How I got into MIT Sloan: An Oil Baroness’s Account

In this post we present to you the profile of a candidate successful at MIT Sloan, and effectively see how to get into MIT Sloan.

Candidate: “I’m an American female in my late-20s. I applied to MIT Sloan among other schools such as Wharton and Stanford. I was rejected after an interview at both these schools, but converted successfully my Sloan interview. I worked for a top oil-drilling and exploration firm, before applying to Sloan.”


Summary: White female, with a Bachelor’s in engineering from an American, non-Ivy University, working at a well-known Oil drilling/exploration firm.

1. GMAT: 750
2. GPA: 3.8/4.0
3. Work Experience: Process Engieer/Field Manager, 54 months with 2 promotions at the time of application
4. Employer: Oil Exploration/Drilling
5. Extra-Curricular: Charities and Sports (not too accomplished).

Objective: “Transitioning into oil-based consultancy.”

Interview: “I was asked about my extra-curriculars which were clearly sub-par. However this was unlike my interviews at Stanford and Wharton, where most questions revolved around my career. At the end of the interviews, I knew I was definitely not going to get through MIT Sloan, but I probably had a chance at Stanford and Wharton. When the results came I was in for a surprise.”

How to get into MIT Sloan

Editor’s Analysis: This is no surprise at all (getting into MIT Sloan)! A 750 GMAT and a solid 3.8 GPA are a stunning combination. One thing is for certain your rejection at Stanford and Wharton didn’t have anything to do with this.

Your post-MBA objective is extremely solid and plausible: you did a great job at your ‘top oil-exploratory’ firm (something tells me this is Schlumberger/Shell), now you are looking to move into the lucrative oil consultancy business leveraging on the expertise gained from a successful (2 promotions) career. From a work-related perspective, this is a very competitive profile.

Getting to the weaker bit: extra-curriculars. ‘Charities and Sports’ is not very inspiring. This is certainly a let-down, but perhaps easily explainable and can be compensated (I presume you handled the MIT Sloan interview well, given the probing questions on your extra-curriculars), given the stellar performance on GPA, GMAT, and work experience. So MIT Sloan is really not a surprise – MIT Sloan is an exceptional B-School, and I think you really deserved the admit.

What then is a surprise? Your rejection at Stanford and Wharton, that too after an interview where you weren’t even asked many questions on your extra-curriculars. Given the way adcoms think, its possible that there were several candidates from an oil-background in your application cycle to these schools (Stanford and Wharton). Given the high-level of competition, its possible that these candidates had a better/slightly more interesting profile than yours. The way most adcoms work is to not seek out weaknesses in candidate profiles and compare them with strengths of other candidates, but rather compare candidates strength-to-strength. That’s probably the reason why your extra-curriculars were not too important to these adcoms. They asked you questions on your Oil career, possibly since they had other top performers with an oil-background to compare you with. Unfortunately, I think this is were you didn’t make the cut. (A lot of candidates apply to these top business schools with an oil-background.)

Author: Homer

Homer is the head of our family. Homer as an MBA from a top-three US B-School. An engineering graduate from a non-IIT, Homer is hope for all non-IITians looking to get into HBS/Stanford GSB/UPenn. Homer has a BE degree in mechanical engineering from a Bangalore college. Homer says that he was never a great student in his earlier days or at engineering school. What then worked in his favor? Well he started a mechanical engineering startup after working for a couple of years at a renowned German automobile company that he got placed in out of campus. Homer has the longest work experience in our family - 2 yrs at the German automobile maker + 3 yrs at his startup. Homer sold his startup back to his former employer and is now a top consultant (MBB consulting). Watch out for posts by Homer (to avoid them, of course!).

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