In early 2016, I stood at a crossroads with the incredible chance to attend one of the elite MBA Programs: MIT Sloan. My two years in this program were rewarding, enriching, and absolutely unforgettable. Here's why I chose to attend this fantastic program:
The MIT Name
The MIT brand is extremely strong and recognizable worldwide. The Sloan MBA is consistently ranked as one of top five MBAs in the world, with outstanding faculty and students. Graduating from MIT gives you immense credibility and countless opportunities on name alone. Indeed, graduates of this program are well known to embody the school's mission: “to develop principled, innovative leaders who improve the world and advance management practice.”
High Quality Classes and Flexibility
MIT Sloan is well known for its rigorous, yet flexible, academic program. MBA students must complete the first semester Core, which consists of five classes: Economic Analysis for Business Decisions, DMD (Data, Models, and Decisions), Communication for Leaders, Organizational Processes, and Financial Accounting. Students can design the remaining three semesters however they please, allowing each MBA candidate to have the exact learning experience they desire. This means that at MIT, students can focus on their passions and interests as they construct their curriculum. In doing so, they may decide to specialize during their MBA, receiving one of the three Tracks offered: Finance, Entrepreneurship, or Enterprise Management. In addition to a Track, it is possible to obtain a Certificate in Sustainability, Business Analytics or Health Systems. MIT Sloan students can also cross register at HBS, and vice versa.
Classes at MIT are often taught by high profile instructors, including several Nobel Prize winners and professors who developed well-known theorems. I myself had the opportunity to attend one of Robert Merton’s Finance classes and one of John Little’s classes.
Before attending MIT Sloan, I worked as a Business Development Manager for a luxury company in China. My background was rather qualitative, and attending MIT allowed me to hone my quantitative skills to become a more well-rounded leader. In particular, I took Finance and Operations classes that were heavily data-driven, helping me improve my quantitative skills.
Some electives I really enjoyed at MIT Sloan include:
- Managing in Adversity
- The CEO Perspective
- Power and Negotiation
- Competitive Strategy
- Global Economic Challenges and Opportunities
- Leadership Stories
- EnActing Leadership: Shakespeare and Performance
- Digital Marketing
- New Enterprises
- Global Entrepreneurship Lab
Social Activities and Lifelong Friendships
During the Core semester, students are assigned to a cohort, represented by bodies of water: Atlantic, Baltic, Caribbean, Indian, Mediterranean, and Pacific. Within the cohort, students are placed in a core team of 6 or 7 people. The core team members navigate the semester together, learn tremendously from one another’s experiences, and usually remain close even after graduation. Sloan emphasizes the importance of collaboration and teamwork to complete projects. Each person has his or her own strengths, and working as a team allows the whole group to leverage, capitalize on, and learn from these different strengths, depending on what the task and objective. Furthermore, unlike other MBA Programs that have larger class sizes, MIT only welcomes around 400 people on average per year. As such, it is possible to get to know almost everyone in the class over the course of your two years in Cambridge.
Additionally, the opportunities to socialize and network are countless at MIT. Students can join one of the many clubs and meet like-minded people. I was interested in the fashion and luxury space, so I joined the Luxury, Retail, and CPG club as VP of Community and was part of the leadership team for the inaugural Retail and CPG Conference at Sloan in the fall of 2017. MIT also frequently hosts events with notable guests. One of the most interesting events I attended during my time featured a conversation with the Co-Founder and CEO of Dropbox, Drew Houston.
At MIT Sloan, the student body is diverse, so exposure to different cultures and work practices is common. Sloan clubs and Student Life organize an event called C-Function on selected Thursdays to connect with the community (the "C" in C-Function stands for community). C-Functions include food, arts, and cultural activities from the countries making up the student body. Sloanies also organize treks and trips to their home countries to expose their classmates to new cultures. For example, several students in my class traveled to Brazil in 2018 and experienced “Carnaval” first hand.
Beyond the student body, Sloanies get exposure to other cultures through their classes. One of the most popular courses at Sloan, Global Entrepreneurship Lab, allows students to travel outside the US and connect with foreign companies to solve a business issue. Through this course, I had the opportunity to travel to Argentina in early 2018 and help a local business expand.
My experience at MIT Sloan was exceptional and I recommend this MBA Program without any reservations whatsoever. To learn more about MIT Sloan, check out their FAQs page! And if you're an international student, visit this post I wrote about applying to US MBA programs as an international student myself.