How to Write a Great Career Goals Essay

by Stacy Blackman Consulting, Jan 4, 2021


Almost every MBA application has a career goals essay, yet many candidates struggle with this question. They know they want an MBA. But they haven't defined their goals or how earning an MBA degree will help. Remember, a goal is something you want to achieve. Thus, “I want to work in management consulting” is not a goal. How then do you go about defining your career goals?

Self-awareness about your strengths and interests will help you refine what you want. Your past experiences have likely informed your post-MBA plans. Share details in your essays about why you are interested in your specific career path. Don't rehash your resume, though.

Think about explaining the rationale for your decisions throughout the essay. Focus only on the situations that helped you realize what you really want to do. Or helped you to build skills that have become important to your goals.

Something Negative Can Positively Impact Your Career Goals Essay

Sometimes, reflecting on low points in your career makes it easier to see which job functions you either loved or hated. Talk to colleagues and alumni who have MBAs in your field to understand your career path options better.

We tell people to tap into envy when they’re thinking of their career goals. You're probably thinking about people doing things that you'd like to do. Ask yourself, “Who is this person? What about them would I like to emulate?” That can help you define your goals in many ways.

Also, an essay showing a career path tied to your passions and interests will pique the admissions team's curiosity.

Choose realistic yet aspirational career goals. Your post-MBA goal should be achievable and show the need for the degree. Come up with a clear, cohesive vision of your career goals, and tie it all together with your background and accomplishments. This is a great first step in a successful application strategy.