Meet MIT Sloan’s MBA Class Of 2025

The MIT Sloan campus at dusk. (Photo courtesy of MIT Sloan)

“EVEN IRON MAN WENT TO MIT”

And the larger university adds another dimension to the Sloan experience. Before joining the Class of 2025, first-years associated MIT with “engineering”, “innovation”, and “technology”. “Even Iron Man went to MIT,” jokes Jack O’Brien. However, there is something deeper than technical prowess alive at Sloan and MIT, adds Easlynn Lee. Two words that reflect this difference, she says, are “community” and “collaboration.”

“There’s no doubt that MIT develops empathetic problem-solvers. I really took my time to get to know students, faculty, and alumni by attending admissions events and shadowing classes when possible. After conversing with students and alumni, I always left inspired and felt like I had a mentor or friend rooting for me to become a Sloanie. I was embraced by the spirit of “Sloanies helping Sloanies” from the very beginning.”

That spirit extends beyond the student body, adds CC Obi-Gwacham. “My experiences with MIT Sloan so far have shown me just how deep and extensive the program’s commitment and resources are as it pertains to innovation, entrepreneurship, research, development, and technology. The level of access is unprecedented – they range from founders and engineers within the MIT ecosystem, to innovative courses across both MIT and Harvard, and to the greater technology industry within Boston.”

BOSTON IS BOOMING

Indeed, Boston is one of the major value-adds of the MIT experience, say alumni. The region includes over 60 colleges and universities – including Harvard, Babson College, Boston University, Tufts, and Northeastern University – that account for 150,000 college students. At the same time, the region is packed with corporate might. There are 17 Fortune 500 companies in Massachusetts, representing over a combined $18 trillion dollars in revenue. In the Boston area, you’ll find headquarters for General Electric, Liberty Mutual, Thermo-Fisher, Moderna, State Street, Wayfair, and Biogen. According to Startup Genome, the Boston area also ranks as the world’s 6th-best startup ecosystem. As a whole, Startup Genome pegs the Boston startup ecosystem at $357 billion dollars in worth. From 2020-2022, it spun out 26 unicorns and generated over $75 billion dollars in total VC investment from 2018-2022. Overall, the region shines in life sciences, AI, and analytics ventures.

In other words, Boston is the perfect place to find highly-educated talent for technical expertise and potential partnerships. More than its commercial prowess, the area is just a great place to live says Sloan alum Paolo Luciano Rivera.

“I feel that Cambridge and Boston have everything you could wish for from a big city but on a smaller, bite-size scale. I’ve loved three things the most. First is the music scene. Just one stop away from NYC, artists –both big and small – also tour Boston. I’ve never been to so many concerts and raves as I have during my time here. Secondly, it’s close to the water! I’ve learned how to sail on the Charles River (also a cool MIT perk) and I’ve gone whale watching in the Massachusetts Bay. Last, is the closeness of everything, it’s a very walkable city and the public transportation is amazing. Everything can be reached between 15-20 mins. For me, coming from a traffic-ridden, land-locked city like Mexico City, I love it here.”

MIT Sloan School of Management

CHOOSE YOUR ADVENTURE

In fact, you could say joining Sloan was like a homecoming for Luciano Rivera. His undergraduate textbooks, he says, were often written by MIT profs. For Dubem Mbeledogu, a ’22 Sloanie who works for Bain & Company, one of the best parts of the Sloan experience was how he was encouraged to participate in other parts of the larger university – and the support he received at every level.

“I loved the analytical culture surrounding Sloan. It wasn’t forced on you if you didn’t want it. If you did, it was ever-present. From economics to marketing, the MBA program had an analytical offering. The operations research center is housed by Sloan, so you could take as many graduate level operations research classes as you’d like. We were even allowed to take graduate engineering and science courses outside of Sloan for credit…If you wanted to, you could be involved in any number of hackathons, ranging in analytical rigor, to hone your skills, which made the experience that much more fun for me as well.

Indeed, flexibility is baked into the Sloan experience. Easlynn Lee describes the curriculum as “Choose your adventure.” Take the Sloan Intensive Period, for example. Every October and March, Sloan MBAs take a week off to complete workshops centered around topics ranging from working under pressure to incorporating diverse perspectives. Call it a mid-semester breather designed to focus student attention on the big trends and key skills that will dividends long into their careers. In January, students start a month-long Independent Activities Period (IAP). Here, students can work on their venture or research – or take workshops to sharpen their skills in Shotokan Karate, standup comedy, or even hat-making.

“I find this quite liberating, and it fits this idea that my MBA journey is going to be full of discovery,” Lynn says. “MIT Sloan offers structure and support where needed, but also gives students the opportunity to explore a variety of business endeavors.”

ACTION LEARNING LABS

Sloan’s “Chose your own adventure” ethos also intersects with its “mens et manus” through its Action Learning Labs. For over 60 years – and covering over 2,700 organizations – Sloan MBAs have chosen from a variety of hands-on learning experiences organized by industry or country. This year, Sloan is offering 16 labs, covering areas as different as Alternative Investments, Healthcare, Product Management, and Sustainable Business. A mix of coursework, coaching, and hands-on projects, the Learning Labs give students a series of immersive experiences in the areas that interest them. In 2021, for example, a four-member team participating in the Analytics Lab worked in tandem with the UN Mine Action Services. Together, they developed a machine learning model so that satellites could detect whether explosives had been cleared using various indicators. Another Sloan team was recently charged by Apollo Global Management with developing a white paper that would guide the firm in building its agricultural investment portfolio. In the end, Sloanies come away from Action Learning Labs with high-level, high-impact experience in solving problems that can be leveraged in their internships and later careers.

