SAMPLE 1 - 'WHY MBA'/'GOALS' ESSAY
PROFILE OF THE APPLICANT
- Bachelor in Electrical Engineering from a reputed university in India, 2005
- Associate Consultant at a Financial Services Company, India , 2006 - 2007
- Consultant at a Financial Services Company, India, 2008 - 2009
- Senior Consultant at a Financial Services Company, India, 2010 - 2011
Describe your short-term and long-term career goals. What is your motivation for pursuing an MBA now and how will UCLA Anderson help you to achieve your goals? (750 Words) UCLA-2011-2012
BAD EXAMPLE OF APPROACHING THIS QUESTION
I am a senior consultant at XXX Financial Services, and my short term goal is to join a reputed Technology and Strategic solution organization as an IT Strategy Consultant.
Beginning your essay like this is like telling the whole story in the first sentence itself. This is not only boring, but it also diminishes the Admissions Committee's interest in your essay and makes them wonder "So what?"
So your objective should be to build a story around your goals, keeping the Admissions Committee engaged and making them learn about you as a person with definitive goals and aspirations.
Please look at the example below.
GOOD EXAMPLE OF APPROACHING THIS QUESTION
At age 15, when most of my friends were busy playing cricket or video games, I was having fun creating small pieces of software on computers borrowed from my friends in exchange of doing their homework. By the time I graduated from high school, I was already an expert in not only popular programming languages such as C or Java, but also in obscure and specialized ones such as FORTRAN.
The candidate begins with an engaging opening statement. By telling an interesting story of his passion for technology dating back his teenage years, he immediately draws the readers' attention, thus making them want to read more.
While in the university, I decided to pursue a career in software technology. So right after graduation, I accepted the position of an associate consultant at XXX, and for the next eight months, worked both as software developer and tester and thoroughly learned the technical and functional aspects of the credit card industry.
The candidate moves on with his story and tells us that he pursued his education in software technology at the university and then began his career as an Associate Consultant at XXX Company.
However, I soon realized that, in addition to mastering the technology, I also needed to learn another important facet of the industry. managing the technology. Therefore, in May 2006, I built a team of 6 associates to support the Monthly Marketing Campaign of HSBC Card Services, North America - a flagship service of XXX. Next five years, I immersed myself to expand our supports to different functional areas such as Retail Services, Loyalty Programs, Near-Prime portfolios, as well as to other geographical regions, namely, HSBC Chile.
Then, through his thought process, he goes on to explain that he realized the importance of managing the technology and began working towards that for the next five years. This detail keeps the readers' interest alive that are now curious to learn more about this candidate who consistently aims to raise the bar.
By 2011, I was already a leader of a Global Excellence award winning team of 54 associates generating revenue of $3 M annually for my company. Thus, my passion for technology and my experience in corporate leadership has defined my goal. to build my own technology & strategy firm.
Continuing his story, this candidate explains how his passion and his experience have led him to define his goal of building his own technology and strategy firm. This shows how articulate he is about his future plans/ long term goals.
With seven years of experiences now, I have already gained expertise in technology consultancy and leadership. However, I feel that so far my professional accomplishments are limited to the setup of an established organization. Now I need to understand the industry from the viewpoint of an independent entrepreneur, raising necessary capital, handling competitive threats, allocating resources, and making decisions. An MBA will provide me these skills through experiential leanings, case studies, and coordinated projects with peers and interactions with students from diverse professional backgrounds.
After having explained his skill-set, his expertise and his goals, the candidate now explains the gaps in his career that he needs to fill by doing an MBA.
After MBA, I wish to join a reputed Technology and Strategic solution organization, such as Accenture or IBM, as an IT Strategy Consultant. My time analyzing and implementing IT strategies for clients will provide me the opportunity to understand a range of strategic business issues and their resolutions, as well as substantial insight into the art of business development. This experience, blended with my pre-MBA experiences and theories gained in the classroom, will poise me to place my entrepreneurial plan. Initially, I want to provide IT consultancy services to SMEs in North American regions and then gradually spread out to the Asia-Pacific regions. Later, I envision to leverage my experience in providing IT consultancy services to the world's second-largest bank and expand my company's consultancy services to large financial corporations, especially in the credit card and retail banking sectors in North America.
Then he shares his post-MBA goals of joining a reputed Technology and Strategic solution organization and also specifies how his present skills and the skills he plans to acquire during his two years at MBA will help him realize his short term goals. Then he proceeds to explain his plan of gradually moving towards his long term goals. Thus, he presents himself as a candidate who is not only ambitious and realistic about his goals but also has a clearly laid out vision of fulfilling them.
To achieve my long-term career goals, I need the theoretical knowledge and practical exposure to all aspects of business disciplines, such as accountancy, marketing, operations, and most importantly, entrepreneurship. that will complement my experiences in building and leading a big and successful team.
He again makes a connection between his long term goals and MBA.
UCLA Anderson MBA program stands out for me because of its strong focus on strategy, information technology, and entrepreneurship. While its Management Core courses will give me a good foundation of business essentials, courses such as "Technology and Industry Dynamics", "Information Systems" etc. are designed to cater my needs. Particularly Professor Uday Karmakar's "Technology Management" and "Global Operations Strategy" courses will teach me the key frameworks to structure my approach in evaluating and adopting new technologies and developing competitive strategies. Similarly, courses such as "Managing Entrepreneurial Operations" or "Entrepreneurship and Venture Initiation" directly talk to my long-term professional objectives. Applied Management Research project will enable me to implement class-room lessons into practice while designing the strategic project for my dream company.
After having clearly explained a link between his aspirations and MBA, he now dwells at length how UCLA's specific academic offerings (courses, projects) would match his interests and goals.
Also, I appreciate the rich array of resources offered via BIT Global Research Network and Price Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, and am particularly excited to attend the BIT conference and Entrepreneurship Conference that will give me a valuable opportunity to understand the real-life business issues directly from the leaders themselves. Beyond Anderson's broad academic offerings, Management Consulting Association, Strategic and Management Operations Association and High Tech Business Association will help me strengthen my network and align me with the professionals with similar career interests.
He goes on to mention how various associations at UCLA will provide him networking opportunities.
Thus with its academic resources, emphasis on team-work and practical approach to learning, UCLA Anderson will provide me the critical tools and network that I need to realize my career aspirations. I am confident that with my academic potential, team-working abilities, innovative spirit, and leadership skills, I will add significant value to UCLA community.
In the end, he sums up that he and UCLA are perfect fits for one another.
A Goals Essay connects past, present and future i.e. your past work- experience (past), your goals, (future), and the need of an MBA from a particular school to achieve your goals (present).
The example above effectively demonstrates this connection between the applicant's passion, past experience, his present skills set, his future objectives, and his need of an MBA from UCLA. All the parts of his story fit perfectly together leaving no question unanswered. There is a logical link between his short term and long term goals as well. Summing up, through specific examples and details, this essay answers the essay prompt in the most engaging manner that successfully convinces the Ad Com of the applicant's candidacy.