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Which ad-com cares the most about career goals?

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Which ad-com cares the most about career goals? [#permalink] New post 12 Jun 2010, 11:51
There seems to be differing feedback on this. I remember some members reporting that ad-coms specifically told them "we don't like your chances of getting into that industry, it was killed this past year", whilst other b-schools have whittled down their career goals' essay by a third (word count). Yet other members told me that they feel that their career goals were a strong, distinguishing factor that helped them get in.

In your opinion, which schools seem to really place a lot of importance on career goals from a risk-averse perspective ("oh, he wants to work at a hedge fund without having done investment banking first, it looks like we may have another unemployed graduate in 2 years..."), and which approach it from a more constructive "can-do" point of view ("she wants to work for McKinsey and she has completely laid out her plan"), etc. Conversely, which are more interested in your "general suitability" for business?

Any thoughts? Alternative explanations?
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Re: Which ad-com cares the most about career goals? [#permalink] New post 12 Jun 2010, 12:52
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MIT Sloan doesn't even ask what your career goals are.

The career goals portion of the application is pretty silly, since most people will change their mind out of necessity or curiosity. Articulating your career goals shows that you've already thought about the opportunities and have a focused reason for wanting to attend, but I don't see why they'd put a huge emphasis on them unless your career goals are unrealistic.

Those are my thoughts, but I don't have explanations :)
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Re: Which ad-com cares the most about career goals? [#permalink] New post 12 Jun 2010, 13:06
You're right, Sloan no longer requires it.

For others (Booth and Columbia), it appears integral to the application. For those who've been successful with either school, I'd be happy to hear feedback on this.
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Re: Which ad-com cares the most about career goals? [#permalink] New post 13 Jun 2010, 00:30
Avernusaur wrote:
I don't see why they'd put a huge emphasis on them unless your career goals are unrealistic


It should used as a good sanity check to filter : "I have 45Q or less on my GMAT and I want to go in Finance !!"

But I would say that you still have a large number of applicants with unrealistic career goal
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Re: Which ad-com cares the most about career goals? [#permalink] New post 13 Jun 2010, 00:34
hazay wrote:
Avernusaur wrote:
I don't see why they'd put a huge emphasis on them unless your career goals are unrealistic


It should used as a good sanity check to filter : "I have 45Q or less on my GMAT and I want to go in Finance !!"

But I would say that you still have a large number of applicants with unrealistic career goal


I can't imagine your everyday vanilla investment banking spreadsheets to be that much more complicated than the stuff that you see on a Q45 level GMAT. Algorithmic trading at a hedge fund, and yeah, the quant may be a concern, but honestly, DCF?

I suppose you're right that it's a good sanity check: ie) does it match with everything else?
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Re: Which ad-com cares the most about career goals? [#permalink] New post 13 Jun 2010, 00:47
osbornecox wrote:
but honestly, DCF?

Honestly ? A lot more complex than the GMAT taking in account all the variables (thanks to Excel 2007 and its new limits in terms of row and columns) influencing the model.
For instance you can build sub-models to estimates each variable with linear regression matching the historical data... DCF can be extremely creative...

People with quantitative background will ace 50 or 51Q.
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Re: Which ad-com cares the most about career goals? [#permalink] New post 13 Jun 2010, 01:03
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Interesting. The usual rap I hear from bankers is that it's a little exasperating to get engineers who mistakenly think banking is about applying their quantitative skills. M&I (a good resource for banking, more directed at the analyst level, which is where the heavy lifting takes place) repeatedly emphasizes that point.

I'm not sure this adds up. It's more likely that most people who want to get into straight-up investment banking post-MBA are scoring well below 50 on the quant, and schools and employers have no problem with it.

(Note: just based on observation, I don't want to be a banker so I haven't researched this ad nauseam, but looking at profiles on this forum and on other resources, that seems to be the case).

As for the work vs the GMAT, they're different animals. Banking is a marathon, so naturally the volumes of work are much, much higher than a quick, rapid-fire sort of test like the GMAT. However, it appears to be more challenging purely in terms of iteration.

So, to summarize, it looks like in general, it's used as a screener for goals that are completely out of sync with the applicant's profile.

MIT Sloan doesn't seem to care all that much. Avernusaur, since you've looked into that school, does "fit" seem to be a more important factor there?

More?
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Re: Which ad-com cares the most about career goals? [#permalink] New post 13 Jun 2010, 01:20
osbornecox wrote:
Interesting. The usual rap I hear from bankers is that it's a little exasperating to get engineers who mistakenly think banking is about applying their quantitative skills.


Quantitative skills is a lot different than being able to understand basic maths as in the GMAT.

If you cannot show maths profiency under stress (how many tennis table balls would fit into an airbus A380 ?) in IB or MC ITWs, you re in trouble.
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Re: Which ad-com cares the most about career goals? [#permalink] New post 13 Jun 2010, 02:45
hazay wrote:
It should used as a good sanity check to filter : "I have 45Q or less on my GMAT and I want to go in Finance !!"


Or those who declares : " I want to be trader on Wall Street" :wink:
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Re: Which ad-com cares the most about career goals? [#permalink] New post 13 Jun 2010, 03:05
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The GMAT doesn't measure your ability to do well in interviews (fit, technical, or brain-teaser alike), it is only correlated to your academic performance in the first year of business school. If the GMAT were the determining factor in career prospects (rather than, at most, a marginal factor that affects MC recruitment), then there'd be no point to the career goals essay - the GMAT could just be used as a proxy. Given that a strong GMAT is a necessary but not sufficient condition for admission, it's safe to say that it is not used as a proxy for career aptitude. Incidentally, I think the bigger blunder in an interview for MC and IB is to speak poorly (ie. incoherent, awkward, or grammatically incorrect sentences) - the upward potential in both career tracks hinges absolutely on your ability to court and win clients.

I must say, this thread has begun with a lot of non-sequiturs. It's not about interviews, or about the GMAT. Let's remain on-topic.

So everyone, any insights on ad-coms and their respective positions on career goals? Any speculation?
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Re: Which ad-com cares the most about career goals? [#permalink] New post 13 Jun 2010, 04:52
Quote:
Besides a low GMAT, the inability for an applicant to state realistic goals and then get a job upon graduation is the 2nd most frequent reason for rejection.


Source : ask-paul-lanzillotti-90524.html#p727574

But you probably already knew that anwer...
Re: Which ad-com cares the most about career goals?   [#permalink] 13 Jun 2010, 04:52
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