If you’ve looked at any MBA application essays, you’ve undoubtedly noticed a common thread—most of them don’t really allow for uncertainty in your answer.
Although some of the questions themselves are vague (e.g. Stanford’s essay asking “What matters most to you, and why?”), providing a wishy-washy answer is a recipe for doom.
This is somewhat funny because in our (admittedly unscientific) experience, most people decide to attend business school precisely because they are uncertain about what to do next. If you fall into this bucket and weren’t already panicked by the application process itself, you might feel a bit overwhelmed after looking at the very-specific career goals essay required for most schools.
Our advice is to take a deep breath and RELAX!
Business schools know that not everyone has crossed the t’s and dotted the i’s on their future. In fact, more than one admissions director has been known to proclaim during orientation, “Now I know everyone in here is going to do everything they talked about in their essays, right?” This statement is inevitably greeted with a chorus of laughter as everyone realizes there are others who haven’t yet written their future in permanent ink.
Business school is a great time to explore some of your other interests and passions. When applying, however, the trick is to show admissions that you have some future direction in mind that fits with your past experience, as well as with your interest in fill-in-the-blank school, and your post-graduation plans. So write about something you could see yourself doing and ensure it aligns with your personal story.
If you change your mind once you get to business school, don’t worry. Just take solace in the fact that during next year’s orientation, that chorus of laughter will be with you and not at you.