How To Define Your Post-MBA Goals

Why is the MBA goals essay so vital to your B-school application? Because it helps top schools determine which candidates have a real vision of their future and how an MBA will help them achieve these goals.

Where does this leave you if you don’t know what your post-MBA goals are? What are you to do if you want to change careers and have the skills that a B-school program will give you, but don’t know precisely what career you want after graduation? Lastly, should you spend valuable time trying different jobs or observing people in various professions in order to apply with a definite MBA goal? Or should you risk applying to B-school with an undefined goal?

Understanding Your MBA Goal is Not Optional!

Your post-MBA goals are what should guide you during the MBA application process, especially when choosing schools to apply to. Knowing your post-MBA direction is not just useful, it’s mandatory. You must clarify why you want to spend your time and money pursuing an MBA prior to applying. Not having a definite goal could turn your MBA investment into a huge expense that leaves you only marginally better off than before you started. Many applicants turn to an admissions consultant. These experts can help you define your goals and express them in ways that will make your application stand out.

Here are four things you can do to help you determine your goal:

  1. Spend time evaluating your current and past jobs. What did you like and dislike about each one? Write down what you would like more or less of.
  2. Have a conversation with individuals in jobs that are appealing to you, as well as with people whose jobs are in different areas than yours. Find ways to connect with people you know who have jobs that interest you and ask questions about those jobs.
  3. Think about hiring a career counselor. This person will interview you and point you in the right direction.
  4. Once you have eliminated unrealistic goals, check out career listings at large companies in the fields that interest you. Study the profiles of some younger employees hired for positions that are attractive to you and use your networking skills to make an appointment to talk to them.

Not having a clear goal will leave the admissions committee wondering why you’re so interested in getting an MBA. They will also be worried that you will have a difficult time locating an internship and eventually a full-time position once you’ve started the program, since you don’t have a direction to follow. While they understand that goals can change over the course of your studies, you need to be flexible, but not oblivious.


Do you need personalized help defining your post-MBA goal and writing your essay? Accepted’s expert admissions consultants can help you determine your goal and write an essay that will get you ACCEPTED. Get started by exploring our catalog of MBA Admissions Services.

Linda Abraham is the founder of Accepted, the premier admissions consultancy. She has coached MBA applicants to acceptance for over 20 years. The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News, and Poets&Quants are among the media outlets that seek her admissions expertise.

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