Essays About Career Goals

There is a common misconception that we want to clear up: that an acceptance letter to a top-tier business school is all about what you’ve achieved so far.

An acceptance letter to a top tier MBA program is not a blue ribbon for past achievements. While it’s certainly true that admissions committees want to know what you’ve accomplished thus far, it’s because they are trying to assess your future promise – your potential.

You must convince the admissions committee that you are just getting started and that you will achieve even greater things in the future!

But how?

One of the primary ways is to get the admissions board excited about your future plans – and you can do that with your career goals essay.

One question appears in some form in just about every application:

“What are your short-term and long-term career goals and how will our program prepare you to achieve those goals?”

Is the admissions committee really all that interested in what job you hope to get when you graduate? Do they want to read 10,000 essays about each candidate’s rung-by-rung plan for climbing the corporate ladder? Not really.

If not, then why do they ask the career goals question?

They ask the question because they want to be convinced that you have outstanding “potential.” There’s that word again. At MBA Prep School, we define “potential” as a collection of capabilities fueled by passion and directed by purpose toward a defined set of career goals. It follows that an A+ career goals essay must express your career purpose, career goals, and career action plan.

Your past achievements are evidence that you have the capabilities (i.e., skills, talents, and experiences) necessary to achieve your aspirations. Many candidates undermine their chances for admission by proposing a set of lofty career goals that don’t appear realistic when viewed in the context of their past experiences and strengths. Grand ambitions are fine but you can hurt your chances for an acceptance letter if you are unable to convince admissions officers that the dots connect from your past accomplishments to your future aims.

Defining your career goals is a central step in formulating your application strategy because a powerful career goals essay will tell the admissions officers how you plan to become a leader of consequence once you graduate. The coherence of your career goals essay will serve as an elegant proof of your potential. Your career goals, if properly developed and defined, will set you apart from other candidates competing for a spot at that school and that’s exactly what you want them to do.

To help you meet this challenge, we’ve created a simple rubric that you can use to predict how your career goals essay might be “graded” by the admissions committee. By grading your essay drafts on your own, you will be able to determine how to improve upon the quality of your essay.

A+Your career goals address a significant problem that you have the capabilities to solve, in a field that you are passionately interested, the career goals are personally meaningful, and the results are socially beneficial.
AYour career goals address a significant problem that you have the capabilities to solve, in a field that you are passionately interested, the career goals are personally meaningful
BYour career goals are aligned with some of your capabilities in a field that interests you.
CYour career goals are aligned with some of your capabilities
FYour career goals are unclear or misaligned with your capabilities and lack significance, passion, meaning, and social benefit.

Let me be clear that writing a career goals essay that scores in the top 2% is not easy. The difference between an A an A+ is that the career path you are dedicated to will benefit others in a significant way. We are not suggesting that you need to write about starting a non-profit organization to get into business school. The world needs investment bankers, consultants, entrepreneurs, and corporate CEOs too, and business schools still have room in their classrooms for candidates with these kinds of ambitions. If it’s hard to make a case on social benefit, you just need to work that much harder to convey your passion for your career path and explain why your career goals are meaningful to you.

Nothing we’ve said here should imply that we are recommending that you manufacture an answer that is simply meant to hit the admissions committees’ hot-buttons. Remember that admissions officers read thousands of these essays and so they can tell the difference between aspirations that have integrity and those that are simply engineered for effect.

Creating an A+ answer to the career goals question will require hard work and soul searching on your part but can be very exciting once completed. You will have a coherent, logically structured set of career goals aligned with your abilities, deeper motivations, and sense of purpose. In essence, you will have a roadmap to guide your career journey from MBA school onwards.

I'm currently trying to get into a college and I have to write an essay with 3-5 paragraphs. The first 2-3 paragraphs must be about what my career goals are and how would I expect my education at the Art Institute of Seattle to help me attain them? And the last 1-2 paragraphs must be on what ways will I participate and commit to my education in order to be successful?

Well, first off, I really want to get into school for animation, that's what I'm applying for. It's been something I wanted to do since I was a kid. I've always been interested in art, I have a portfolio and I've taken a college credit coarse in 2d art portfolio for my last year of high school. Only thing I do not know how to word my passion for it. I know I'll put full effort into it, it is not an opportunity I will allow to pass me by. I expect my education at this college to help me attain my goals by giving me the experience I need for the job I want. Examples of companies that I'd be really interested in working for in the future are Blizzard and EA Games... I just really need help wording it is all.

Greetings!

