How to Address a Career Change in Your Long-Term Goal Essay

Posted By SWatts on Dec 27, 2014 | 0 comments

From The Staff of MBA
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How to Address a Career Change in Your Long-Term Goal Essay

“Isn’t it a little ridiculous to expect me to know what I want to be doing in 15 years?”

I get this question from a lot of candidates when they start to address the long-term goal essay in their MBA applications. How much, they ask, do your long-term goals really play into the admissions committee’s decisions?

In my experience, your response to the long-term goal question can matter a great deal. I have received a lot of emails from candidates who did not receive admission to one of their top choice schools when they applied on their own, and they indicate that when the admission committees supplied feedback as to why, one of the main factors was the fact that they did not believe the candidate could successfully make a “career change” to achieve their long-term career goal.

This can pose a substantial risk for some applicants. In fact, many candidates choose to apply to business school just for that reason — to be able to make a career switch. But, to the admissions committee, when there appears to be a major disconnect between what you have been doing over the years in your career and what you state you intend to do in your long-term goal, you could be reducing your odds of admission.

So, how do you address making a career switch?

There is a big difference between “transitioning” to a new type of role or industry—where there is some connection to what you have been doing professionally over the years—and making a large change. For example, the person trying to go from a project manager role in an engineering division to the head of a retail clothing company will have a harder time in MBA admissions than a person trying to go from a project manager role in a technology manufacturing company to a top corporate executive of a technology company. So take care when stating your long-term goal and make sure your response will be a valuable asset for your odds of admission.


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