2009 MIT Sloan MBA LGBT with Deirdre Kane

2009 MIT Sloan MBA LGBT with Deirdre Kane

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Linda Abraham (Nov 24, 2008 1:14:18 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 Diversity chat today for LGBT, and I want to congratulate you for taking the time to learn more about MIT Sloan. To make a sound decision and to get accepted, you need to 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.

I also want to welcome our special guests, Deirdre M. Kane, Assistant Director, MBA Admissions, Kristi Skorija, (MBA 2009) & Jesse Chow (MBA 2010). Kristi is a second year MIT Sloan student with a background in healthcare and laboratory research prior to Sloan. She is currently the president of the MIT Sloan LGBT Club, and a Co-President of the BioMedical Business Club. Her internship was at Millennium Pharmaceuticals last summer, and she is looking to go back into healthcare after graduation. Jesse is a 1st year student at Sloan and will be joining us for the first half of the chat. Jesse, could you tell us a little more about yourself?

Thanks to everyone for joining.

JesseChowMIT (Nov 24, 2008 1:16:06 PM)
Sure, I'm from Los Angeles where I worked in entertainment marketing and distribution.

Linda Abraham (Nov 24, 2008 1:16:25 PM)
Kristi, how big is the LBGT Club at MIT?

KristiSkorijaMIT (Nov 24, 2008 1:16:50 PM)
Right now there are about 18 members in the club between 1st and 2nd year students.

Linda Abraham (Nov 24, 2008 1:17:02 PM)
For DeeDee and Kristi, what are the challenges facing LGBT’s at MIT Sloan?

KristiSkorijaMIT (Nov 24, 2008 1:18:10 PM)
Well, personally I have not had any problems, but we are always hoping to increase the number of LGBT students here.

DeirdreKaneMIT (Nov 24, 2008 1:19:09 PM)
And there have certainly been years when there were fewer LGBT students, but it's always a challenge to recruit more.

KristiSkorijaMIT (Nov 24, 2008 1:19:23 PM)
I have had an amazing time here, and as an LGBT student there has been major support for myself, and my SO/wife is included in everything so that works really well for me

JesseChowMIT (Nov 24, 2008 1:19:25 PM)
I agree with Kristi and Dee - I think we have a great group of dedicated and diverse members, but we could always use more!

KristiSkorijaMIT (Nov 24, 2008 1:20:01 PM)
I think my biggest problem with MIT is that it is cold in BOSTON!!

DeirdreKaneMIT (Nov 24, 2008 1:20:31 PM)
The challenge is that at all MBA programs, LGBT students make up a small fraction of the population, less than the "1 in 10" of the general population, so each school needs to build a strong network of support for LGBT students, as for all.

Linda Abraham (Nov 24, 2008 1:20:44 PM)
DeeDee: 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?

Linda Abraham (Nov 24, 2008 1:21:51 PM)
Kristi and Jesse, what are MIT Sloan's greatest strengths?

DeirdreKaneMIT (Nov 24, 2008 1:22:16 PM)
Linda: There are several characteristics that we are looking for - innovative thinkers who have excelled at what they have done; people who can build and maintain positive relationships with people at all levels of an organization; and "doers" as we call it.

JesseChowMIT (Nov 24, 2008 1:22:49 PM)
Linda, we’re a smaller program than others on average, so I think you get a real opportunity to get to know people and take part in the community.

DeirdreKaneMIT (Nov 24, 2008 1:23:00 PM)
Linda: And I don't want to forget to mention that we are looking for passion/drive in our students.

KristiSkorijaMIT (Nov 24, 2008 1:23:22 PM)
People! The collaborative atmosphere here is amazing. If you have read about our first "core" semester, you have read how difficult it is, and for a person without a business background, I could always count on my classmates to lend me a hand when I needed it.

MIThopeful (Nov 24, 2008 1:23:54 PM)
Hi Dee, when will the interview invites go out?

JesseChowMIT (Nov 24, 2008 1:24:00 PM)
At the end of the day, it really is the diversity of backgrounds and experiences that students bring to the table which makes MIT Sloan quite unique.

Linda Abraham (Nov 24, 2008 1:24:16 PM)
Kristi and Jesse, what would you like to see improved?

MIThopeful (Nov 24, 2008 1:24:39 PM)
Hi Kristi. What are the opportunities available to someone interested in biotech?

