Ask an MIT Sloan Student

Talk to current MBA students about life in MBA programs (not for app advice/discussion)
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Ask an MIT Sloan Student

by therealtomrose » Wed Apr 06, 2011 7:19 pm
Hi all. I'm Tom Rose, a second year at MIT Sloan. I would be happy to answer MIT Sloan questions for the community. Here is some info about me:

Before School: I have been a teacher for 10 years. Just prior to Sloan, I worked at Duke University teaching engineering design. I was the director of the Duke Smart Home Program (https://smarthome.duke.edu), a live-in laboratory focused on smarter living, for 3 years and built the first LEED Platinum residence hall on the planet.

During School: I co-host a weekly show for MBA's called The MBA Show(www.TheMBAShow.com). I was also the Commodore of the MIT Nautical Association, a sailing program with over 1500 active members. I also served as the fleet commander of our graduation trip a 200-person, $300k fleet of 18, 45ft Catamarans in the BVI. That's actually still upcoming, so fingers crossed. Oh yeah, and over the summer, I worked at HubSpot, the best run company I have ever been graced by.

After School: I'm starting a company called Testive (www.testive.com) which brings adaptive testing techniques to the SAT. I'm also scaling up production of The MBA Show (www.TheMBAShow.com) and will continue working at ManhattanGMAT (www.ManhattanGMAT.com)

I am happy to take your questions about anything really, but let's try to stick to Sloan :)

-Tom Rose
www.TheMBAShow.com

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by beatthegmat » Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:23 pm
Tom, thanks so much for volunteering to field student life questions for our community! We're so excited to have an MIT Sloan representative here!
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by vkb16 » Wed May 04, 2011 1:09 am
Hi Tom

I had applied to a few schools last year but did not get a favourable reply from any.
I am going to re-apply and apply to other schools again this year, including Duke.

A few alums have advised me and I have read online that visiting the campuses of the schools where I want to apply, is a MUST.

How helpful, do you think, will a campus visit be, in the application process?
I live in India, so its a flight half-way across the globe.
Do you think its worth the effort?

Thanks,
Vinay

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by therealtomrose » Wed May 04, 2011 3:54 am
Vinay,

It is not imperative that you visit schools as part of the application process. For 95% of people the visit is admissions neutral. For 5% of people the visit really helps them because of how the network and present themselves while they're there.

When you apply from India, the school isn't expecting you to show up for a campus tour!

It IS imperative that you visit schools that you have been accepted to before you decide to go there. Some schools simply don't have a good cultural fit with people and you'll want to make sure that you fit in wherever you go.

I would save your money now and spend it on a plane ticket after you have an acceptance in hand.

T
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by vkb16 » Fri May 06, 2011 11:50 pm
Hi Tom,

Thanks a ton for the advice! Its interesting to see the other side of the coin.

I am from a family business background and have extensive 5+ years of experience in marketing and production.
My goals are to expand my business of jewellery manufacturing and retailing across the country by opening multiple outlets.
Hence, it requires extensive team-building skills.

I had applied to quite a few top MBA programs, but didnt get any positive results.
I had two interviews and I think my (obvious) close-ness to the seniors was a factor which I think scarred the genuineness of
my achievements and initiatives.

A friend alum said that if I am compared to someone from say, Goldman Sachs, who has demonstrated potential in a 'neutral'
environment, he would be preferred over me in the eyes of the AdComs. Do you think I should work for some time in a non-family business
company to add credibility to my application and reco letters?

Also, I am planning to apply to MIT Sloan this time around. I am looking for team-focused learning. I've learned that only better management systems can help a company grow exponentially. Thats my top reason for doing and MBA at this point in my life.
How much of a benefit would someone from my background get from its MBA program?

Thanks a ton in advance :)

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by therealtomrose » Sun May 08, 2011 11:49 am
Vinay,

Here are the seven things you get out of a top 10 MBA program.

