2008 MIT Sloan MBA Admissions Chat with Jennifer Burke Barba


2008 MIT Sloan MBA Admissions Chat with Jennifer Burke Barba

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

Linda Abraham (Oct 22, 2007 12:58:28 PM)
Hello. My name is Linda Abraham. I am the founder of Accepted.com 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 should 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 22, 2007 12:58:44 PM)
I also want to welcome our special guests: Jennifer Burke Barba, Assistant Director of MBA Admissions; Jeremy Gilbert (Class of ‘08); and Jacklyn Sing (Class of ‘09).  Jeremy and Jacklyn, I am going to provided some chat logistics information. As I am doing so, can you provide a brief bio telling us where you are from, what you did before coming to MIT, what you are involved in at MIT, and what you want to do after earning your MBA?

Linda Abraham (Oct 22, 2007 12:59:01 PM)
Thanks to everyone for joining.

Linda Abraham (Oct 22, 2007 1:00:02 PM)
Jen, what's new at MIT Sloan?

JeremyGilbertMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:00:38 PM)
Hi Linda.  I grew up in the Boston area, did my undergraduate degree in computer science. I worked at a large tech company for two years, than started my own local consulting company and did a few startups along the way. Now I am back for the MBA. My main involvement right now is in the E&I program, and as a co-president of the MIT Sloan Student Senate. My goals after school are to develop more management and leadership abilities and ultimately start another company.

Linda Abraham (Oct 22, 2007 1:01:24 PM)
Jeremy, having advised other companies and already "done a few startups," do you feel you are still benefiting from the MBA?

JenniferBurkeBarbaMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:01:35 PM)
There's plenty of new and exciting things happening at MIT Sloan this year. We've begun construction on a new building at MIT Sloan, and our new dean started just last week. We have an amazing 1st year class that is succeeding in the Core and our Second years are already making plans for after graduation.

khaccuong (Oct 22, 2007 1:01:49 PM)
Jennifer, is there a fixed number of spaces reserved for applicants from different countries or regions?

JeremyGilbertMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:02:31 PM)
Absolutely Linda. For me, I always felt like I was running a little bit on gut instinct, and also not really having the right language or perspective to advise my clients or co-founders on non-technical matters. The MBA has absolutely been the best move I've made in terms of personal development for my longer term goals.

JenniferBurkeBarbaMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:02:38 PM)
Khaccuong, we do not have any quotas for specific profiles of applicants. We are fortunate to get a strong diverse pool of applicants each year, and we take the strongest people who apply, no matter where they come from.

JacklynSingMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:02:41 PM)
Hi everyone. My name is Jacklyn Sing. I'm a first year Sloan MBA student and came directly from the Philippines. I did management consulting for 3 years. I want to pursue finance and a career in Investment Management. I'm the VP for Admissions of Sloan Women in Management (SWIM) and VP for Corporate Finance in the Sloan Finance Club.

lsj (Oct 22, 2007 1:02:44 PM)
Could Jeremy speak about his experiences in the E&I program?

lsj (Oct 22, 2007 1:03:52 PM)
Jen: What percentage of applicants are interviewed?

Linda Abraham (Oct 22, 2007 1:04:35 PM)
What does the VP for Admissions of Sloan Women in Management do?

JeremyGilbertMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:04:36 PM)
E&I has really been a star highlight of my time here. For me, the opportunity to work with a close-knit cohort of like-minded people who are all passionate about entrepreneurship, new venture development, etc has been paramount. Our cohort energy is great -- we are a very supportive bunch and I've learned a lot in going through the program about the nuts and bolts of pulling a company together. Definitely a great choice if you are passionate and committed about entrepreneurship.

Linda Abraham (Oct 22, 2007 1:04:53 PM)
And for that matter what does the Sloan Finance Club do?

JenniferBurkeBarbaMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:04:54 PM)
lsj - We typically interview about 30% of those who apply, and then admit about half of those we interview. Interviews are by invitation only, and applicants are invited to interview after an initial review of their written application.

khaccuong (Oct 22, 2007 1:05:15 PM)
Jennifer, is Sloan a good place for those who had background in Investment banking and want to pursuit a investment management career after MBA?

