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Why MBA - How to Answer this Essay Question
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Author:  bb [ 26 Sep 2018, 06:36 ]
Post subject:  Why MBA - How to Answer this Essay Question

Why MBA?


This fall, every MBA applicant will be answering this question in their mind, at family gatherings, and in their business school applications. Most dread hearing it asked because they never have the perfect answer nor will it be the same every time. At first, the answer usually starts off a bit uncertain, vague, and somewhat insecure, but as time progresses and a few essay drafts are written, the explanation becomes more polished and confident. Throughout my thirteen years with GMAT Club, I have heard many explanations – anything from a career change to a fresh start after a broken relationship. As you consider your answer, I’d like to share the top 3 reasons most use to pursue a business degree and how you can stand out. Whatever you decide to put in your essays, remember that the key to getting into your first choice school and being happy there, is to be honest, passionate, and committed.


Top Reasons for getting an MBA


  • Career Change
    Changing careers or functions, such as going from IT into consulting or finance into marketing, is probably the most common reason for getting an MBA. Workers switch careers several times during their life time (2-3 times is the latest statistics) and MBA is a good and frequent path. For one, switching a career is not easy – why would anyone take a finance person to do a marketing job? Business school offers a buffer to that (taking marketing classes, getting a marketing internship, and networking with students and alumni in the field). Second, business school often allows one to “sample” careers in the safe environment of a class or a small group. Often thrown into groups with students from all walks of life, one gets the inside perspective on what many industries and jobs are like – consulting, banking, etc. Finally, a career change could also mean starting your own business or vice versa and business school could allow one to gain the missing skills or build key relationships for their future business. Many schools want to attract successful or promising entrepreneurs and sponsor business plan competitions such as the Kaplan New Venture Challenge at University of Chicago Booth School of Business.[/highlight]


    Recommendation:
    The keys to cracking this question are:
    • Outline your short-term, intermediate, and long-term career goals. Short-term goals are immediately post-MBA until about two years later; intermediate goals are about two to five years post MBA; and long-term goals are those goals from five years in the future onwards. Essays usually ask for short- and long-term goals, but awareness of your intermediate goals will help you bridge the gap between the two.
    • To be as specific as possible in your response, such as “I would like to become an IT outsourcing consultant in the United States, working for Accenture”.
    • To clearly outline your current role and how MBA will help you bridge into the new one.
    • To demonstrate understanding of the role you are planning to pursue.

  • Career Advancement
    Often people get stuck in lower/middle management in large organizations and it may take years for the next promotion. MBA is a good way to break this pattern and signal that you are ready for a stronger position in middle/senior management. For others, a promotion may be there but they are lacking management/business skills to step into it. This is the best situation to be in and a very common reason to enroll into Executive or Part-Time programs. This is a financially advantageous move if sponsored by the employer – the applicant keeps their income, gets free tuition, and is guaranteed a job after graduation in exchange for longer-term commitment. However, the common opinion is that the non-financial value of part-time programs falls short of a Full Time 2-year MBA program which allows one to focus on their career goals and dedicate themselves to self-improvement without major distractions (no, they never have pool parties in business school).

    Recommendation:
    • A common path is to paint a strong image of current/past successes, outline that you are at the limit of your career/skill-set, and the next logical step is an MBA that will open a number of doors.
    • Be realistic and avoid coming off naïve about the value of MBA and what it will give you. MBA is not a magical transformation and as the July-August issue of Harvard Business Review suggests – management is not a profession and business education is not one-size-fits-all (See “No, Management is Not a Profession” by Richard Barker, HBR 2010).


Final Recommendations:
  • After you are done answering the “Why MBA” question, the admissions committee should clearly see that you in a great need of an MBA and by declining you, they will be making a big mistake.
  • This may sound counter-intuitive but apply to your second choice schools first. Many applicants find that they write much better essays and applications after some practice
    Pick your schools carefully – only apply to the schools that you would actually attend. Ask yourself – “If I only get into school X, will I actually attend X?” This will save you time and energy.
  • Research, Research, Research. You must know everything about your top choice school – it will give you an edge in the entire application package (selecting the right recommender or performing well on the interview) and will show in your essays one way or another and will catch an eye of the admissions committee.



Top 3 Wrong Reasons for getting an MBA:


  • Replacement for work experience: Though there are MBA programs that will enroll students straight from college, most emphasize the need for work experience and require applicants to demonstrate a degree of leadership before admission. There is a reason work experience is required – it will help you better apply class knowledge, enable you to contribute to the class more, fit in with other students, and finally get a job after graduation.

  • Specific Training – getting an MBA in order to reap financial or marketing training that can be achieved faster and more effectively using other programs.

