What are your short and long-term goals, and how will a Chicago Booth MBA help you reach them?
This is a straightforward career goals essay with the classic follow-on questions about how an MBA from the program will help you to achieve your career aspirations.
Booth Admissions has granted candidates 600 words, and we recommend that you devote an equal number of words to both questions. In our view, there are four primary criteria by which your essay will be judged.
Demonstrate You Are a Decision Maker with Sound Judgement
First, Booth values candidates who are adept decision makers with sound judgement. They will expect a focused discussion of your career plans. Pursuing an MBA will require a significant investment of time and resources; so presenting a well-designed career objective statement and clear action plan demonstrates that as a future leader you have the ability to craft a vision and plan for realizing that vision.
Display Passion About Your Future Career
Second, the admissions committee needs to know that you are passionate about your future career. In the current economic environment, many obstacles will stand in the way of achieving your professional objectives; therefore, you must convince the Booth admissions officers that you have the energy and commitment to stand up to pressure and vault over obstacles to success. This means you need to tell them both what your career goals are and also why achieving these goals truly matters to you.
Connect the Dots
Third, the dots need to connect between your present skills and experiences and your future professional objectives – in other words, the admissions committee must believe that your career plan is achievable. Expect the admissions officers to judge your career goals essay alongside your resume. If they do not believe your resume will compare favorably to candidates who have similar post-MBA career objectives, then your candidacy may be compromised. Similarly, if you plan to use the MBA as a way of switching careers, then you must persuade admission officers that your skills and experience will allow you to make a successful transition to a new field and/or occupation.
Focus Carefully on the “Why Booth” Question
Fourth, you need to devote approximately 200 – 300 words to answering the “Why Booth” question. This is an opportunity to explain how Booth will prepare you to be successful in the career path you have described in the first half of your essay. Admissions officers want to be persuaded that Booth is the best school on the planet for someone with your career goals. A persuasive answer to “Why Booth” needs to be both personal and specific. It must be personal in the sense that your points describe why Booth is the best program for you, not simply all MBA candidates. Your answers needs to be specific in the sense that you explain how your development goals fit with Booth’s distinctive courses, faculty, student organizations, and resources. This requires effective self-assessment paired with thorough research about Booth so that you can explain how you will take advantage of the school’s unique portfolio of resources while you are a student.
For more tips on acing the career goals essay, read How to Earn an “A” on Your Career Goals Essay.