Are My MBA Goals Unique?

Many people feel their goals have to be unique. A few people even asked me the above question this week. My answer to them: Not really, no. But then again, very few people have unique career goals. Finance. Consulting. Non-profit. Entrepreneurial. Educational. Public sector. Adcoms have seen it all. So, asking, "Are my goals unique?" is the wrong question.

The right question is: "Do my career goals fit my unique background, personality and experiences?" and it often requires an entire application to answer that question - from resume to interview - not just a single goals essay. This is the reason I stress integration and consistency throughout the application process, and why I encourage applicants to not jump ahead to other essays like leadership or personal expression ("spokes" to the goals "hub") until their goals are firmly established; you might miss illuminating connections that way. In my experience, those connections are what make applicants unique, not the job you want after your MBA. (See here for my take on The MBA Goals Essay.)

A thought about using famous-people quotations in essays. Personally, I think they waste words and add little. Adcoms don't care about what Einstein or Ghandi said. They aren't applying for an MBA. You are. I get much more excited when I see my clients express their own unique ideals in their own unique words.