Briefly assess your career progress to date. Elaborate on your near-term (3-5 years) future career objectives and how pursuing a Nanyang MBA will help you achieve these. (400 word limit)
Consider why they’re asking about career progress to-date. Most top-notch MBA programs are in agreement that “past success is the best indicator of future success.” The trick is… knowing what aspects to focus on. Let’s break it down.
Between the time you graduated from college/undergrad up until the present, presumably, you’ve accumulated two or three significant “wins” with respect to work-related achievements. Things you can point to on your resume and say, “if you want proof of my ability to achieve, let’s focus on these two or three moments.” Once you’ve picked the BEST examples, this is where the REAL challenge begins, and the step that many applicants MISS. Your next challenge is to identify what it was about YOU that led to that particular success. In other words, what skills and talents and assets did you leverage… to generate those “wins”? Was it some kind of special leadership ability? If so, explain what that was/is. Was it an unusual ability to think practically compared to others who got stuck in idealistic approaches that never led anywhere? If so, explain it. Was it some kind of analytical skill YOU possessed that others didn’t, that led to your successes? If so, isolate it, and explain it.
If you do this correctly, the reader will not only understand what your two or three most significant career “moments” were, but more importantly, they’ll understand WHY you were able to achieve them. This is KEY. This should take up roughly half of this essay, say, 200 words or so.
For your second half, your goal is to lay out a thoughtful, well-researched plan for what it is you hope to achieve in the 3-5 years after securing a Nanyang MBA. It should be clear from your plan that you are well-versed in things like which companies recruit at Nanyang, what types of job opportunities exist for Nanyang graduates, how others have parlayed Nanyang MBAs to achieve THEIR goals, etc. You need to prove to us that you’re not just adding Nanyang to your list of MBA application targets, but have done a considerable amount of research to know precisely how you will leverage this PARTICULAR MBA to meet your PARTICULAR business goals. Connect those dots for us, make us see very clearly that Nanyang (not just any MBA) provides specific opportunities to help you achieve the various steps you hope to achieve in the 3-5 years after you graduate.
The best way to impress in this section is to focus on ACHIEVABLE goals, and to be convincing in that your plan is well-researched and bulletproof. Show us that you’ve explored all the ways the plan is most likely to succeed, provide backups for when your top choice outcome doesn’t play out the way you’d expect, make it seem like no matter what curveballs life has in store for you, you have an answer and a pathway to achieve your goal. This is what an MBA program wants to invest in: inevitable success. In order to prove that, you have to reveal how much thought you’ve put into “ensuring” success. Think of it as a pitch to an investor. Convince the investor that his/her money will yield some kind of ROI. Reduce anxiety with backup plans, plans that make sense, etc.
The mistake most applicants make is instead to focus on what they believe are better-SOUNDING plans, and not the thoughtfulness of the plans themselves. Sensible and achievable plans count for much more than cooler ideas.
You can also read through our team’s analysis of the rest of NTU’s application essays.
Learn more and explore each step of NTU’s full-time MBA application process here.