MBA career switchers carry a burden that other applicants don’t: the need to demonstrate an understanding of and fit with a new industry or job function.
For example, if you’re already an IT consultant and your post-MBA goals involve IT consulting, then you should have no trouble drafting an MBA goals essay that explains how an MBA will help you reach your IT consulting goals—you would simply base your future goals on your current and past job experience and your keen understanding of your field of expertise.
For someone switching careers, however, the goals essay presents a bit more of a challenge. How do you know that IT consulting is for you? How do you know what your specific goals are in an area for which you have little or no experience?
As a career changer, a large part of your MBA application strategy is to show that you understand your chosen industry or function “from the inside.” The goals that you outline in your essays must include concrete steps that you plan to take in order to achieve your new career goals. Your transition from your past field to your future one must appear natural—that is, you must show that your career progression makes sense and that your new chosen field is the perfect match for you. Focus on skills that you’ve obtained in your current position that will help you as you move forward in a new position or career.
Finally, clinch your message by effectively using the “why this school” part of the essay question. Your MBA studies are a bridge that will take you from where you are to where you want to be. By now identifying key learning needs for your new career, you further strengthen the impression that you understand the realities and demands of the position. Describe using specific details how the program under discussion will become that bridge.
Please visit Accepted’s new MBA Career Switch 101 page to view advice on creating a b-school application that highlights your goals and strengths as a career changer.
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