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***Stanford's Sloan Fellows Program has undergone a change recently so the below information is outdated.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. 

16 comments:

  1. Hi there. I am planning to apply for the SF program but am interested in the MSc in Management of Technology. I have already done my MBA from UK and was wondering how much value the MSc adds on top? Thanks for the article by the way. I was wondering which program to focus on between MIT and Stanford

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  2. @ Burzil,
    Thanks for your comment. Sorry for this late response. Coming back to your question about how much value does an M.Sc add over an MBA really depends on your long term goal and the requirements of the job that you want to pursue. An MBA offers a much broader scope of study but an M.Sc is more concentrated in a certain discipline. Sloan Fellows have an option of going for an M.Sc degree after completing a thesis on a subject of their choice. If you already have an MBA, it may or may not make sense to go for another program. It really depends on your long term objective.
    Stanford recently made a lot of changes to their program so my post above is not up to date. They have also increased their duration to 1 yr instead of 9 months. I do not know the rest of the details. But I would still recommend MIT as the program office is very strong and the way they conducted the program for our class was top notch. And Boston, Cambridge on the whole provide a much wider network and access than Palo Alto. Both are great schools but at the end its your personal choice. Once you talk to the alums, look at the class profiles, you will have a fair sense of where you fit. Cultures in both these places are very different. Good luck.

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    1. Thanks a lot. I got accepted into the MIT program. I am now contemplating the financing. You are right, the MIT Credit Union is great in the way that the loan is guaranteed. What is now obvious is that if I take the loan then I must stay back in the west (or middle east) to pay the loan back, which I hope with a Pakistani passport will not be a problem (realities of the world). Stanford does have impressive linkages with the Silicon valley, but I cant imagine that job prospects would be any less attractive with MIT?

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  3. hello! I would just like to know if its possible for me to do Sloan Fellow 1 year mba and the harvard mc/mpa 1 year program simultaneously? is there a way it can be packaged? thank u.

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  4. @ awi - It is not possible to do both these programs at the same time. Sloan Fellows program is quite intense and will leave you with very little time to pursue any other program. I am not entirely sure about the structure of the Harvard MPA program but if I am not wrong it is a full time program as well and will require almost equal effort and time if not more.

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  5. hello. thanks for doling out tips. i'm an entrepreneur who has established 3 small businesses and i am now in the process of setting up my 4th company. I have 12 years of work experience. I would like to ask you who would be the best people to write my recommendation letters since I do not have a direct supervisor above me given my circumstance. also, is it true that AdComs usually prefer people from a corporate background rather than entrepreneurs? what are my chances? tnx

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    1. If you did not have any managers who managed you then you can ask your peers to write a recommendation for you. If you know any alumni from MIT then they can write one for you as well. If you still cannot find a suitable recommender then ask the program office to guide you on the next steps. But in 12 yrs. of experience you should be able to find one or two people who have known you professionally and should be willing to recommend you. Do you have any recommendation on linkedIn.? Maybe its a good idea to contact those people.

      AdComs prefer people who will add value to the class through their potential and experience. So it really does not matter if you come from a corporate vs. entrepreneurial background. Lastly there are several factors which go into making to a top school/program. Only the admission office can make that decision. Anyone else who says that you will or will not make into a program really is only guessing. Hope this helps.

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  6. could my business partners write my recommendation letter? or my suppliers/clients? i'm not sure if i know anyone from MIT but I do know people who are alumni of other ivy league schools. would it help if they wrote my recommendation letter? or would it be a major plus if someone who has known me on a professional level write my letter? thank you again for your time.

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    1. Anyone who has known you professionally and has a good understanding about your strengths and areas of opportunity can write your recommendation. That includes clients, suppliers, peers etc. It has to be a recommendation from someone who has known your professionally.

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  7. Hi! Many thanks for your insights on the program.
    I have a question regarding the employment opportunities post the completion of the academic program. The MIT Sloan web site says that aspiring candidates should be prepared to wait for 3-6 months after the completion of the program for a job. In fact, it goes on to say that the program is not for people who are not willing to do that.
    I would be grateful if you can give details of the emplyment opportunities after completion of the program. I mean, are the employers too keen to recruit fellows from this program or one has to rely on own resources, contacts etc..,

    Many Thanks

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    1. Kc - Thanks for your comment.

      Fellows program does not provide any placement assistance and fellows have to use their connections/network to look for a suitable opportunity. 3-6 months as stated on the web site is only an indicative timeline. Some people find jobs before 6 months and others wait for even a year.

      Employers do not recruit from the fellows program currently. While we did have a few presentations from a couple of companies, I do not remember of anyone who landed a job. You really have to rely on your own resources to get a job post the program.

      Hope this helps.

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    2. Thanks. That was helpful indeed.

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  8. Hey ECLS, I am an Economics major and a banker for the last 15 years, applying to both the schools and hoping to make a cut with (at least) either of the two programs. Wanted to ask, by any chance, is MIT more suitable for candidates with engineering /technocratic linkage, either in terms of background or future plans, and Stanford for general management professionals? Best,

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  9. @ AA, thanks for your comment.
    MIT Sloan is a business school and does not make it more or less suitable for candidates with technical background. I had people from govt., fashion and all other possible fields in my class and everyone did well. Also, there are tons of classes to choose from. So its best to choose the school based on the program, class profile and the culture of the school. Stanford and Sloan have very different cultures. Its worthwhile to make a trip (if you can) to both these schools and sit in some of the classes to get a feel of it.

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  10. Hi, I am thinking of applying to both MIT and Stanford Sloan Fellows. I am a banker with 13+ years of experience. At this stage of my career, I am looking at this as a means to expand my horizons and my network and potentially make a career shift rather than move into a leadership position within my own field. Entrepreneurship is an area of particular interest to me. Do you think either of the programs would be right without a clear view on career objectives post the program ? My second question is - I also work in the UAE, has this really helped you in terms of career progression ? thanks !

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    1. @ Farah, thank you for your comment. This course will definitely help you to build a strong network. MIT SF has a week dedicated to entrepreneurship which gives you a flavor of what it is like to be an entrepreneur. Career shifts at later stage in your career are always subjective to a variety of factors. Coming to this program without a clear view on career objectives is fine but having absolutely no clue is not. A one year program is crunched and there is very little time available to ponder and start afresh. Becoming an entrepreneur is fine but having at least a few ideas that you would like to work on will help. A lot of people come to this program with an assumption that things will happen automatically (which is not the case). So having a little bit of direction will help you to make the best use of the available resources at the school. Regarding your second question, this program provides the tools to be successful in your career. But companies will not line up to hire you 2 levels above your current position (especially when there are multiple changes involved - change of country, change of industry, change of position etc.)
      Hope this helps.

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