This blog post is part of our "Application Insider" blog post series that provides insider information, tips, and advice about applying to the UCLA Anderson MBA program.
APPLICATION INSIDER TOPIC:
Thinking Through Your Short- and Long-term Goals
While the main motivation for pursuing an MBA is to develop yourself and your career further, it’s important to thoroughly think through why you want to pursue an MBA and what specifically you hope to gain. Although the MBA will help you prepare for your future, you should consider how your past and your present experiences can support your MBA plans. Spend time reflecting on your past experiences and accomplishments, think about what you want to focus on during an MBA program, and then connect it all to where you want to be post-MBA. Creating an outline with this information will not only help you understand the impact that an MBA can have on your life and career, but it will also make it easier for you to write compelling MBA application essays.
Let’s begin by considering your past and present experiences and accomplishments. Take a look at your resume and identify your top three skills and accomplishments. Think about how this information can inform your decision to pursue an MBA and potentially set the foundation for your post-MBA career goals. Undertaking career self-reflection is always beneficial in providing insight into your strengths and areas of development. After completing your self-reflection, you will have a better understanding of the transferable skills that you already have, and will be able to target the areas that you want to develop further through an MBA program.
When evaluating the skills that you want to develop further, you should consider both “hard” and “soft” skills. Hard skills refer to specific teachable abilities or skill sets, such as improving your quantitative background or focusing on a specific specialization. Soft skills tend to be more interpersonal in nature. For example, you may want to improve your teamwork ability, your communication, and/or your leadership skills. Consider not just the skills that you want to gain, but how you will gain them. Are there particular courses, clubs, or career resources that you will benefit from?
As mentioned above, the final part of this process is bringing together the skills and accomplishments that you already have, with the skills and accomplishments that you want to gain through the MBA, in order to reach your short-term and long-term career goals. In highlighting your skills, make sure to think through the function and industry that you want to build your career in. Also, do your research on possible target companies. You want to understand your motivations for pursuing an MBA, your current skillset, and areas of development, so that you can ultimately present and support your MBA plan in the application process.
Check back for more "Application Insider" blog posts that will cover information and tips on the many aspects of applying to the UCLA Anderson MBA program!