MIT cover letter

Thoughts on MIT Sloan's 2014-15 "Essays"

Thoughts on MIT Sloan's 2014-15 "Essays"

Quick post today, because time is short and nobody wants to read the screed I had in mind for MIT's new "essays." Why the quotation marks? Because writing your own letter of recommendation is not an essay. It's a gimmick at best, and, if I'm being honest, a bit of a mockery at worst. Yes, people write their own employee assessment reports, which is a great cheat for supervisors (heck, I had a high school "world studies" teacher who figured out that he could just the class to teach itself - no joke), but that also precedes a discussion that can (and usually does) flesh out the exercise. It's hard to imagine a company making huge promotion or bonus decisions based solely on a self-written employee report, with no discussion to follow. I mean, come on. Yet that is what MIT is basically suggesting when they draw a comparison between what takes place in the office and what they are asking candidates to do on the application. It's such a weird, weird assignment. (Okay, so I went on a bit of a screed.) That said, there are three things to keep in mind that can make it not only doable, but a chance to shine.

MIT Sloan's Supplemental Essay - Mandatory or Optional?

MIT Sloan's Supplemental Essay - Mandatory or Optional?

Our clients are reporting to us that during their visits to MIT a number of admissions committee members are "strongly encouraging" applicants to submit Sloan's Supplemental (Optional) essay.  This is advice that should definitely be considered, but only if you really have something to say - not just a rehash of prior content or an ill-advised attempt at a goals statement.  At a high-level, the supplemental essay is a test of your ability to deal with ambiguity.  So consider this a de facto requirement, but (again) only if you have a different dimension of your character to bring to the table.  If you can pass that sniff test - read on.