I'd be glad to help give you some ideas. You said an important word: passion. Think about what it is about animation that excites you. You say you've always been interested in art; you might talk a bit about what kinds of works you have in your portfolio. It's good to include your commitment and the amount of effort you are willing to put in. You say "I expect my education at this college to help me attain my goals by giving me the experience I need for the job I want." - Take that very general statement and expand on it: what are the goals it will help you attain? (not just a job at X company, but more specific accomplishments); what experience will the job you hope to attain require? What about those companies you mentioned interests you enough to want to work there? What do they do and what would you like to do for them?

Try writing the essay without worrying about how "good" it is. I will be happy to help you with editing it once you have it fleshed out a bit. Once you have the basic information, we can find words that will help bring it to life a bit more, if it needs it.

I'll look forward to reading it!

Thanks,

Sarah, EssayForum.com

Okay the first three paragraphs are answering the question "What are your career goals and how do you expect your education at the Art Institute of Seattle to help you attain them?" (must be between 2-3 paragraphs). And the final one is what I'm having the most trouble with which is "In what ways will you participate and commit to your education in order to be successful?" (1-2 paragraphs). I know it's not great, 'tis why I'm in need of help... so here's what I've been able to conjure up at the moment:

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My career goals are to attain a career where I can express my artistic talent and passion for art as well as open my mind in ways that I could never do at any other career. To obtain these goals, I must set a track. After looking to many other vantage points resulting in faint success, such as considering the army, attempting to obtain a job at Boeing, and looking into various other art collages, to name a few, I have found that the Art Institute of Seattle has just the programs I'm looking for and just what I need to be successful at my goals.

It has been a life long dream of mine to put my imagination, with my world and characters, into life like animation in such ways as video gaming with three dimensional modeling as well as flash animation with thrilling story-lines that appeal not just to myself, but to other viewers. My portfolio reflects much of my ideas and that of which I am passionate about. The Art Institute of Seattle offers just the right animation programs I need to obtain these goals. Everything from simple flash animation to advanced three dimensional modeling in an interactive digital world.

With this experience, I can gain a career I'll love for the rest of my life. I would be eligible to work at popular gaming and animation companies such as Blizzard, EA Games, and Forgotten Realms, in which I have been a fan of for many years, using skills learned from the Art Institute of Seattle. These skills being two dimensional and three dimensional animation and techniques, story boarding, scripting, and rendering.

I am very strong and passionate about art and how I want to excel it. Therefore, I am strongly willing to participate in what ever programs and activities which are needed to complete my goals in this institute. I am very committed to fulfilling my goals and as so, I will push myself in all ways to succeed and graduate so that I may fulfill my creative dream and to be a proud employee at a large computer gaming and animation industry.

Greetings!

I think it's coming along very well so far! I can give you some editing suggestions.

My goal is [rather than "My career goals are"] to attain a career where I can express my artistic talent and passion for art as well as open my mind in ways that I could never do in any other field [instead of "at any other career"]. To obtain these goals, I must set a track.[I'm not sure what this means--set a track?] After considering many other career opportunities [rather than "looking to many other vantage points resulting in faint success" which sounds somewhat negative], such as [delete "considering" here] the army, attempting to obtain a job at Boeing, and looking into various other art colleges [not collages], to name a few, I have found that the Art Institute of Seattle has just the programs I'm looking for and just what I need to be successful at my goals.

It has been a life-long [add hyphen] dream of mine to put my imagination, with my world and characters, into life-like [add hyphen] animation. I would like to create video gaming with three dimensional modeling as well as flash animation with thrilling story-lines that appeal not just to myself, but to other viewers. My portfolio reflects much of my ideas and that [delete "of"] which I am passionate about. The Art Institute of Seattle offers just the right animation programs I need to obtain these goals--everything from simple flash animation to advanced three dimensional modeling in an interactive digital world.

With this experience, I can gain a career I'll love for the rest of my life. I would be eligible to work at popular gaming and animation companies such as Blizzard, EA Games, and Forgotten Realms, [delete "in"] which I have been a fan of for many years, using skills learned from the Art Institute of Seattle. I want to learn [instead of "These skills being"] two dimensional and three dimensional animation and techniques, story boarding, scripting, and rendering.

I am very passionate about art and want to excel in it. Therefore, I am [delete "strongly"] willing to participate in whatever programs and activities which are needed to complete my goals in this institute. I am very committed to fulfilling my goals and as so, I will push myself in all ways to succeed and graduate so that I may fulfill my creative dream and to be a proud part of the [delete "employee at a large"] computer gaming and animation industry.

You haven't really specifically answered the question "In what ways will you participate and commit to your education in order to be successful?" They want to know if you are willing to put in the time studying, give up outside activities which may interfere with your education and embrace activities which will enhance it, like joining organizations connected to your major. See if you can come up with a little more detail to answer this question.

Good work!

Thanks,

Sarah, EssayForum.com



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