expand the number of opportunities available to women in management....

Guest (Oct 31, 2006 10:37:56 AM)
Hi Rod, I heard MIT Sloan begins to prefer business background candidates. Is it true?

krusty (Oct 31, 2006 10:38:04 AM)
Rod, I've just submitted my application and my hands are still trembling. I got a GMAT score of 660 but on the other hand I was top student at the university. Could one thing compensate the other?

Bret Valerio (Oct 31, 2006 10:38:12 AM)
Alex, that's what I figured. If you're truly smart, you're smart enough to know you don't know everything and listen to what other people have to say.

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:38:12 AM)
Bret--I'd echo Alex's thought. When you know what you are good at and what drives you there is little need to be competitive...everyone does well in different ways

AlexSlawsbyMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:38:34 AM)
Bret: You're absolutely right...that's the way things work here...

Lakshmi Potluri (Oct 31, 2006 10:39:16 AM)
Thanks for the clarifications

RodGarciaMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:40:30 AM)
Krusty: all things being equal, it's better to have strong academics than strong GMAT.

Guest (Oct 31, 2006 10:40:43 AM)
Rod: are interviews absolutely mandatory, and if so, must they be in person or are phone interviews acceptable? Can you comment on the mechanics of the interview?

Gop (Oct 31, 2006 10:40:58 AM)
Rod, how do you position MIT vis--vis the competition from Californian schools specializing in technology and entrepreneurship? Especially since they have a location advantage in terms of placement.

LisaU (Oct 31, 2006 10:41:01 AM)
Thanks Alex and Jon.

Ashish T (Oct 31, 2006 10:41:11 AM)
Alex: Is there anything about Sloan that you, as a student, would like to be changed ?

LisaU (Oct 31, 2006 10:41:33 AM)
Jon: Although I am an American citizen (born here), I graduated from the University of the West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago. For the application process, would I be considered an international or domestic applicant?

Jennifer (Oct 31, 2006 10:41:43 AM)
Thanks, Jon. I'm sure he will be more comfortable submitting a translated version!

everydaynew (Oct 31, 2006 10:42:16 AM)
Thanks Jon.

AlexSlawsbyMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:42:17 AM)
Gop: There's a really rich VC, tech, and startup environment here...MIT is arguably the best place in the world to start companies...

RodGarciaMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:42:28 AM)
LisaU: you will be considered as a US student.

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:42:35 AM)
GOP Actually the answer to the question is quite similar to the answers regarding Sloan students and conflict. The actual story of different b-schools is less about competition than about a number of talented people creating value. The coasts are much closer than they are far apart. And actually I think our SV MIT club is one of the largest we have :)

MBAStar (Oct 31, 2006 10:43:20 AM)
Jon: Does Sloan have any efforts underway to increase the minority population? Right now its only 3% of the students.

AlexSlawsbyMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:43:38 AM)
Ashish T: I think the new building will be great :-) Amazing learning and networking opportunities here - that's the emphasis - and soon, the facilities will be upgraded to match that high level. So yeah, I've had a great experience so far and I'm looking forward to the rest of my time here - not much to change - just think the new building will be a great edition....

LisaU (Oct 31, 2006 10:44:20 AM)
Thanks Rod

Linda Abraham (Oct 31, 2006 10:44:25 AM)
Thank you again all for participating this evening. Special thanks to Rod, Jon, and Alex for joining us today.

AlexSlawsbyMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:44:42 AM)
Thanks everyone! Good luck with your applications....

RodGarciaMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:44:44 AM)
MBAStar: let me say that we are making every effort to increase diversity at MIT Sloan. Diversity is loosely defined here as ethnicity, language, sexual orientation, non traditional careers/background, etc., etc.

Linda Abraham (Oct 31, 2006 10:44:45 AM)
Columbia Nov. 1 CMU Nov. 9 Michigan Nov 13

JonMcLaughlinMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:44:52 AM)
Our pleasure Linda, all the best everyone

RodGarciaMIT (Oct 31, 2006 10:44:57 AM)
Thanks, everyone!

Linda Abraham (Oct 31, 2006 10:44:58 AM)
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