Tag Archives: MIT Sloan

A little parody on MBA ethics and the Harvard MBA Oath, from Comedy Central

Hey it’s August, and even though it’s definitely, seriously, MBA application season we can still have a little fun, right?

Here’s a video from Comedy Central / The Daily Show, featuring intrepid reporter John Oliver who enlists the “help” of a former convict to convince hold-out MBA students at MIT and Harvard to sign the MBA Oath.

In an interview of the type made famous by Sasha Baron Cohen (and with the same Oxford-dragged-through-Essex accent) Oliver talks to Columbia GSB ethics professor Bruce Kogut (he really exists, bio here,) who has not the faintest idea he’s been set up.


The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
MBA Ethics Oath
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Spinal Tap Performance


Of course, ethics is a real and important topic to get right in MBA admissions. For a copy of the oath, and what it means for MBA applications this year, see previous post here.

Harvard Business School essays (2009-10) add a cover letter just like MIT Sloan’s

Harvard has released their new essay questions, and deadlines for 2009-10, adding a cover letter essay (optional) which MIT Sloan’s has as a standard request for years. Still only four essays are required for HBS, and the first two compulsory questions remain the same:

1. What are your three most substantial accomplishments and why do you view them as such? (600)
2. What have you learned from a mistake? (400)

For essays essays 3 and 4, applicants now have five topics to choose from (up from four) two of which are new. One , a cover letter “introducing yourself to the Admissions Board,” is equivalent to the MIT Sloan signature essay.

This is no surprise. Cover letters are deeply difficult to get right because they require acute balance between brevity and detail. They test your ability to extract and communicate what is really important – demonstrating a key management skill.

The other new question: “Tell us about a time when you made a difficult decision,” is familiar ground in admissions, and something well covered in MBA Studio’s profiling process that focuses on your key life transitions (why?) and prepares you for questions like this in your essays and interview.

The full set of options for HBS essays 3 & 4 are:

Please respond to two of the following (400-word limit each):
1. What would you like the MBA Admissions Board to know about your undergraduate academic experience?
2. Discuss how you have engaged with a community or organization.
3. Tell us about a time when you made a difficult decision.
4. Write a cover letter to your application introducing yourself to the Admissions Board.
5. What is your career vision and why is this choice meaningful to you?

The deadlines are (all 5pm EST) R1: October 1, 2009; R2: January 19, 2010; R3: April 8, 2010