You’re applying to b-school and aiming for the January deadlines. You may also be working full-time, juggling a few other responsibilities, and perhaps trying to jack up your GMAT.
You really don’t have time to spare.
So let’s get down to business and start defining your MBA goal – the more introspection you do before you write your MBA goals essay, the faster and smoother the actual writing of the essay will be.
To begin, spend time with a notebook and pen (or a computer) and jot down possible specific roles and industries that you’d be able to discuss in an MBA goals essay.
The challenge here is to think of goals that go beyond the obvious (or at least to think of an original way to express your less-than-original goals). For example, “I want to go into marketing” won’t cut it on its own, but if marketing is a passion and a goal of yours, then there are other ways to frame it without falling into the boring, generic trap, mainly through the use of details.
The details that surround your MBA goals are what will make your goals essay stand out from all the other future marketers in the stack. Details will make your essay interesting, credible, and individualized.
Here are some tips you should keep in mind when preparing for writing a compelling, extraordinary MBA goals essay:
1. Distinguish between short-term, long-term, and intermediate goals. At each of these stages, what would your ideal position be? What type of company? And in what industry? These positions/companies/industries may change as you transition from the short-term to the long-term. Use specific examples of job titles and companies to further illustrate how much you’ve thought about your future.
2. Continue to identify the details of the short- and long-term and the intermediate goals by thinking about what specific goals you’d like to accomplish during each of the phases. Don’t just talk about what you want to get out of an experience, but about the impact you want to have on the people that you encounter and the industry during that time.
3. Do your research so that your goals prove realistic. Look up hiring trends, services, organization, market status, products, competitive concerns, etc. at your desired companies.
4. Become familiar with the challenges of your chosen industry. Are there any current events that have affected your industry?
5. Be prepared to discuss why you’re attracted to your target positions/industry. Most questions won’t specifically ask about your motivations for pursuing your particular goals, but keeping your motivations in mind while you write will help you present a more engaging story with a stronger message—ingredients that will further help your essay stand out.
Following these steps during the pre-writing stage of your goals essay will help you formulate a clear, compelling, and original portrayal of what your goals are. It will also make the actual writing of the essay move more quickly and effortlessly.
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This article originally appeared on the Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog, the official blog of Accepted.com.