MIT Sloan is one of the most prestigious business schools not just in the United States but around the globe. It’s known for its innovative approach to management education, which revolves around creating principled and innovative leaders who can make a difference in the world. One of the core components of the application is the video statement, which provides applicants with an opportunity to showcase their personality, and communication skills and demonstrate their fit with the school’s mission. In this blog post, we will provide you with some helpful tips for crafting a successful MIT Sloan video essay that will increase your chances of getting into the program.
How important is the MIT Sloan Video Essay?
Three years ago, MIT Sloan added a video statement to the application process which allows applicants to showcase their personality, language skills, confidence, and presentation style to the admissions committee in under 60 seconds. This is an opportunity for applicants to reveal more about themselves and for the committee to evaluate their presence, interests, and passions. Since the of the goals of admissions committees is to build cohesive and diverse class, the importance of this video is not to be overlooked.
Make an Outline
Before getting in front of the camera, make sure to draft an outline of the important topics that you want to cover. A well-thought-out script will allow you to organize your thoughts and communicate more effectively. Brainstorm ideas about what anecdotes, skills, and qualities you want to share, but also show your real, authentic self. To prepare for the MIT Sloan video statement, treat it like any other interview by getting ready in advance. One benefit is that you’ll know the question beforehand. Dedicate sufficient time to prepare for your performance.
- Plan your content: To apply to MIT Sloan, you need to provide a cover letter, resume, and letters of recommendation highlighting your professional or academic successes. However, for the video statement, it’s best to focus on your passion and interest rather than simply providing examples of work achievements. MIT Sloan looks for passionate applicants who are committed to making a positive impact on the world. In your video statement, you should showcase your passions and interests that align with the school’s mission. Share your personal and professional goals, your values, and what motivates you to pursue an MBA degree at MIT Sloan. Your goal is to demonstrate to the admissions committee that you are excited about the opportunity to join the MIT Sloan community and that you will be an active member of it. Emphasize quality over quantity by selecting one specific topic to discuss in the 60-second video statement. When thinking about topics to discuss, imagine introducing yourself to new coworkers on your first day of work. Share more than just your name and job, such as where you’re from, your hobbies, or something you’re proud of having accomplished.
- Align your narrative story to MIT Sloan values: As you write your script, remember to keep in mind the values of MIT Sloan.
- Keep your audience in mind: MIT Sloan wants you to introduce yourself to your prospective classmates rather than to the admissions committee. The committee’s intention is to avoid soliciting self-promotion. Instead, they want you to be genuine and communicate with your peers. As you create your introduction, ensure that your language and demeanor reflect how you speak to people of a similar age.
Make it visually appealing
While the content of your video statement is critical, you also want to make sure that the quality of the video is visually appealing. Ensure that the lighting, sound, and framing are all perfect. A poorly lit and unprofessional quality video can diminish the impact of the message you are trying to convey.
MIT Sloan’s admissions committee does not require applicants to have professional cinematography skills or hire a team for their video statement. Instead, they suggest that applicants record their video using software like QuickTime or iMovie. They provide tips to help applicants produce a high-quality video statement.
- Lighting: To ensure good recording quality, ensure that your face is properly illuminated and there are no ambient sounds in the background.
- Background: To prevent visual distractions from taking away attention from you, please stand in front of a plain background.
- Sound and image: Use a good quality mic and camera, which can give good quality audio and video output.
Make YOURSELF visually appealing
- Dress for success: Wear business casual attire for your video statement recording as it will be viewed by the admissions committee as part of your application process. Even though your audience is your classmates, they will be your future professional network and social group. Avoid any casual clothing when recording your video statement.
- Polish your delivery: To ensure a clear introduction delivery, remember to take pauses between words. As previously mentioned, use a tone and style of speech that is relatable to individuals your age. Avoid being overly formal and remember to maintain a pleasant demeanor while speaking.
- Pay attention to body language: To improve your posture and eye contact during video calls, make sure to keep your body upright and speak directly into the camera. Also, adjust the camera to your eye level to avoid leaning.
Demonstrate Your Knowledge and Connection to MIT Sloan
Showing your connection to MIT Sloan, and the reasons why you want to join the community, is particularly important. The admissions committee wants to see that you have conducted in-depth research and understand what differentiates MIT Sloan from other MBA programs. They also want to know how you envision leveraging the program’s resources, curriculum, and culture to achieve your personal and professional goals. For example, you can mention the various clubs, centers, competitions, or other events that interest you and how you intend to participate in them.
Practice Makes Perfect
The MIT Sloan video essay allows you more time to prepare compared to other video essays. You can script and practice your statement before recording. If you’re not good at speaking on the spot, practice until your video looks natural. Film yourself as you practice and review your videos to critique your performance. Make sure to look directly into the camera and treat it as your audience. Please maintain eye contact with the camera while speaking. Just like any other important presentation, rehearsing your MIT Sloan video statement is necessary to avoid mistakes, gain confidence, and refine your delivery. \
Get feedback from trusted sources
Getting feedback from trusted sources can help you eliminate any potential weak spots in your statement. Share your video with your peers, advisors, mentors, or other MBA consultants for their input. Ask them to pay attention to your content, your communication skills, and your connection to MIT Sloan. Take their feedback constructively; criticism and suggestions can be very valuable to improve your performance.
Use Authentic Language
Be true to yourself and communicate as naturally as you would in a conversation. Allow your language and tone to reflect your character and who you are as an individual. You want to build an authentic, engaging connection with the admissions team.
The video statement is your chance to introduce yourself to the MIT Sloan community. Don’t try to be someone you are not. Be true to yourself and let your personality shine through. While it’s essential to showcase your professional achievements, be sure to balance them with your personal experiences. The admissions committee wants to get to know you as a whole person, not just as an application package.
It’s clear that getting accepted into the MIT Sloan MBA program is not a simple task. However, if you put in the effort and thoughtfully craft your video statement, it may give you an edge over other applicants. You have all the necessary information to help you write and present a successful video statement – just remember to be creative, stay organized, prepare ahead of time, and give yourself enough practice. Don’t forget that with the right focus and dedication, anything is possible! So start putting together your compelling MIT Sload video essay today for the very best chance at being accepted into MIT Sloan. If you would like more guidance along this journey or need extra help throughout the application process, check out MBA application services available on our website – we’re always here to provide direction and support!
With a Master’s from McGill University and a Ph.D. from New York University, Dr. Philippe Barr is the founder of The Admit Lab. As a tenure-track professor, Dr. Barr spent a decade teaching and serving on several graduate admission committees at UNC-Chapel Hill before turning to full-time consulting. With more than seven years of experience as a graduate school admissions consultant, Dr. Barr has stewarded the candidate journey across multiple master’s and Ph.D. programs and helped hundreds of students get admitted to top-tier graduate programs all over the world.