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The Goals Essay: Why Are B-schools Asking it?

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The Goals Essay: Why Are B-schools Asking it?  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Aug 2018, 01:36
The Career Goals Essay

The career goals is the quintessential essay question you will find in almost every b-school application for both the MS and the MBA programs.

Why are B-schools so fond of asking this?

MBA education is a significant investment. It is important that you are aware why you are making this investment and what would you gain out it in the short term and in the long term. The b-schools want to make sure that you have this awareness and you also have a plan so that you make the most of your MBA experience towards becoming a successful alumnus. They don't want to admit someone who is thinking of MBA as a magic pill to transform their life once they get admission.

Let's dig a little deeper. The duration of an MBA program is between 1 and 2 years. This may appear to be a lot of time but is actually not as the student calendar gets really busy with classes, events, group work and career preparation. You have to start building your resume and initiate preparation for your internships within 1-2 months of joining the MBA program. There is no way you can prepare for an internship in investment banking, also in management consulting and also target software product companies, thinking this will help you spread your chances. It will actually ruin your chances to get an offer! Each of these paths requires different preparation, meeting with people from that industry, attending events from respective clubs, connecting with relevant alumni etc. Unless you know what you want to do and have that focus, you will not be able to prepare well and will not succeed.

Of course, b-schools understand that what you wrote in your career goals essay is not written in blood and your direction might change after you join the school. This could happen as you will get exposed to a world of new information. In fact, this is one of the huge advantages of an MBA program that your exposure to the possibilities and career paths available increases exponentially. At the top tier b-schools, a lot of support is available via active clubs and careers services to make informed choices. But at the time of admissions, adcoms expect you to be self-aware, know your strengths and skills, and know the direction you wish to steer your career in. A change in direction is acceptable, but a lack of this awareness and thought process is not.

What constitutes the career goals essay?
Business schools seek to admit candidates who will make large-scale impact in their professional fields. They desire candidates who are passionate; who will bring about change, drive innovation, and make the world a better place. Therefore, you should convey a vision for your career touching upon topics such as what do you ultimately wish to achieve in life? What kind of large-scale impact do you aspire to create?

That said, do not assume that you can stay at the 30,000 feet level. Short term career goals need to be detailed covering which companies are you targeting, what roles in these companies. You should also describe the kind of work, the set of experiences you will gain that would help you reach your long-term career goal, in a period of 10 to 15 years.

Another important aspect of this essay is to establish the need for an MBA for your immediate and long-term career goals. This requires explaining how the gap between your current skills and those required in the post MBA career will be filled by the MBA education.

Lastly, do not forget to personalize your career goals. This is an important part that many applicants ignore. If your career goals are shaped out of your personal experiences, it makes the whole story a lot more credible and compelling.

Namita Garg,
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The Goals Essay: Why Are B-schools Asking it? &nbs [#permalink] 10 Aug 2018, 01:36
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The Goals Essay: Why Are B-schools Asking it?

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