MIT Sloan Fellows
Program in Innovation
and Global Leadership
Consider yourself a strong candidate for the program if you:
Demonstrate the drive and potential to lead an established organization or a new venture.
Push boundaries and tackle challenges widely deemed impossible.
Work in a global environment or demonstrate a committed global perspective.
Hold an undergraduate degree and at least 10 years of relevant experience.
Exhibit exceptional leadership performance, functional expertise, and innovation.
Possess the capability and interest to master the rigorous curriculum.
Communicate effectively in English, both orally and in writing
(found at http://mitsloan.mit.edu/fellows/admissions/admissions-criteria.php; accessed 2011/07)
When to apply
The application deadlines for the next MIT Sloan Fellows class are:
November 15, for non-U.S. citizens and U.S. citizens currently residing outside of the United States.
January 17, for U.S. citizens currently residing in the United States.
We will announce our admissions decisions before March 31, 2011.
Throughout the year — Register on our website, send us your resume and speak with program staff about your professional goals and how they align with the program’s strengths; explore opportunities to visit MIT Sloan.
September to November — Attend an information session conducted in major cities around the world to meet program staff and other prospective candidates and alumni to gain a firsthand perspective and answer any questions you have.
January to March — Interview in person (by invitation only).
Mid-April — Attend April orientation for incoming fellows.
(found at http://mitsloan.mit.edu/fellows/admissions/dates-and-deadlines.php; accessed 2011/07)
- All applicants to the MIT Sloan Fellows Program in Innovation and Global Leadership must answer the Statement of Objectives question and three essay questions.
- Essays 1 and 2 are required and you must submit either Essay 3 OR Essay 4.
- Please use the documents provided after each question to write your essays, as they contain the essay questions as headers.
Essay 1: Discuss a defining experience in your development as a leader. How did this experience demonstrate your strengths and weaknesses? (500 words or less, limited to one page)
Essay 2: Discuss a time when you made an unpopular decision. What did you learn from the experience? (500 words or less, limited to one page)
Vince's comment - Here are some questions to get you thinking:
- What was your decision? (for example, "I decided to change a business process.")
- Why did you make it? (for example, "I needed to respond to changing market conditions.")
- Why was it unpopular? (for example, "Some of my colleagues worried about losing their influence within our organization.")
- How did you handle others' objections? (for example, "I involved them in the decision-making process.")
- What happened in the end? (for example, "The person who objected most became my biggest supporter. Best of all, his team is now more productive.")
- What did you learn? (for example, "I learned how to turn resistors into allies by helping them see how they could benefit from my proposed changes.")
Please answer only ONE of the next two essays.
Essay 3: Please give an example of when you were part of a high or low performing team. Describe your position in the team and how you contributed to making it successful, or if low performing, what actions you did take (or, in retrospect, would have taken) to improve the performance. (500 words or less, limited to one page)
Essay 4: Please give an example of a significant innovation (product or process) that you developed for your organization (500 words or less, limited to one page)
APPLICATION DATA FORM SHORT ANSWER QUESTIONS
Where did you first learn about the MIT Sloan Fellows Program in Innovation and Global Leadership (maximum of 300 characters or 50 words)?
Did you have help preparing your application? Did you have help preparing your application? (Yes/No)
If you did receive help, please indicate the percentage:
Type of Help (editing, translation)
Brief description of your present duties, including a summary of the staff directly reporting to you (maximum of 1500 characters or 250 words):
Recommendation letters: Provide two letters of recommendation directly to the Admissions Committee, either by mail or by using our online recommendation system.
Your recommendation letters should provide firsthand observations of your actions and demonstrate that the recommender understands the full depth, breadth, and emphasis of the MIT Sloan Fellows Program. The letters should:
state how long and in what capacity the recommender has known you
explain how you stand out from others in a similar capacity
cite an example of your impact on a person, a group, or an organization
describe in detail how you interact with other people
map your strengths to the program’s specific goals and requirements
note an area or areas where you have room for professional growth
If you are a company-sponsored applicant, your recommendation letters should come from your supervisors or superiors. The letters should describe how you were nominated for the MIT Sloan Fellows Program and what plan exists for increased or new responsibilities after your return to the organization.
- State how long and in what capacity you have known the applicant.
- Explain how the applicant stands out from others in a similar capacity.
- Provide an example of the applicant's impact on a person, group, or organization.
- Provide a representative example of how the applicant interacts with other people.
- Identify an area(s) where the applicant has potential room for growth professionally.
- If you are a supervisor/superior writing in behalf of a company-sponsored applicant, please indicate how this individual was nominated for the MIT Sloan Fellows Program and what plan exists for increased/different responsibilities after his/her return to the organization.
RECOMMENDATION QUESTION ANALYSIS AND TIPS
1. State how long and in what capacity you have known the applicant.
When they say, “In what capacity”, they mean the following:
- Is he now your direct supervisor?
- If not, was he your direct supervisor in the past? When? For example, "I directly supervised him from April 2009 to March 2011.)
- How long has he known you? Include the month and year or total years e.g. “I have known him since April 2008.” or “I have known him for four years.”
- How how frequent is/was his interaction with you? For example, “I interact with him on a daily basis.” or “I interact with him daily while we are collaborating on a project. Otherwise, I see him at least once a week for team meetings and casual conversation.”
2. Explain how the applicant stands out from others in a similar capacity.
He needs to define your peer group.
