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MBA Career Goals: Setting Your Sights

October 5 2022 By The MBA Exchange
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As you apply for a spot in a top Master of Business Administration (MBA) class, it’s essential to search out a compelling, convincing, and authentic answer to the inevitable question: “What is your long-term professional goal?”

It’s not just a question of nailing your long-term goals career essay and overall application, although drafting a strong MBA goal statement certainly gets you that much closer to short-term goals of MBA admission! You also benefit long-term from clearly defining your post-MBA career goals.

How will an MBA help you achieve your goals?

Many MBA candidates define their post-MBA career goals solely in terms of their desired job titles. Saying “I want to be a CEO” definitely expresses confidence, but falls way short of convincing admissions committee members that you understand how to get to the heights of the C-suite, or why an MBA education is essential to that goal.

This approach also doesn’t adequately address the underlying questions in the minds of adcoms. How do you want to change the world? Where do you want to have an impact in your life? What is the burning problem that you want to solve? How are you going to change the business landscape? Where and how do you want to have an impact? These are the types of questions you need to address in a long-term goals career essay for MBA success.

The admissions committee wants to understand what you have done in the past, what you are currently doing now, and how your MBA goals will help you get to where you see yourself going in the future. Articulating your career goals after MBA graduation in documents like your long-term goals career essay is key to that understanding.

How to write career goals for an MBA?

In addition to application materials like test scores and recommendation letters, MBA programs use applicants’ descriptions of their post-MBA goals as a window into the core of their candidacy. At The MBA Exchange, we have experience with MBA essays you can count on when it comes to strategizing around this key topic.

The way you express your career intentions in your long-term goals career essay, or MBA goal statement reveals vital aspects of your profile like self-awareness, core strengths, and personal values, all qualities that adcoms want to see demonstrated in MBA students. Sometimes you’ll be asked to describe your post-MBA goals in a focused long-term goals career essay or short-answer question that poses that specific question. Other times, you’ll need to weave your post-MBA career goals into your response to an open-ended essay question. You may also be asked to describe your post-MBA career goals during the MBA admissions interview. In any case, there’s no way to avoid this often stressful but always important topic.

As a future MBA applicant, when considering how to best present your post-MBA goals, avoid the temptations and limitations of easy answers such as “I want to be a CEO.” Career goals for MBA students need to be more nuanced, with more sense of the specific, beneficial impact that your unique abilities, actions, work experience, and business school education can have on teams, customers, organizations, and more. Describing the positive difference you want to make in your career goals essay or other responses will help adcoms realize why a coveted seat in their MBA program should be yours.

If analyzing your own career path and candidacy and formulating post-MBA goals proves difficult or frustrating, we can help. Having helped more than 5,000 applicants pursuing MBA success over the past three decades, The MBA Exchange has developed a proven, customized process for discovering and articulating career goals. In fact, this is a core element of our comprehensive consultations. Let us know if we can help you to communicate or refine the vision that inspires you to pursue a business school education.