We’re not exactly advocating this as an actual strategy for selecting your MBA programs to target. But it’s something to consider! It’s certainly more practical and intelligent (yes we said it) than using rankings as the priority tool to choose where to apply. If a top MBA program has a special scholarship fund earmarked only…
Or likely at most top American MBA programs over the past five years. This post focuses on Kellogg mainly because their employment reports are detailed enough on this particular dimension to do the analysis. They’re also a solid general management program which attracts employers of all stripes. They continue to send graduates into the traditional…
OK cool! That’s a noble inclination.
And you think being a Product Manager at Facebook will let you do that?
[letting that sink in]
Nothing wrong with being a Product Manager at Facebook. However, putting that career goal in the same essay with “I want to make a difference” creates some cognitive dissonance for this here ‘Snark.
How about some of these ideas?
Battery Technology – to get all of us off of fossil fuels
Urban Mining – the term used for the process of recycling rare metals out of discarded electronics
Food Supply – focusing on farming technology particularly in preparation for drought conditions that are predicted in many parts of the world
Infrastructure – especially remediation for flood zones and critical highways
Oh hey. Several of these things seem related to public health – and there’s a degree for that! The Master’s in Public Health offered at places like Columbia and UC Berkeley is for tackling these big problems. Columbia’s interdisciplinary Earth Institute showcases a bunch of different master’s programs related to sustainability and development in light of these changes.
Or look! You could go into the policy side by pursuing a MPP or MPA at a place like Harvard Kennedy School or at Woodrow Wilson at Princeton.
There’s lots more ways than an MBA to get real change happening in the world.
The MBA is obviously a great choice too, and it’s very possible to pursue an MBA with a noble cause in mind.
Maybe you want to work at the World Bank, or Gates Foundation, or World Health Organization. There are plenty of opportunities, and considerable need all around the world. You can apply your skills and your smarts to help others in many different ways.
Here’s a quick example of an Army vet who went to Columbia and is now helping other vets run for office.
The MBA can take you in all kinds of directions.
Just don’t make stuff up for the purpose of applying. If you’ve got a noble purpose in mind for how you want to devote the next phase of your career, and you’re looking for an MBA (or other graduate program) to make that happen, make sure to pitch it effectively.
There’s a reason that adcoms are skeptical of such goals.
It’s challenging for anyone to pitch a “change the world” goal — especially those where there hasn’t been such a focus in the past.
You’ll need a platform to build off of, if you’re going to make a convincing argument to be headed in such a different direction from everything you’ve done before. You need to show continuity in some way, shape or form. It can’t be a clean break from all that you’ve done in the past and still be believable.
(Shameless plug: This is where our Career Goals App Accelerator can help!)
So today’s post is just a reminder: A common theme among Millennials everywhere is that they want to make a difference.
A common theme among bschools everywhere is that they’re marketing the “make a difference” theme.
Saying you want to make a difference is not the same as SHOWING how you’ve made a difference in the past, or how this newfound interest in [insert trendy social cause here] is a legit and viable goal, that will be realistic for you to pull off.
This is where the pitch needs to come in.
The exercise of coming up with the goals you’re presenting in your essays is not about staring out the window with a finger alight on your lips, eyes unfocused on the distance, until you think of some incredible-sounding idea that will surely impress a stranger when you claim that that’s what you want to do.
If you REALLY want to make a difference, then first examine your skills and your strengths and what you like to do. And then examine what matters to you, and where the world needs help, and what you are excited about, and where there are problems that need to be solved.
Not just trendy ideas like this idealized notion of fintech bringing access to financial markets to the everyman. (That’s really not happening, as far as we can see.)
Or edtech as revolutionizing access to education and changing poverty and fighting issues of socioeconomic injustice. (Ditto.)
These are certainly interesting areas that may be worthwhile for you to focus on, and you can layer in a “make a difference” marketing pitch along with your stated goals to pursue them.
But if you REALLY want to make a difference, then is an MBA even necessary? Why not go out and do difference-making things? Like, today?
Or are you just saying in those essays what you think will sound good to your reader, so that they think you’re a very high-minded and motivated young whippersnapper, and they’ll be more inclined to admit you?
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be a Product Manager at Facebook.
Just be real with yourself.
And in your apps.
