The Goals Essay: An Overview
MBA admissions committees (adcoms) are like venture capitalists – they want to “invest” in the best people with the best ideas. Your goals essay then is your “personal business plan,” expressing your short- and long-term career ambitions and why they matter to you professionally and personally. You should not discount your personal reasons since those may very well distinguish your career plans from those of other applicants. After all, very few people have unique goals. Unique reasons? Yes. Unique goals? No.
The most compelling goals express an opportunity that you will be highly qualified to pursue immediately upon graduating. Your short-term goals in particular need to be both realistic (i.e., possible given your previous personal/professional experience plus an MBA) and ambitious (e.g., a significant jump in your current organization, changing your career, starting your own organization). If not, adcoms will not be persuaded of your need for an MBA and they will read the rest of your essays skeptically. The goals essay is the most important and often the most time-consuming you will write during the application process.
The above is excerpted from a 3-page PDF file I provide to my clients. If you would like a copy, please contact me.