This post goes out to all candidates who are rushing through their applications. I present my views here with the intention to help candidates build a solid foundation to their application.
Why MBA? That sounds like the most futile question to so many people. The fact that you are on this forum, reading this, should automatically mean that you know that. Or do you? Every year I see an incredible number of people who have invested heavily with their time and money for the application, not having thought of this point to the depth that they should. Expectedly, they face problem addressing this question.
Do not look at this as just a question in your application. This is the very first question that you need to answer as you start the application process. This forms the very basis of many other questions. Questions on short-term/long term goals and ‘why this school?’ directly emerge from ‘why mba?’. So, let us try to get a clear answer in place.
First, an MBA is not an end goal in itself. It can best be described as a stepping stone to the end goal. You don’t want to be at a B-School just to be at a B-School. You are going for your MBA to achieve a certain goal – what is it? How does the MBA help you gain skills and resources to achieve your goals?
Frankly speaking, for most people a top B-School is their launch pad which helps them jump levels professionally. But you have to put this out in a more refined manner, defining it minutely to your particular case. It could be that you want to be a consultant and an Ivy League MBA will prepare you and open up the doors to top consulting firms. Alternatively, you want to move to the management or sales side of the business in your industry. In which case again it makes a lot of sense. But please define it – in detail. All top schools expect their candidates to have a vision for themselves and the world around them. And you should be able to place your B-School experience as an enabler to realize that vision.
It is advisable that you state the answers upfront as this will bring clarity to your other answers throughout your application and essays. Not to forget that this is one of the most common interview questions. And an effective answer to this will help you guide your interview in the right direction. So, go ahead and answer – Why MBA?
All the best,
MBA Admissions Consultant
Entrepreneur & Educationist
Alumni, Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad (GMAT: 760)
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