Most schools want to know why you’re pursuing an MBA, and why you want it from their school. Truthfully, even if the programs didn’t ask this question, it’s one you should ask yourself. You need to have the answer before you invest your time and money in an MBA program.
Your job, when writing your goals essay, is to connect your specific goals with the mission or strengths of your target MBA program. You also have to demonstrate that your goals are based in your experiences.
The following tips will help you show that Target School X is the bridge between where you’ve been and where you want to go. And bridging that gap is the essence of a persuasive goals essay.
- Check out the school’s core curriculum.
Although most b-schools have basically the same kinds of courses in the core areas (accounting, finance, marketing, etc.), they cover them from differing perspectives and in different ways. Are they project-oriented, wedded to case study, or agnostic and perfectly happy to use a mixture of educational styles? Is the program structured or flexible? Decide which approach you prefer and why.
- Investigate the clubs and activities.
There is certainly common ground in these areas as well. There are also specific clubs for niche industries and interests that only certain schools offer. If you have a niche interest, link it to the niche clubs. Look for the things that make a program stand out, not that make it the same as all of the others.
- Explore the special programs at each school.
Most top schools offer a global practicum, business plan competitions, case competitions, etc. You need to search further. They don’t all offer the same things in the same ways. In what way will specialized programs aid you in accomplishing your goals? What are the school’s ties? Is it near a financial center with great IB connections? Is it near a startup hub? Some schools have closer connections to Europe, some to Latin America, and some to Asia. What are your special interests? Find out which schools have programs that fit those interests.
- Examine the school’s faculty.
Which faculty would you like to learn with? What are you really interested in, and who’s doing cutting-edge research in that topic? Can that research help you reach your goals?
- Consider how you will fit into the school’s community.
This isn’t just a geographic community. It can also refer to a community of interest, background, belief, or profession. However you define your community – what have you done or what do you plan to do to become a part of it?
- Take note of the student culture/personality.
Like a person, each b-school has its own identity that casts itself onto the community that the school represents. Visiting the school, participating in school receptions and info sessions, and reading student blogs and school newsletters are very important ways of learning about the culture.
- Understand the school’s recruiting strengths.
Some consulting firms will recruit more heavily at certain schools and less at others. The same goes for non-profits, marketing firms, companies on Wall St. and others looking to hire MBA talent. You need to understand what the recruiting strengths are at your target programs, and make sure those strengths align with your goals. Remember – the ultimate goal of obtaining an MBA is securing your dream job so relating the school’s recruiting strengths to your goals is essential to choosing the right programs and a persuasive goals essay.
Take time to consider each of these points. Looking at them together will help you find the MBA programs that will best link with your goals. Now you know what you want…and where you want to get it.
Accepted helps applicants like you apply confidently and successfully to top business schools around the world. From choosing which programs to apply to, to brainstorming essay topics, to polishing and refining your final application, our experienced consultants are ready to help you get accepted. Get Accepted!