(1) Education
(2) Job
(3) Network
(4) Brand
(5) Mating
(6) "The Experience"
(7) Escape

There is a large cost to attending a top 10 MBA program. Hence, you need to plan a huge payoff if you're planning to go for it. Most people who attend are looking for many things on the above list. If you're true goal is to expand your family business, then I question the need for an MBA from a top US program. It sounds like all you really need is education. You already have the job, your new network wouldn't be in India, your brand won't help you franchise your jewelry stores, it's unlikely you'll find a mate in the US who wants to move to India, and you don't need to leave your current profession. Most of things that you get from attending a top school in the US will not do much for you. In otherwords, you're paying a fortune for something you can't use.

It sounds like an executive MBA is right for you. Something that you can attend part time while you keep working on your current business. There is an executive MBA program at IIM in Bangalore. It sounds like a good fit for you. https://www.iimb.ernet.in/executive-education/EE

Back to admissions:
Part of the reason you're having trouble with admissions is that they can read the cards just like I can. The fit doesn't look good. It's not your credentials, it's your story.

About 1/3 of students admitted to top 10 MBA programs use an admissions consultant. You should consider working with one. One of the main things they help you do is craft your story. My favorite is MBAMission.com. I'm friends with Jeremy, the CEO. They'll do a free 30-minute consultation with you to help you get started.

T
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by vkb16 » Mon May 09, 2011 3:18 am
Hi Tom

I must say its a brilliant analysis. Sounds very logical.

However, the main reasons that I wanted to do an International MBA in general and from the US in particular, is the exposure to people from a 'really' diverse background with an international outlook. This aligns with my goal of taking my business global within 10 years. If I have a global base of friends and alumni, penetrating the market will be slightly easier as his contacts will obviously benefit me in the research.

Secondly, I do need the branding, as a borrower who is highly educated holds a leverage against his counterpart. An MBA from a reputed international B-School will help me gather the trust of investors nationally and internationally.

I have also been working with an admissions consultant (StacyBlackman - no particular reason, my friend had got into LBS and highly suggested it) He now suggests I boost my GMAT Score (670), visit schools, and get a job in a non-family business (a view shared by a fellow LBS friend) in a sector/position that aligns with my long-term goals.

I am in kind of a twilight zone. Can you give your opinion, as to how I can improve my profile?

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by therealtomrose » Sat May 14, 2011 4:39 am
That explanation you just gave started to sound like something that really made sense. The things that grabbed me: I'm taking my business global. The other thing, I would like to use the MBA as a tool for gaining credibility when securing credit against my business. Those are both great reasons to secure an MBA. What's more, they are believable goals coming from your position as a jewelry store owner.

If you're working with Stacy Blackman, then that's basically a silver bullet for your situation. One thing that IS very important, as Stacy can tell you, is that your application tell a consistent story. That said, I think you'll want to pull your strategy advice from the same source as your admissions advice, i.e. Stacy, not me. This is mainly because you need to make sure that everything fits together like a puzzle. You can't get your goals from one place, your back-story from another, and your resume from a third.
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by Surev » Fri May 27, 2011 6:37 am
Hi Tim:

Thanks for taking out time to help prospective students on this forum. Appreciate it.

As for me, I currently have 9 years of professional experience in the field of patent search and analytics based in India. This includes 3 years of entrepreneurial experience and last 3+ years in a Fortune 5 oil and gas company. I am planning to take GMAT in August and apply for B-schools in US for fall 2012.

I am specifically interested in the MIT Sloan 1 yr fellowship program which is intended for those with 8+ years of experience. Can you provide any inputs on the following aspects of the program?

1. A fellowship program generally has an impression as one intended for teaching or research careers. Is it the same for this program or any different? I could not find much on the website regarding career prospects but I could see some alumni profiles which are all from the industry.

2. How much interaction exists between the 1 yr and 2 yr programs in terms of faculty, courses and students?

Any other aspects of the program you would like to highlight.

Thanks again,
Sure

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by therealtomrose » Sun May 29, 2011 4:56 am
1. In this case, there is absolutely no link between the term 'fellowship' and teaching or research. In fact, Sloan Fellows rarely pursue careers in either of those disciplines. As a general rule, MBA's of any stripe don't typically pursue careers in either teaching or research.

2. There is basically no interaction between Fellows and regular-MBA's at Sloan. They are different types of people with different teachers, different classes, and different social circles. It's practically two different schools. Fellows are typically mid/late-stage career, and regular-MBA's are early-stage career.

