Many MBA programs ask this question in their MBA essays
. When writing such essay, the candidate has to make it clear to the admission committee why an MBA is a crucial step
for him in order to achieve his career goals.
Mainly you need to explain:
- What skills
you still lack in order to achieve your stated goals, and how the MBA/school will enable you to get each of these skills?
- What knowledge
do you still lack in order to achieve your stated goals? Will the MBA enable you to get this knowledge? For example: I still lack knowledge of X to achieve my goal Y.
- What else
do you still lack in order to achieve your stated goals? Experience? Contacts? How will the MBA enable you to get these things?
Your candidacy is likely to be stronger if you are more specific
about what it is exactly that you are lacking in light of your goals
. For instance, what exactly within marketing do you need to achieve your stated goals? Positioning? Distribution? Advertising? Strategy? Pricing? Etc.
Here is a good example of a "why MBA
" essay:My long term career goal is to become Senior Vice President and Head of Global Information Security Group in a major Information Security corporation such as $25 billion Cisco, $5 billion CheckPoint or $5 billion Netscreen. I plan to achieve that position after acquiring the necessary tools and experience required to manage a large-scale global business by completing my MBA, starting as Product Manager and working my way up.
I find the information security industry exciting; it is ever-growing, ever-changing and provides a huge technological challenge in adapting to new technologies and attacks. Data security was a crucial element to business managers worldwide deciding to connect their intra-nets to the Internet. This made the transformation to a global-commercial network possible. I am proud to take part in maintaining the Internet’s revolutionary role by making individuals who use it feel secure. I hope to harness my motivation, technological ingenuity and managerial skills in developing the industry.
My fascination with business, direct interaction with clients, strategic overview, and the view of a company as provider of products that meet customer needs has motivated me to move from technical roles to business positions. Both my current position as Group Manager in the military and my desired post-MBA position as Product Manager require team management. While today I use intuition and experience to guide my activity, I plan to strengthen my skills by learning formal methodologies at Tuck and benefiting from personal experiences of classmates and faculty. I feel that such knowledge will help me do my job effectively and achieve my long term objectives.
In future positions I will be faced daily with situations which require interpersonal skills: interviewing a job applicant, rewarding an employee, providing constructive criticism, etc. While there is sometimes a suggested textbook solution to these situations, great skill is required to adapt the general solution to the particular case. I look forward to improving my "soft skills" by taking classes like "Leading Organization" or "Organizational Culture and Culture Change". Here, I can refine my skills with "hands on" experience in a forgiving environment.
Product management and my subsequent positions also require close interaction with departments such as finance, marketing, sales and R&D. I will need to understand the activities of these departments, best practices for interacting with them and how to take them into account in decision-making. Tuck's Global General Management approach towards teaching business, providing the "CEO perspective", will allow me to obtain knowledge on this.
I learned that an important part of being a manager is developing vision, knowing not only what your business unit is doing next month but also what you think it should do three years from now. The job requires developing a road-map and setting milestones that will lead to long-term objective while keeping short-term goals in mind. Knowledge gained through courses like "Global Strategy and Implementation" and "Top Management Teams" will allow me to take these considerations into account, balancing it with reality.
I feel that Tuck is the place to receive my MBA education. The close community, the unique geographical location and the strong emphasis the MBA program has on team players and teamwork creates a special atmosphere. I feel most comfortable learning and exchanging ideas in this type of environment. Its informality allows me to easily open up and express my opinion or risk making a mistake. This special trait reflects also in the Tuck alumni community. Talking to Tuck students and Alumni, I was impressed with their willingness to go to great length to assist each other.
Aiming to get back to the Information Security industry I am thrilled with Tuck's opportunities to expand my education in a technologically-oriented environment through programs like the Tuck Global Consultancy or the Glassmeyer/McNamee Center for Digital Strategies. I plan to take advantage of the fact that Tuck is part of Dartmouth University. The opportunity to enrich my education through classes in Physics, Psychology or History is something I look forward to as I feel this would allow me to develop a multi-disciplinary creative approach that will provide be with a better framework to achieve my goals.
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