Among the Class of 2025, the Entrepreneurship Lab (E-Lab) ranks among the most popular. “The course will allow me to immerse myself in a fast-growing startup to experience both the pains and opportunities of entrepreneurship firsthand, along with understanding how I can use my unique skillset to drive progress,” explains Sofie Netteberg. “Past projects supported startups working in AI, machine learning, and sustainability. I am equally excited to see what exciting new startups are in the space I plan to work in and what they are experiencing.”

The iTeams (Innovation) Lab comes closes to CC Obi-Gwacham’s heart. “[In this course], interdisciplinary student teams take MIT research breakthroughs and work to bring these technologies from the lab to society. One of my key interests involves commercializing innovations, and iTeams teaches a structured approach to doing exactly this, covering everything from technical exploration to market understanding, value economics, and generating impact.”

For Michael Akpawu, Analytics is the Action Learning Lab that has made the biggest impression.It resonates deeply with my private equity ambitions and tech-forward mindset,” he admits. “In this ever-evolving technology landscape, AI and machine learning are game-changers, and this lab ensures a comprehensive MBA experience by blending finance with cutting-edge technology. Being a tech-biased investor, I am eager to delve into advanced analytics to better understand how it shapes strategic business decisions.”

MIT Sloan MBA Students

A CLASS PROFILE

Looking at the class profile, you have to credit Sloan for consistency…at a high level. The Class of 2025 features 409 students, up one student from the previous year. Women and international students compose 46% and 40% of the class respectively – the same percentages as the previous year – with students hailing from 60 countries. That said, the percentage of underrepresented minority students slipped four points to 28%.

True to form, the class brings a 729 average GMAT to Cambridge, down just a point as scores ranged from 700-760 in the mid-80% range. The average GRE score rose two points to 327, as scores ranged from 157-168 (Quant) and 155-167 (Verbal) – also in the mid-80% range. Overall, a third of the class submitted GRE scores. As undergrads, the class also averaged a 3.61 GPA.

As undergraduates, the largest segment of the class majored in Engineering. They make up 33% of the Class of 2025. 18% hold degrees in Economics, followed by Business (16%), and Math and Science (12%). The biggest change: the percentage of Business majors fell by seven points from the previous year. In terms of professional experience, 26% of the class last worked in Consulting. The percentage of candidates coming from the Tech industry jumped from 14% to 23% over the past year. By the same token, Financial Services dropped from 23% to 17% this year. The class also incudes 33 military veterans.

AN INTERVIEW WITH SLOAN ADMINISTRATION

MIT Sloan is another MBA program known for across-the-board excellence. In a 2023 US News survey of business school deans and MBA directors, Sloan earned the highest scores for its Info Systems, Production and Operations, Business Analytics, and Project Management curriculum. It also ranked 2nd for Supply Chain and Logistics, 3rd for Entrepreneurship, and 5th for Finance. Better still, Sloan finished a spot ahead of Harvard Business School in the US News ranking, giving it bragging rights in Boston. Among the senior execs surveyed by CEOWorld, MIT Sloan ranked 3rd globally.

Rankings may be the what, but the real story involves the how and the why. That’s why P&Q posed seven series of question to MIT Sloan (and received answers from eight different administrators).  From sustainability to student events, here are the headlines for the upcoming year at MIT Sloan.

Tara Walor

Q: What have been the two most important developments in your MBA program over the past year? What type of impact will they have on current and future MBAs?

A: “MIT Sloan now offers seven certificate programs in the following areas: Business Analytics, Digital Product Management, Enterprise Management, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Finance, Healthcare, and Sustainability. The certificates allow students to focus their studies and deep dive into an area of interest. Each certificate program provides foundational knowledge and hands-on industry experience while allowing students to tailor their education, build their network, and meet their professional goals.”

Tara Walor, Assistant Dean of Student Services, MIT Sloan School of Management

“MIT Sloan’s Action Learning embodies MIT’s Mens et Manus (Latin for ‘Mind and Hand’) motto. Students apply their classroom knowledge to real-world business challenges, which equips them with problem-solving skills, adaptability, and a team mindset that they can apply to their own organizations and careers. Students enrolled in Action Learning Labs work with startups, domestic and international corporations, and non-profits located across the globe. Throughout this immersive learning experience, students reflect on themselves professionally and personally, both to assimilate management theory and to be intentional about their leadership journey. Most recently, we have introduced our Digital Product Management Lab, Organizations Lab: Leading with Impact, ASEAN Lab, and Alternative Investments Lab to our current portfolio which, each year, includes approximately 20 Labs.

Becca Souza, Director of Action Learning, MIT Sloan School of Management

Q: Give us your one-minute pitch for your business school. What makes you unique?

A: ”Genuinely serving as MIT’s school of management at a time when everyone wants to be close to, and understanding of, technology and its disruptive potential. Offering a pedagogy that thoughtfully fuses academic theory with practical purpose through a rich portfolio of Action Learning labs that keeps us true to MIT’s founding motto of Mens at Manus.

Jacob Cohen, Senior Associate Dean, MIT Sloan School of Management

Next Page: Profiles of 11 Members of the Class of 2025

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