For many MBA applicants, writing the goals essay is very challenging. However, it is also the most important of the essays. Read on to understand the best way of constructing a winning goals essay for your MBA application.

To answer a goals essay, you need to be as clear and specific as possible about your post-MBA goals and focus on how an MBA from XYZ School will help you achieve these goals. The idea behind such a question is to judge candidates from the perspective of clarity of goals and purpose of an MBA.

This is an extremely important question and hence it is important to have a clear and well-researched answer in place. Whether your goal is to continue in the same industry/function or to make a switch, there should be a clear identification of gaps between one’s previous professional experiences and goals for the future and it should all be knit very logically with an MBA serving as a bridge.

A great essay is the one that manages to clearly link the three aspects –

1) career progression, 2) career goals, 3) why/why now MBA and why your choice of school.

Career Progression: AdComs are seeking applicants with clear paths behind and before them. You may have worked for a few companies and held different roles, but it is important to clarify “why you made these moves” and “how each one added to your professional knowledge”.

Career Goals: It’s good to be realistic about your goals and hence it would be great if you talk to alumni and do research on the school websites to align your goals with the positions offered at your choice of school. To discuss the development of your career you should emphasize briefly on how did your experiences shape your goal and how do they reveal the appropriateness of your goal. It should highlight on how you developed this goal, why it appeals to you, and how an MBA from XYZ School will contribute to your goals.

If your goals are very different from what you currently do, devote space to explaining how you have prepared for the career change, why you are suited for this work, and how you have discovered that it is a fitting career for you.

Imp: Many candidates are given the feedback that they got rejected because their goals were very broad and generic. Hence, it is critical to explain your goals in detail getting into the depths of the industry scope, role, etc.

Why XYZ school: Finally, this essay demands that you explain how your choice of school – better than any other business program or career move – will help you prepare for those goals. The purpose is to convey the message to the AdCom that you are making an informed decision in applying to the school you have chosen. The underlying theme of this essay should clearly convey that an MBA from XYZ school at this stage in your career is very important. Explain how specific learning from the school of your choice will enable you to attain your goals – make a mention of specific courses, clubs etc at the school. In case you have interacted with alumni or attended information sessions or scheduled a school visit – mention how your decision to apply to a particular school has been influenced by these events.