Knowing they’ll have to write essays about their goals, most b-school applicants have identified their goals prior to starting the application process. But I’ve found that “identified” often has a misconstrued scope, either too narrow or too broad to effectively serve the purpose of the essays.
With some moderate effort, you can flesh out your goals message so that you can spring into action when you start your application process. You’ll need details to make the essays credible, interesting, and individualized, and clarifying your motivation also furthers those ends.
Tips for Outstanding Goals Essays
- Identify short-term and long-term goals. For each, fill in the details: what would be your likely or desired positions(s) (note titles), what types of companies (with specific examples), what industries.
- Develop a vision for each of these phases. In other words, what do you want to accomplish, what impact do you want to have? Too often people focus on what they want to get out of it for themselves. That’s secondary. What external impact will you aim to have?
- Research desired companies. What kinds of post-MBA positions do they offer; what are their hiring trends, products and/or services, structure/organization, market status, competitive concerns, etc.
- Research your industry. What are its challenges, how is it adapting to globalization and technological advances, etc.
- Reflect on your motivations for pursuing your particular goals and be prepared to articulate them succinctly as part of your goals essays. While most questions won’t ask about it, your motivation is essential to creating a message and story that will engage the adcoms.
- If you are a career changer or even just shifting career emphasis, have informational interviews with people in your chosen field or function. Utilize your college alumni network and perhaps other professional and/or social networks to identify possible people to ask. Not only will you glean valuable insight, but you also can discuss taking this proactive step in your essays. Such interviews needn’t be long – you can learn a lot in 15 minutes!
Taking these efforts now will enable you to write goals essays that are informed, thoughtful, distinctive. And you can hit the ground running when you start writing!
Check out our MBA admissions consulting services and work one-on-one with an admissions expert who will help you define and refine your career goals and get accepted to your top-choice program.Cindy Tokumitsu has advised hundreds of successful applicants, helping them gain acceptance to top MBA and EMBA programs in her 20 years with Accepted. She would love to help you too. Want Cindy to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch!
• MBA Applicants: Make Your Work Experience Work for You, a free guide
• Showing Fit in Your Applications, a podcast episode
• MBA Admissions Advice for Career Changers