Who exactly are the "others in a similar capacity." For example, "I am comparing him to the ten members in my team. He stands out among them based on his [skill one] and [skill two].
3. Provide an example of the applicant's impact on a person, group, or organization.
He needs to share a DIFFERENT example from the one mentioned in Question 2 or Question 4.
AdCom wants to an example of your leadership in action. Can your recommender share an example which best demonstrates your ability to leave a legacy on your organization or company? For example, when have you:
Made a positive contribution to your company’s bottom line or your organization’s mission?
Motivated a subordinate or influenced senior to go beyond expectations?
Left behind tangible or intangible changes that will continue to make a difference in the lives of others?
Here are some questions to help get your recommender started.
When did you have an impact on a group or organization?
When did this situation happen?
Why were you involved in this situation?
- What steps did you take to impact others?
- What were your quantifiable results? (For instance, did you boost profits, save time, or cut costs?)
What was your intangible impact? (For example, did you influence seniors or motivate juniors?)
- So what?
- Why is this impact meaningful to him and others at your company? For example, are other people continuing or even expanding upon your legacy? Add the details that prove it.
4. Provide a representative example of how the applicant interacts with other people.
AdCom wants to hear a specific story about how you demonstrate your interpersonal skills, preferably in a professional setting.
- Can you recommender mention an example of how you influenced seniors or motivated subordinates?
- Can he share a story about how you mentored someone, or took care of an important client that needed extra help?
- As always, try to help your recommender think of a story that you are NOT mentioning in your essays so that his recommender adds value to your application.
5. Identify an area(s) where the applicant has potential room for growth professionally.
AdCom is asking your recommender to discuss your weakness.
Help your recommender think of at least one area where you could improve. Two areas would be even better, as long as they are not fatal weaknesses. A fatal weakness would be:
He cannot accept criticism from others.
He does not listen well.
He becomes defensive when others question his motivations.
He frequently misses deadlines.
The more weaknesses he mentions, the more AdCom will believe that he knows you and cares about your professional growth.
If your recommender needs help brainstorming your weaknesses, he is welcome to review my tips here http://www.vinceprep.com/interviews/strengthsweaknesses
In addition, I am happy to speak to your recommender if he needs help understanding why AdCom asks these questions.
6. If you are a supervisor/superior writing in behalf of a company-sponsored applicant, please indicate how this individual was nominated for the MIT Sloan Fellows Program and what plan exists for increased/different responsibilities after his/her return to the organization.
The next step in the process—an in-depth, in-person interview—is by invitation only. Although an interview invitation does not guarantee admission, it does indicate that your application has reached an advanced stage of consideration. If you are invited to interview, you must provide an official transcript in a sealed envelope from each school you attended. Interview invitations will be sent via email.
Official transcripts: If you are invited to interview for admission, you must provide sealed, official transcripts (in English) of your records at the undergraduate and graduate institutions where you earned your degrees and performed any graduate work. Do not mail the transcripts yourself. Request that each school send your transcript directly to the Admissions Committee at the address noted above. Please do not submit transcripts for short courses or certificate programs.
Funding letter: If you are a company-sponsored applicant, you must submit a letter from a principal executive in the organization indicating a willingness to provide you with a leave of absence and appropriate financial support. If you are an entrepreneur and/or you are self-funded, you must provide a written statement indicating how you will pay for your year in the MIT Sloan Fellows Program.
If your native language is not English, you must demonstrate proficiency by taking either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
Your TOEFL scores must be sent directly to the Admissions Committee by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). The TOEFL code for the MIT Sloan Fellows Program is 3536. We will accept only scores from tests taken after January 1, 2005. We expect a strong candidate will score 100 or better on the Internet-based format or 250 or better on the paper-based format. Visit the ETS website or call ETS at +1-609-921-9000 for more information.
The IELTS exam measures your ability to communicate in English for study and work across four language skills—listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Again, we will accept only scores from tests taken after January 1, 2005. We expect a strong candidate will score 7.5 or better on the IELTS. Visit the IELTS website for more information.
Academic requirements and the GMAT/GRE
College transcripts must verify completion of a course in calculus (or more advanced mathematics), microeconomics, or finance with a grade of B or better. If you have not completed a course that clearly falls into one of these three categories, you must complete the GMAT or GRE exam.
If you wish us to consider an alternative course as a substitute for the GMAT/GRE exam, you must send us a copy of the course syllabus or schedule and/or a link to the course description on the university website. This should be done as soon as possible so that if the course does not satisfy the requirement, you will still have time to take the exam. You’ll find more information about the application process here.
Your scores must be sent by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) directly to the Admissions Committee using the appropriate ETS code for the MIT Sloan Fellows Program. The GMAT code is X5X-QS-73 and the GRE code is 3536. We will accept only scores from tests taken after January 1, 2005. Visit the GMAT website or the GRE website to schedule your test.
Application fee: Your application to the MIT Sloan Fellows Program in Innovation and Global Leadership must include a $250 application fee, payable online by credit card. You will be prompted for payment information after pressing the “Submit Application” button. If you plan to pay by any other method, you must email the MIT Sloan Fellows office at least one week before you submit your online application. We are able to waive your application fee only if you are an active member of the U.S. Armed Forces. If you qualify for this waiver, please email Marc O’Mansky before you submit your application.
-Updated by Vince on 18 Nov 2011
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