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May 29, 2012

Q&A with a Member of the MIT Sloan MBA Class of 2013

One of my former clients, a member of MIT Sloan’s MBA Class of 2013, was kind enough to answer my questions about his experience.  MIT2013 provided the following description of himself: "I have four years experience of working for a Japanese investment bank."

Adam: What parts of the program have you liked the most?

MIT2013: Sloan has many excellent entrepreneurship programs. I think it is difficult to have entrepreneurship experience in Japan, such as working with real startups or building our own business plan and presenting it to people from VCs. Sloan provides students with tons of such opportunities in its curriculum as well as outside of curriculum. In addition, this entrepreneurial characteristic of Sloan has been attracting many people from all over the countries, which has created a powerful ecosystem for entrepreneurs around Sloan. For me, working with students who are serious about staring business was really valuable experience.

Adam: What has most surprised you about your first year?

MIT2013: The English level of other international students. Of course, I expected my English level would be lower than those of other international students before coming to Sloan. However, the gap between my English level and their English levels was much larger than I had thought. I was also surprised that for most of them the purpose of taking an MBA is career change. To be honest, my biggest goal for MBA is to improve international communication, including language, which I think would be a typical aim for most students sponsored by Japanese companies. However, most of the international students at Sloan have already had sufficient experience in America (or English culture) and they don’t regard international experience in MBA as so important as I do. Realizing these facts, I came to be worried about our country’s English level.

Adam: How would you describe the culture of the business school?

MIT2013: I think Sloan has very mature culture compared to other business schools. This is because the average age of our program is a little bit higher than other schools, such as HBS or Stanford. Furthermore, most of our courses are based on teamwork, which naturally encourages students to enhance their abilities to working with other team members collaboratively.
In Sloan’s leadership courses, students are taught to be not a great leader but a collaborative leader. This is one good example which describes Sloan’s mature culture.

Adam: Do you actually have any time for clubs?  If so, which ones
are you active in?

MIT2013: I think one of the good things of Sloan is the curriculum itself is not so tough for students so that student can spend enough time on extracurricular activities. I’m a co-president of Asia Business Club and currently preparing for Asia Business Conference this November. I think this is a great opportunity that allows me to hone my leadership ability in international community. In addition, I’m a member of Japan Club, a club most of the Japanese students belong to.

Adam: What are hot topics, activities, classes, etc. at your
school right now?

MIT2013: As I mentioned, entrepreneurship is one of the hot topics at school. We have a very famous business competition called “100K”. In this competition, a winning team can earn $100K prize-money. Every year, many groups participate in this competition.
Sustainability and clean-energy is also a trendy topic at Sloan. I think this kind of topic is popular in other business schools as well. Nonetheless, MIT has a strong engineering department and a lot of technologies applicable to clean-energy. So I think MIT can offer a more interesting project than other business schools. In Sloan, you can get Sustainability Certificate, and many classmates try to get this certificate.

Adam: What are you doing this summer?

MIT2013: I’m going to Tanzania. One of my classmates tries to start his own business in Tanzania. So I will go there to help him operate his business. After that, I plan to travel in Europe until the fall semester starts.
However, most of the Japanese students are doing summer internship in Japan or foreign countries, including US.

Adam: What advice do you have for those considering application to
your school?

MIT2013: MIT will ask you a lot of behavioral questions through essays and interview. So you have to prepare many effective episodes for them. Each story has to be consistent and also reflect your character from many perspectives.
I think this is not easy job for you at all. It also require you a lot of preparation. However, if you are a client of Adam, don’t worry about it. You just listen carefully to Adam’s advice. He will let you know everything about MIT’s application.

I want to thank MIT2013 for taking the time to answer my questions.
-Adam Markus
アダム マーカス
I am a graduate admissions consultant who works with clients worldwide.  If you would like to arrange an initial consultation, please complete my intake form, which is publicly available on Google Docs here, and then send your completed form to adammarkus@gmail.com.  You can also send me your resume if it is convenient for you.  Please don't email me any essays, other admissions consultant's intake forms, your life story, or any long email asking for a written profile assessment. The only profiles I assess are those with people who I offer initial consultations to. See here for why. Please note that initial consultations are not offered when I have reached full capacity or when I determine that I am not a good fit with an applicant.

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