In this episode I am speaking with Dawna Levenson. Dawna is an Assistant Dean at MIT Sloan, where she co-leads the Admissions Team. Prior to joining MIT Sloan she spent 18 years at Accenture. Dawna also received her bachelors and masters from MIT.
When we recorded this interview in Cambridge some two months ago, COVID-19 was not present in the conversation. Nonetheless, Dawna gave an incredibly accurate prediction about coming changes in the education field, and her expectation of a residential / online hybrid model that is imminent to come - this could not be more relevant!
This episode is highly relevant for prospective applicants, interested in Sloan’s mission statement and how the school goes about fulfilling that mission statement, how Sloan’s admission team decides who gets in and who stays out, and what major mistakes to avoid in the in person interview.
It is also interesting for business leaders in healthcare, as it showcases some of Sloan’s unique industry relationships, gives insights on ideation and joint research programs (for example with Harvard U), and tells the story of two impactful companies that were conceived in the school’s halls.
(Dawna encourages prospective applicants to reach out to her directly - details in the podcast).
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Some of the things we talk about:
Dawna’s personal story
Sloan’s mission statement, and the practical implications of that mission statement
Having a chemical engineering PhD housemate: how being MIT sets Sloan apart from other MBA programs
Academic capabilities, impact on the organization, celebrating the success of others: what makes up a great candidate
Thermometer vs Thermostat: a profile of a typical class
What NOT to do in the ever so important personal interview
The value of international students (Sloan had some 40% of those in the last class)
Access to large hospitals and close ties with Harvard: Sloan’s unique industry connections
Museum curators, theater majors, opera singers: approach towards candidates with non traditional backgrounds
an example of a great candidate on paper, who didn’t get in, and why
Book recommendation - How to Win Friends and Influence People / Dale Carnegie - “The ABCs of being a person”
Businesses created in Sloan #2: Sanergy’s full circle
Joe’s 40-year "short term plan"
Dawna’s personal view of Sloan's next 10-15 years (she hit the nail on the head!)
Playing ‘Only 3 Words’ (O3W) with Dawna: the driving forces in her
Reaching out to Dawna