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Career Goals (in response to your weekend tweets)

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Senior Manager
Senior Manager
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Joined: 11 Dec 2008
Posts: 476

Kudos [?]: 256 [0], given: 12

Location: United States
GMAT 1: 760 Q49 V44
GPA: 3.9
Career Goals (in response to your weekend tweets) [#permalink]

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New post 06 Sep 2013, 18:08

I've been following your blog and twitter this weekend : ... e=realtime

Something I've noticed based on your feedback is that you want people to define concrete career goals. Yes I get that we shouldn't straight up say we want to start a global initiative / change the world without identifying the intermediate steps, but one point I've seen you mention repeatedly is "realistic goals."

My case in point is the "You were doing so good until we got to that long-term goal. Start an investment fund? Really?? #MBAessay #waytooambitious" that you recently tweeted. I mean, is that really that ambitious? I know lots of people who have started their own funds, and for someone who wants to start a career in investment management, I don't think starting your own hedge fund/investment fund is that ambitious at all. I would even say that's one of the more realistic and believable goals out there.

I've also heard that Stanford encourages applicants to really think big. From other people i've heard that nobody's career goal should be boring (to use finance as an example, Long-term, I want to become an Managing Director in Mergers and Acquisitions and help change industries blah blah" Yes, that's very attainable. That's so boring.

So I just wanted to see whether you can clarify your view on this.


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Re: Career Goals (in response to your weekend tweets) [#permalink]

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New post 07 Sep 2013, 09:22
@bipolarbear thanks for the question.

Let's start with the first comment: We don't "want" people to do anything at all. Or wait, that's not correct: We want people to not make the same mistakes that we've seen hundreds of others make before. But we don't "want" you to do anything in particular with your goals. They are YOUR GOALS. Your applications. Your life. We don't actually care. Nobody should be writing an essay to please EssaySnark.

Just to set that straight. :-)

It's impossible to say whether starting an investment fund would be too ambitious for YOU because we don't know your profile - but almost every single case where we see that goal, it's totally unsubstantiated. It's just an idea that the BSer is throwing out. It's really not viable at all.

But honestly? If you think that starting a fund isn't "that ambitious"? Well.....

Sure, people start investment funds - we did a whole series of posts on this sort of thing recently - but it's a) totally unusual to pull it off, you seem not to have an appreciation for what's involved, and pointing to examples where people did it before doesn't prove that just anyone (or you) can do it, an exception does not prove a rule; and at the same time, b) it's totally common for people to claim this in their essays.

That is not a good combination of facts.

We have devoted almost five years of the EssaySnark blahg to discussing this issue so we're not going to rehash all of it here. If you're applying to Stanford then we encourage you to buy our Stanford essay guide which answers these questions.

Next we will remind you that our tweets yesterday and this weekend are "an actual line of feedback that we've given to some BSer or another" - we're only tweeting stuff that's relevant to others, but we say this particular line about starting a fund etc. so often that yes, it's relevant. But we weren't saying it to YOU so maybe you are indeed the exception. No idea.

What we will say is goals are never boring when they are authentic. They are YOURS. If you present yourself well in your application, you're sharing who you are and what you really want to do. How can that be boring?

And we will also reiterate what we find ourselves reiterating frequently these days: your essays are your own. We report on what we have discovered after years and years of working with applicants and seeing how the schools respond. But in the end, it's just an opinion (and a snarky one! maybe it should be discounted! :-D ). You're the only one who needs to be happy with what you write in your essays.

This response probably didn't help but this is sort of in the "asked and answered" category, we cover it ad nauseum on the blahg and our essay guides.


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Re: Career Goals (in response to your weekend tweets)   [#permalink] 07 Sep 2013, 09:22
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