DeirdreKaneMIT (Nov 24, 2008 1:24:41 PM)
MITHopeful: Interview invitations start going out at the beginning of December and we continue to interview until decision day, which for Round I, is February 2, 2009.

JesseChowMIT (Nov 24, 2008 1:25:12 PM)
Linda: Construction, I can’t wait to see the new building.

KristiSkorijaMIT (Nov 24, 2008 1:25:15 PM)
There are great opportunities in Biotech, we have great ties with a large number of local and non-local companies.

KristiSkorijaMIT (Nov 24, 2008 1:25:47 PM)
If you go to the MIT Sloan biomedical business club website you can get an idea of what we do, and Sloan is especially strong in entrepreneurship and biotech, so there are endless opportunities to work with startups also.

Linda Abraham (Nov 24, 2008 1:26:36 PM)
What is Sloan doing to help 2nd year students and recent grads in our down economy? What are active recruiting sectors?

KristiSkorijaMIT (Nov 24, 2008 1:27:15 PM)
I would say all sectors are active, even banking.

MIThopeful (Nov 24, 2008 1:27:47 PM)
Do Sloanies collaborate with any labs on campus? for example- Langer Lab?

DeirdreKaneMIT (Nov 24, 2008 1:28:00 PM)
Both the MIT Alumni Association and Sloan's Career Development have reached out to recent alums who have lost positions due to the economy. And our Career Development folks are being very proactive in their support of the second year job search.

KristiSkorijaMIT (Nov 24, 2008 1:28:12 PM)
Many people are abondoning banking, but the people I know that love it are still pursuing it and some still have job offers in banking, but right now consulting is where most people are putting their efforts.

MIThopeful (Nov 24, 2008 1:28:23 PM)
What is the percentage of increase in applications for R1?

KristiSkorijaMIT (Nov 24, 2008 1:29:17 PM)
There are a lot of opportunities to get involved with the labs... As I mentioned we work with a lot of startups, and many of those are born from the MIT Labs.

DeirdreKaneMIT (Nov 24, 2008 1:29:51 PM)
MITHopeful: We saw only a slight increase in applications for Round I over last year, certainly no more of an increase than expected.

Linda Abraham (Nov 24, 2008 1:30:20 PM)
In light of increased difficulty obtaining student loans, is Sloan making more grant and scholarship money available?

KristiSkorijaMIT (Nov 24, 2008 1:30:22 PM)
On another note, what would I change about MIT Sloan. We need more space, and they are currently building a new building for us! I won't be here for that, but it will be great for the school.

MIThopeful (Nov 24, 2008 1:30:55 PM)
What is the most exciting thing (activities, classes, etc) about MIT Sloan?

DeirdreKaneMIT (Nov 24, 2008 1:31:20 PM)
The Dean has committed to maintaining the geographical diversity of the classes, but the details of the loan solution are not yet available. The situation is more dire for international students than for domestic students.

MIThopeful (Nov 24, 2008 1:31:31 PM)
What is the percentage of R1 applicants that will be interviewed?

DeirdreKaneMIT (Nov 24, 2008 1:31:39 PM)
But people should keep an eye on the Student Financial Services pages for updates about financial aid.

KristiSkorijaMIT (Nov 24, 2008 1:31:42 PM)
Most exciting things? There are highlights in all of those categories.

DeirdreKaneMIT (Nov 24, 2008 1:32:47 PM)
MITHopeful: We always interview between 25-30% of the applicant pool from each round.

KristiSkorijaMIT (Nov 24, 2008 1:32:53 PM)
I have had amazing classes, I'm a numbers nerd, so I loved a data modeling course we have called DMD (it is a core course) I am also co-president of the BioMed Club, and I have great opportunities to plan events and meet with CEO's and other c-level people

Linda Abraham (Nov 24, 2008 1:33:37 PM)
DeeDee: How do you use the interview in the admissions process?

KristiSkorijaMIT (Nov 24, 2008 1:34:02 PM)
My favorite thing so far was a trip to India. Over spring break about 50 of us went on a student planned trip, and I had the time of my life (my wife was also able to come and welcomed by all of the students on the trip)

DeirdreKaneMIT (Nov 24, 2008 1:34:43 PM)
The interview is the final step in our evaluation process and not a rubber stamp by any means. It allows us to delve deeper into an applicant's history and to also understand better how they present themselves.

