Many business schools ask applicants to answer an essay question like this one: “Why do you want to earn an MBA?”. Applicants have an opportunity to speak freely and candidly to the admissions committee about their motivations – and more applicants should.
In an another post: “How to interpret essay questions and instructions” I discussed how to deal with vague or open ended questions. The “Why an MBA” question is such a question.
This post discusses how to determine “why” you want to earn an MBA.
Why go to business school
Most people pursue an MBA because of one of the following reasons:
- Their career will not advance without an MBA
- They are hyper competitive and want to be “better” than others
- Their family or cultural expectations demand it
- Developing new skills will open new opportunities
- They want to change career paths
- There is no job and school is better than unemployment
Ok, so this list is a little pessimistic, but almost every applicant can fall into one of these groups. What group do you really belong to? It is ok to say you want an MBA because you’ll earn much more over your life time, or that your family expects it.
The hard part is deciding how blunt to be in your essay. A candid essay is really refreshing to the admissions committee because so many others have been sanitized and anything edgy or risky removed before submission. I encourage you to be honest about your motivations and candid with the admissions committee. Now be very sure you also tell the adcom exactly why their school is the top choice for you. If you convince an adcom why you want to be there above all other choices, you have more flexibility with your other language.
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If you want help planning your essays for each MBA program or need to be sure you haven’t made any mistakes, contact me. Application consulting clients will be given help and support to make their business school applications strong.
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