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How Do You Answer The Long Term and Short Term Career Goals Question?

Updated: Oct 7, 2023

MBA applications essentially require applicants to discuss their plans for the career ahead. Defining clear short term and long term goals is very important for applicants today. This is so for the reason that employability is very important for the MBA schools. MBA interviews are conducted by either Faculty, Alumni, Admissions team or Career coaches - they understand career transitions and want to understand if the MBA applicants have thought carefully about their short term goals after MBA. Our MBA admission consultant at GOALisB has compiled the following insights to share to address the dilemma that applicants face with their short term and long term career goals essay for MBA.

When applying for an MBA program, you may be asked to provide a statement of your long-term and short-term career goals. This question is often included to assess your focus and motivation, and to determine whether your goals are aligned with the program's objectives. Here are some tips on how to answer the long-term and short-term career goals question in an MBA application:

  1. Avoid vague statements or generalizations, as they may not demonstrate a strong sense of direction.

  2. Show your passion: Demonstrating your enthusiasm for your chosen career path is crucial. Emphasize why you are passionate about your field, and how pursuing your career goals will give you a sense of fulfillment.

  3. Demonstrate your research: It's essential to show that you have researched your chosen career path and understand the industry you wish to pursue.

  4. Connect your goals to the program: Explain how the MBA program aligns with your career goals, and how it will help you acquire the skills, knowledge, and network necessary to achieve them. Highlight specific courses, experiential learning opportunities, and alumni networks that interest you.

  5. Be realistic: While it's important to have ambitious goals, it's equally important to be realistic about what you can achieve in the short-term and long-term. Show that you have thought carefully about the steps necessary to achieve your goals, and that you have a solid plan in place.

By following these tips, you can craft a compelling answer that demonstrates your focus, motivation, and alignment with the MBA program's objectives.

Sample Short term and long term goals essay:

In the short-term, my immediate goal is to graduate from an MBA program with a strong GPA and secure a challenging and rewarding job in a company that aligns with my values and career goals. I am particularly interested in [specific industry or function] and believe that an MBA will provide me with the advanced business knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in this field.

In the long-term, I hope to advance in my career and take on leadership roles within my organization. I am driven by a desire to make a meaningful impact in my field and to use my skills and expertise to help solve complex business challenges. I also hope to continue learning and growing, both personally and professionally, and to be a lifelong learner who is constantly seeking new opportunities for growth and development.

I believe that an MBA will provide me with the foundation and tools I need to achieve my short-term and long-term goals. I am excited about the opportunity to learn from and network with a diverse group of fellow students and industry professionals, and I am confident that I have the drive, determination, and passion to succeed in an MBA program and make a meaningful contribution to the business world.

Schedule a call with an MBA admission consultant at GOALisB for assistance on your MBA application.

How to write short term and long term career goals essay for MBA?

Absolutely avoid picking up other people's short term goals for your MBA essay. Research well. Talk to alumni, study the industry trends. Design your career ahead with full clarity before you embark upon writing your short term and long term goals essay for MBA.

Short and long term goals for MBA essay work differently. Long term goals can be slightly vague. The long term goals for all MBA students may not be as crystal clear as the short term goals. Vision is more important while evaluating long term goals for MBA students. Entrepreneurship, C-Suite roles, Global heads will give the admissions team a fair insight into where you are headed to in the long term.

However, the short term and the long term goals must connect. Obviously, one cannot be reasonably an entrepreneur in the short term and lead in a C Suite role in the long term. There should be a pragmatic path that the school expects their alumni to take up in the future. Disrupting the sector is acceptable but within the context.

What are some ways the schools ask the career goals question?

ISB Essay Question About Goals 2018

Enrolling in a Business School is an important career decision. Critically look at your career to date, the choices you have made, the key influences behind those choices, your goals for the future and how do you think ISB's PGP can help you in achieving your goals?

ISB Essay Question About Goals 2019

What will you be doing in 2025 and 2030? How will the ISB PGP program help you to achieve these goals?

Sample ISB Essay

As I look to the future, I am excited about the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. In 2025, I hope to be well established in my career and making meaningful contributions to my organization and industry. By 2030, I hope to have taken on leadership roles and to be making a significant impact in my field.

I believe that the ISB PGP program will provide me with the advanced business knowledge and skills necessary to achieve these goals. The program's focus on [specific areas of study] is particularly appealing to me, as I believe that these areas will be critical to success in the business world of the future. I am also excited about the opportunity to learn from and network with a diverse group of fellow students and industry professionals, and I believe that the ISB PGP program's strong reputation and global alumni network will open doors for me as I pursue my career.

In addition to the academic and professional benefits of the ISB PGP program, I am also drawn to the program's focus on personal and leadership development. I believe that these skills will be essential as I take on increasingly responsible roles in my career and aim to make a positive impact in the world.

I am confident that the ISB PGP program will provide me with the foundation and tools I need to achieve my short-term and long-term goals and to make a meaningful contribution to the business world.

ISB Essay Question About Goals 2020

What are your short term and long term career goals? How will the Post Graduate Program at ISB assist you in achieving your goals?

IVEY MBA application Goals Essay

What are your short-term career plans immediately post-MBA, and why is an Ivey MBA essential to those plans?

Sample IVEY MBA Essay:

Upon completing my MBA, my short-term career goal is to secure a managerial position in a top-tier consulting firm. I have always been drawn to the fast-paced and dynamic nature of the consulting industry, and I believe that the skills and knowledge I will gain from an Ivey MBA will be essential in achieving this goal.