This is what the adcoms mean when they say that they want you to be authentic.
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After getting to the end of that very long post on healthcare careers out of bschool, we realized that we didn’t even manage to talk about which MBA programs are best for healthcare. So that’s what we’ll do today. The obvious powerhouse names that offer specialized business education in healthcare through their MBA programs are:…
We’ve written before about the seemingly ever-increasing need for talent in healthcare in the U.S. and even gone so far as to say that if you want to go where the jobs are, go into healthcare after your MBA — but we recently realized that dang, that post was back in 2013, and that’s a…
Hey Brave Supplicants! We’ve had a few submissions of essays since the Thanksgiving holiday and we’re going to try and get a few more of these free website critiques out to all of you who are waiting. There’s also the Crowd-Sourced Essay Review forums which we’ve been known to pop in on from time to…
Well this ain’t so bad; this BSer sent in their question for free help less than a month ago! And here we are answering it! (We’re kidding. We don’t like keeping people waiting this long. Many of you sender-inners gave up and actually purchased essay reviews which is always an option, especially at this crazy…
Any long-time reader of this blahg will know that EssaySnark is not fond of those trying to game the system. When you come up with the goals you pitch to the adcom, they need to be REAL goals. LEGIT goals. THINGS YOU’RE REALLY GONNA DO goals.
That being said, sometimes people come to us clueless about all that. They don’t know what they want to do; they just don’t want to do what they’re doing. They’re at a dead end, either career-wise or emotion-wise, and they need a change.
While we dislike the mindset that puts the MBA over the education and has the goal being those three little letters placed after your name rather than a new career trajectory and a means to an end, we recognize that sometimes that’s where people are coming from.
To those people, consider healthcare as an industry.
This is not to say that if you have literally no experience in healthcare or the sciences, that you’ll be able to drop whatever you’re doing now and make the easy transition into this world. You won’t. The adcoms won’t buy it if, out of the blue, you claim that now your lifelong ambition is to do healthcare consulting or go work for a biotech firm. You need to establish some background that shows how this is a relevant and feasible goal for you.
But if you have an inkling of any of that in your background, then you might be in a very good position to catch the interest of the admissions folks.
Healthcare is one of those areas where there’s more jobs than graduates. We’ve heard at certain schools that the recruiters are desperate, that the qualified candidates are getting multiple offers and the companies are left scrambling to fill their spots. This is not likely to change for some time, at least not here in the States where we’re going through some industry upheaval around the world of medicine. And this means that the adcoms are on the lookout for qualified candidates that they can admit to their programs who will hopefully make those recruiters happy in two years’ time.
Compare this to the slews of wanna-be strategy consultants who some schools end up turning away only because they already got too many applications from people saying they want to go do the same thing. Strategy consulting is the current-era’s hedge fund; it’s super sexy and tres trendy.
If you’re agnostic as to your post-MBA career and you have a smidgen of healthcare industry stuff going on somewhere in your background (beyond that time in college that you went to the emergency room to get your stomach pumped after doing too many beer bombs), then this might be something to seriously consider for your future. Maybe healthcare consulting, even?
We offer this up in the hopes that BSers will take this seriously and actually truly CONSIDER this as their future career – not just say it in their essays as a ploy to try and get into a good bschool. Please don’t do that, it’s super lame.
We answered a Brave Supplicant’s question on one of those forums recently, and thought we may as well cross-post here.
To paraphrase, the question was, Which top schools are highly associated with pharmaceutical/biotechnology?
Here’s what we said:
The only bschool we’ve heard of that specifically offers a “biotech” MBA specialization is Cambridge Judge.
Lots of other bschools have healthcare programs. Vanderbilt is well regarded in healthcare, though it’s not the best brand of overall MBA. UNC Kenan-Flagler is in the same category. Duke and Yale have specific concentrations in healthcare; the MBA-E at Yale is a separate track from their “main” MBA, which shows that they’re putting focus on this industry. There’s also joint degrees like the MPH/MBA (public health) at Tuck and Berkeley, and Booth has something about health administration/policy.
Many bschools offer joint degrees with their university’s other graduate schools, so you could also look at Harvard, Stanford, etc., and design your own degree with their school of medicine or whatever. Healthcare is such a fast-growing industry that there are more and more options in education all the time