Why Mba – How to Write the Career Goals Essay

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In this post, we will seek to understand the question which arises in most school applications in some form or the other – Why MBA?

How different schools ask the ‘Why MBA’ question?

Look at the following questions from 3 of the top business schools:

Wharton: What are your professional objectives? (300 words)

HBS: Why do you want an MBA? (400 words)

Stanford: What do you want to do – REALLY – and why Stanford? (450 words)

Do you sense a trace of similarity here? Even though they may be worded slightly differently, these questions effectively aim to understand one and only one thing – namely, your PROFESSIONAL GOALS. Yes, professional goals are important enough to warrant bold, underline and capitalization!

What is the AdCom trying to understand by asking this question?

Let me start off by saying that this question is one of the pillars on which your MBA application rests. This question helps the school understand your reasons for wanting an MBA and they use your answer to evaluate if your post MBA goals make sense and whether or not they are in tune with whatever you have done thus far. They are looking to see whether or not an MBA is the bridge that you need to take you from where you are right now to where you want to be as mentioned in your goals. The essay is also a great opportunity for you to reflect on whether or not you really need an MBA to fulfill your career aspirations.

Some things that schools are trying to screen for:

Are you trying to use the MBA as a springboard to overcome unemployment or a lagging career progression? Are your goals realistic and achievable?
Have you gone through a process of self-reflection?
Are you able to articulate your goals coherently?
Will your experiences add value to the class?
Will you add value to the school as an alum?
Will your profile be attractive to Recruiters?

A range of responses from the same candidate and our commentary and rating for each...
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