The MBA Essay Writing Guide – #5: Getting Specific With Goals

by on September 8th, 2012

Whether long-term or short-term, many college applicants struggle with defining their goals. The issue here isn’t just writing – oftentimes applicants don’t realize just how “on the ball” they need to be to impress a top-ranking university. Take this sentence, for example:

I will strive to become a sharp director of marketing, approving multimedia advertising campaigns through up-to-date techniques and in well collaborative procedures.

Though this might look impressive at first glance, it’s a total non-starter. What does “sharp” mean, and what techniques and procedures is he talking about? This applicant quite simply DOESN’T KNOW what he’ll do at his prospective job and he’s trying to cover it up with fancy language.

When stating your goals, clarity and precision are essential, so make sure you have a game plan. Don’t tell the school what you “intend” to do, SHOW them WHAT you WILL do, HOW you will do it and WHY! You need to let your dream-school know that THIS is your plan and you’ll be a huge success executing it, with or without them!

After a few revisions and some guidance, our example writer hit us with this revised sentence:

I will transform our company’s marketing by targeting clients not only through up-to-date research algorithms, but also through collaboration and proper judgment. In an era where so much advertising bombards clients with spam, I strongly believe marketing can be both profitable and ethical, helping, rather than hindering, the user experience online.

What a difference! First, the added detail shows us that he knows this job inside-out before he even started it. Also, we not only understand WHAT he will do but HOW and WHY he will do it, whereas his previous version basically told us that he would get a job. We now know both the specifics of his job and the big picture of why he wants it, and how he’ll do it differently (thanks to his ethical concerns).

Thanks to these simple changes, his intro’s gone from a vague non-answer to a fantastic summary of why this candidate is a star in the making and a great catch for any school and/or future employer.

So remember, let us know:

  1. WHAT you will do in your future career. If you’re not sure, do some research!
  2. HOW you intend to excel in this future career – you can’t be average!
  3. WHY this is important to you – show us you’re passionate about your goals!

Come back next week to check out how to handle technical jargon!

[Get more of the MBA Essay Writing Guide here.]

Check out the other articles in this series:

The MBA Essay Writing Guide – #4: Writing About Sensitive Topics
The MBA Essay Writing Guide – #3: Quantifying Success
The MBA Essay Writing Guide – #2: Making Your Personal Qualities POP!
The MBA Essay Writing Guide – #1: Building a Catchy Intro

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