Specific career goals help you to pick the right MBA


Duncan

Many people looking for an MBA don't have specific career goals. For example, they might not know which country they want to work in, which industry they want to work in, or what functional or managerial role they want to play. Sometimes that's because they don't know. Othertimes, it's because they think the MBA will just sort that out for them. As a result, they don't really see MBAs are being very different from each other.

The top sign of this is someone asking which MBA is best. For example: is Melbourne better than Edinburgh? Without context it is a meaningless question, like saying what is better: a $10,000 engagement ring or a $10,000 motorbike?

Not having a specific goal makes it harder for you to target the right schools, and it makes it harder to be admitted. For example, someone who applies to both Melbourne and Edinburgh probably cannot work in both countries, probable doesn't understand the different employer pools of the schools, cannot see how the graduates of those programmes have different outcomes. If you understand the schools that are most able to meet your specific goals, then you can convince the schools that their school is a better fit with your goals and their potential employers. As a result, you are more likely to be offered a place. Between two similar candidates, schools will always prefer the one who is most likely to accept the offerand is more likely to be valued by their partner firms.

There are some great articles on this. I will flag up the Economist https://gmat.economist.com/gmat-advice/business-school-admissions/application-advice/how-craft-effective-career-goal-essay-your-mba-application

Many business schools have great articles too: http://bit.ly/SetPostMBAgoals

Many people looking for an MBA don't have specific career goals. For example, they might not know which country they want to work in, which industry they want to work in, or what functional or managerial role they want to play. Sometimes that's because they don't know. Othertimes, it's because they think the MBA will just sort that out for them. As a result, they don't really see MBAs are being very different from each other.

The top sign of this is someone asking which MBA is best. For example: is Melbourne better than Edinburgh? Without context it is a meaningless question, like saying what is better: a $10,000 engagement ring or a $10,000 motorbike?

Not having a specific goal makes it harder for you to target the right schools, and it makes it harder to be admitted. For example, someone who applies to both Melbourne and Edinburgh probably cannot work in both countries, probable doesn't understand the different employer pools of the schools, cannot see how the graduates of those programmes have different outcomes. If you understand the schools that are most able to meet your specific goals, then you can convince the schools that their school is a better fit with your goals and their potential employers. As a result, you are more likely to be offered a place. Between two similar candidates, schools will always prefer the one who is most likely to accept the offerand is more likely to be valued by their partner firms.

There are some great articles on this. I will flag up the Economist https://gmat.economist.com/gmat-advice/business-school-admissions/application-advice/how-craft-effective-career-goal-essay-your-mba-application

Many business schools have great articles too: http://bit.ly/SetPostMBAgoals
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mba hipste...

Good post, thank you Duncan! In general, if you lack concrete career goals, or just think that an MBA will help you figure them out, then you probably will not be offered a spot, regardless of your qualifications / GMAT score. 

Good post, thank you Duncan! In general, if you lack concrete career goals, or just think that an MBA will help you figure them out, then you probably will not be offered a spot, regardless of your qualifications / GMAT score. 
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Duncan

Well, you won't be offered a spot in a great MBA if you don't have clear goals that the school considers to be both realistic, and which are better served by this school than by obvious competitors. If you have unrealistic expectations, if the school obviously cannot meet your expectations, or if there is an obviously better school for which you are looking for an insurance alternative, they will not waste an offer on you.

On the other hand, an average or below-average school that is separate for students, or a good school that things you are well above its average student quality, will have no trouble offering you a place even if they cannot meet your objectives.

Well, you won't be offered a spot in a great MBA if you don't have clear goals that the school considers to be both realistic, and which are better served by this school than by obvious competitors. If you have unrealistic expectations, if the school obviously cannot meet your expectations, or if there is an obviously better school for which you are looking for an insurance alternative, they will not waste an offer on you.<br><br>On the other hand, an average or below-average school that is separate for students, or a good school that things you are well above its average student quality, will have no trouble offering you a place even if they cannot meet your objectives.
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Geepee

Great post Duncan. After reading, now I have a question. I work as sales professional in medical device industry. Most of my seniors and mentors have MBAs and this has propelled me to want to be part of that category. Also, I understand that this will be an advantage as I grow to take on senior roles/position however, I am now stuck. I don't know which is best for me; MBA or a Msc. in International Business Administration.  Long term career goal is to take on more senior roles heading regional sales, managing multiple countries. Do you think an MBA is best or an MIBA would be better in this case? Can you recommend online programmes i can go for at less than $10k? I don't mind even if there's no triple accreditation. Just a good school with a good name and a good programme.

