MBA Essay Writing Tip #5: Getting Specific With Goals

Here's how to use your application essay to frame your goals and make youreself look like a great catch for your dream school.

getting specifc with goals

Whether long-term or short-term, many MBA applicants struggle with defining their goals.

The issue here isn’t just writing – oftentimes applicants don’t realize just how “on the ball” they need to be to impress a top-ranking university.

Take this sentence, for example:

“I will strive to become a sharp director of marketing, approving multimedia advertising campaigns through up-to-date techniques and in well collaborative procedures.”

Though this might look impressive at first glance, it’s a total non-starter. What does “sharp” mean, and what techniques and procedures is he talking about? This applicant quite simply DOESN’T KNOW what he’ll do at his prospective job and he’s trying to cover it up with fancy language.

When stating your goals, clarity and precision are essential

Make sure you have a game plan. Don’t tell the school what you “intend” to do, SHOW them WHAT you WILL do, HOW you will do it and WHY! You need to let your dream-school know that THIS is your plan and you’ll be a huge success executing it, with or without them!

After a few revisions and some guidance, our example writer hit us with this revised sentence:

“I will transform our company’s marketing by targeting clients not only through up-to-date research algorithms, but also through collaboration and proper judgment. In an era where so much advertising bombards clients with spam, I strongly believe marketing can be both profitable and ethical, helping, rather than hindering, the user experience online.”

What a difference!

First, the added detail shows us that he knows this job inside-out before he even started it. Also, we not only understand WHAT he will do, but HOW and WHY he will do it, whereas his previous version basically told us that he would get a job. We now know both the specifics of his job and the big picture of why he wants it, and how he’ll do it differently (thanks to his ethical concerns).

Thanks to these simple changes, his intro’s gone from a vague non-answer to a fantastic summary of why this candidate is a star in the making and a great catch for any school and/or future employer.

So here’s a quick recap

  1. Make sure to cover WHAT you will do in your future career. If you’re not sure, do some research!
  2. Make sure to cover HOW you intend to excel in this future career – you can’t be average!
  3. Make sure to cover WHY this is important to you – show us you’re passionate about your goals!

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Like this post? Check out more of our MBA Essay Writing Guide Tips!

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