T
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by Vorskl » Sat Jun 11, 2011 10:19 am
Dear Tom,

I am interested in a General Management MBA from a school with strong reputation in supply chain (I work in transportation and want to expand career into supply chain (SCM). My research narrowed down the choice to MIT, Ross and Duke schools.

Could you please comment which clubs and activities are popular among Sloan's SCM students?

What kind of companies (fmcg? retail?) offer internship and jobs for SCM students?

Any insights on how tough was it to secure an internship and a job in SCM functions? In the 2010 employment report it is indicated that 10% of students are employed in Operations/Project management functions. I think SCM falls into this category?

Thanks!

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by therealtomrose » Sun Jun 26, 2011 3:29 pm
If you're interested in SCM, you have come to the right place. MIT's LGO program is the best operations program that I know of. https://lgo.mit.edu/

There aren't really "clubs" per se for SCM because there are so many people in the LGO program who do it, it's just everyone.

The LGO program has sponsors that subsidize the tuition for people who attend the program. The program is about 85% off with NO obligation! I know, it sounds too good to be true. Best of all, you graduate with two degrees. You get an MBA from MIT Sloan, and a Masters in Engineering from MIT proper.

Getting a operations job out of the LGO program is basically a lock. The sponsor companies recruit right out of the school and they always want more people that are available.

Here is the list of LGO partners which are the most commun hirers:
3M Company
ABB
Amazon
Amgen Inc.
The Boeing Company
Caterpillar Inc.
Cisco Systems, Inc.
Dell Inc.
General Motors Corporation
Genzyme Corporation
Inditex, S.A. (Zara)
Intel Corporation
Kimberly-Clark Corporation
Massachusetts General Hospital
National Grid
Nokia Corporation
Novartis AG
Raytheon Company
Spirit AeroSystems
United Technologies Corporation

Enjoy,

T
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by soumava » Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:23 am
Hi Tom,

Firstly, thanks and regards for taking your time out for the newbie's like us. As far as my profile goes, i'm a regular guy with a B.Tech degree in Electronics and am working in an international IT firm for the last 1.2 years. I'm planning to take my GMAT in near future(Jan/Feb 2012). I want to get a MBA degree to be a business analyst and open up my own consulting firm in india. MIT sloan is my dream school. Do you think with my meager work experience(though i was leading a team of 8 within 5 months of joining) will i be able to bag an admit to my dream institution? I have a target GMAT score of 760 and already have a GRE score of 1380(580 - verbal, 800-Quants).
Eagerly waiting for your reply

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by therealtomrose » Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:21 pm
MIT Sloan students average about 60 months of professional experience after their undergraduate degrees, so 14 months will leave you well on the small side. It's not impossible, but You can interpret the numbers for your self.

What is a B.Tech degree in Electronics? I haven't heard of this before. Is this an Indian degree? I don't know what that compares to in the US, so I can't weigh in on that.

There are other b-schools that place less of an emphasis on professional experience that may be a better fit. Why MIT Sloan?

Another thought. Being a business analyst is typically something someone does after working in industry. The MBA probably qualifies you to get an industry job which could later blossom into an analyst position. What is the intermediate position you would be seeking, what industry is it in, and does that line up with MIT's positioning?
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by soumava » Tue Jun 28, 2011 5:38 pm
Thanks Toms you your quick Reply. :)
And B.tech is equivalent to a BS degree in US. I know it not going to be any added advantage with this degree.
And in the intermediate position i would like to see myself as an innovator of certain new business ideas. It is definitely in line with the MIT Sloan Fellows Program in Innovation and Global Leadership. But yes i know for the above program also a average of 60 months or even more is solicited. So what do you advice, Do i continue to do what i'm doing and apply say 4 to 5 years later from now?
Moreover, i would love to know certain facts about obtaining a scholarship for the above program. How do i build my profile? Do i take on some new business initiative along with my job? I am already associated with CRY, india,( a NGO to help underprivileged children) and do something with the same? please suggest as i want my application to be spot on when i apply? Thanks for your time.