Meet The MIT Sloan MBA Class of 2019

mit sloan mba tech hiring

MIT’s Sloan School of Management


The Class of 2019 will get plenty of practice moving companies forward. Perhaps the biggest draw of the program is experiential learning. No course personifies this model more than the Action Learning Labs. Here, students can choose from 15 labs, which focus both on geography (China, India, Israel) or concentrations (analytics, entrepreneurship, healthcare, NGOs, operations, sustainable business, etc.). Think of it as an opportunity for students to hone their problem-solving skills, often in a global context. Pairing up in teams of 4-6 members, students enjoy a mix of class instruction coupled with a large scale project (often in partnership with host companies ranging from SC Johnson to the Akshaya Patra Foundation). In the process, MBA candidates are tasked with addressing issues like market entry, fund-raising, and benchmarking. Although the lab is an elective, three-quarters of Sloan classes complete one – with nearly half taking two or more.

Shaffer admits that he learns best by doing. During the recruitment process, he was “amazed” by how quickly students he knew were developing through a hands-on approach anchored by the “Think-Act-Reflect” model. “Many with whom I spoke cited the learning-through-action pedagogy as the catalyst to their development” he points out. “MIT consistently places students in positions where they are able to apply lessons learned in the classroom to real-world problems. This environment, bolstered by the incredibly experienced Sloan community, places each student in a position where he or she can feel comfortable taking risks to creatively identify solutions to some of the most complex problems.”

MIT Sloan School of Management class with marketing professor John Hauser – Ethan Baron photo

It is this mastery of experiential learning where students find the real value of the Sloan MBA, notes Dean Schmittlein. “The reason that we’ve done it is that it is all from MIT — mind and hand, theory together with practice —where the best way to learn stuff is to get into the lab and do it.”


Naturally, a bias towards action draws students who hope to blaze their own path, particularly entrepreneurs. Notably, the school boasts the Martin Trust Center, designed to help students launch and scale their startups. It features a resource-rich portfolio of options like an accelerator, competitions, hackathons, and advanced coursework and seminars. Such resources have produced startups like PillPack, a custom pharmacy delivery service, which has attracted nearly $118 million dollars in funding over the past five years. What’s more, the school is located in Boston – an exploding startup hub thanks to a business-friendly regulatory framework and a deep footprint of high tech, energy, healthcare, and education ventures.

“I knew Sloan was the right fit for me because of the rigorous and advanced technical training that it provides to its students and its world-class entrepreneurial culture, says Emily McLaughlin, who previously worked in the State of Massachusetts’ Office of the Treasurer. “Having held leadership roles on political campaigns and in government, I knew that whichever MBA program I chose would need to provide me with a powerful technical and analytical skillset. In my opinion, Sloan has the best MBA program for that type of education.”

Better yet, Sloan is flanked by world class science and engineering schools at MIT. In many cases, this creates a dynamic where commercialization, not technical expertise, is often the hurdle that blocks going to market.  “One of the things that is quite distinctive about entrepreneurial startups out of MIT is that a third are based on innovative technology developed by MIT students while they are students,” Dean Schmittlein adds. “That’s a real benefit for our students. The way that happens is through the entrepreneurship courses, which are taken by people all across campus. So you’ll have postdocs in a chemistry or electrical engineering lab who have created something new and don’t know whether it is a business idea or not. So they come into an entrepreneurship course to see whether they can get anyone to take up the idea and flush out a business plan for it.”

MIT from the Charles River


In the end, a business school is a collection of shared values. For some Class of 2019 members, choosing Sloan was a matter of finding kindred spirits whose expertise and intangibles could take the to the next level. “I knew I wanted a program where I could collaborate with different types of people in different departments, says Ortiz-Luis. “MIT’s reputation as an engineering powerhouse ensured that I would be in a place where people were really building stuff…Every student or alum I’ve talked to has either taken classes in other departments, has found a technical collaborator, or is participating in another MIT initiative such as the MIT Media Lab. It’s an incredibly dynamic student body, and one I immediately gravitated towards.”

Looking ahead, Glenn recognizes that it will be a long road before she can declare her first year at Sloan a success. “I would love to have a deep understanding of the analytical tools needed to solve business problems. Having the creative side alone can only get you so far in most companies. Success would mean leaving the school year with the confidence and ability to have a broader impact.”

Ng is equally humble about his prospects. “I’ve not touched a math module since high school and never done anything in accounting nor economics ever,” he confesses. Coupled with me continuing to run my startup and foundation in Singapore, I think merely surviving school, perhaps with a couple of new ideas, would be a great achievement in itself!”

To read profiles of incoming Sloan students — along with their advice on tackling the GMAT, applications, and interviews — click on the links below.


StudentHometownAlma MaterEmployer
 Alexander Beltes Thessaloniki, Greece Yale University Camworks
 Matt Caple Boston, MA Tufts University Credit Suisse
 Marlyn Diemunsch Johannesburg, South   Africa University of Wollongong Barclays
 Rosa Glenn Dublin, Ireland Rhode Island School of Design Anthropologie
 Kaavya Gupta New Delhi, India Hindu College, University of Delhi
 Patricia Irisarri Madrid, Spain Colegio Universitario de Estudios Financieros HIPCHIPS
 Sahil Joshi Lynnfield, MA Dartmouth College Monitor Deloitte
 Emily McLaughlin Brookline, MA Brown University Office of the Treasurer and Receiver   General of Massachusetts
 Liz Nagler Huntington Woods,   MI University of Michigan Disney Interactive Labs
 Larisse-Ann (Lara)   Ortiz-Luis San Francisco, CA Stanford University Matter Ventures
 Daniel Shaffer Pittsburgh, PA U.S. Military Academy U.S. Army
 Jonathan Ng Singapore National University of Singapore Children of Cambodia