Wednesday, March 23, 2011

MIT Sloan Fellows Vs. Stanford Sloan Program

***Stanford's Sloan Fellows Program has undergone a change recently so the below information is outdated. This post is old. Please refer to other official sources to get updated information.***

Anyone who is thinking of the Sloan Programs does compare the ones at MIT and Stanford. 

I did a thorough research during my application and here is a quick comparison. 

Pls note that some information may not be 100% accurate and the views below are ONLY mine - 

I haven't compared London Business School as I didn't apply there. Also, in my opinion, unless someone has a locational constraint MIT and Stanford programs are the ones to consider.

I personally felt that the MIT program was better and it was my first choice. Here are my reasons -
  • Between MBA & M.Sc., MBA is a widely recognized degree. But at Senior Levels, it may not make a difference.
  • Being connected to 110 classmates is better than being connected to 57 classmates. Though you have access to the entire alumni database but same batch, year does make a difference.
  • If one is spending over $100k in a year then each month counts. Stanford is a 10.5 months course with 4 study trips.
  • Director of MIT Sloan Fellows is a Sloan Fellow himself (SF,90). Trust me it makes a huge difference.
  • Boston/Cambridge has a large student community. Also, having the option to do electives at Harvard is a plus. You can experience how another top school in the world does things.
  • Minor aspect - but its easy to stay in Cambridge without a car. But looking at the class profile (mostly  senior people) cost of keeping a car may seem irrelevant. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

MBA Essays & Recommendations

Without going into too much detail, here is what I did to come up with the Essays & the Recommendations.

A) Essays -

In my opinion any essay has two pieces to it. Story & Articulation

Story - 
I had several stories to tell for each of the essays. This is good and bad. Good because you can pick the best story and bad because you may not know which one will have the maximum impact. As I had decided not to take any paid help, I used the Beat The Gmat forums extensively. Whenever I got confused between two stories, I posted a question and got some great inputs from some experts. I really thank Tani Wolf @ Kaplan & Anurag @ Gurome for their fantastic advice.

These forums are a great way to get second opinion on your stories. And of course its free..!!

Articulation -
This is self explanatory. One has to get the reader hooked almost instantly. And the essays have to be written in such a way that a 14 year old is able to understand your story.  No jargons or complex terminology.
Most of the schools hire current students to read the applicant essays and often it goes through multiple reviews.
Imagine an admissions person reading boring essays where you are blowing your own trumpet. The message is simple - You need to excite the reader..

B) Recommendations - 

Most of the times, your recommenders will agree to write a recommendation for you, but they will either not have the time or the content. Not that they dont know about your work, but people at senior positions will hardly remember all the details.

Quick advice -

  • Chose your recommenders carefully. Someone who knows you well professionally. Getting a reco from an immediate manager or peer may make more sense than getting one from a CEO. 
  • Inform them well in advance. I informed my recommenders 2 months prior but still had to follow up several times
  • Give them an overview of what you would like them to include in the recommendation. For eg - specific bullet points on how you overachieved revenues, met targets ahead of time etc. This list will give them enough ammunition to write your reco. 
  • Do not write your recommendations yourself. It will look so similar to your essays and you may get caught.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Interesting Article on MIT Federal Credit Union

MIT FCU Replaces Citibank as Lender for Top Business School

WASHINGTON -- MIT Federal Credit Union exemplified the opportunities that exist for credit unions in this current market by taking the place of Citibank as a lender for private student loans at the MIT Sloan School of Management.
This past fall, Citibank terminated its no co-signer CitiAssist student loan program, which many international students depended upon to fund their education. Many of the top schools across the country, such as the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, Cornell's Johnson School and Harvard Business School, were left scrambling to find a loan solution to offer students. So far, MIT Sloan School of Management is the only school that has announced a replacement program.
"They took a hatchet to what could have been done with a scalpel. They ended all international agreements, and the entire program with international students across the board for a few hundred schools even if they were making money on them," said Scott Patterson, executive vice president for the CUSO Credit Union Student Choice, which helped orchestrate the loan program between MIT FCU and the Sloan School.
MIT FCU is one of the 12 owners of the CUSO Credit Union Student Choice that was launched in May 2008. Had it been a year earlier that the business school approached the credit union for help, Patterson said the credit union would have had to turn them away since it wasn't a part of the CUSO then and wasn't offering student loans.
MIT FCU had been working with CU Student Choice to develop its undergraduate loan program when it was approached by the business school to offer the loans targeted for its international graduate students.
Patterson said that CU Student Choice sat down with MIT FCU and the school to negotiate the program and determine the level of risk and who would take on the risk.
"What really makes this unique is not just that a $300 million credit union replaced a goliath bank, but that it was done with a partnership with the school that is not just going to be a short-term thing."
The program that was put together differs from the previous program offered by CitiAssist in that MIT FCU is offering a line of credit as opposed to a loan. With CitiAssist the student had to apply each year for the loan, and now the student applies only once. MIT FCU will finance up to $170,000, which is more than being offered before, with zero origination or prepayment fees, a variable interest rate as low as prime rate plus two points, a 20- to 25-year repayment period, graduated repayment options and a 25 basis point discount for auto payment.
"While we may not have the brand name or asset size of mega bank lenders, we have a business model that makes us perfectly suited to meet the private loan needs of MIT students," said Brian Ducharme MIT FCU president/CEO. "We've always maintained a singular focus on serving our community with cost effective products and services. This clarity of purpose has allowed us to grow and thrive at a time when many publically traded lenders are struggling for mere survival."
Another key point behind the program Patterson pointed out was that MIT FCU has two branches located on the MIT campus, which will allow the credit union to enhance its relationship with members that take advantage of the loan.
Details of the program can be found at

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

MIT Sloan Fellows Program

Given below are some important links about the Sloan Fellows Program at MIT

General Information & questions:

Essay Related Posts:

Other blogs and Videos