Meet The MIT Sloan MBA Class of 2019

MIT Sloan students in class. Courtesy photo. Learn about the MBA M7

MIT Sloan students in class. Courtesy photo

404 MEMBER CLASS DEFINED BY “IMPACT”

Looking over their early careers, one word seemingly defines the entire class: Impact. Diemunsch, for one, made her impact through training. Seeing the need to draw more women into analytics, she developed a “coding boot camp” for women with stellar results. “84% of our graduates earned a certificate in data science and the top performers secured collaborations with various analytic team,” Diemunsch says. Similarly, Nagler established a Women in Technology Peer Mentorship Program and a Peer-to-Peer Education Program to help employees develop new skill sets – to rave reviews. “Both received high approval ratings and sign ups, emphasizing that internal change can stem from anyone.”

Others made their mark through entrepreneurship. At Matters Ventures, a media-focused business accelerator, Ortiz-Luis helped grow the organization to two locations, all while quadrupling the staff and doubling the accelerator class (in one year, no less). Gupta launched Alterbeat.com, a platform that helps connect creative talent with work opportunities where they can apply their talents. In less than two years, she has connected over 220 organizations with potential employees. At the same time, Ng opened a foundation, Children of Cambodia, which serves 600 children a day and is in the process of launching a third hospital. If you’re wondering why Beltes truly enrolled at Sloan, just ask him about his experiences with a solar energy startup. Here, he hosted four MIT Sloan students as part of their G-Lab program. This exposure gave him a first-hand look at the high standards they followed in collaborating on a business model and plan with him.

MIT Sloan School of Management – Ethan Baron photo

“Once I got to working closely with the group of four students, seeing them put their business school knowledge into practice reinforced my idea of attending Sloan,” he shares. “They had an infectious enthusiasm for the program, and hearing all the activities with which they were involved in on campus was exciting…The G-lab experience added significant value to our business plan, culminating in a refined pitch deck and sophisticated financial model.”

WOMEN UP TO 42% OF THE CLASS

A year ago, Sloan made headlines when it received 1,453 more applications than the previous year. The momentum cooled, to an extent, during the 2016-2017 cycle. The program still managed to generate 91 more applications than last year to fill out their 404-member class. Despite this, the school’s GMAT average slipped by two points to 722, with scores ranging from 690-760 in the middle 80% range. However, this average remains a nine point improvement over the past three cycles before last year. At the same time, 722 ties Sloan with Dartmouth Tuck for the 9th highest GMAT average among top-ranked American programs.

Overall, women represent 42.3% of the class, ahead of both Harvard Business School and Stanford GSB. This percentage is also a far cry from four years ago, when roughly a third of the class was female. More than that, it places the school within 2% of Wharton and Dartmouth Tuck, which attracted the highest percentages of women in their 2019 classes. That said, the percentage of international students plummeted to 33%, way down from its 41% heyday with the Class of 2014 (and six points lower than the Class of 2018).

When it comes to educational backgrounds, this year’s Sloan class was identical to the previous one. 32% of the class earned undergraduate degrees in engineering. Business majors again comprised 21% of the class, following by economics (11%), science and math (11%), humanities (11%), and social sciences (9%). True to MIT’s quant roots, a large bloc of the incoming class worked in STEM-related fields. Financial Services owns the most seats, with 21% of the class owning banking-related experience. Technology and media accounts for another 18%. With McKinsey, Bain, and BCG serving as three of the four largest consumers of Sloan graduate talent last year, it should come as no surprise that students with consulting backgrounds make up 19% of the class. Government and public service (15%), energy (8%), healthcare (7%), industrial (6%), and consumer products (4%) round out the remainder of the class.

NEW CERTIFICATES HIGHLIGHT INCREASED SPOTLIGHT ON ANALYTICS

Like any innovative force, the Sloan School continues to reinvent itself. Looking to enhance awareness and understanding, students introduced an “Ask Me Anything” initiative last year.  Such roundtables became popular ways for MBA candidates to learn more about each other – which trickled down into greater respect and camaraderie during team projects.

“This program regularly invites all members of the community to come learn and ask questions of classmates on a volunteer panel,” explains Maura Herson, who oversees Sloan’s MBA program. “This year students participated in sessions ranging from Ask Me Anything about Being in the Military to Ask Me Anything about Growing up Black and Latino in the United States to Ask Me Anything about Mental Health. We look forward to continuing the initiative in the coming year, addressing topics of interest to new and returning student populations. The Ask Me Anything series helps students, staff and faculty to enrich their personal perspective by engaging in  open, honest dialogue on what are often difficult topics.”

The philosophy behind the Sloan MBA program is the elevation of facts over feelings and research rigor over grand gimmicks. That’s one reason why analytics have grown so foundational to a Sloan program driven by data. In the coming years, says Herson, the school’s offerings in the field will only grow.

Maura Herson

“Following  the successful launch of a Masters in Business Analytics degree in 2016, we are introducing a new Certificate in Business Analytics for students in our MBA, MFin, EMBA and Sloan Fellows programs. The curriculum will allow students to build deep competency in analytics  – the ability to ask the right questions, parse large quantities of structured and unstructured data, translate analytic insights into actions and influence key business decisions. Students can opt to complete the certificate or take individual classes such as The Analytics Edge to develop critical skills related to translating data into positive impact for the modern organization.”

CORE COURSES COMPLETE AFTER FIRST SEMESTER

One of Sloan’s biggest advantages is its curriculum. To call it “flexible” would be an understatement. For one, the core courses last just one semester. In other words, students can spend the second semester pursuing their passions and doctoring their deficiencies through electives. Between Sloan’s exacting academics and hands-on opportunities, students can gain a subject level mastery and industry-based experience that provides a huge head start before they even start their internship. Such flexibility is complemented by the Sloan Innovation Period (SIP), a week-long break between the quarters where students can make global or industry treks or participate in intensive workshops on topics like strengthening leadership or delivering a TED Talk.

Such wrinkles appeal to a different type of student – one who is heavily in demand by employers. According to U.S. News’ 2017 survey of business school administrators, Sloan ranks as the top program in bread-and-butter specializations of information systems and operations according to business school administrators. At the same time, it places among the top schools for logistics, entrepreneurship, and finance. Not surprisingly, Sloan grads earn some of the heftiest paychecks starting out, including a $145,826 average for the Class of 2016.

Such outputs are the result of high satisfaction results among employers. In fact, Sloan earned the second-highest marks in Bloomberg Businessweek’s annual recruiter survey in 2016, which Dean Schmittlein attributes to their graduates’ penchant for impact and selflessness. “’Your graduates simply go farther, faster, in our firm than the graduates of other schools.’  That is what I hear most – from the firms that track such things.  Our graduates do more to move the whole organization forward (not just moving themselves forward), and that keeps them coming back.”

Go to page 3 to see in-depth profiles of incoming MIT Sloan students.