Tuesday Tips: MIT Sloan Cover Letter and Video Advice for 2020-2021

MIT Sloan cover letterAre you targeting the MIT Sloan School of Management this application season? Today, we’re sharing our tips for the MIT Sloan cover letter and personal video statement to help you create a positive impression through your application materials.

The MIT Sloan MBA admissions committee has put together a set of useful video tips on their YouTube channel, including a “day in the life” of a Sloan student. In watching the videos, you can see what Sloan values.

One of the former MIT Admissions Officers on the SBC team shared that MIT seeks applicants who can navigate, “problems of progressive complexity, ability to adapt to ambiguous situations, independence of thought, humility/consideration for others.”

Students at MIT Sloan are engaged, creative, and thinking outside the typical MBA frameworks. A study group profiled in the videos includes engineering and design students. One student in the video just returned from a trip to Africa. The video describes vibrant social events and life in Cambridge and Boston.

Experiencing MIT Sloan in person, through networking, or virtually, can also show you if you can see yourself there. Then, your task is to convince the admissions committee that you are MIT Sloan MBA material.

MIT Sloan Cover Letter

MIT Sloan seeks students whose personal characteristics demonstrate that they will make the most of the incredible opportunities at MIT, both academic and non-academic. We are on a quest to find those whose presence will enhance the experience of other students. We seek thoughtful leaders with exceptional intellectual abilities and the drive and determination to put their stamp on the world.

We welcome people who are independent, authentic, and fearlessly creative — true doers. We want people who can redefine solutions to conventional problems, and strive to preempt unconventional dilemmas with cutting-edge ideas. We demand integrity and respect passion.

Taking the above into consideration, please submit a cover letter seeking a place in the MIT Sloan MBA Program. Your letter should conform to a standard business correspondence, include one or more examples that illustrate why you meet the desired criteria above, and be addressed to the Assistant Deans of Admissions, Rod Garcia and Dawna Levenson (300 words or fewer, excluding address and salutation).

The MIT Sloan cover letter format has been used for many years to select candidates. In some ways, this structure reflects the MIT goal to admit candidates with practical (though innovative) ideas and experience. Also, the cover letter is a way to describe your key accomplishments and use them to prove that you embody the outlined criteria for admission. Those criteria are: independent, authentic, and fearlessly creative — true doers.

Take the MIT Sloan cover letter idea literally and approach this essay as if you were applying for a demanding new job. Can you highlight essential stories in your background to prove you take an innovative approach? How can you tell stories that will show you have integrity and passion?

Specifically, use one or more concise illustrations. For example, you could discuss a time when you have approached a business problem and provided a creative solution. Have you innovated a process at work? Perhaps you have suggested a new approach to a customer problem. Think about times when you have been able to provide a fresh perspective at work. For each story, describe what you did in those situations to demonstrate problem-solving skills and passion.

While showcasing your skills and talents is crucial, don’t forget to demonstrate your ability to work with others and support them. Also, note that MIT Sloan is on a quest to find those whose presence will enhance the experience of other students. Therefore, you want to demonstrate that you will be an asset to the community and will embody a collaborative approach.

MIT Sloan cover letter

Video Statement

Please take a minute to introduce yourself to your future classmates via video. Include a bit on your past experience and why MIT Sloan is the best place for you to pursue your MBA. Videos should be a single take (no editing) lasting no more than one minute and consisting of you speaking directly to the camera. We recommend using an application such as QuickTime or iMovie to record yourself.

Upload the video file according to the detailed instructions within the application. We support the following file formats: .avi, .flv, .m1v, .m2v, .m4v, .mkv, .mov, .mpeg, .mpg, .mp4, .webm, .wmv

Should you experience difficulties uploading your file, please ensure that you’re using a modern web browser (Chrome, Firefox, or Safari) on the fastest wired internet connection available. An intermittent or slow internet connection can cause uploads to timeout.

As the MIT admissions committee advises in a short video, this format is all about getting to know you better. Areas evaluated include your presence, passions, and interests. Because you will need to record the video in one take, we suggest preparing for this video statement like an interview. Write down the stories you might tell about yourself—ideally personal, engaging, and revealing of who you are. Then, practice.

First, brainstorm stories that reveal the real you. For example, you might be passionate about travel and experiencing new cultures. Have you made several exciting trips in your life? Each has likely given you a new perspective. Maybe you developed a passion for Thai cuisine after a trip. Perhaps you have collected Brazilian art from your travels to that country.

Think of a few discrete examples. Second, practice, practice and practice those stories until you feel comfortable. Third, put the stories and the introduction together, and practice the flow before you start recording.

Finally, when recording the video essay response, take your time, and speak slowly and clearly into the camera. Though it will feel awkward, try to be natural and comfortable as you respond. The most important goal is to convey your personality. Remember, the admissions committee wants you to be authentic and have fun!


Are you stumped by your MIT MBA application? Contact Stacy Blackman Consulting to learn how we can help. We can even help you practice for the video essay!

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With deadlines around the corner, you may be interested in the world-famous SBC Flight Test. Once a full set of application materials for your initial school have been drafted, but not finalized, the application will be sent to a former admissions committee member for a one-time review, adcomm style. You’ll have the benefit of a true admissions committee review while still having the ability to tinker and change.  You will receive written feedback within two business days after submitting.

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