It’s amazing to me how committed someone can be to applying to b-school, as early as next fall, and still have no concrete MBA goals. Clear, defined goals are a MUST when applying to a top b-school – in terms of MBA admissions requirements, they’re up there with your GPA, GMAT, and work experience, and in some respects, are even more important!
To clarify your goals, first you need to look inward:
- What do you enjoy doing?
- In what areas do you excel?
- How can your non-professional achievements and experiences contribute to your professional life?
And then outward:
- Examine professional options that will take utilize your strengths, take advantage of your interests, and offer you satisfying results.
- Research typical career paths for they will help you achieve longer term professional goals.
Only after you know where you want to end up professionally, can you start to research the programs to determine which ones will take you there as well as provide an educational environment in which you will thrive.
To sum up: Goals are not an afterthought in MBA admissions. The admissions readers view them as front and center…and so should you!