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Dull post-MBA goals

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Dull post-MBA goals [#permalink] New post 27 May 2009, 14:37
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So I was browsing around online, looking for tips on how to effectively answer MBA questions, and came across this: http://www.mbadepot.com/content/31/

What interested me was the following: "c. Have a worthwhile future: Faced with applicants who have equivalent grades and GMATs, the admissions committee will promote those who are on a unique, interesting, worthwhile career mission. You may have to work hard to polish up whatever dullness or omissions lurk in your past, but your aspirations are safely ahead of you where no committee can verify them. So don't hesitate to project yourself into valuable, distinctive roles. "

It got me thinking: what if, in absolutely reality, your career goal is to just move into, lets say, strategy consulting, and work for a specific employer in a specific practice ? Will the adcoms consider this to be 'dull' ? I mean, I'd hate to think that in order to impress adcoms, I need to come up with something grander and bigger in scope, because then Im pretty much lying, and we know thats a big no-no in essays.

Thoughts ? Did any of you folks ever think your post-mba goals were too dull ?
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Re: Dull post-MBA goals [#permalink] New post 27 May 2009, 15:22
well whose to say that consulting for a specific industry is a dull role? I think its all in how you frame it. If you are passionate about a particular role, then I think you can convey that the role can be a unique experience.

Though, on the other hand, I do think conveying passion about certain jobs requires a certain naivete about that position.
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Re: Dull post-MBA goals [#permalink] New post 27 May 2009, 15:23
My post-MBA goal is to go into strategy consulting, then into general management at a Fortune 100 company. I said as much in my essays. I don't think the "dullness" of the goal matters as long as you're being honest with yourself and you make a strong connection between where you are now, what you want to do with your future, and why you need the MBA to get you there.
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Re: Dull post-MBA goals [#permalink] New post 27 May 2009, 15:43
Thanks for the replies, guys. I was a little concerned initially because I thought that wanting to go into consulting wouldn't necessarily make me stand out. On that note, is it just a matter of not only say that you want to go into consulting, but why and what you hope to do ? And do you just try to be as specific as possible in the types of projects you hope to work on ?
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Re: Dull post-MBA goals [#permalink] New post 27 May 2009, 17:06
I think it's all in how you present the goal and putting enough details around it to make it memorable, not just what the goal is. For instance, saying you want to work in strategy consulting at M/B/B makes it easy to blend into the crowd of others interested in MC. However, if you say you want to focus on helping companies in X industry achieve Y while working at M/B/B (or some other firms), and why this is important to you, it makes it a lot less dull.

My essays said my immediate post-MBA goal was MC (I've since changed directions a bit). However, most of my career goals discussion focused on why I was interested in the healthcare industry, what sorts of projects I was most interested in, and overall what sorts of things I hoped to achieve over the course of my career.
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Re: Dull post-MBA goals [#permalink] New post 27 May 2009, 17:57
Having a "sexy" goal isn't important, it's making your goal personal.

When someone reads your goals essay, they should think "dam, this guy really thought this through".

You need to draw a connection between your current job, b-school and your future goals. You want the admin to think "this guy needs to go to b-school".

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Re: Dull post-MBA goals [#permalink] New post 27 May 2009, 18:10
Great, alright, then I think Im on the right track :)

I've tried to make the goal as personal as possible, and linking the past to the future. Thanks again to all of you for helping out !
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Re: Dull post-MBA goals [#permalink] New post 27 May 2009, 19:13
refurb wrote:
Having a "sexy" goal isn't important, it's making your goal personal.

When someone reads your goals essay, they should think "dam, this guy really thought this through".

You need to draw a connection between your current job, b-school and your future goals. You want the admin to think "this guy needs to go to b-school".

RF


Yes. Pretty much what refurb said. Only thing I'd add is that you want the admin to think "this guy needs to go to b-school at our school." Don't forget that in most goal essays, there is some space to tie in to why going to school X will help you achieve goal Y!
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Re: Dull post-MBA goals [#permalink] New post 28 May 2009, 02:19
do you guys get into detail more on your long term goal or your short term post mba goal?
or...pretty much same exposure for both?
and how detail do you go (specific company, function, industry, or even a specific business plan?)
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Re: Dull post-MBA goals [#permalink] New post 28 May 2009, 04:04
I was pretty detailed for both, but included slightly more detail for s/t than l/t goals. For s/t goals I talked about industry, companies, projects and roles I'd be interested in (and why), while for l/t goal I talked more about how my s/t goals would position me for role X, and mentioned a few companies I'd be interested in. I also tied both s/t and l/t goals into the theme of 'what I want to achieve in my career and why'.
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Re: Dull post-MBA goals [#permalink] New post 28 May 2009, 04:22
I think dull is in the eye of the beholder, i find some of the "holy grail" mba careers dull, but obviously that's just me.

in regards to the other question...i wrote a draft of my goals essay and it's mainly focused on short term goals, but i mention what i'd like to be doing long term and show why my short term goal helps get me there.
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Re: Dull post-MBA goals [#permalink] New post 28 May 2009, 05:20
ST goals - I talked about the industry that I wanted to target and the difficulties facing the same. I tied my work experience with the education at the university (mentioned specifics about how the education would help) and came up with an action plan - GM rotation to understand different facets of the business and then transitioning into product dev / startegy roles.

LT - I built on the above by adding the experience that I would gain at work and the network I would build through school. Being an International, I mentioned the issues related to my target industry across the world and specifically to India (my home country) and at a very high level on how I plan to tackle these issues.

