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Goal/Application Frustration [#permalink]
16 May 2007, 11:24
Well, I have begun setting my short term and long term goals as an outline for my essays. I am working with a consultant and this person is constantly pushing me to say exactly what it is that I want to study during and do after school but I can't really answer that question. I don't necessarily want to continue in the field I am in now and that is apparently a detrement.
I am very confounded because I was told that schools definitely don't want people to apply just to step up their career but if that isn't the case then how can you know exactly the field and position you want? I do not want to fabricate my goals or future plans in any way but I am getting the feeling like that is what I have to do to get in.
This seems to go against everything B-Schools say they are looking for. I absolutely feel that I must go NOW as I want to study entrepreneurship but because I can't define my answers to these questions I feel like I am not ready or I won't get in.
so why don't you write about your interest in entrepreneurship?
You do need to be clear about your future career goals in your application essays. Think of it from a schools perspective - their reputation depends in large part on the ability of their students to secure jobs post-MBA. If they think you are not focused they may think you are not capable.
So start thinking - if you had to decide today what would your career be and why. What is it in your background that will assure others you are capable of taking on this career path and that you are passionate about it? By writing an essay you are not promissing that this is the career you will in fact follow. Many people change their mind once they are in school and exposed to new oportunities. But you really should have some idea of what it is you want to do with your MBA, otherwise what is the point of getting it.
Do you have a rough idea what you want to do. I would think you must or else you probably wouldn't be thinking about getting an MBA. Since most schools seem to ask Why, an mba from us and what are you going to do with it, your consultant is right you need to show like you have a clear idea because there will be plenty of the other candidates who will have essays with a very specific career goals. My experience with developing my career goals was, I wrote down my idea of what I would like to do for a job and what I would be good at using my background and work experience...this kind of evolved into a career track that I find very appealing. Its going to be a career change but its going to use my background and experiences as a basis for it. So I can show I have a solid idea of what I want to do and how I plan to get there with the help of school X of course.
If you want to go into entrepreneurship the first question is why does it interest you? Do you want to start your own business or work with startups? What in your background makes this possible for you to transition too, if you wanted to go to IB from an engineering or math background you would use your solid quant and analytical abilities as a basis. You have a pretty good lead on your essays I am sure a lot more people are in my position of studying for the GMAT and picking exactly what schools to apply to. I have looked at essay questions but havent even begun working on them.
I think the reason your consultant is pushing for details and a clear set of goals on what you want to do is that it makes it easier to write a convincing essays if its genuine and what you are writing about is really of interest to you. Plus remember if you get interviews chances are they probably will quiz you on your career goals. They will want to see that you have a real clue about that career and want to see supporting details as to why you want to do it and why you think you will be successful. Otherwise it will come across as you made it up and it will really hurt. So even if you make it up make sure you come up with a good back story and at least appear like you love the idea of doing that career. It probably wont be easy coming up with your true career path and chances are you will change by graduation but at least have a good story to tell them.
I think one of the reasons schools want you to have clear goals, is that they want to see that you are capable of putting together a career path. They don't care if you stick with that path once you get to school.
For instance, I'm kind of interested in consulting, but I don't know for sure that that is what I want to do. Nonetheless, I spent countless hours reading up on consulting on sites like Vault.com and Wetfeet.com and talking to people on this forum, and getting in touch with colleagues and friends of friends. I have done about ten informational interviews with consultants. For instance a few months ago a woman started working at my company, she had previously worked at Boston Consulting Group. I emailed her a couple weeks ago and told her I'm going back to school and I'm interested in consulting, and that I'd like to talk to her about her experiences at BCG. She suggested we go to lunch to talk about it, and we did and I got a lot of cool info.
When I interviewed at various schools, my interviewers all asked me why I was interested in consulting, and I was able to say very specific things and show that I knew all about how the industry works. I know how the various firms all compare, what their corporate cultures are like, how selective they are, what their travel policies are, etc...
Whether or not I end up doing consulting doesn't matter. The admissions people know that I am capable of doing a lot of research on my own, so they know that whatever I choose to do, I will work hard to learn all I can about it, and I will likely land a job and help further the legacy of their institution.
So as silly as it seems, your essays should say things like, "My immediate goal upon graduating, is to secure a position in a rotational management development program at a Fortune 500 company like Coca Cola.....My long term goal is to be the CEO of a company with a progressive social agenda such as Merris Co. blah blah blah....."
It seems silly to be so specific, but it's more like you're demonstrating your awareness of the job market.