When you pull together your MBA application materials, you might find yourself stumped (in a few different ways) about how to explain your career goals. Thankfully, as we wrote about last month, the adcom isn’t going to hold you to what you write in your essay. But they do expect that you have given enough serious thought to your own future that you can clearly articulate your short- and long-term plans. More importantly, they want to hear about why you have those goals.
But sometimes this brings up another conundrum: should you be totally honest about your future career vision, or should you try to somewhat tailor it based on what each program you’re applying to is known for — or who the major recruiters are on campus?
We find it’s usually best to tell the adcom what you really want to do. They’re pretty good at sniffing out insincerity, and writing what you think they want to hear falls into that category. Plus, it will be harder for you to share a convincing “why” for your goals if they’re not really your goals!
Then if you get to the interview stage, you’ll have to worry about continuing the act. If you want to totally switch industries or are looking for a post-MBA role in a notoriously competitive field, then throw in a sentence about what else you might be open to doing on your way to your ultimate goal.
The good news is that while each program may have a reputation for strength in certain functional areas or industries, almost all of the top business schools still have plenty of courses, clubs, conference and other parts of their curriculum that cater to just about every type of career goal. So that’s how you customize your responses for each school: show them you’ve done your research and know exactly how they can help you.
Think of it this way:
Until next time,
The team at Stacy Blackman Consulting
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