Making Your Long-Term Goal an Asset in Round 2

By - Oct 22, 11:47 AM Comments [0]

From The Staff of MBA,
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Making Your Long-Term Goal an Asset in Round 2

At MBA, we see many applicants worry about the “long-term goal” portion of an application. It’s hard to look ten or twenty years into the future, and it’s even harder to do this and also keep in mind what might appeal to the admissions committee. But, it is true that your long-term goal can be a key asset in the MBA admission committee’s decision to either accept or reject your candidacy.

So, what is important when you convey your long-term goal? Many schools want to know you have a strong sense of direction. Some are even impressed if you can paint a more defined vision by naming the specific type of job you hope to hold in 15-20 years (CMO, CFO, CIO, CEO, etc.). Of course, it helps if your long-term goal makes you distinct relative to other candidates who have very similar profiles to you. Top MBA programs always like to hear that you aim to be very influential in the future.

Many candidates, though, ask a key question: “What if I am unsure about my long-term goals?” It is true that some candidates are not certain what they want to do in the long term. Regardless, keep in mind that many times the applications that seem the strongest are the ones in which the candidate is able to provide a strong sense of where they intend to go in the long term, even if they don’t name a specific company or title as their aim.

During our work with thousands of applicants who have applied to MBA programs, we have seen the presentation of the long-term goal make a big difference. Some candidates who had come to us already rejected after applying by themselves to top business schools had made big mistakes in how they wrote about their long-term goals. Some schools will react adversely, for instance, when a candidate is too vague about their long-term interests or if they name two different long-term goals as equal alternatives. Career changers should also be wary, as some top MBA programs react adversely if they think you are trying to make a drastic career change for which you have not prepared sufficiently. At MBA, we have found that once we work with such candidates to fix how they present their long-term goals and improve their essay content overall, they have fared much better in admissions.

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Best wishes,

Dr. Shel (Shelly Watts)
President, MBA

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