My MIT Sloan Info Session in California

One week after attending Harvard and Stanford’s info sessions in downtown Los Angeles, I attended the MIT Sloan info session in Santa Monica.


Initially, I had registered for an info session for Berkeley Haas on the same day; however, that was before I decided to apply to my Consortium schools in round two. I need to focus all of my attention on my R1 schools right now; then I can switch gears and devote 100% of my energy to the R2 schools, including Berkeley.

I’m pursuing this plan of action for two reasons:

1) My job is bananas right now with the biggest software release my company has had in 3 years fast approaching.  In fact, when I attended the MIT info session after work, I RETURNED to work for another hour or two of critical tasks before leaving sometime past 10pm.

2) As much as I had planned to have my essays all wrapped up by now, they’re not. Even though several have been written for weeks and weeks, they take a LOT of revision to get right. Additionally, that revision should not be done hastily or with only one set of eyes. It takes writing the essay, not looking at it for a week, editing, sending it to someone else to review, waiting for them to get back to you, editing, not looking at it for a few days, re-editing, realizing you need to throw out half, rewriting, editing, sending it to someone else…you get the point. Its torture; and time consuming.

Also, since Berkeley is in California, I can do a campus visit later this year. I knew that I wouldn’t be getting to Sloan’s campus anytime soon, so this info session was crucial for me so that I could make contact with the admissions staff and get my questions answered (from Sloan, that is).

The fact that  Berkeley has been such an elusive school for me to get face time with (missing a previous info session and not getting to sit with them at the Riordan/DMAC event after having requested them) made this a tough choice; but I knew it was the right one. So, I sent Haas a cancellation notice to allow some other deserving person to have my spot at their R1 info session.


Needless to say, there will be no more GMAT-ing for me. While I know that I”m fully capable of  a 730/740 once I master timing myself (lack of time is the main reason why I feel like I capped out @ 700 previously; especially on the quant) I would have needed to plan about an extra month to give myself enough time to re-review, practice timing and be on point for the performance.


I was quite happy to see that Sloan decided to host its info session in Santa Monica. While it is not the most central place in the city, being that it’s on the ocean, it was an easy 35 minute drive down a few major west side streets for me. Additionally, I was less stressed out while travelling there and found parking right across the street from the hotel that I only had to pay $1 for (as opposed to the $40 that I had to cough up for my HBS info session).

Per my usual, I arrived early. I ended up sitting next to two prospective students who worked in finance. As it turned out, they just happened to be familiar with the company I work for. They met each other while working for the finance outfit that worked on my company’s IPO several years ago before it was sold to the PE firm that currently owns it. Our common thread made for nice small talk while waiting for the info session to begin.

Naturally, they knew some of my coworkers, including one of my recommenders. Now one of them works in the finance department of an aerospace company while the other is in the same function for a gaming company.

I also met one of my readers, Andrew, during the event; thus, continuing my almost perfect record of being recognized by SOMEONE at nearly every event that I’ve gone to. So much for anonymity. Ant any rate, I want to give a big shout of to Andrew! Best of luck on your 2012-13 admissions goals! Definitely comment and keep me updated with your progress and results bud.


When the admissions officer began her spiel, I initially thought that I was going to be in for some boring restatement of stuff I had already read on the website. While she certainly covered the expected bases, she devoted a lot of time to the admissions process and what they were looking for. In fact, Sloan’s turned out to be the most admissions-specific info session that I’ve been to up to this point.

I think this may be the case due to MIT’s unique approach to admissions. Admissions in general is a very subjective process. And while Sloan’s process is not 100% free of subjectivity, is the most objective that I have heard of.  Knowing that her school’s process was off the beaten path, I”m sure the adcom officer wanted to make sure we understood exactly how and why.