Rachel (Oct 22, 2007 1:05:44 PM)
Jeremy: What is the Student Senate?

saas (Oct 22, 2007 1:06:41 PM)
Jen, my question on Essay#5: E&I Program is whether the TALENT has to be related to Technology or can be something such as a hobby, painting, music, arts...

JenniferBurkeBarbaMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:07:24 PM)
Khaccuong - OF COURSE!!!! Many of our students go into investment management. We have an incredibly strong Finance department and many electives that can help both those with prior experience, and those without. In addition there are many student run organizations that students can participate in (like the Sloan Finance Club which Jacklyn is involved with), that give students the opportunity to network and learn more about opportunities in inv. mgt.

JenniferBurkeBarbaMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:08:22 PM)
Saas - your essay can be related to anything. It does not have to be in reference to technology.

JeremyGilbertMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:08:23 PM)
The Student Senate is an elected group of representatives from the MBA student body (about 24 per MBA class year) that works as a stakeholder with the administration of the school to improve the program and the school. We work on a variety of projects to help the school continuously improve, and a few great fun projects every year. We also organize a lot of the student community involvement. Its great because you get to have positive impact on something you really care about, and furthermore, its a top-notch learning laboratory in consensus building, personal leadership and influence.

Howard (Oct 22, 2007 1:08:36 PM)
Jen: How selective is the E&I program?

khaccuong (Oct 22, 2007 1:08:52 PM)
Jeremy & Jacklyn, What class or professor is simply not to be missed at MIT in terms of finance?

JenniferBurkeBarbaMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:09:57 PM)
Howard, E&I is a relatively new program at MIT Sloan. We do not yet have statistics on the acceptance rates, because this is the first year it's officially been offered.  The goal is to admit about 50 students to E&I for next fall.

DavideRossi (Oct 22, 2007 1:10:12 PM)
Hi Jen, can you shed some light on the acceptance rates for rounds 1 and 2?

JacklynSingMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:10:24 PM)
First semester at Sloan is all Core subjects (Statistics & Probability, Organizational Processes, Communication, Microeconomics, Accounting, Finance) but since I wanted to do Finance post MBA, I chose Finance over marketing as my elective.

JeremyGilbertMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:10:55 PM)
Khaccuong, I've only taken a few finance courses so far, but Nittai Bergman's Finance II class has been amazing. He is a very dynamic professor, uses the case method effectively and has really brought to life a lot of the nuances of valuation, pro-forma projections, etc. Stewart Myers is also a rock star here.

JacklynSingMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:11:51 PM)
Khaccuong: I'm amazed at the quality of teachers here in Sloan -- the author of my book in Finance (Myers) is teaching Finance classes! However, my finance teacher is Jiang Wang -- superb for people who have little background in Finance. I also love Kate Kellogg in my Organizational Processes class.

JenniferBurkeBarbaMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:12:27 PM)
Davide, we admit half of the class in each round. Our incoming MBA Class is about 325 students and we do give away half the slots in each round. That said, typically we get fewer applicants in round 1, than in round 2, making the round 1 acceptance rate higher than r2. BUT, it's important to remember that a strong applicant will succeed in either round. Historically the acceptance rate for R1 is about 20% and the acceptance rate for R2 is about 14%.

Linda Abraham (Oct 22, 2007 1:12:34 PM)
Jeremy and Jacklyn: Why did you choose Sloan? Did it meet your expectations?

lsj (Oct 22, 2007 1:13:07 PM)
Jen: Approx. how many students seek less traditional job searches (outside of finance and consulting)?

JeremyGilbertMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:13:13 PM)
Yeah, Kate Kellogg was terrific. Her class had a really deep impact on me. Also, Strategic Management, System Dynamics, Industrial Econ, and Tech Strategy are all taught by amazing professors who are not to be missed.

JenniferBurkeBarbaMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:15:38 PM)
LSJ - typically we have about 60% of graduates who go into roles in Consulting or Finance, but that means that 40% don't. Many students find jobs in marketing, non-profits, technology, project mgt, operations, general mgt, etc...

Linda Abraham (Oct 22, 2007 1:15:41 PM)
Two related questions for Jen-

KS (Oct 22, 2007 1:15:49 PM)
Jennifer, wanted to know about the interview locations. In the application where we are required to select the interview location - if no city in my country is listed... would that mean that I will be required to travel to another country for the interview?

JeremyGilbertMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:15:55 PM)
Linda, I chose MIT Sloan because I felt it was the perfect place for an entrepreneur. There is a very collaborative and energetic spirit that really permeates the school. Having grown up in the area, there are many local stories of MIT grads who go on to really change the world with great companies and ideas, and that part of the school really attracted me. MIT as a whole is an incredible environment. Also, some of the very best courses taught in innovation and technology strategy (my key areas) are taught here, as evidenced by a lot of cross-registrations from other schools for those classes.

nicky484 (Oct 22, 2007 1:16:47 PM)
Jeremy: How does Sloan adapt to the fast-changing business world? In term of courses offered to cope with the major issues in the business world such as global warming?

JenniferBurkeBarbaMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:17:32 PM)
KS first - please select 3 locations you would be willing to travel to for an interview. We conduct in person interviews in hub locations. All interviews are conducted by MBA Admissions officers, and only 7 people interview everyone. We try our best to come to you, but if your home is not listed on the application, we would ask you to travel somewhere to meet us.

JacklynSingMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:17:36 PM)
Linda, I had a couple of criteria in my choice of a Business School: (1) quality and focus of the program, (2) class size and team culture, (3) network and culture. For the first point, I want to have my own business a couple of years down the line and I want the flexibility to choose subjects of interests which I can do in Sloan with its focus on Entrepreneurship and Innovation. I also want a balance in teaching style -- case, team projects, lectures. Secondly, the small class size fosters intimate learning experience. I love the fact that Sloan is very collaborative and team oriented -- people here are so supportive from day 1. Lastly, Sloan has a strong network heightened by the fact that it is under the MIT umbrella. I also love the academic and curiosity for learning that is espoused by the whole MIT culture -- "Mind and Hands." Finally, the location of MIT Sloan is very idyllic -- it's going to be two years spent in a mid-sized, lovely New England city.

JenniferBurkeBarbaMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:17:54 PM)
Khaccuong - we try not to conduct phone interviews.

Hopeful (Oct 22, 2007 1:17:57 PM)
Jen: While applying for the MBA program, if I apply for the E&I program as well but do not receive a seat in that program, how does that impact admissions into the MBA program?

mrperson (Oct 22, 2007 1:18:50 PM)
Jeremy & Jacklyn: What type of things does Sloan provide to refine and improve its student's leadership skills?

JenniferBurkeBarbaMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:18:59 PM)
Hopeful - E&I applicants will be considered first for just the MBA. It is possible to apply for E&I, but just be admitted for the MBA, without E&I.

DavideRossi (Oct 22, 2007 1:19:10 PM)
Jen: Is there a word limit on the recommendations?

JenniferBurkeBarbaMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:19:24 PM)
Davide: There is not a word limit on recs.

khaccuong (Oct 22, 2007 1:19:31 PM)
Jennifer, when you evaluate an application, what are the three most important qualities you want to see before you will vote to admit an applicant?

JenniferBurkeBarbaMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:19:47 PM)
Gmat, gmat, gmat....

JenniferBurkeBarbaMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:19:51 PM)
just kidding :-)

JeremyGilbertMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:20:04 PM)
Nicky484, great question. Have a look at the sustainability curriculum here. This exact issue is confronted by a number of classes and extracurricular programs. First, Sustainability-Lab is taught by an all star cast of faculty and confronts the "systems thinking" needed to make long term decisions for a business or a society. Also, there are quite a number of energy and the environment classes that look at these issues. Finally, the interest level here in terms of the student body is strong -- our Net Impact chapter is quite prominent on campus. The 100K business plan competition, which is really one of the most famous business plan competitions in the world, awards a significant prize to the top business plans in both developmental and entrepreneurship tracks.

Linda Abraham (Oct 22, 2007 1:20:08 PM)
That got a double take.

JenniferBurkeBarbaMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:21:08 PM)
There are many things we look for in an applicant, and each applicant is different so there are different things that can help different applicants.  Overall we are looking for students with the ability to work well on a team, display leadership potential, and are academically strong enough to survive our core curriculum.

nicky484 (Oct 22, 2007 1:21:11 PM)
Jeremy: Why is "First year challenge" put on hold?