One of the primary reasons that I believe an Ivey MBA is essential to my short-term career plans is the program's strong focus on practical, hands-on learning. The Ivey MBA program is known for its case-based approach to teaching, which emphasizes real-world business scenarios and encourages students to think critically and creatively. This type of experiential learning will be invaluable in preparing me for a managerial role in consulting, where I will be expected to quickly analyze complex problems and develop effective solutions.

Additionally, the Ivey MBA program's reputation for producing highly talented and successful graduates will be a major advantage in my job search. Consulting firms are highly competitive and selective in their hiring processes, and having an Ivey MBA on my resume will give me a significant advantage over other candidates. The strong alumni network and career support services offered by the Ivey School of Business will also be invaluable resources as I pursue my career goals.

In conclusion, my short-term career plans immediately post-MBA involve securing a managerial position in a top-tier consulting firm, and I believe that an Ivey MBA is essential to achieving these goals due to its focus on practical, hands-on learning and its reputation for producing highly talented and successful graduates.

HEC MBA application Goals Essay

Why are you applying to the HEC MBA Program now? What is the professional objective that will guide your career choice after your MBA, and how will the HEC MBA contribute to the achievement of this objective?

NTU MBA application Goals Essay

Briefly assess your career progress to date. Elaborate on your near term (3 - 5 years) future career objectives and how pursuing an MBA will help you achieve them.

Executive MBA from IIM Bangalore application Goals Essay

Provide an essay detailing your purpose in taking up this course of study at IIMB, including your future aims. The essay should be around 600 words and should be in simple and direct English and preferably typed in a readable format.

NUS MBA application Goals Essay

Tell us about your intermediate (3 years) post-MBA career goal, describing your industry, function and country of choice and a plan on how you would achieve this goal.

Schulich MBA application Goals Essay

How will the Schulich MBA degree help you achieve your short and long-term career goals?

UBC Sauder MBA application Goals Essay

Why do you think Sauder’s MBA program is a good fit for you? How do you plan to get the most out of your MBA journey and the cohort community?

Executive MBA from IIM Ahmedabad application Goals Essay

Why do you want to do an MBA during these uncertain times? How does that align with your future career goals? Please speculate on your five and ten-year post MBA career trajectory?

How do you actually evaluate your short term and long term goals?

Not everyone has clear career goals. In fact, most students can’t set career goals for themselves. However, if you hope to pursue an MBA, then it is expected that you have clear career goals. Perhaps breaking down the vision will help us set better goals for career and life.

“A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at." ~ Bruce Lee.

As Bruce Lee stated, sometimes a goal just gets you started and gives you something to strive towards.

So, first, what do you want in your career? Where do you want to be in 5 years? Do you have a specific job role or position in mind? How much do you want to make? Answering these questions should give you some career goals, however, if you want to set effective goals, then you can stick to the SMART method of goal setting.

What should be the components of an ideal communication of your short term and long term goals?

S - Specific: You need to try to be precise about what you want to achieve, where and how. “Learn about marketing” is not really a specific goal but “Improve sales by 20% in next 6 months” could well be.

M - Measurable: You must be able to evaluate if you’ve made progress or not. Therefore, goals like “Improve social skills” are not useful because they cannot be assessed.

A - Attainable: The important part of goal setting is that the goal shouldn’t be out of reach but be enough of a challenge at the same time. Unrealistic goals will end up demotivating you whereas smaller goals (and wins) will keep you on track.

R - Relevant: Set up goals that you really want to achieve and which will end up taking you nearer your long-term goals. You may find that you’ve set a goal that you don’t really want to achieve.

T - Timing: Always have a time constraint upon your goals especially short-term goals. The deadline ought to motivate you to do your best in the time you’ve allotted. Goals without a start and end date are just dreams.

Some of your goals will have to be executed in the present and immediate future i.e. up to a year or so. These are your short-term goals. Each of these should add up in the larger picture of your career.

Long-term goals define the ideal course you would like your career to take. Some people can imagine five, ten or twenty years of how they would like their careers to go. The SMART methodology can serve one well here as well.

Short term goals build from a summary of what you did as an undergraduate. Enlist or rather walk them through all the important classes you took which stimulated your desire for an MBA education, such as a specific project for a class.

What more can you discuss in short term and long term goals essay for MBA?

Discuss the internships you have done discuss what the responsibilities were, and the outcomes. Work experience, especially if you had any kind of responsibility for testing, designing, or researching a product or apparatus.

You can also indicate here any part time or full time jobs taken up after graduation, succinctly describe the role: company, team, responsibilities, what you learned and how this shaped your decision to pursue an MBA.

  • What experiences and/or education have made you want to pursue this degree program?

  • Why do you want to pursue this field of study?

  • How have you been pursuing your education, social work, internships?

  • What specifically appeals to you about this program?

  • What do you contribute to a team?

  • What do you plan to do with the MBA education in the short term and the long run ?

  • Why should the MBA Admissions team evaluate you?

  • How do you think it might relate to the specialisation that you want to opt for?

You should clearly describe career decisions to date and your perception of your career goals. Business schools enrol future leaders. In an interview when you discuss your previous career progress and short term and long term future plans, it is an opportunity to decide if you have the leadership skills required to get there.

You need to discuss how you have grown so far in your career and on the same track define the path you are likely to take in future.

Start by thinking about all the professional decisions you’ve made till now, things that have motivated you so far. What are the skills you have gained so far and the plans for the future.

Applicants who are clear about their career goals make the most of MBA programs because they are able to focus on specific parts of the curriculum and prepare themselves to meet their career goals.

Get in touch to discuss your profile and get application assistance for applying to MBA programs in Singapore with an MBA admission consultant at GOALisB. Email us at or Call us @ +91 7719497187.


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