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Optional essay to discuss why i left my last job?

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Optional essay to discuss why i left my last job? [#permalink] New post 24 Nov 2012, 21:42
I'm sort of in a dilemma regarding the optional essay and need some advice. So I left my last job early this year after being there for 5+ years. Although i liked the job in many ways, I am not happy with the direction the industry is taking and also felt totally drained from the stress of the job. After leaving i got a few full-time offers but did not want to go back into the same industry. Meanwhile, I have been working on several part-time projects since then, that i find quite interesting, but are unrelated to my previous job. One of my recs is from the previous supervisor and another is from a current supervisor on one of these projects.

Someone whose opinion i value told me that i should discuss this in the optional essay since he thinks my resume since leaving my last firm looks a bit "random," giving off the impression that i'm a dabbler and don't have a coherent theme or message. Although I see the merits of his argument, I'm very uncomfortable about using the optional essay to talk about this since it could easily come across as defensive. Also, plenty of people do quit their jobs to work on random stuff and still get into top b-schools. So I'm not sure if an optional essay is really necessary.

FYI, the same person i mentioned above me thinks my mba essays, especially the career goals/why mba essays, are extremely good. He is just a bit concerned that i might come across as someone who does not have a clear "theme" in his career, something i disagree with since i was at my previous firm for 5+ years.
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Re: Optional essay to discuss why i left my last job? [#permalink] New post 25 Nov 2012, 08:41
You should mention it but keep it short and direct. Also, your reasons are valid and no excuses are needed. In fact, if worded properly, you will come across as ethical and brave. You also can use the interim project as the perfect transition to your new career goals. it all fits in well from an admissions perspective if presented properly.

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Re: Optional essay to discuss why i left my last job? [#permalink] New post 25 Nov 2012, 13:10
ManhattanReview wrote:
You should mention it but keep it short and direct. Also, your reasons are valid and no excuses are needed. In fact, if worded properly, you will come across as ethical and brave. You also can use the interim project as the perfect transition to your new career goals. it all fits in well from an admissions perspective if presented properly.

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Thanks for the advice. Although optional essays should be as short as possible, in my case, I think mine needs to be a bit longer to flesh out the fact that the stuff I've been doing since quitting is not "random" and that it all fits into my overall story. I tried to keep it very short, but several friends thought it did not come across as good or convincing.
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Re: Optional essay to discuss why i left my last job? [#permalink] New post 25 Nov 2012, 14:09
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Keep it simple, to the point, and as "short" as possible. Convey what you need to but don't write another 750 word essay about it.

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Re: Optional essay to discuss why i left my last job? [#permalink] New post 10 Apr 2013, 17:16
The fact that you have 5+ years at your place of employment should go a pretty long way in dispelling the impression that you are a dabbler, I would have thought. If you are concerned then it's not a bad idea to do the optional essay. As a previous responder says - keep it short, don't be apologetic, and present valid reasons why you are leaving / have left the company. And when you have addressed that - stop writing. I think you may be worrying unduly though - many MBA applicant will have had career changes. Sometimes it takes time in a sector to realise that it's not for you and you want to head in new directions- all very valid reasons for pursuing an MBA.
Re: Optional essay to discuss why i left my last job?   [#permalink] 10 Apr 2013, 17:16
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