Howard (Oct 22, 2007 1:21:30 PM)
Jen: When do first round applicants have interview usually?

JacklynSingMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:21:48 PM)
Mrperson: There are a lot of leadership opportunities available to students -- you can participate in clubs as officers, or help organize treks and events, or lead in your team. Of course, there are a lot of avenues beyond the academic -- you can have side-projects or team up with another non-government organization. It's up to the student how he/she wants to use the opportunities to lead.

JenniferBurkeBarbaMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:22:18 PM)
Howard: we'll begin inviting R1 applicants for interviews in December, but interviews will take place throughout Dec and Jan. so you could hear as early as Dec 1, or not until mid- Jan.

Linda Abraham (Oct 22, 2007 1:22:30 PM)
Jacklyn, are you planning to participate in any of the international study opportunities at Sloan?

Linda Abraham (Oct 22, 2007 1:22:44 PM)
Jeremy, have you taken advantage of any of the international study opportunities?

khaccuong (Oct 22, 2007 1:22:57 PM)
Jennifer, how is recruiting going this year?

JeremyGilbertMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:23:25 PM)
Mrperson, I think the MBA addresses this in several ways. First of all, it attracts people who are students of life, who are focused on personal and professional development. Secondly, there is a large body of academic and practical learning the school provides in the curriculum -- classes like Organization Processes, Designing and Leading the Entrepreneurial Organization, CEO @ the Crossroads, Prepare-act-Reflect that really confront the decision making process and generate projects that help students test their leadership skills. Not to mention lots of role plays in class, etc. Finally, many students get involved in the student life here, which offers a simply amazing range of leadership challenges. I know a lot of my practical leadership learning over the last few months personally has come from this last piece.

JacklynSingMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:23:26 PM)
Linda: There's what we call "Global Entrepreneurship Lab" which is available during the second year. It's a real-life project that you can take for a semester. I'm certainly interested in that.

Linda Abraham (Oct 22, 2007 1:23:31 PM)
Do you mean job recruiting for second year students? Or recruiting for applicants?

khaccuong (Oct 22, 2007 1:24:09 PM)
Sorry, recruiting for applicants?

JenniferBurkeBarbaMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:24:18 PM)
Khaccuong, recruiting has been great. I've been all over the US and Asia in the past few weeks, and met many interesting people.

Linda Abraham (Oct 22, 2007 1:24:34 PM)
Is attendance at these events up or down over last year?

JenniferBurkeBarbaMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:24:40 PM)
Up.

DavideRossi (Oct 22, 2007 1:24:47 PM)
What is the percentage of career changers among applicants? How many are sponsored by their company?

JenniferBurkeBarbaMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:25:19 PM)
Davide, we estimate that about 85% of our students become some type of career changer before leaving the program.  We do not ask if an applicant is sponsored by their company, so it is difficult for us to know that number.

Linda Abraham (Oct 22, 2007 1:25:24 PM)
What aspect of the Sloan program do you like best? Least?

mrperson (Oct 22, 2007 1:25:38 PM)
What type of things do you look for in re-applicants?

JeremyGilbertMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:25:56 PM)
Linda, Yes, I did the study trip to India and it has truly changed my whole perspective on the challenges faced by developing nations. I can't emphasize enough how educational that trip was, having the ability to talk to the leaders of India's government and top business institutions and hear their challenges in growing the Indian economy and approaching social issues. If you come to MIT Sloan, definitely take every travel opportunity possible. I am about to do a class project in Costa Rica for a Media Lab class, which will be great. Finally, most 2nd year students take G-Lab, where you do a global consulting project over the course of a semester, culminating in a three week visit to your host company.

Linda Abraham (Oct 22, 2007 1:27:48 PM)
Jen: MIT’s R1 deadline is around the corner (Oct. 30). Any advice for Sloan applicants planning to apply for your R1 deadline?

JenniferBurkeBarbaMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:27:53 PM)
Mrperson - Re-applicants are very successful in our process. We ask that re-applicants apply in R1, so we can review your candidacy first, giving you the greatest opportunity to join our class. The most important thing for re-applicants to recognize is that we will have your old application alongside your new, so do not repeat information. We look to see what is new since the time you last applied, and for different types of experiences that you've had both in the past and since last applying.

