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How detailed/specific should you be about your career goals?

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How detailed/specific should you be about your career goals? [#permalink] New post 22 May 2008, 08:29
I'm a bit of a non traditional bschool candidate in that I currently work for a land development firm, and hope to continue to work in land development (who knows if that will change once in school) post mba. My ultimate goal is to build sustainable homes on my own someday.

My question is, how detailed should I be about my career goals when it comes to specific positions? I know I want to work in the aquisition/design/early development phase of projects, but should I list actual positions? For example, "...ideally I would like to attain the position of director of forward planning at such and such a firm, then VP of aquisitions..." etc etc. Or is it enough to have a concrete vision, but to leave out the details? Or do I need to have everything mapped out exactly?
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Re: How detailed/specific should you be about your career goals? [#permalink] New post 22 May 2008, 08:39
i didnt throw out any titles... i think it makes you sound overly ambitious. i just said i wanted to move into strategy consulting for a few years and then move into a specific field of transportations systems (most detail in this part) and start my own business.
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Re: How detailed/specific should you be about your career goals? [#permalink] New post 22 May 2008, 08:44
I was extremely specific because my goals are really well defined and is a natural progression of my career. I am mostly going to change functions out of engineering into management, while hoping to stay in my area of expertise.
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Re: How detailed/specific should you be about your career goals? [#permalink] New post 22 May 2008, 08:55
I was as specific as possible as well. I'm no expert, but my feeling was that the AdCom want to know that you have defined career plan and that the MBA fits in with that plan. If that means throwing in a desired job title, I don't see anything wrong with it. It is most important, however, to fully articulate what your responsibilities would be in such a position and how getting an MBA from institution X will help you succeed in that role.
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Re: How detailed/specific should you be about your career goals? [#permalink] New post 22 May 2008, 09:00
Would you say that mentioning specific companies goes too far? I have heard conflicting theories on this.

On the one hand, you have a very clear goal to shoot for as early as the internship.

On the other hand, depending on your profile, you may come across as unrealistic.

I figure that I will not mention any specific companies unless I am asked for it.....

dox wrote:
I was as specific as possible as well. I'm no expert, but my feeling was that the AdCom want to know that you have defined career plan and that the MBA fits in with that plan. If that means throwing in a desired job title, I don't see anything wrong with it. It is most important, however, to fully articulate what your responsibilities would be in such a position and how getting an MBA from institution X will help you succeed in that role.

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Re: How detailed/specific should you be about your career goals? [#permalink] New post 22 May 2008, 09:31
Above all else you want your career goals to be realistic. Yes a lot of people are career changers but you need to prove that you can accomplish any career change...schools want people to reach their goals. If people dont they tend to blame the school not themselves and thats not something schools want. To get into a school you are going to have to be employable and having realistic goals is paramount.
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Re: How detailed/specific should you be about your career goals? [#permalink] New post 22 May 2008, 09:38
raabenb wrote:
Would you say that mentioning specific companies goes too far? I have heard conflicting theories on this.

On the one hand, you have a very clear goal to shoot for as early as the internship.

On the other hand, depending on your profile, you may come across as unrealistic.

I figure that I will not mention any specific companies unless I am asked for it.....

dox wrote:
I was as specific as possible as well. I'm no expert, but my feeling was that the AdCom want to know that you have defined career plan and that the MBA fits in with that plan. If that means throwing in a desired job title, I don't see anything wrong with it. It is most important, however, to fully articulate what your responsibilities would be in such a position and how getting an MBA from institution X will help you succeed in that role.


I think your instincts are right on this one. I stopped short of naming specific companies; I didn't feel that it added any real value to the point I was trying to make. As long as you are being specific, realistic, and tying in the necessity/value of the program, you'll be fine.
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Re: How detailed/specific should you be about your career goals? [#permalink] New post 25 May 2008, 19:58
I was very specific in that I mentioned the Industry, the function and the responsibilities that I was interested in. But I stopped short of mentioning any firms or actual job titles. As the others have stated above, having clear goals tells the ad-com that you know what you want and how the MBA fits in.
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Re: How detailed/specific should you be about your career goals? [#permalink] New post 25 May 2008, 22:54
I was quite specific as well. I defined my short term goals and then my long term goals in more detail. The region where I want to work, in what position and what industry.
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Re: How detailed/specific should you be about your career goals? [#permalink] New post 26 May 2008, 06:25
I was specific in the industry and field I want to go into, listed one example company, and talked about the type of job I would be doing. It all weaved into my "Why MBA" story realistically, which I think is the most important part.
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Re: How detailed/specific should you be about your career goals?   [#permalink] 26 May 2008, 06:25
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