In my 15+ years in MBA admissions, I have seen many MBA applicants struggle to connect the dots between what they have done in the past and their career goals.
One client had a career with several turns, including a job at a bank and a role managing inventory levels for a consumer health product manufacturing firm. There did not appear to be a key theme linking these roles until we started talking about her accomplishments – it was then that we uncovered her superpower: a strong expertise in logistics and operations!
Here are five things to help you discover your inner Wonder Woman or Spider-Man.
1. GIVE YOURSELF TIME TO REFLECT
Take time to reflect on what you have enjoyed doing and what you hope to gain from an MBA. In the same way that you can taste the subtle flavors of a carefully and slowly braised meal, admissions committee members can tell when someone’s narrative and career goals are half-baked. Stratus counselors spend hours with clients encouraging them to dig deeper about what really matters to them before starting a single business school application.
2. SEEK TRUSTED AND OBJECTIVE COUNSEL
One MBA applicant shared her desire to work in healthcare and yet the look on her face was flat, causing me to question her passion for this goal. Further conversation revealed her passion for the fitness aspect of health. Her superpower was helping people connect to products that could enhance their health and fitness which led us to identify Nike and Reebok as target firms. An MBA counselor – who has worked with hundreds of MBA applicants and seen a variety of narratives – can ensure that your story and goals truly resonate with your work experience and background.
3. GATHER MORE INFORMATION
Once you have a firm idea of where you want to head, use LinkedIn to identify people and companies in this space and reach out to learn more. Request informational interviews and ask people what they like about their role and the company they work for. Ask about the key skills needed to be successful then ask yourself if you like doing those things. Does your superpower align with the skills needed for the role?
4. BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF
Don’t be distracted by the trendy new career options in data analytics and fintech. Rather than looking at what everyone else is doing, look within yourself for clarity. Dig beyond the hype to discover where you feel you most come alive. Through introspection and self-reflection people sometimes discover that their superpower can get them to their goals without an MBA. If you discover this before seeking an MBA, you will save yourself a great deal of time and money.
Once you discover your superpower, spend some time flexing it. If you have strong leadership skills, experiment with different styles. One admissions officer told me about a student who employed two different leadership approaches in her two club leadership roles. In one club, she intentionally moved away from her comfort zone of planning so that she could develop new skills leading in an ambiguous environment. Allow yourself the opportunity to test out new situations so that you can grow your superpower.
As Superman once said: “You are much stronger than you think you are. Trust me.”
Trust Stratus to help you to identify your inner Wonder Woman or Spider-Man strength so you can achieve your goals in the MBA admissions process.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]