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I was wondering if my goals are clear enough for business school.
I have worked for 3 years in investment banking, had tons of interaction with different senior management in different industries. I've gotten a strong grasp of the finance side of analyzing companies (cash flows, liquidity), but I'm still a little new in terms of strategy by company, like business plans and such. So, I know how an increase in revenue of 10% flows through the three statements and affects the bottom line, but not so much how to generate the extra 10%. That is why I am applying to business school, in order to learn more management skills about strategy and how to execute the business plans effectively.
As of now, I know my short term goal is to work in the corporate finance/general management/corporate development division of a major corporation like GE. I don't have any particular industry I want to work for, because I am an M&A banker, so I've worked in a variety of industries with no real insight in any particular industry. My long term goal is to move up the ranks so that I can lead the company through both my finance and management skills.
For the MBA programs, are these goals compelling enough? I know what type of skills I want to develop and what I want to accomplish, but I don't really have any industry or company yet that I really want to join.
Based on my own experience I would say that you're headed in the right direction but you still have to more clearly refine your goals.
I would take a look at what companies recruit at the schools you are interested in and research a few to have in your pocket in case you are asked in interviews to show that you know what you want to do and are applying to whatever business school with a purpose. Do some additional research into a few of the industries that you particularly enjoyed working in during your time in M&A and see if you can pick an industry that you can really build your application around.
Of course, you'll probably change your goal a million times while you're in school but for application purposes it helps to have a very refined goal as it will really help you to focus your energy and sell yourself.
Thanks for the advice. The thing is, the industries that I have come across more often are not exactly the ones I want to join (Energy, Natural Resources). Rather, I'd probably want to join firms that offer diversified products like GE. That's why I'm reluctant to put an actual company in my essays, because I would have a hard time selling it (not enough exposure to diversified industrials). I do know that I will say I am most interested in a turnaround or growth situation because those companies would benefit most from good management. Still, those aren't exactly industries, but it's something that is more refined. How would saying I want to join a division of a major corporation that is facing a turnaround or growth situation? Again, the focus is on product, not industry, since that is what my background is. Thanks again
I think that would be OK if you can find something specific you would like to do within the realm of "turnaround or growth"
There are so many things that go into a turnaround it will really help your case if you can find one facet to focus on. I had similar goals to you and got absolutely grilled on them during my Cornell and Dartmouth interviews... you should definitely at least have a general idea about what specifically you see yourself doing immediately post MBA
Just keep researching and try to find a few specifics you can really talk about (either industry or role) and that will make selling your application that much easier.
Well, my message is I want to go from a third party advisory role to more of a direct role in a corporation to impact the company. In particular, I wish to join a group that is in a high growth phase or one that proves to gain from a turnaround. In terms of skills, I want to utilize the management skills I learn (formulate business plans, make more efficient products, etc) and use my finance skills to see how my management skills affect the bottom line. I feel like this is as detailed as I cóuld get because in a company like GE, the program spans many divisions and there's also a rotation which spans many industries. Please advise
Re: Clear enough goals?
13 Jan 2009, 10:49