I will wrap up this series with a few miscellaneous points.
Think you’re done with MBA goals? Think again… In the current global economic volatility, having a Plan B for your immediate post-MBA goal can be not only good planning for you, but also enhance your goal essay’s credibility. It’s particularly important if you’re targeting a difficult-to-enter industry (remember that VC-dreamer in the first post?) or changing careers. In fact, adcoms have specifically said that they welcome this recognition of reality; it gives them more confidence that you can get employed.
The challenge, however, is to discuss a Plan B without using a lot of precious space and without sounding undirected. In the goals essay, focus mostly on your main short-term goal. Then add one to three sentences about a reasonable alternative that you’d also consider, explaining how it also would be a good step toward your further goals. Example: an applicant is targeting an IT manager role post-MBA with the long-term goal of CIO; a Plan B could be a tech strategy consulting post-MBA job.
I’m always surprised at how few people do roll-up-the-shirtsleeves research on their goals before writing essays. Digging around on the web for a couple of hours or talking to people in careers related to your goals can yield rich detail for your essays. Moreover, mentioning this research in your essays enhances the sense of commitment to your chosen path. I suggest reading up on the industry and its current and future challenges, and conducting informational interviews regarding the industry or business function.
Taking this step will enable you to write sharply and engagingly about your goals. It enhances the interest factor of the essay. Also it will prevent big mistakes like those of that Wharton reapplicant in the first post in this series. By presenting selected tidbits of your research in your essay you’ll show you’re resourceful and committed, and equally important you’ll show you have something to say, i.e., contribute.
I’ve said a lot of “do this” and “do that” in this series. If you feel that having knowledgeable, experienced, committed assistance as you walk through this process would be helpful, please consider using Accepted.com’s MBA admissions consulting & essay editing services to help you perfect your application.
By Cindy Tokumitsu, author and co-author of numerous ebooks, articles, and special reports, including Why MBA and Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One. Cindy has advised hundreds of successful applicants in her fifteen years with Accepted.com.