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Debating whether to state the real reason I want an MBA...

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Debating whether to state the real reason I want an MBA... [#permalink]

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New post 29 Aug 2008, 02:11
I'm wondering if anyone here has a similiar experience to mines.
I've been living in the Washington DC area ever since I graduated and have been working as a government contractor. The recent contract I'm on requires security clearance and my company was willing to sponsor my clearance. Thing is it's been almost two years and I still haven't any news, in the mean time I've been working on an interim clerance. Well I got the bad news recently: I was not cleared. It's not that I have a criminal record, bad credit, or anything like that but rather I've only become a naturalized citizen for only a few years and ALL my relatives are in Taiwan. For the mean time, I'm still on the same contract, but I realize that in the future I will be moved to another contract that does not require clearance. Here's the thing, without that clearance I know that my career doing government work is effectively over, since I don't want to be forever doing non-cleared work which pays substantially less.
My entire career so far has consisted of only doing government work, so this has come as quite a blow. Now I realize I need to start looking towards private sector jobs in which I really don't have any experience, hence that is why I am applying for an MBA, to become familiar with corporate culture and to gain the business knowledge which I so desperately lack.
Having stated that I really don't know if I should be writing this as my reason for seeking an MBA in my essays, since I'm afraid it'll make me sound like I am applying out of desperation (which I kind of am...).

Any input or advice on the matter would be much appreciated.

Thanks,

nutty

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Re: Debating whether to state the real reason I want an MBA... [#permalink]

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New post 29 Aug 2008, 06:40
nutty2010 wrote:
I'm wondering if anyone here has a similiar experience to mines.
I've been living in the Washington DC area ever since I graduated and have been working as a government contractor. The recent contract I'm on requires security clearance and my company was willing to sponsor my clearance. Thing is it's been almost two years and I still haven't any news, in the mean time I've been working on an interim clerance. Well I got the bad news recently: I was not cleared. It's not that I have a criminal record, bad credit, or anything like that but rather I've only become a naturalized citizen for only a few years and ALL my relatives are in Taiwan. For the mean time, I'm still on the same contract, but I realize that in the future I will be moved to another contract that does not require clearance. Here's the thing, without that clearance I know that my career doing government work is effectively over, since I don't want to be forever doing non-cleared work which pays substantially less.
My entire career so far has consisted of only doing government work, so this has come as quite a blow. Now I realize I need to start looking towards private sector jobs in which I really don't have any experience, hence that is why I am applying for an MBA, to become familiar with corporate culture and to gain the business knowledge which I so desperately lack.
Having stated that I really don't know if I should be writing this as my reason for seeking an MBA in my essays, since I'm afraid it'll make me sound like I am applying out of desperation (which I kind of am...).

Any input or advice on the matter would be much appreciated.

Thanks,

nutty


Tough call indeed.

I would try and spin it in the sense that you think you have reached a sort of plateau in your job and are looking to move in the private sector. In other words, I wouldn't mention specifically that you were denied clearance.
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Re: Debating whether to state the real reason I want an MBA... [#permalink]

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New post 29 Aug 2008, 07:14
I know my reply is going to sound caustic, but here goes:

You're going to have to BS. The app process is similar to the recruiting process, in that you need to show the adcoms that you can effectively bs your way into an internship/full time offer.

The big gorilla in the room? Everyone goes to bschool to make more money, yet how many times is that stated as the reason in the "why MBA" essays? Probably never.

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Re: Debating whether to state the real reason I want an MBA... [#permalink]

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New post 29 Aug 2008, 08:44
kidderek wrote:
I know my reply is going to sound caustic, but here goes:

You're going to have to BS. The app process is similar to the recruiting process, in that you need to show the adcoms that you can effectively bs your way into an internship/full time offer.

The big gorilla in the room? Everyone goes to bschool to make more money, yet how many times is that stated as the reason in the "why MBA" essays? Probably never.


