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Questions about Goals Essay

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Questions about Goals Essay [#permalink] New post 12 Jul 2008, 01:12
Guys-

I am struggling with some of the nuances of the goals essay. Namely, to what level of depth do I detail out my PAST experiences. Now hold on minute..I know you are saying "How do you say your story without telling what you have done?" Hear me out..

From what I see there are two types of goals essay, the all-encompassing one and the forward-looking one.

all encompassing essay (using Stern's 1) -
Think about the decisions you have made in your life. Answer the following:

(a) What choices have you made that led you to your current position?
(b) Why pursue an MBA at this point in your life?
(c) What is your career goal upon graduation from NYU Stern? What is your long-term career goal?

forward looking essay (Columbia 1 from last year)-
Essay 1: What are your short-term and long-term post-MBA goals? How will Columbia Business School help you achieve these goals? (Recommended 750 word limit)

Now to me these are 2 are pretty different essays..for the Stern's I am expected to talk about my previous experiences, leadership scenarios etc. But for the Columbia, since the essays are focussed towards my goals , I am just ALLUDING to what I do in about 4 sentences (3/4 of a paragraph). The bulk of the Columbia essay is focussed on short-term, long-term goals, short write-up on what I do, why mba? why cbs? But I get the feeling I am short-changing myself because I dont get to talk about some of my achievements in the goals essay. I will probably tie to tie them into the other essays, but the goals essay is not what the read will use to see what I have done at work in depth.

For e.g my CBS paragraph is somewhat like this,
"I am passionate about my future goals as I gain satisfaction from blah blah blah. My four years experience as an XXX should help me make a smooth transition to YYY by allowing me to leverage best practices from past clients. I have seen the good – such as <insert one line experience>. And I saw the pitfalls working on <insert another experience>. Therefore to succeed in my future career path, I need in-depth education in <insert here>"

Is this too little for a forward-looking essay?


What do you gurus say? To what level of depth do I go for forward-looking goals essay?
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Re: Questions about Goals Essay [#permalink] New post 12 Jul 2008, 02:28
I actually believe both essays will require the SAME approach. Yes, they are worded differently, but a successful goals essay must include:

- short and long term goals (whether they ask for it or not)
- What key decisions you've made in your work experience that led you to the desire to get an MBA
- Why are you getting an MBA now? Why not 2 years earlier? Why not 2 years later?
- Why School X will be the best for you.

I personally do not believe an essay focused mainly on the goals and why CBS will convince the adcoms that you need an MBA, and an essay not talking about your goals and future plans enough will end up being a glorified version of your resume.

You need balance, you need to tell a good story, and you need to make sure everything MAKES SENSE in your essay. If you can clearly articulate how you got to where you are now (mentally and position), why you need an MBA NOW, and why this school, you can have very similar essays for all the schools you apply to, with a few tweaks here and there to customize for the school.

I know there will be others who disagree with this approach and will want to write drastically different essays for each school's goals essay, therefore, find the method that suits you best. I found the above method worked very well for me, or at least the adcoms thought they were convincing enough to give me a chance. :)

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Re: Questions about Goals Essay [#permalink] New post 12 Jul 2008, 21:13
I was planning to write about my work philosophy and inspirations and perhaps some anecdotes that support them, rather than some factual stuff from my work history. I think my philosophy and inspirations are something that will drive me to the future goals. Shouldn't my resume state what I actually did and achieved? What do you think?
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Re: Questions about Goals Essay [#permalink] New post 12 Jul 2008, 22:04
sng wrote:
I was planning to write about my work philosophy and inspirations and perhaps some anecdotes that support them, rather than some factual stuff from my work history. I think my philosophy and inspirations are something that will drive me to the future goals. Shouldn't my resume state what I actually did and achieved? What do you think?


By philosophy, do you mean the "why" behind your experiences? As in, tell the adcoms: why you decided to work at place x and how it ties into your overall masterplan for getting to your post-mba goal Y?
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Re: Questions about Goals Essay [#permalink] New post 13 Jul 2008, 02:08
if it's what ac said, then go for it. If by "philsophy" you mean just talking about ideals, dreams and personal traits, then that will be too vague and abstract for the adcoms to evaluate you, because anyone can philosophize about what they want to do or would have done, but only by doing it (your work experience) will you prove to them that you are who you say you are. :)

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Re: Questions about Goals Essay [#permalink] New post 13 Jul 2008, 06:10
ac8706 wrote:
By philosophy, do you mean the "why" behind your experiences? As in, tell the adcoms: why you decided to work at place x and how it ties into your overall masterplan for getting to your post-mba goal Y?

Yes. I am writing the goals essay for Columbia. I am planning to discuss how my work experience motivated me to get MBA, not what I achieve in the past.

kryzak wrote:
then that will be too vague and abstract for the adcoms to evaluate you, because anyone can philosophize about what they want to do or would have done, but only by doing it (your work experience) will you prove to them that you are who you say you are.

Right, being vague is bad in the goals essays. I should have never used the word "philosophy" for this subject. :lol: Thanks for words of caution.
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Re: Questions about Goals Essay [#permalink] New post 13 Jul 2008, 07:00
kryzak wrote:
I actually believe both essays will require the SAME approach. Yes, they are worded differently, but a successful goals essay must include:

- short and long term goals (whether they ask for it or not)
- What key decisions you've made in your work experience that led you to the desire to get an MBA
- Why are you getting an MBA now? Why not 2 years earlier? Why not 2 years later?
- Why School X will be the best for you.


Does "why now" need to be addressed in What are your short-term and long-term post-MBA goals? How will Columbia Business School help you achieve these goals??
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Re: Questions about Goals Essay [#permalink] New post 13 Jul 2008, 12:14
sonibubu wrote:
Does "why now" need to be addressed in What are your short-term and long-term post-MBA goals? How will Columbia Business School help you achieve these goals??


If CBS doesn't explicitly ask it, you should still tell a story that will logically bring the readers to that conclusion. You don't need to explicitly spend a paragraph on it, but if your story of how you decided on your goals is told well, then 1-2 sentences stating that you need the MBA now because of reasons X and Y will be good enough.

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Re: Questions about Goals Essay [#permalink] New post 14 Jul 2008, 04:10
I'm also struggling when I think of the "why now?" (implied) question. I expand it into "why not 2 years earlier/later", but still I have to figure what kind of perspectives to bring to the table.

E.g., do one have to give evidence on why s/he's ready now? Is it more future- and goal-related? In most cases there are a lot of purely personal reasons too, how to blend them in without putting oneself at risk of being too self-focused?
Re: Questions about Goals Essay   [#permalink] 14 Jul 2008, 04:10
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