Many MBA applicants struggle to articule their longer-term career goals.
Some applicants have a vague notion of wanting to do something to “serve” their country or region but often don’t know how to express that in concrete terms. Yet the ability to coherently link a private sector career with public service is one way of differentiating your career goals/purpose statement.
Taking Lessons from the Private Sector into Government
The video below might provide some inspiration. Matt Rogers (Yale/SOM Class of 1989) is a director at McKinsey & Company. He worked in the private sector for two decades before being asked to help manage the Department of Energy’s portion of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Watch the short video below to learn how he oversaw the process of finding worthy projects for $36.7 billion in stimulus funds in eighteen short months, far less than the usual appropriations cycle time and brought his years of management consulting experience to help improve a critical government department and program.
“A lot of people want to go to Washington and create great strategy,” he said. “But what Washington needs most of the time is disciplined management.”
Expressing Purpose in Your Own Career Goals
The clarity of the career vision you write about in your essays and talk about in your admissions interview can serve as an elegant proof of your future potential.
Our third MBA Prep Step™ is titled “Define Your Career Goals”. We show our students how to investigate the intersection between your strengths, passion, and sense of purpose in order to define powerful career goals.
Here are a couple of weaknesses we often see in applicants’ career purpose or career goals statements:
- Undefined career vision
- Career goals lack a sense of purpose: passion, meaning, and significance
- Lack of evidence that candidate understands his or her future industry
- Dots don’t connect between prior skills/experiences and post-MBA career goals
- Unconvincing motivations for pursuing an MBA and/or a weak case for pursuing an MBA from “our school”
Be sure to critically evaluate your own career goals statement to avoid any of these possible “dings”!