Some schools don’t really focus on this issue but a few of them do – including Tuck in particular, who in the past wouldn’t even consider a candidate with a prior MBA or MBA-similar degree, like the PGP from India. They are (somewhat?) loosening those restrictions in the new admissions climate but even if you have some other business-y graduate degree that’s not same-same to an MBA, it always helps to take the bull by the horns and make the case for why the MBA is needed now.
After all, you already spent a bunch of time and money earning one master’s degree. What’s up with the idea to go get another one?
This information can often be included effectively in an “why MBA” or career goals essay, or sometimes it goes on the application itself, for schools that have explicit questions about it. Or, maybe you could include it in an optional essay. It really depends on what your pre-existing master’s is in and when and where you earned it, and also what you’re saying you want to do with your career now. So the placement of this info needs to be considered as part of your overall content strategy, and there’s no “put it HERE” guidance we can offer that works definitively for all situations.
When you explain this, a very important guideline is to BE BRIEF and cut to the chase. That’s true for all essay content but it’s really true for something like this. If it’s a well-known and common master’s program like a master of finance or accounting, you don’t need to explain the program itself; your adcom reader will already know what it covers. So don’t waste words on that, unless it’s more esoteric or extremely specialized, and then yeah, a quick sentence on the focus or purpose would be warranted.
The schools really want to know, why do you need the MBA now? Not, what did the Master’s degree not cover. And, writing in positive terms is important.
So at risk of violating our policy of not writing anyone’s essays, we’ll offer this templatized version of what needs to go in such an explanation:
In YEAR I was interested in pursuing CAREER and the Master in SUBJECT was ideal [optionally include a because: it gave me such and such – it focused on XYZ]. Now I am pursuing NEW CAREER and need the MBA from SCHOOL because [write in positive terms about the key reasons for the MBA based on new skills that bschool gives that the prior master’s did not – but only in positive terms, not saying that “the previous degree did not do X” but in “the MBA will do Y”]
PLEASE REWRITE THIS IN YOUR OWN WORDS! We’re just including the standard that it needs to include. If you copy this and just plug in your data then you’re essentially plagiarizing EssaySnark and that’s really not cool.
This is in the category of “why MBA” and it comes down to examining your profile from the perspective of a lawyer: You’re making an argument for why THIS education is needed based on what you bring to the table today, and all your past history incorporated and considered. Nothing is examined in a vacuum. There’s such a thing as a ‘collector of degrees’ and every now and then we run into a BSer who’s solely enamored of attaching three little letters to their name…. but there’s no rhyme or reason behind it. This type of analysis is important so you can anticipate the questions your adcom reader may have.
The MBA is wicked expensive. Why is this the right thing to do next?