Every MBA application season seems to have its trending buzzwords.
A couple of years ago every other applicant we worked with at Admissionado wanted to become an entrepreneur. This past year, “technology management” seemed to be the skill that everyone applying to MBA programs was looking for. Education marketing company Carrington Crisp’s annual Tomorrow’s MBA report confirms what we’ve been seeing in applications, that MBA applicants are looking for their MBA experience to teach them how to manage technology experts and how to leverage technology to improve businesses.
While the technology management trend may indicate where business and business education is heading, the most important thing to try and do when applying for an MBA program is to differentiate your application from the rest of the crowd. That doesn’t mean applicants shouldn’t mention technology management in their applications, but it does mean that applicants need to be creative and rely on their unique experiences when talking about a trending topic in their essays.
Below, find two approaches to talking about technology management in your essays that could help you avoid like you’re simply jumping on this year’s buzzword bandwagon.
Was there a time in your career when the ability to better manage technical teams would have made things a lot easier for you?
Let’s say as a consultant at Firm X you were tasked with leading a client’s IT team on a tech infrastructure implementation project. However, when meeting the client’s IT team, you realized that they would need significant training to meet your objectives. You had never trained an IT team before and weren’t up to date on the industry best practices for these situations.
Tell adcoms about this challenge you faced and then, find courses and experiences at your target school that would have helped you better take on this challenge. Wouldn’t it have been great in this situation if you had had the experience of leading a team of engineers and programmers on a startup through School X’s Venture Capital Lab? Show the adcoms that you know exactly how their school’s resources will help you fill this technology management skills gap.
Look to the Future
If you know that technology management is going to be a large part of your future career responsibilities, then it’s a good idea to let the adcoms know that you’ve done your research and have a grasp of the kinds of technology management challenges that you’ll be coming up against.
Are you planning on going into product management at a tech giant after graduation? Then you need to tell the adcoms that you know what your leadership in that product management role is going to look like. Tell them how at Company X, you’ll be leading teams of computer engineers and analysts to build industry-leading products. Then, make sure you write how, at their MBA program, you need to learn how to best utilize the technological specializations of those teams by taking Class X with professor Y, an expert in technology management implementation.
What both of these examples have in common is the idea that examples of the skills you want to acquire at your target school should show the adcoms that you know how the skills you’ll be learning will be applied in the real world. That idea doesn’t just apply when talking about buzzwords like technology management or entrepreneurship in your MBA apps, but whenever you’re trying to show adcoms that you’ve got a plan for success at their MBA program.
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