  • Figure out one’s life – yes, MBA is a break for 20 months but it is a terrible reason if all you want to do is figure out your personal life and goals. Everyone will be doing some soul-searching during the program but nobody likes a confused person without goals or purpose.


Example of Why MBA Essay:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/why-mba-how- ... 53372.html

--

Author:  Narenn [ 26 Sep 2018, 06:42 ]
Post subject:  Re: Why MBA - How to Answer this Essay Question

Best user comments made in earlier version of Why MBA thread.



  • 3rd reason is the secret that you need to answer yourself ... what they call it as retrospect!! - wouldbecrazy


  • Fantastic post! I would add to the list that another major reason to do an MBA is to change location. It is extremely difficult to quit your job and move to a new country to find a job. Many times, you won't even know where to start looking! An MBA program can provide you with a structure and a safe environment to spend a year or two looking for a job in your new destination. - Ducksworth

Author:  sneb19 [ 03 Jan 2019, 14:19 ]
Post subject:  Re: Why MBA - How to Answer this Essay Question

Brilliant post!!! Thank you so much, I'm ready for the plunge!!

Author:  Narenn [ 04 Jan 2019, 21:26 ]
Post subject:  Re: Why MBA - How to Answer this Essay Question

sneb19 wrote:
Brilliant post!!! Thank you so much, I'm ready for the plunge!!


Good luck! :thumbup:

Author:  sortaj [ 07 Jan 2019, 13:55 ]
Post subject:  Re: Why MBA - How to Answer this Essay Question

I want to start my own bank. Is that a good reason for getting an MBA? If it is, which MBA program do you think is best for getting the skills/tools to start a bank?

Author:  daveshallot [ 08 Jan 2019, 03:33 ]
Post subject:  Re: Why MBA - How to Answer this Essay Question

Great article!

Author:  Hernione83 [ 18 Jan 2019, 07:51 ]
Post subject:  Re: Why MBA - How to Answer this Essay Question

So interesting!)

Author:  TopMBA1 [ 01 Jan 2020, 07:45 ]
Post subject:  Re: Why MBA - How to Answer this Essay Question

Very helpful! Thanks for writing this

Author:  bvg [ 07 Apr 2020, 11:14 ]
Post subject:  Why MBA - How to Answer this Essay Question

Genuine concern. Please help me unentangle this conundrum. GMAT preparation seems to be a very expensive endeavor costs ranging anywhere between 250$ to 3000$. Not to mention the appalling MBA tuition fee at most of the good universities. It seems almost impossible for someone without massive financial backing to get an MBA degree. Compare that with STEM options such as masters or a Phd you could complete the entire course at almost 1/3rd the price. Some good universities even waive fees and pay the students through research grants. Given that an MBA degree does not guarantee any secure career or an attractive paycheck, the finances does not add up. Why would one make huge financial investment into something which has very uncertain return? I may be missing Something. This has been one of the most demotivating factors about pursuing an MBA degree. I reach out to experts in the forum to throw some light on this.

Author:  kamalnair [ 13 May 2020, 02:31 ]
Post subject:  Re: Why MBA - How to Answer this Essay Question

People go for MBA programs and executive programs so that they can advance their career prospects. Everyone wants the best paying job and the most promising career. Top institutes like ITM University have several courses that can help those dreams come true. This is the reason people invest on such courses.

Author:  shanayathakur [ 16 Jun 2020, 23:06 ]
Post subject:  Re: Why MBA - How to Answer this Essay Question

I totally enjoyed reading this post and found it very helpful. I am helping my brother with his MBA preparation and this post has been very insightful. Do you also have some suggestions on which is the best Mba colleges in Vadodara or in Gujarat and we don’t really want him to move.

Author:  Speedbird1 [ 11 Sep 2020, 22:56 ]
Post subject:  Re: Why MBA - How to Answer this Essay Question

bb thank you so much for this essay! But if some schools get more specific such as "Why MSc in mgmt from our school only?" what should we include? Can we talk about how their curriculum is diverse and unique? I read somewhere that we shouldn't talk a lot about curriculum because the school already knows that. But if we're not supposed to talk a lot about the curriculum how can we answer why their school is what I want to go into?

Author:  Voomer [ 29 Oct 2020, 11:38 ]
Post subject:  Re: Why MBA - How to Answer this Essay Question

Insightful stuff.

At the end of the day your entire application revolves around "why do you want to get an MBA?".

Author:  supercorn1 [ 03 Nov 2020, 11:53 ]
Post subject:  Re: Why MBA - How to Answer this Essay Question

Great post!

Author:  wishmasterdj [ 20 Jul 2021, 11:05 ]
Post subject:  Re: Why MBA - How to Answer this Essay Question

Narenn wrote:

Best user comments made in earlier version of Why MBA thread.



