Gaurav’s goals story had two major problems.
The problem with the overall expression in Gaurav’s goals story was that a layman wouldn’t understand it. For someone who hasn’t worked in the same industry or job function as you, it might be difficult to understand the jargon you use. In addition to the fact that the admissions committee member won’t be from your industry or job function, more often than not, the goals story become incomprehensible.
Thus, having a goals story devoid of jargon is very important.
Gaurav started off with a very generic goals story. Although he knew it wasn’t adequate considering the schools he wanted to apply to, he simply had no clear idea on how to make it more specific and tailored to his own self. This is where networking came in.
This was a clear indication that Gaurav needed to start networking with professionals in the same job functions as he wished to be in post-MBA. Along with networking with such professionals, we started sharing different research material, that we had created for other students as well, on the various post-MBA functions.
Gaurav needed to define the function’s roles and responsibilities that he will be required to fulfill.
An essay requiring Gaurav to detail his life story brought us back to a problem that we had faced with a lot of applicants. Applicants believe that talking about their professional lives and accomplishments is the ultimate goals. They forget that the schools have their resumes and letters of recommendation to refer to those.
The schools use an applicant’s personal life and personal accomplishments to identify qualities in them, this becomes crucial as there is a high chance that your profile is similar to at least a couple of other applicants. To choose between such applicants, the admissions committee needs to know which one would fit the school culture the best.
Our feedback to Gaurav was to tell the admissions committee four things:
What you are telling them?
Why you are telling them?
Why does it matter to you?
Why should it matter to them?
This really helped Gaurav pull together his essays and create a really solid application.
The result was pleasantly surprising yet predictable. Gaurav cracked HKUST even with a low GMAT score of 680.