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Career goals essay, too specific?

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Joined: 25 Jan 2011
Posts: 34
Location: United States
Schools: University of Texas - Austin (McCombs) - Class of 2014
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 15 [0], given: 2

Career goals essay, too specific? [#permalink] New post 04 Oct 2011, 19:20
I have a question as to the level of specificity for the short-term goals aspect of the career goals essay.

For a brief intro, I am currently in accounting/operations at a hedge fund. I’d like to move into investment banking post-MBA, with a long-term view of starting a fund based on my investment banking experiences.

For some schools with high finance placement rates, I’ve said something along the lines of “I want to enter investment banking as an associate serving financial services clients” (industry, function).

However, for other schools outside of NY and major finance powerhouses, but nonetheless do place in investment banking, I think they place in local offices for that area’s industry need (e.g. in Texas it’s energy. For UCLA investment banking it tends to be retail, entertainment co’s.) As I understand, investment banks will place people in groups as well depending on need, so at the end of the day it may not be 100% my choice.

So the question is, if I say I want to go into ibanking serving financial services clients (even though the school is located in an area dominated by other industries), am I shutting the door on myself?

Thank you so much!
Senior Manager
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Joined: 15 Jan 2010
Posts: 258
Location: United States
Concentration: Finance, Strategy
Schools: Chicago (Booth) - Class of 2014
GMAT 1: 760 Q51 V44
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Re: Career goals essay, too specific? [#permalink] New post 04 Oct 2011, 21:07
I'm not Stacy Blackman but here's a question for you:

If your goal is to work in i-banking serving financial services clients, then why would you want to apply to schools outside of NY that place in non-financial i-banking divisions? This essay shouldn't be about "spinning" your goals to meet the school's fit. It should be about understanding how the school fits to meet your goals. If you're thinking of hiding the fact that you want to work in FIG banking, then either (1) you need to research/think more deeply about what the school offers and how it meets your goals, or (2) you shouldn't apply there.

My blog:
My application status: 2012-profiles-w-admit-dings-results-no-discussion-116595.html#p983273

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Re: Career goals essay, too specific? [#permalink] New post 07 Oct 2011, 10:45
Expert's post
Hi texasexpat,

Thanks for posting. I agree with the answer above. One factor candidates tend to underestimate is the location of a business school and the role that will play on a student's opportunities post-graduation. If you know you are interested in ibanking serving financial services clients, then I recommend you look at programs in New York and the surrounding area. The business school doesn't necessarily need to be in the city (as an example, a number of Tuck graduates go on to work on Wall Street, although the school is not located in New York). I also recommend you talk to the career centers and alumni about opportunities post-graduation. The more data points you gather, the more confident you will be in your final decision.

Hope this was of help.


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Re: Career goals essay, too specific?   [#permalink] 07 Oct 2011, 10:45
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