Director of Admissions インタビュー

MBA Program の Director of Admissions である Rod Garcia 氏にインタビューを行いました(2004年1月30日)。Class of 2006 の入学審査でご多忙な中にもかかわらず、大変気さくに対応してくださいました。
※2020年現在Rodは引き続きMIT SloanのDeanを務めており、本インタビューの内容も色あせないものと判断し、引き続き掲載しています。

Mr. Rod Garcia
Director of Admissions
MIT Sloan School of Management

1. Expectation for Japanese Students

Q1. What are the expectations or roles of Japanese students here at MIT Sloan?
A1. Our major expectation for Japanese students is to participate actively in the classroom and the MIT Sloan community. We hope that each Japanese student will come to MIT Sloan to continue his/her professional education, and thus make the most out of each experience here. Even if the Japanese student is company sponsored or self sponsored, we hope that all students will participate with the same level of enthusiasm.

Q2. What contributions can the Japanese community make to enrich the MIT Sloan community?
A2. The Japanese community affects the MIT Sloan community in two folds. Firstly, it is great to see that the Japanese community is such a supportive community. A great example of this is the “Welcome to MIT Sloan” book that the Japan club has created. I believe that this supportive Japanese community positively influences the MIT Sloan community as a whole. The second way in which the Japanese community enriches the MIT Sloan community is through the annual “Japan Trip.” The Japan Trip was the pioneer that started other trips to various countries to learn from businesses of that region. I hope that the Japanese community will continue their excellence in planning the Japan Trip and continue to set the precedence for other class-organized trips.

【注】 ”Welcomt to Sloan” とは、日本人在校生が日本人合格者に配布していた生活立ち上げマニュアルです。2003年度からはこのWebサイトに移行しました。

Q3. What are your expectations of the Japanese students after MIT Sloan?
A3. The Japanese MIT Sloan Alumni are the most active alumni. The environment that the alumni create for networking and social events in Japan , and the contributions they have made in general are inspiring and admirable. I hope that students continue the tradition of being a supportive and involved Japanese community beyond the MIT Sloan experience.

2. Admission Process

Q4. What is the essay evaluation method?
A4. One to three people will read your essays. Essays are critical in gaining insight on the applicant. We have expert staffs who have great knowledge in the Japanese education and business systems.

Q5. How important is the GMAT?
A5. GMAT is one of the important factors. Currently, the average GMAT score of all the applicants (not admitted applicants) is around 710. But, of course, it is not the only consideration in the process.

Q6. There is a myth that an applicant needs a GMAT score higher than a V35. Is that true? Is a lower score application read later?
A6. We expect our applicants to score a V36 or higher. However, we are also very flexible. If the applicant has a V30-V35 and outstanding academic history, job experience, or recommendations, then we consider the applicant. If the applicant has an outstanding application and a lower than V30, then we verify the low score by an interview and check his/her language skills. In the past, we didn’t look at applicants who had a GMAT score below a certain threshold. However, in the past three years, we have not used the GMAT as a filter. In fact, we read every application. (*)

(*) In the section of current Japanese students’ profile, you can see that those who had lower than V35 scores were really admitted.

Q7. What is the weight among the job experience, academic history, essays, recommendations and GMAT?
A7. All important sources are weighted equally. However, we have a point system to help us identify a qualified applicant. Very simply, in addition to the intellectual or academic achievement (i.e., job history, GPA, GMAT), we look for “six other major characteristics” in our applicants. Through the application, we would like to understand how the applicant measures up in the following characteristics: 1) leadership, 2) drive, 3) vision, 4) innovation, 5) collaboration, 6) presence. Thus, all of the components of the application are important.

Q8. Do applicants have to have an engineering or math background to be admitted?
A8. No, students have a diverse background in academic history here at MIT Sloan. The math requirement here at MIT Sloan is usually no problem for Japanese students with a high school education.

Q9. Does MIT Sloan have a desired number of Japanese students per year?
A9. We always hope to have a large representation of Japanese students. We don’t have any set numbers but we would like to have more than the previous year. At minimum we would like to have at least seven Japanese students and more desirably around 20.

Q10. Do you have any advice for essays?
A10. Through the essays, the admissions staff would like to understand the applicant. To be more specific, essays should highlight uniqueness of the applicant.

Q11. Do you have any advice for interviews?
A11. My general advice is not to over prepare. In particular, do not memorize your essays before the interview and try to recite them. Although it seems simple, we hope that the applicant will answer the question “that is asked.”

Q12. Do you have any overall advice?
A12. Particularly for Japanese students, I would recommend to apply first round.

Q13. Do you ever have outside consultants for the interview?
A13. No. We always have members of the Admissions Committee or alumni to conduct interviews.

Q14. Do you recommend campus visits?
A14. Yes, I encourage visiting our campus, attending classes, and talking with as many students, faculty, and staffs as you can. It’s the best way to know what the MIT Sloan is and who the Sloanies are.

Q15. Do you have any advice for people who are waitlisted?
A15. Send us an email to let us know that you are really interested.

Q16. Do you have any advice for reapplicants?
A16. Remember what you learned from applying the first time and then reapply.

3. Marketing MIT Sloan to Japan

Q17. What are the strong points of the MIT Sloan brand?
A17. In Japan , I believe MIT has the best reputation of teaching the forefront manufacturing and financial engineering theories and practices. MIT Sloan is also associated with this reputation, so it has a strong image as a very quantitative school.

Q18. Are there any weaknesses in the MIT Sloan brand?
A18. We acknowledge that MIT Sloan needs to increase its brand awareness. Currently, we are identifying our action plans for each country to make our brand more consistent and effective.

Q19. MIT Sloan has an image of being a theory-driven approach. Have you done anything to change that?
A19. I am confident that we will overcome that image because we have taken many actions to change that image. Firstly, the curriculum now incorporates more case studies. Secondly, many courses are project based and require students to work with outside companies and learn outside of the classroom. This is called “experimental learning.” We are confident that this will decrease the gap between theory and practice.