3 Questions To Consider As You Write Your Career Goals Essay

The career goals essay is a crucial aspect of many business school applications. MBA admissions directors may be interested in the decisions that have led you to this point in your career, but they are just as interested in the career path you plan to embark upon once you leave campus. How will you make the business world a better place?

Consider these questions as you write:

  • How have your past accomplishments helped you define your future goals? Avoid reiterating your resume by listing every job you have had. Instead, explain how past achievements have sharpened your focus for the future. For example, perhaps you realized that you have a talent for innovation after receiving recognition for a project. Your essay might explain how this experience inspired you to concentrate your career on changing the marketplace in your field. Use this opportunity to highlight your strengths and how an MBA will help you to use them to your best advantage in the future.
  • Are your goals specific and attainable? Do not be afraid to list an ambitious long-term goal, but also remember to include the achievable short-term goals you will need to get there. What position will you have immediately following graduation? What industry will you work in? In what ways do you plan to have an impact on your future company? How might you be different from other candidates with the same goals? These are the questions you should be asking yourself. Some people err on the side of vagueness because they do not want to commit to a career path or company in their essays. Specificity is always better. Even if your goals change while you are in school, it is best to state a clear purpose and intent in your essay.
  • Are you passionate about your goals? Your essay should convey enthusiasm and excitement for your career. What was the motivation that led to your career path and what inspires you to advance to the next level and set new goals? By setting some context as to how you arrived at these career goals and what personal connection you might have with them, you can enable the reader to truly envision and feel your passion.

Business schools want to see that you have a vision for your future and will leave your unique mark. Use your career goals essay to demonstrate that you have a clear understanding of how an MBA will help you achieve your objectives.


Scott Edinburgh is a Wharton MBA and MIT Sloan BS graduate and the Founder of Personal MBA Coach. As a boutique MBA admissions consulting and tutoring firm, we have been helping clients for over 10 years with a 96% success rate. Last year we helped applicants receive over $4.5M in fellowships. If you would like individual and personal support with any aspect of the MBA application process, find out more about Personal MBA Coach and our 5-star rating.

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