Getting Things Sorted on the MBA Goals Essays
Twice this week I've come across the same issues with two different clients in two different countries. Their first few drafts were vague and watery (sorry, guys, but true) and it was difficult to make all the parts (sharp introduction, career summary/analysis, short-term goals, long-term goals, why school x - please see The MBA Goals Essay) line up in an integrated and consistent fashion, especially the goals and career summary. In other words, it was difficult to connect their past with their future. In both cases, we broke through by starting over and focusing only on the goals. For many applicants, there are too many moving parts in an MBA goals essay to tackle all at once. And because I knew both of these clients' career and personal backgrounds, particularly the core experiences that are motivating their MBA dreams, I asked them to write just two paragraphs, one for their short-term goals and one for their long. These two paragraphs are the hub of the entire application, so it makes sense to slow down, isolate them, and get them right. Everything else in the essay will usually snap into place, assuming you've hit the goals "sweet spot" of being realistic and ambitious. That's what happened with one of my clients today, and the other seems well on her way. Try it, and if you would like me to take a look at your results, I would be happy to arrange a no-pressure trial consultation.
One more thing. Both of these applicants are super-smart. They have great test scores, good work experience, and they are doing their homework. However, they both fell into the trap that says, "You have to have a killer introduction to capture the adcom's attention." One of them told me she spent more time on the introduction than on the goals themslves. As I told the other, "That's bullshit."
Listen, adcoms receive thousands of applications every year. They've seen it all. They don't want flash. They want real. And if your goals aren't right, it doesn't matter how clever your first sentence is. But, I can almost guarantee you that if your goals are right, your introduction will almost write itself. It will be passionate and backed up by facts, logic and experience. Best of all, it will represent you as you truly are.
(I apologize I'm behind on my essay analyses. I'm trying to get caught up but things are heating up.)