  • 3rd reason is the secret that you need to answer yourself ... what they call it as retrospect!! - wouldbecrazy


  • Fantastic post! I would add to the list that another major reason to do an MBA is to change location. It is extremely difficult to quit your job and move to a new country to find a job. Many times, you won't even know where to start looking! An MBA program can provide you with a structure and a safe environment to spend a year or two looking for a job in your new destination. - Ducksworth


On the location bit, is it a valid enough reason? Of course, one could couple that with some ancillary reason, but is that taken seriously by the Adcoms?

Author:  bb [ 20 Jul 2021, 11:18 ]
Post subject:  Re: Why MBA - How to Answer this Essay Question

wishmasterdj wrote:
Narenn wrote:

Best user comments made in earlier version of Why MBA thread.



  • 3rd reason is the secret that you need to answer yourself ... what they call it as retrospect!! - wouldbecrazy


  • Fantastic post! I would add to the list that another major reason to do an MBA is to change location. It is extremely difficult to quit your job and move to a new country to find a job. Many times, you won't even know where to start looking! An MBA program can provide you with a structure and a safe environment to spend a year or two looking for a job in your new destination. - Ducksworth


On the location bit, is it a valid enough reason? Of course, one could couple that with some ancillary reason, but is that taken seriously by the Adcoms?


One can always screw up any answer to any question ... :cool: To illustrate if someone said "I am working a Project Manager in a remote African village and I really want to work in Los Angeles instead because they have better food in Los Angeles or because I can make more money" that is pretty inadequate answer. Why are you wanting to change the location? There has to be an answer to the Why.... Location obviously took a bit of a hit with remote work but it is pretty easy to say that you want to be a part of the World's largest economy and close to the innovation hubs in Silicon Valley or perhaps you want to work in Seattle so you are involved in the Amazon/Microsoft community and find like-minded people and become a part of (fill in a name organization, group, etc that meets on Saturdays at the local fill-in-name).

You want to focus on the professional aspect of the location. Why is changing the location going to help you professionally or why is your current location is restricting you? There is room to talk about the increase in income and other topics potentially but you want to be careful so it does not seem like the AdCom are going to be admitting you just so you can attempt to make more money. That's not an attitute they want to foster within the program. Nobody likes a person who wants things without putting it work or deserving it. E.g. if you say, I want to run a hedge fund because I can make a lot of money - probably not a lot of people will be willing to help you there. But if you say, I want to run a hedge fund because I am really fascinated with the strategies and I love to be in the mist of it and feel the energy of being alive when you put everything on the line" - I think people can get inspired by that idea and many would be willing to help you along the way. :thumbsup: :)

Good Luck!

Author:  Sunita81 [ 31 Jan 2022, 20:16 ]
Post subject:  Re: Why MBA - How to Answer this Essay Question

Here are some common reasons for wanting to earn an MBA: Career advancement: An MBA can lead to advancement opportunities in your career, such as a management role. Leadership development: An MBA can instil skills that are helpful for various leadership positions in the workplace.
As a faculty at MBA, I would suggest to Join LPU for mBA. Lovely Professional University is one of the leading university in north India now.. LPU’s business school is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Program (ACBSP).Recently Ministry of Human Resource Government of India Ranked Lovely Professional University No. 2 in India in Management. As per the recent NIRF ranking 2021, LPU school of business has been ranked among top 40 colleges or universities of India. This course will give you an exposure in management field. After completing BBA, you can go for MBA. MBA will provide highly challenging job for you. Different specializations are there in MBA.
Every year Around 550+ companies visit every year for such activities and campus-recruitment of students from LPU. Companies likes Colgate Palmolive, Hindustan Unilever, Godrej Consumer, SAP Labs, Asian Paints, Bajaj Allianz, Federal Bank,Moodys Analytics, Blue Star, Zomato,Berger Paints, Marico, Havells, Apollo Munich Health Insurance, CavinCare, Hetitch, Nerolac Paints, Oyo Rooms, S& P Global Market Intelligence, HDFC Bank, Swiggy,Kotak Mahindra Bank, Luminous Power etc. Also, in my view, I think you should not worry about the placements.

Author:  kungfupanda1306 [ 08 Mar 2022, 06:42 ]
Post subject:  Re: Why MBA - How to Answer this Essay Question

hi,

I work in an oil refinery have experiencer in maintenance and inspection . What are the job opportunities post mba if I want to get out of energy sector. please share the functions( in descending order) where my skills can be utilised post MBA.


thanks

bb wrote:

Why MBA?