I was trying to say the same thing, but in a more... diplomatic way :-D
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Re: Debating whether to state the real reason I want an MBA... [#permalink]

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New post 29 Aug 2008, 08:50
nutty2010 wrote:
I'm wondering if anyone here has a similiar experience to mines.
I've been living in the Washington DC area ever since I graduated and have been working as a government contractor. The recent contract I'm on requires security clearance and my company was willing to sponsor my clearance. Thing is it's been almost two years and I still haven't any news, in the mean time I've been working on an interim clerance. Well I got the bad news recently: I was not cleared. It's not that I have a criminal record, bad credit, or anything like that but rather I've only become a naturalized citizen for only a few years and ALL my relatives are in Taiwan. For the mean time, I'm still on the same contract, but I realize that in the future I will be moved to another contract that does not require clearance. Here's the thing, without that clearance I know that my career doing government work is effectively over, since I don't want to be forever doing non-cleared work which pays substantially less.
My entire career so far has consisted of only doing government work, so this has come as quite a blow. Now I realize I need to start looking towards private sector jobs in which I really don't have any experience, hence that is why I am applying for an MBA, to become familiar with corporate culture and to gain the business knowledge which I so desperately lack.
Having stated that I really don't know if I should be writing this as my reason for seeking an MBA in my essays, since I'm afraid it'll make me sound like I am applying out of desperation (which I kind of am...).

Any input or advice on the matter would be much appreciated.

Thanks,

nutty


Nutty,

Its all about packaging. Stating that you want to get an MBA to move into the private sector because your security clearance isn't working out is going to get you dinged for sure. However, stating that you want to obtain an MBA so that you can be better positioned with the right skills to move into a role in corporate america as X, is probably not a bad positioning statement.

I think the important thing to remember is that you must sound positive and committed. If you don't exactly know what you want to do, thats fine, but dont write about it. Don't say you want an MBA out of dissatisfaction. The above story rotates primarily around your being dissatisfied with your current situation - guess what - thats probably 98% of applicants and no one likes a negative nancy.

Rather, focus on what about you've done that is preparing you for your entry into corporate life, and what is lacking in your background. Keep it positive, optimistic, interested and committed.

So, short answer: no, don't talk about the story above.

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Re: Debating whether to state the real reason I want an MBA... [#permalink]

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New post 29 Aug 2008, 09:27
Thanks for all the inputs guys, I really appreciate it!

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Re: Debating whether to state the real reason I want an MBA... [#permalink]

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New post 29 Aug 2008, 10:22
Well I would first ask you what do you do. I'm an engineer, and although security clearence is great to have, it doesn't pay substantially more. Actually if you were to work in the private sector you may make more than a cleared government work.

I ask this because I think it is not about how to spin it, but do you really want an MBA. Most likely you will be doing different function, different pace, different atmosphere than what you do now. Does seem all that worth it if you like what you do and actually don't want to do it. No point of changing career just cuz you can't get clearence.


But to answer you question, I would not mention clearence at all... I would probably go with career plateu in the public sector.
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Re: Debating whether to state the real reason I want an MBA... [#permalink]

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New post 29 Aug 2008, 15:11
kidderek wrote:
I know my reply is going to sound caustic, but here goes:

You're going to have to BS. The app process is similar to the recruiting process, in that you need to show the adcoms that you can effectively bs your way into an internship/full time offer.

The big gorilla in the room? Everyone goes to bschool to make more money, yet how many times is that stated as the reason in the "why MBA" essays? Probably never.


The second statement that you made was perfect!!!!!!!!!!! :)
Nobody wants to write that he/she doesn't want more money......
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Re: Debating whether to state the real reason I want an MBA... [#permalink]

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New post 01 Sep 2008, 16:47
Never ever even hint at the fact that you want an MBA because you are running away from your current job, not even in an interview.

I agree with the others, spin it to look forward.

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Re: Debating whether to state the real reason I want an MBA... [#permalink]

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New post 01 Sep 2008, 16:59
After talking with many classmates about "essay" career goals vs "real" career goal...it is very common for people to write what is the most logical reason for them wanting to get an MBA. People in IB write about continuing in that even if they want to go into MC. MC folks talk about that even if they want to try for PE. Its all about using your strengths to your advantage.
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Re: Debating whether to state the real reason I want an MBA...   [#permalink] 01 Sep 2008, 16:59
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