Linda Abraham (Oct 22, 2007 1:27:54 PM)
Jeremy and Jacklyn: What aspect of the Sloan program do you like best? Least?

JenniferBurkeBarbaMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:29:27 PM)
Yes Linda, R1 is coming up next week. My advice is to read over your applications and check in again to make sure your recommenders remember the deadline is coming up. Then, submit your application the day before the deadline. Our online system always slows down a bit on application deadline day, so avoid stress by submitting a few hours early.

JenniferBurkeBarbaMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:30:42 PM)
Vin: Interview invites start going out about 4 weeks after each deadline, then continue until the decision notification date.

JeremyGilbertMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:30:47 PM)
I'm most enthusiastic about my classmates, the great opportunities to learn about myself and the options to take a few classes at, say, the MIT Media Lab. As I mentioned before, the E&I program is also a personal highlight. In terms of areas to improve, I don't have a lot of strong critiques -- I'm really loving my time here. There have been a lot of extracurricular activities -- such as Sales training, a workshop on how to be a recruiter, how to develop the ability to be a visionary leader, that I would love to see them fold into the core classes. There are a lot of really distinctive aspects of the student experience that I think MIT Sloan should incorporate in the formal curriculum over the next 5-10 years.

JacklynSingMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:30:51 PM)
I've only been in Sloan roughly two months so I will try to comment based on my limited experience. The best part is the team culture and the vast opportunities/resources available (clubs, libraries, students). Probably what I find challenging is the workload -- Core during the first semester in the first year -- is one of the hardest part of the program. I find that I'm a little overwhelmed with the academic, social, and career-related demands.

khaccuong (Oct 22, 2007 1:30:51 PM)
Jennifer, how many native Vietnamese students did Sloan accept in the last 5 years (approximately number)? There are many Sloan potential applicants here in Vietnam, does Sloan plan to have an information session in Vietnam next year?

ad (Oct 22, 2007 1:31:04 PM)
Jeremy: I had a question about the Entrepreneurship & Innovation concentration at MIT - is it more tech and emerging technologies based...or is it also open for people who want to start up companies in more traditional industries?

JenniferBurkeBarbaMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:31:04 PM)
Vin, we usually interview about 30% of those who apply, then admit about half of those we interview.

JeremyGilbertMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:31:33 PM)
I agree with Jacklyn's statements on the core. Its tough, no question. But it makes for an incredible bonding experience. (Spoken like a true second year, huh? :))

JacklynSingMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:32:10 PM)
Haha. Yup. The all nighters with my friends practicing on midterms is one thing I will never forget. :)

Linda Abraham (Oct 22, 2007 1:32:19 PM)
Jacklyn, is the stress because the concepts or hard or that quantitatively there is just so much to do?

DavideRossi (Oct 22, 2007 1:33:01 PM)
Jeremy and Jacklyn: When is the right moment to quit my job if I am admitted? Is July ok?

JenniferBurkeBarbaMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:33:08 PM)
Khaccuong, unfortunately I do not know the number of Vietnamese students admitted over the past few years. I know that we only have 1 in the 1st year class. But I would guess that on average there are 3-5 admitted each year. I do not know of any plans to travel to Vietnam next year.

JacklynSingMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:33:22 PM)
I think it's because there's so much things that you want to pursue. They always liken the MBA experience as drinking from a fire hose. You have to filter what you want to do or risk spreading yourself too thin.

Linda Abraham (Oct 22, 2007 1:33:34 PM)
So the metaphor holds?

JeremyGilbertMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:33:38 PM)
Ad: E&I takes you on a tour of new venture development (concept, commercialization, founding agreements, business plan, funding, pro-forma, early team development, innovation processes, product launch, etc.). It is somewhat focused on tech entrepreneurship, but not exclusively and there are many different sub-interests within E&I. I think the skillset it focuses on is a general one, although you will find most of the class discussions and case examples based on new venture development.

JacklynSingMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:33:44 PM)
Yup, it does. :)

JenniferBurkeBarbaMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:34:23 PM)
Vin, MIT Sloan students are successful in finding both internships and full-time employment in Europe, especially in London. We are equally successful placing students in the Northeast and Northwest of US.

Linda Abraham (Oct 22, 2007 1:34:28 PM)
Jen: How is job recruiting going this year? How are international students doing in the job market?

nicky484 (Oct 22, 2007 1:34:45 PM)
Jacklyn, what question should you ask back during interview session?

JeremyGilbertMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:34:54 PM)
DavideRossi, not sure how to advise you. Its a pretty wild ride once you start, so having some downtime is really essential before you start the program. Not sure how much you might need, but July seems fair. Some people took the whole summer off-- others just the last week.

JenniferBurkeBarbaMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:35:23 PM)
Linda, I don't have any data on recruiting stats for this year yet. Our career office plans to release some data in early November.

ad (Oct 22, 2007 1:35:31 PM)
Thanks Jeremy.

JacklynSingMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:35:35 PM)
David: I don't know much about your career situation but let me share from my own experience. I quit my job January this year, even before I found out about the MIT Sloan Admission decision. The reason being I wanted to take up a 5-month Chinese Language program in Beijing. In addition, I want to be fresh and prepared for the curriculum so it was a welcome break before MBA starts.

Linda Abraham (Oct 22, 2007 1:35:45 PM)
Jeremy and Jacklyn: Any tips for people leaving the working world and returning to school?

JeremyGilbertMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:36:15 PM)
Yeah, just to build on Jacklyn's point, the filtering process is essential. You should see our program calendar -- most lunch and dinner times are triple or quadruple booked with speakers, company presentations, recitations, etc. You have to filter it down otherwise you are swamped.

Linda Abraham (Oct 22, 2007 1:36:31 PM)
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?

Howard (Oct 22, 2007 1:37:00 PM)
Jeremy & Jacklyn: What kind of opportunities collaborating with students in other departments do we have at Sloan?

JacklynSingMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:37:25 PM)
Nicky: I remembered being asked what I did in my job and the questions just took off from there like explaining really what I learned and what responsibilities I had. Interview questions are different for each individual.

JeremyGilbertMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:38:11 PM)
Linda, it was definitely a difficult adjustment for me. I had been out of the classroom for 8+ years. You have to acclimate to being a student again, to maintaining a class schedule. Help your spouse, significant other, etc, understand that you are about to enter a very time-dominating program, make sure you have at least one non-Sloan activity or hobby that you keep up so that you can maintain some perspective. Also, really take the time to know yourself better and get feedback... you are in a learning environment again and there are a lot of obvious and non-obvious ways to take advantage of that.

JenniferBurkeBarbaMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:38:23 PM)
Linda, the numbers are only a piece of the overall review process. The quality of an applicant's experiences, both professional and extra-curricular is equally important. We review applications using a competency based model, and we look for many different attributes while reviewing an application.

Linda Abraham (Oct 22, 2007 1:38:31 PM)
Nicky, I just wrote a blog post on this in September. Check out blog.accepted.com. I'll post the link if I have a minute.

ad (Oct 22, 2007 1:39:05 PM)
I had a question for Jen.. There may be a misconception among people that MIT is not very excited about Indian applicants who don't have any international exposure. Is this true?  Somewhere I read that there is only 1 Indian from India in your class of 2009. That's a lot lower than the numbers at other top American schools. Is there a common mistake that most Indians make that you dislike? Can you throw some light on this? Thanks.

lsj (Oct 22, 2007 1:39:09 PM)
Can any of you speak of the experience for spouses of Sloan students?

nicky484 (Oct 22, 2007 1:39:14 PM)
Thank you Jacklyn. That will be wonderful. Thank you Linda.

khaccuong (Oct 22, 2007 1:40:31 PM)
Jeremy & Jacklyn, what aspect of the Sloan program do you like least?

JacklynSingMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:40:31 PM)
Great question! I just flew 4000 miles to come to Sloan. My tip is try to figure out what you want to get out of the program and make sure it suits your short and long-term goals. Once you find the right school, go for it! I had a friend who debated whether he wanted to take up his MBA given that he had a great job; I guess it all boils down to thinking about the long-term versus the short-term. MBA certainly offers more than better job prospects -- I see it as a means for growing personally and professionally and building a great network of friends all over the world!

JeremyGilbertMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:41:22 PM)
Howard, there are many cross-listed courses offered jointly between Sloan and the school of engineering, the MIT Media Lab, etc. Also, many of the MIT Sloan classes are well attended by people outside of the MBA program -- like New Enterprises which attracts undergraduates, engineers, law students from other schools, etc. I'm really fired up about my Digitial Innovations class which is offered with the Media Lab. Here we are applying some cutting edge media research in reality mining and mobile technology to help people in Costa Rica. This class is about 40% MBA, 30% PhD, and 30% students from other schools (such as the Harvard School of Design.) Finally, you can cross-register at HBS and HLS, and they cross register here, so there is a lot of mixture.

JenniferBurkeBarbaMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:41:37 PM)
Ad, I just checked our database, and we currently have 11 Indian students (from India) in the 1st year class. I don't have the numbers for 2nd years, but would expect the numbers to be similar.

Linda Abraham (Oct 22, 2007 1:41:49 PM)
Jen: MIT Sloan introduced its Entrepreneurship and Innovation program a little over a year ago. Have you modified it or tweaked it at all in response to either student, faculty, or recruiter feedback? In what ways?

JacklynSingMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:43:05 PM)
Khaccuong: Since I've only been in Sloan for 2 months, I'll comment based on my limited experience. What I probably find challenging is the Core academic curriculum -- I heard it's one of the hardest in the MBA program.

JeremyGilbertMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:43:30 PM)
Lsj, I am married, and my wife is an attorney downtown in Boston. She has really been pulled in as a member of the community and comes to a lot of social events. In fact, she has gone on a number of trips and other activities with other Sloan students on her own. There is a great association for significant others, and I think she feels at home in the community. She wrote a lot about this in our viewbook, which you can find from the admissions process if you want to hear more about it in her own words.

Linda Abraham (Oct 22, 2007 1:44:46 PM)
Jacklyn and Jeremy, where do most students live and is housing a problem?

JenniferBurkeBarbaMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:45:12 PM)
Linda- yes, E&I continues to change. E&I is a certificate program in which students are able to graduate with a certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation along with an MBA. I like to explain E&I as a path through the MBA program designed for those students who want to eat, drink and sleep E&I. In order to graduate with this certificate, students need to take 8 of their electives within these areas. This is a new program to MIT Sloan, and since we don't have any graduates with E&I it is too early for us to gather feedback. We just don't have enough data go to on yet.

lsj (Oct 22, 2007 1:45:57 PM)
Jeremy -- my husband is an attorney so that's good to know. Thank you.

khaccuong (Oct 22, 2007 1:46:08 PM)
Jen: Does Sloan give feedback to refused candidates when they request?

JeremyGilbertMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:46:11 PM)
Linda, the toughest parts of my experience were getting back in the school environment. I also found the Core to be a challenge. I really pushed myself hard to try new things, and in some cases that met with success, and in other cases it didn't. I took on a lot of personal risks in trying new events / activities, projects, and it was tough when those didn't pan out.

JeremyGilbertMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:46:52 PM)
Lsj -- My tip for your husband either here or at any other school is to jump into the community right away and make the extra effort to get involved. Also, the closer you can live to campus, the easier.

JenniferBurkeBarbaMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:47:00 PM)
Khaccuong : We are not able to give feedback to applicants who are not successful.

JacklynSingMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:47:19 PM)
Linda, I live in a graduate residence. Almost all the Class 2009 I know found that whomever applied for a graduate housing got one. There's also a special housing for married couples. There are a lot of living options available aside from graduate residence -- I know some people who live in apartments or in the Back bay area. I also know a group of students from Thailand who rent a whole house and live there.

JeremyGilbertMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:47:55 PM)
Most students live either in Central Square or Beacon Hill.

khaccuong (Oct 22, 2007 1:48:23 PM)
Jennifer, Is Sloan a friendly school with re-applicants?

mrperson (Oct 22, 2007 1:48:27 PM)
One more question for re-applicants. I have heard it may be a good idea to write a quick description of how we have improved since last year in the supplementary information section (question #5). Would this be helpful information to add in this part of the application?

JenniferBurkeBarbaMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:48:40 PM)
Yes... re-applicants are very successful in our process.

JenniferBurkeBarbaMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:49:12 PM)
Mrperson, yes, I agree that this is a great thing to include in the application. You could address this in the cover letter.

hello (Oct 22, 2007 1:49:24 PM)
Jen: Is it true that engineers from India are considered naturally good at GMAT and have advantage over other applicants around the world; hence, MIT generally deducts 20-30 out of score achieved by an Indian engineer while evaluating his application?

Linda Abraham (Oct 22, 2007 1:49:47 PM)
Jeremy, what so far is the biggest take-away from your MIT Sloan experience?

JenniferBurkeBarbaMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:50:26 PM)
Hello - no, that is not true. That is wrong information.

Hopeful (Oct 22, 2007 1:51:40 PM)
Jen: Are there students in the MBA program at MIT who are interested in entrepreneurship, but not in the E&I certificate program?

Linda Abraham (Oct 22, 2007 1:52:12 PM)
Jacklyn, have you started your internship search?

JenniferBurkeBarbaMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:52:37 PM)
Hopeful, of course! E&I is great, but students in the regular MBA class are still able to take the E&I electives, and participate in other related activities.

lsj (Oct 22, 2007 1:52:50 PM)
Jen: On the supplementary questions -- are we supposed to answer all of them or just pick one?

JenniferBurkeBarbaMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:53:41 PM)
lsj: The supplemental section is not required. You should only include this information if there is a reason to include it, like extenuating circumstances, or something in particular that you were not able to communicate in other parts of the application.

KS (Oct 22, 2007 1:53:55 PM)
Jennifer, had a quick question on the essays. Is it not recommended to write on the events from a few years back (7-8 yrs)? If the event was quite critical to how one's career has shaped up would that be ok? Or should we focus on things in the recent past (2-3 yrs)?

JacklynSingMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:54:11 PM)
Yes I have Linda.  For the past couple of weeks, a lot of companies have come to campus to present and I've been attending a couple to learn more about the company and internship opportunity. I also joined a "New York Banking Day" organized by the Finance Club and got to visit banks on Wall Street. Sloan has a Career Development Office that helps students find internship opportunities, company presentations and career workshops.

Linda Abraham (Oct 22, 2007 1:54:46 PM)
Thank you again all for participating. Special thanks to Jen, Jeremy, and Jacklyn for joining us today.

Linda Abraham (Oct 22, 2007 1:54:56 PM)
We will post the transcript from this chat sometime late next week. You will be able to access it from the MIT Sloan MBA Zone on Accepted.com at http://www.accepted.com/zones/MITSloan.aspx .

JeremyGilbertMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:54:59 PM)
Linda, thats an interesting question. I think my main takeaway has been the personal development -- understanding the perspective one had to take to truly lead a business organization. It all sort of fits together -- the business understanding and analytical tools, the ability to present and persuade, the systems thinking needed to make long-term decisions, and the understanding of how to motivate others. 50% has come from classes, 50% has come from the opportunities generated by the environment here.

JeremyGilbertMITJeremyGilbertMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:55:04 PM)
Thanks Linda.

Linda Abraham (Oct 22, 2007 1:55:08 PM)
We look forward to seeing you at future chats. On deck:

  • Cornell Oct. 24 
  • INSEAD Oct. 29 
  • USC Nov. 5 
  • Michigan Nov. 7

Please check the website (http://www.acceped.com/chat/schedule.aspx ) for exact times and a complete listing of scheduled chats.

JacklynSingMITJacklynSingMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:55:26 PM)
Thank you Linda. Thank you to everyone who participated in this chat. Good luck with your applications and I hope to see you next year! :)

JenniferBurkeBarbaMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:55:35 PM)
ks - the essays should focus on more recent experiences.  It is okay to discuss things that happened several years back, but the more recent experiences, the better.

JenniferBurkeBarbaMITJenniferBurkeBarbaMIT (Oct 22, 2007 1:55:57 PM)
Thanks Linda! And thanks to everyone for participating. We look forward to receiving your applications.

Linda Abraham (Oct 22, 2007 1:56:13 PM)
You're most welcome.

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