Observations on Long term and Short term goals

Last year, I was somewhat involved in the admissions process for my school and I had the opportunity to read a LOT of applicant essays from India. I had 2 observations.

1. The applicant pool is getting very competitive and only the best of the best essays get interview invites! (No surprises there)

2. But the second observation is a rather unwelcome development from India. And that is, as much as 80% of the applicants state their short term goals are consulting and long term goals as entrepreneurship.

Lets discuss this. Is this really what the Indian students want? Well, knowing what I know now (after getting my MBA from one of the top schools in the US) Indian students are the first ones to drop the idea of (management)consulting when it comes to it- because for a school not ranked in the top 10, prestigious management consulting jobs are hard to come by. Worse still, MOST (but not all) international students don’t pursue entrepreneurship.

So whats the right thing to do? There is nothing that is right or wrong. But all I want to say is this, you have an equal chance of getting into a good school even if your short term goal is not consulting- meaning please feel free to write what you really want to do after your MBA. Write a book? sounds much more interesting! So in your admissions essay, write what you really want to do, not something that is the ‘right’ thing to write because its safe. Trust me , for many of you applicants, an MBA might be the last time you will have an opportunity to follow your heart


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