“I want to move from the buy side to the sell side.”
“I want to shift from technology consulting to investment banking.”
An engineer once said to me, “I want to go into either finance or consulting.”
A goal isn’t something you want, it’s something you do, something you want to achieve, an impact you want to have, and the process you plan on implementing in order to get there. Therefore, a goal needs to be specific. Start with two key components:
A third key component for many people is geography, if it is integral to the goal (e.g., developing solar energy in northern Africa).
Then add the “do” part – what the work will actually consist of, and what you hope to accomplish.
Here are some examples that incorporate the above elements:
- I plan to return to operations but work at a higher, decision making level, such as Senior Operations Manager, in an East Asian semiconductor firm or a related industry. In this role, I would, for example, oversee $XXX operations, a global high-tech supply chain, and manage a diverse range of technical and business professionals.
- Currently I’m a BPR consultant; I plan to shift to strategy consulting at a top global firm such as Bain or McKinsey, ideally focusing on clients in the pharma/biomedical space, and help them set up operations in Eastern Europe.
To wrap up this section, I’ll add a couple of cautions about this phase of the process:
- It’s true that your short-term goals operate as a means towards achieving your long-term goals, but don’t simply focus on what you will learn, the experience you will gain, and the people you will meet; short-term goals should also include the elements noted above – what you want to do and accomplish/contribute.
- Ensure that your goals really require the MBA education. Of course, any learning is helpful for almost any endeavor; but the adcoms want to see that you really need the resources they offer, which they view as precious and not to be squandered. (And they’re right!)
Do you need help identifying, defining, and writing about your goals? Work one-on-one with an expert admissions advisor who will help you clarify your goals and present them to the adcom so you get ACCEPTED. Learn more about MBA Admissions Services here.
“What Exactly Are Goals?” is excerpted from the Accepted guide, Why MBA? Click here to download the complete guide.
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!