Linda Abraham (Nov 24, 2008 1:35:11 PM)
Kristi, do you have any advice for transitioning from the working world to being a student again?

MIThopeful (Nov 24, 2008 1:35:18 PM)
Kristi: Are those trips sponsored financially by Sloan?

Linda Abraham (Nov 24, 2008 1:35:38 PM)
Dee: How do you use the recommendations in the admission process?

KristiSkorijaMIT (Nov 24, 2008 1:36:19 PM)
Transitioning: Just dive into the school work. My wife was a "widow" for the first semester, but that was something we expected, so knowing what to expect made it easier.

DeirdreKaneMIT (Nov 24, 2008 1:36:30 PM)
The recommendations are each applicant's opportunity to present us with the opinions of his or her strongest advocates.

MIThopeful (Nov 24, 2008 1:36:43 PM)
There are so many students at Sloan, how does one become an officer of a club?

MIThopeful (Nov 24, 2008 1:36:47 PM)
Dee: Does Sloan accept an equal number of applicants from each round?

DeirdreKaneMIT (Nov 24, 2008 1:37:00 PM)
From the recommenders, we need specific information about an applicant's abilities and accomplishments.

KristiSkorijaMIT (Nov 24, 2008 1:37:37 PM)
Trips are not sponsored by Sloan, but the students got amazing bulk deals for the India trip, so it would have been much more expensive had I planned it myself. There are some treks that have school sponsorship.

DeirdreKaneMIT (Nov 24, 2008 1:37:53 PM)
MIThopeful: Sloan has one of the smallest class sizes of the top tier schools, so our students have many opportunities for leadership that students at other schools might not have.

DeirdreKaneMIT (Nov 24, 2008 1:38:13 PM)
MIThopeful: Generally, yes, we fill 1/2 the class during each round.

Linda Abraham (Nov 24, 2008 1:38:47 PM)
Dee, Are there any special considerations for re-applicants? Do reviewers also look at least year's application when reviewing the application of a reapplicant? Do they just look at the reviewers' notes? Or do they ignore last year's application?

KristiSkorijaMIT (Nov 24, 2008 1:39:05 PM)
To becorm an officer you have to start showing an interest early in the school year. When I ran, there were about 12 other applicants to become co-president, and 6 were chosen. The club members voted, and people typically vote for people that have been visible and active in the club.

DeirdreKaneMIT (Nov 24, 2008 1:40:03 PM)
Linda: I wouldn't say there are special considerations for re-applicants, but the reader will have the new and the old file to review. With reapplicants, we are looking for what has happened in the past year, of course, to see what gaps have been filled.

KristiSkorijaMIT (Nov 24, 2008 1:40:15 PM)
There are clubs with few members and it is easy to get a leadership role in those clubs, but if it is a large club, then get involved early.

Linda Abraham (Nov 24, 2008 1:40:46 PM)
Dee, does the reviewer routinely review the old application?

DeirdreKaneMIT (Nov 24, 2008 1:41:01 PM)
Yes, the reader will also review the old application during the evaluation process.

MIThopeful (Nov 24, 2008 1:41:07 PM)
Kristi: What is your plan post-graduation? Are there any opportunities in the VC industry?

KristiSkorijaMIT (Nov 24, 2008 1:42:36 PM)
Post grad plans: I am looking into healthcare, and I am looking at a broad range of positions from biotech/pharm to healthcare insurance. I'm not too involved in VC, but I do know there are opportunities in VC.

Linda Abraham (Nov 24, 2008 1:42:50 PM)
Thank you again all for participating. Special thanks to Deirdre, Jesse and Kristi for joining us today. We look forward to seeing you at future chats. Here is a list of currently scheduled chats:
CMU Tepper    December 4th
LBS                December 8th
NYU Stern       December 15th
MIT Sloan        January 5th
USC Marshall  January 7th
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Have a very good day! Good luck with your applications!

DeirdreKaneMIT (Nov 24, 2008 1:43:00 PM)
Thank you!

KristiSkorijaMIT (Nov 24, 2008 1:43:05 PM)
For VC you typically have to network and build relationships to get into the VC firms.

MIThopeful (Nov 24, 2008 1:43:21 PM)

KristiSkorijaMIT (Nov 24, 2008 1:43:22 PM)
Good luck everyone!


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