About a month ago UniQpath aptly named her post on the challenge of writing a compelling MBA goals essay: “Struggle.” It ain’t easy. Most schools ask why you want an MBA and why you want it from this school. It only makes sense before you invest the time and money in an MBA that you should be able to answer those questions. It’s not “just” an admissions question.
UniQPath asks, “How do I link my ‘specific goals’ to that university’s MBA program offering?” That’s your mission when writing a goals essay. I would add that you also have to show that your goals are anchored in your experience. Usually you make these connections in the goals essay, but sometimes, depending on the wording of the question and your particular history, you may do so in other essays as well or instead of in the goals essay.
In any case, UniQpath asks a series of excellent questions. My answers are indented.
1) Core program curriculum – BUT, most B-schools have more or less the same type of courses in the core areas (finance, accounting, marketing, etc)
2) Clubs, Activities – BUT, most B-schools have more or less the same type of clubs (ASIA club, Entrepreneurship club)
3) Programs – Chances of some difference arise here. Most top schools offer a global practicum, b-plan competitions, case competitions etc
4) World Class Faculty – Hmmm, every school has its own cream
5) Commitment to Community – So many b-schools have started emphasizing this lately.
6) Student Culture/Personality – THIS one begs to differ. Each b-school has its own persona, that projects itself into the dynamic community that the school represents.
100%. That’s why visits, attending school receptions, info sessions, and reading student blogs and newspapers are so important. Those activities will give you insight into the schools’ cultures and personalities.