Meet The MIT Sloan MBA Class of 2017

Jennifer Ballen

Jennifer Ballen


MIT Sloan School of Management

Hometown: Boston, MA

Undergraduate School and Major:

Lehigh University

Double Major: Finance, Marketing

Minor: Psychology

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: Morgan Stanley, Analyst 

Recalling your own experience, what advice do you have for applicants who are preparing for either the GMAT or the GRE? Timed practice tests! 

Based on your own selection process, what advice do you have for applicants who are trying to draw up a list of target schools to which to apply? Speak extensively with current students, alumni, and professors. Seek schools in which you feel a fit with the student body, the culture, and the academics. Importantly, visit the campus and sit in a class or two.

What advice do you have for applicants in actually applying to a school, writing essays, doing admission interviews, and getting recommenders to write letters on your behalf? Do not rush your application. Choose recommenders who can speak to both qualitative and quantitative characteristics. Whereas interviews in the workforce often try to trick you or “see what you’re made of,” business school interviewers simply want to obtain a sense of who you are.

Think deeply about why you desire to attend a specific program and why you deserve a seat in the class. Be yourself – passion and honesty will prevail.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? The MIT Sloan School of Management fosters creativity and is, in my opinion, the perfect combination of rigorous academic philosophy with entrepreneurship and innovation. The professors, students, and alumni I met throughout the application process solidified this belief.

I am drawn, first and foremost, to the culture and the people, but also to the one semester core, the experiential learning opportunities, the encouragement and facilitation of entrepreneurship, and the strength of MIT Sloan’s sustainability program.

What would you ultimately like to achieve before you graduate? Driven by a steadfast belief that profitability and impact need not be mutually exclusive – and that business has massive power to alleviate environmental and social deficiencies – I aspire to embark on a career at the intersection of business, sustainability, and technology. I want to impact the world through for-profit business.

I am optimistic that two years at MIT Sloan School of Management will transform the manner in which I think about the world, augment my perspective, and improve my leadership and management skills. I hope to open my mind to novel concepts, careers, and opportunities. I hope to challenge prior ways of thinking and emerge with new views, new friends, and an immense professional network.