I guess the adcom will give you some leeway when it comes to your LT goals as the circumstances may change over time and they don't expect people to stick to the initial plans over the longer period.

cul3s wrote:
do you guys get into detail more on your long term goal or your short term post mba goal?
or...pretty much same exposure for both?
and how detail do you go (specific company, function, industry, or even a specific business plan?)
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Re: Dull post-MBA goals [#permalink] New post 28 May 2009, 05:32

I didn't have a "One Goal Fits All" strategy.

Each school has its own strength or niche. I tried to tailor my goal slightly to each school's specialty. After all, tying your overall goal to (why MBA?) a school (why Kellogg? Booth? etc) is very important.

For example, I have interest in getting into tech sector after bschool, whether that is in Tech VC, Tech GM, Tech MC, Tech M&A, or Silicon Valley Startup.

For Haas, I mentioned briefly that one of the main reasons why Haas was one of my top choice was because of its stellar reputation in its technology specialization and its ties to the Sillicon Valley companies. I used Tech GM and Tech VC as ideal goal.

For Booth, I used similar apporach but used Tech M&A etc etc.

However, add a twist. Do research. Be creative and show that you have a canny ability to find an opportunity. Be innovative. For example in my Yale SOM essays - I discussed Waste Management trying to create more efficiency out of turning typical garbage into revenue generating operation and etc. I discussed a specific new clean technology and innovation in various startups I researched and I tried to convey my interest in pursuing a career in tech related industry but also in social responsibility.

On another note - when writing your "goal" essay - picture this:

Imagine yourself in an airport in NYC (or any city). You bought a ticket to LA. You have an option A which is a direct flight to LA. You have option B - a flight to Colorado, which is closer to LA than NYC. You have option C - a flight to San Francisco. You have option D - flight to Nevada and then to LA. ETC ETC ETC

Choosing a bschool is similar dilemma. You know where you want to go after getting your MBA. (Let's hope you do) However, there's tons of different ways to get there. If you have 7 different doors to enter, each door isn't necessarily (and very unlikely) going to lead to the destination of your choice. Some options will be easier than the others, while others might completely get you off track from your final destination. However, you need a plan to execute. If you don't have that plan thought out, and simply say that entering this door will allow you to get to your destination, then you are not only fooling the adcoms - you are fooling yourself. Each bschool is like a different door. Some might be ideal and fit with your goal. Others won't.

My point is - you have to think through how choosing school A is going to help you get to your final goal. If you can't realistically tie that out before writing your essays, then you are not gonna be able to convince the adcoms on why school A is going to be an ideal boost/help to your final goal. Usually, a good essay isn't some fancy essay with fancy goals and etc. It's an essay that is well thought out and well planned. Bschool admission isn't a linear equation. There isn't a single equation that is going to help you get into all your schools unless your name is msday.

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Re: Dull post-MBA goals [#permalink] New post 28 May 2009, 05:59
I think one thing that is good to do, but maybe not mandatory, is to discuss the impact/importance of your goals on a broader basis, in terms of what good they might provide to the world. I emphasized this a lot and thus got a lot of questions related to it in my interviews that I thought really helped me to position myself. It's easier for some goals/industries (healthcare, energy, nonprofit, social enterprise), but I think is very doable for more traditional business fields. What is the positive economic impact? How will your successes help consumers, workers, governments, business and industries in general? What will you do to improve things from how they are now? I think that doing this well is one of many ways to make "unsexy" goals into something meaningful-sounding and interesting.
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Re: Dull post-MBA goals [#permalink] New post 28 May 2009, 08:10
Looks like the thread sparked off some good discussion and comments :)

To expand on the point about knowing how specifically school A allows you to meet your goals: lets say that your immediate goal is MC/SC. Now, because Im a career transitioner, how can I identify what school resources specifically will help in a transition to consulting ? Ive identified the usual clubs, like consulting club, and other consulting specific resources, but any advice on what else I should be on the lookout for ?
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Re: Dull post-MBA goals [#permalink] New post 28 May 2009, 10:50
I assume that you would be saying about transitioning into MC / SC with a focus on a particular industry. Check the faculty profiles to see who does research in that area and tie that into your essays.

Also check the career services website of the schools to see if there is any additional inputs that you can gather. For example - Goizueta (Emory) is part of the Washington Consortium of BSchools. So I incorporated that into my essays saying that the experience would help me in the long term as leaders in my focus industry (health insurance) would have engage in policy discussions etc.

By the way - I was curious regarding your username. Menon is a common surname in Kerala, India. Are you from that part of the country?

pmenon wrote:
Looks like the thread sparked off some good discussion and comments :)

To expand on the point about knowing how specifically school A allows you to meet your goals: lets say that your immediate goal is MC/SC. Now, because Im a career transitioner, how can I identify what school resources specifically will help in a transition to consulting ? Ive identified the usual clubs, like consulting club, and other consulting specific resources, but any advice on what else I should be on the lookout for ?
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Re: Dull post-MBA goals [#permalink] New post 28 May 2009, 12:37
Thanks, scorpioguy. Yes, I have emphasized in my draft essays what industry I was to focus on in SC, and what type of projects I specifically want to work on in line with my interests. I wasnt able to find any faculty that did specific research into that industry, however.

Re: my username, its good to see that someone finally understands what it is ! Its simply my first initial and my last name together. My roots are indeed from Kerala :)
Re: Dull post-MBA goals   [#permalink] 28 May 2009, 12:37
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