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Self-Discovery: Find Your Goals

In the last few articles, we have talked about various aspects of how do you build your self-awareness.

When we talk about self-awareness we are referring to the different things that you have done in your life. This will include what your key strengths are, what key experiences you have had, what your career story is, and how you look towards the future in order to say what your goals are after your MBA or MIM.

In this article, we are going to talk about how you find out your short and long-term goals. Finding your goals are absolutely essential if you are planning to apply for top programs.

The first question that usually pops up in the candidates’ mind is why do they actually need to worry about their short and long-term goals. Obviously everybody is going for an MBA or MIM to improve their prospects, career, or to get a career jump.

The thing is, when we talk about top MBA or MIM programs, these B-Schools are not just looking for those who have already achieved a lot in the past. They are also looking for people who will be future leaders, who will have a vision for themselves and who have a plan for themselves as to how they want to achieve their vision. So that's what you need to create when you are applying to the top programmes.

What are you long-term and short-term goals, is almost the most cliched essay question that you will ever get - and be prepared if you get an interview call - you will be asked this question during the interview as well.

How to find out your short and long term goals?

So the first thing we need to do is to figure out your long-term goal.

Your long-term goal is your vision for yourself.

How do you actually create a vision for yourself? You need to start thinking and dive into what are the things you like to do. It could be inspired by your professional career or personal journey. So you need to figure out different areas that really interest you. It could be the industry you are fascinated with, it could be an issue or cause such as the environmental problems that we are facing or it could be a particular group of people that you would like to help. It could also be something else.

Once you find out what area you are most interested in, start thinking about the problem that you would like to solve, and when you have the problem in your hand start thinking about why do you actually want to solve this problem. Once you have answered these questions successfully, you will get the idea of where do you actually want to go, but your job doesn't end there. It has, in fact, just started.

So you have just answered what problems interest you the most, and why, and now you need to figure out an answer to what will be a particular role that will help you achieve the solution for this particular problem. This role is your dream role and will help you achieve your long-term goal.

Now that you have finalised your vision for the next 20 years you need to start “Reversing-Engineering your career plan” and see what would be the positions that would help you get to that dream job in the next 20 year time.

Start with your post-MBA short-term goal. Identify the skills that you would gain from the MBA/MIM which will help you achieve the next position, which would help you achieve your next role so that you can achieve your dream role in 20 years of time. This will give you a step-by-step plan to reach your long term vision.

Once you have done this, you have solid “Career Action Plan” and this would give you answers to various questions such as why do you want to do an MBA and how this particular school could help you in MBA.

These steps might sound simple and easy to do but you need to put a lot of thought to this when you start doing your Career Action Plan. Talk to your friends, family, colleagues to ensure that your goals are relevant, make sense and are aligned with your story.

If you need personalised help for applying to the top MBA and MIM programs, get in touch with us at

Piyush Ranjan is the chief consultant for Management Masters. He did his undergrad from IIT-BHU, and then studied at the SIM program of the University of St. Gallen. He has helped multiple students get admission calls from HEC Paris, ISB, Tuck School of Business, Darden School of Business, and other top Business schools worldwide.

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