This fall, every MBA applicant will be answering this question in their mind, at family gatherings, and in their business school applications. Most dread hearing it asked because they never have the perfect answer nor will it be the same every time. At first, the answer usually starts off a bit uncertain, vague, and somewhat insecure, but as time progresses and a few essay drafts are written, the explanation becomes more polished and confident. Throughout my thirteen years with GMAT Club, I have heard many explanations – anything from a career change to a fresh start after a broken relationship. As you consider your answer, I’d like to share the top 3 reasons most use to pursue a business degree and how you can stand out. Whatever you decide to put in your essays, remember that the key to getting into your first choice school and being happy there, is to be honest, passionate, and committed.


Top Reasons for getting an MBA


  • Career Change
    Changing careers or functions, such as going from IT into consulting or finance into marketing, is probably the most common reason for getting an MBA. Workers switch careers several times during their life time (2-3 times is the latest statistics) and MBA is a good and frequent path. For one, switching a career is not easy – why would anyone take a finance person to do a marketing job? Business school offers a buffer to that (taking marketing classes, getting a marketing internship, and networking with students and alumni in the field). Second, business school often allows one to “sample” careers in the safe environment of a class or a small group. Often thrown into groups with students from all walks of life, one gets the inside perspective on what many industries and jobs are like – consulting, banking, etc. Finally, a career change could also mean starting your own business or vice versa and business school could allow one to gain the missing skills or build key relationships for their future business. Many schools want to attract successful or promising entrepreneurs and sponsor business plan competitions such as the Kaplan New Venture Challenge at University of Chicago Booth School of Business.[/highlight]


    Recommendation:
    The keys to cracking this question are:
    • Outline your short-term, intermediate, and long-term career goals. Short-term goals are immediately post-MBA until about two years later; intermediate goals are about two to five years post MBA; and long-term goals are those goals from five years in the future onwards. Essays usually ask for short- and long-term goals, but awareness of your intermediate goals will help you bridge the gap between the two.
    • To be as specific as possible in your response, such as “I would like to become an IT outsourcing consultant in the United States, working for Accenture”.
    • To clearly outline your current role and how MBA will help you bridge into the new one.
    • To demonstrate understanding of the role you are planning to pursue.

  • Career Advancement
    Often people get stuck in lower/middle management in large organizations and it may take years for the next promotion. MBA is a good way to break this pattern and signal that you are ready for a stronger position in middle/senior management. For others, a promotion may be there but they are lacking management/business skills to step into it. This is the best situation to be in and a very common reason to enroll into Executive or Part-Time programs. This is a financially advantageous move if sponsored by the employer – the applicant keeps their income, gets free tuition, and is guaranteed a job after graduation in exchange for longer-term commitment. However, the common opinion is that the non-financial value of part-time programs falls short of a Full Time 2-year MBA program which allows one to focus on their career goals and dedicate themselves to self-improvement without major distractions (no, they never have pool parties in business school).

    Recommendation:
    • A common path is to paint a strong image of current/past successes, outline that you are at the limit of your career/skill-set, and the next logical step is an MBA that will open a number of doors.
    • Be realistic and avoid coming off naïve about the value of MBA and what it will give you. MBA is not a magical transformation and as the July-August issue of Harvard Business Review suggests – management is not a profession and business education is not one-size-fits-all (See “No, Management is Not a Profession” by Richard Barker, HBR 2010).


Final Recommendations:
  • After you are done answering the “Why MBA” question, the admissions committee should clearly see that you in a great need of an MBA and by declining you, they will be making a big mistake.
  • This may sound counter-intuitive but apply to your second choice schools first. Many applicants find that they write much better essays and applications after some practice
    Pick your schools carefully – only apply to the schools that you would actually attend. Ask yourself – “If I only get into school X, will I actually attend X?” This will save you time and energy.
  • Research, Research, Research. You must know everything about your top choice school – it will give you an edge in the entire application package (selecting the right recommender or performing well on the interview) and will show in your essays one way or another and will catch an eye of the admissions committee.



Top 3 Wrong Reasons for getting an MBA:


  • Replacement for work experience: Though there are MBA programs that will enroll students straight from college, most emphasize the need for work experience and require applicants to demonstrate a degree of leadership before admission. There is a reason work experience is required – it will help you better apply class knowledge, enable you to contribute to the class more, fit in with other students, and finally get a job after graduation.

  • Specific Training – getting an MBA in order to reap financial or marketing training that can be achieved faster and more effectively using other programs.

  • Figure out one’s life – yes, MBA is a break for 20 months but it is a terrible reason if all you want to do is figure out your personal life and goals. Everyone will be doing some soul-searching during the program but nobody likes a confused person without goals or purpose.


Example of Why MBA Essay:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/why-mba-how- ... 53372.html

--

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