Sloan Fellows: A Breed Apart At MIT, Stanford & London

Stanford Business School faculty are eager to teach Sloan Fellows given the experience they bring to the class, the program director says.

The Sloan Fellows program is a premier learning experience for elite, mid-career managers, says Mike Hochleutner, Stanford’s Sloan program director.

What do Kofi Annan, former U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Thad Allen and economist Sir Howard John Davies have in common?

They’re all Sloan Fellows – meaning they completed the first full-time graduate business program for elite mid-career managers and entrepreneurs.  Only the MIT Sloan School of Management, the London Business School and the Stanford Graduate School of Business offer the program, which grew out of a series of grants from legendary General Motors Chairman Alfred P. Sloan and his foundation.

As far as 12-month, MBA-like experiences go, the Sloan Programs are the most prestigious and elite business degrees in the world. That’s partly because of the outstanding reputation of the three schools that run these programs, as well as the fast-track executives they attract. But it’s also a function of the highly successful list of Sloan Fellow alums who have reached the top of their organizations over the years.

Given the relatively small size of the three graduating classes each year (at roughly 250 total it’s less than a third of Harvard Business School’s annual MBA output), it’s astonishing how many of the Corporate Elite have a Sloan Fellowship on their resumes, from Ford Motors’ CEO Alan Mulally to Aetna Chairman Ron Williams. The former chief executives of Hewlett-Packard, Boeing, Caterpillar, Siemens, BellSouth and Eastman Kodak all are Sloan Fellows, too.


The program is neither an Executive MBA, nor an MBA. Unlike most EMBA programs, it’s full time. Students attend class on campus instead of popping in for weekend sessions or logging into courses online. Many Sloan Fellows live on campus and take a hiatus from their careers during the program. Unique from the MBA, the Sloan program targets experienced managers with proven workplace success – most bring at least 10 years of professional experience to the table. The Sloan program is also one year instead of two.

Although the programs at MIT, Stanford and LBS aren’t formally linked, the directors from each school often collaborate with one another and arrange networking events and visits so Fellows can connect.

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.