99 percent of the Universities abroad when asking for admissions essays would ask you about your goals in life. This could be a combined long answer question or two (maybe three) short answer questions. Irrespective of how they would phrase the question, they would ask you about both your short term and long term goals. Hence, it is very important to know how to write your goals essays.
Before we start on how to attend to these kind of essays, it is important to understand what we mean by long term and short term goals. Essentially, short term goals are your aspirations/ goals or career plans immediately after your graduation from the MBA Program you are applying to. This would mean your current career path and how you wish to modify your life after completing your MBA. This would necessarily mean what you intend to achieve within the next 3 to 5 years. Remember, being a CEO of a major Fortune 500 company is not a short term goal.
Long term, on the other hand refers to what you aspire to achieve in the next 5 to 10 years. Often student mistake long term goals to career aspirations beyond the one year. That is not the case. Neither does long term refer to your retirement plans. It is, simply put, your career aspirations. For instance, setting up your own business, becoming the Lead Partner in a Top Consultancy or being a Top Executive in a Multi-national, all qualify for long term goals.
Things to remember when writing your goals essays
Quantify the years:
When writing your goals, being clear about the years you wish to put into a certain job/ role is always a good thing. Being clear about your goals – be it short or long term, means a better clarity of thought process and adds value to your goals essay.
Provide better distinction between short and long term goals:
If the questions are separate, then it is fairly simple. However, in case there is only one question regarding your short and long term goals, it is important to clearly distinguish between the two. Ideally they should be divided into separate paragraphs all together and in the chronological order of short term followed by long term goals.
Don’t provide information which has not been sought:
If the question refers only to your short term goals – limit the answer to just that. Students often keep talking about what all they want to do and end up giving too much information, which is bad.
Either/Or are not a good strategy:
The worst thing you can do while attempting a goals essays is give more than one goal. Never suggest (until and unless specifically asked) what you would do in case one goal does not materialize. Being in two minds does not bode well. Whether you reach that desired effect or not is a thing of future, but your goals essay should be focussed.
Always write why and how:
Simply saying that you wish to be an entrepreneur is not enough. While many questions do ask you why, you must attempt to answer both why and how in your goals essays. Tell the admission committee what you wish to do, why you want to do it or you think it would be the best thing for you and how you plan to achieve the same.
To conclude, a goals essay is very much like a statement of purpose – albeit with a definitive question and a stricter word limit. Focus on answering the questions and you cannot go wrong.