[Edited by Geepee on Mar 26, 2021]

Great post Duncan. After reading, now I have a question. I work as sales professional in medical device industry. Most of my seniors and mentors have MBAs and this has propelled me to want to be part of that category. Also, I understand that this will be an advantage as I grow to take on senior roles/position however, I am now stuck. I don't know which is best for me; MBA or a Msc. in International Business Administration.&nbsp; Long term career goal is to take on more senior roles heading regional sales, managing multiple countries. Do you think an MBA is best or an MIBA would be better in this case? Can you recommend online programmes i can go for at less than $10k? I don't mind even if there's no triple accreditation. Just a good school with a good name and a good programme.
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StuartHE

Is your ultimate carere goals to be a senior salesperson in the medical device field? 

Is your ultimate carere goals to be a senior salesperson in the medical device field?&nbsp;
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Geepee

Is your ultimate carere goals to be a senior salesperson in the medical device field? 


Ultimate career goal is to be a well established African business leader with cross industry knowledge. However, right now I am in medical device and I need to focus on growing here first.

[quote]Is your ultimate carere goals to be a senior salesperson in the medical device field?&nbsp; [/quote]<br><br>Ultimate career goal is to be a well established African business leader with cross industry knowledge. However, right now I am in medical device and I need to focus on growing here first.<br>
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Duncan

I don't think that's a very specific career goal. What role is your ultimate goal, in which business function, in which industry, in what country?

[Edited by Duncan on Mar 28, 2021]

I don't think that's a very specific career goal. What role is your ultimate goal, in which business function, in which industry, in what country?
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Geepee

I don't think that's a very specific career goal. What role do if your ultimate goal, in which business function, in which industry, in what country?


Regional Sales Manager, Head of Sales Africa, Senior Director, etc.
Business function: Sales
Industry: Healthcare/Medical Device
Country: Any country in Africa, Top tier countries are Egypt, South Africa and Kenya. However, any can do.


[quote]I don't think that's a very specific career goal. What role do if your ultimate goal, in which business function, in which industry, in what country? [/quote]<br><br>Regional Sales Manager, Head of Sales Africa, Senior Director, etc.<br>Business function: Sales<br>Industry: Healthcare/Medical Device<br>Country: Any country in Africa, Top tier countries are Egypt, South Africa and Kenya. However, any can do.<br><br><br>
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Duncan

At the top end of your budget is the Illinois MSM: https://www.coursera.org/degrees/ms-management-illinois That's an excellent program but you will need a very strong application. I think they might look for people with excellent academic credentials. This is an outstanding option at your price point, and it's worth a try.

You might want to focus just in sales and marketing, in which case you might find a course for the CIM Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Marketing Level 7 taught by distance learning. That's very economical. 

The UK's Open University is an excellent, triple crown, MBA available in the developing world at a discount from Amity University, for the INR equivalent of around $8,300: http://www.amityglobalvarsity.com/Home/program_mba  

[Edited by Duncan on Mar 28, 2021]

At the top end of your budget is the Illinois MSM: https://www.coursera.org/degrees/ms-management-illinois That's an excellent program but you will need a very strong application. I think they might look for people with excellent academic credentials. This is an outstanding option at your price point, and it's worth a try.<br><br>You might want to focus just in sales and marketing, in which case you might find a course for the CIM Postgraduate Diploma&nbsp;in Professional&nbsp;Marketing&nbsp;Level 7 taught by distance learning. That's very economical.&nbsp;<br><br>The UK's Open University is an excellent, triple crown, MBA available in the developing world at a discount from Amity University, for the INR equivalent of around $8,300: http://www.amityglobalvarsity.com/Home/program_mba&nbsp;&nbsp;
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Geepee

Thank you so much Duncan. Sincerely appreciate your recommendations.

Thank you so much Duncan. Sincerely appreciate your recommendations.
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