Many candidates pursue an MBA in order to change careers. While this is a valid strategy, it is important that the career change fits with the candidate’s overall story. Check out these 5 tips for communicating your desire for a career change without losing cohesion in your application.
1) Do your research. Know the role and industry that you aspire to join and understand the skills required for success. All too often we read vague goals statements that show a candidate does not really know his future industry. Look up companies in the industry who are hiring and read the job descriptions. Talk to friends or former classmates who work in the space. Understand the industry’s career pathing. The more you know about your future industry, the more authentic your essay will sound as you begin to articulate your goals
2) Look for extra-curricular work in your target industry. Volunteering in your future industry or function can be a great way to not only solidify your interest, but also to show the reader that you have truly given this future career some serious thought and consideration. This will help add cohesion to your overall story. It is ok to think broadly as you consider related activities as long as you can draw a clear connection for the reader.
3) Seek out related projects in your current role. In some cases, this is easy to do. For instance, if you are a consultant seeking to transition to the technology space, ask to be staffed on a project in the industry. In other cases, you may have to be more creative. However, even experiences such as working on cross-functional projects or leading internal initiatives can exposure you to related departments, so do not be afraid to think outside of the box.
4) Make a personal tie to your future career. As you begin to explain your career aspirations, think about whether there is a personal connection you have with this career. Remember that the goal of the essays is to explain who you are as a person and what makes you unique, so your career goals can demonstrate a personal fit, even if the professional one is not immediately apparent. This is the type of one-on-one story telling we work on with our clients.
5) Point out similarities between your current role and future goals. It is important to show admissions committee members that you are set up to succeed. So even if you are not able to gain experience in your future industry, there are likely to be past experiences you can draw upon. Think about the most important criteria for success in your future role and point out how you have already demonstrated these skills.
We specialize in providing our candidates with tailored advice, helping them to articulate their unique stories. If you would like individual and personal support with any aspect of the MBA application process, include early planning, school selection, GMAT/GRE tutoring, essay editing or interview preparation with former M7 interviewers, please find information about Personal MBA Coach’s comprehensive packages or contact me to learn how I can help!
As a Wharton MBA and MIT Sloan BS graduate, I have been helping candidates get into the schools of their dreams with a 96% success rate for over 10 years. Last year we not only got applicants into all top programs, but also helped them to receive over $4.5M in fellowships. Email me today at: email@example.com