Self-Discovery: Identify your Career Story
Updated: Jan 16, 2020
In our previous articles, we have talked in detail about the 8-step process that we follow with our clients in order to help them prepare for the best application for the top MBA and MIM programs. One of the major characteristics of our 8-step process is that we invest heavily in helping you achieve self-awareness.
What admission committees from the top B-Schools expect from their candidates is that they are Self-Aware in the sense that
They know what they are doing and why they are doing it?
They know where they come from and where they actually want to go?
As part of the self-awareness process, we have a 4-step plan, that is, 50% of our time with our clients is spent on making sure that our candidates are aware of their experiences, their strengths, their stories and their vision for themselves in the future.
So in this article, we are going to talk about how you can create that perfect career story which is continuous and logical so that you can explain it to the admissions committees through your essays and in the interviews.
When we talk about the career story, at Management Masters, we distinctly separate these into 2 different things:
Your Career Progress: the different jobs that you have held since graduation.
Your Leadership Experiences during this career journey.
When we talk about your career progress, you need to craft a story of how you have progressed through the years. What we mean by crafting a “story” is that there are going to be different chapters, headlines and bodies for each aspect of your career.
The headlines of your career story are basically the different roles that you have held over the years. They can be the different companies you have worked for, or the different positions that you have worked in over the years in the same company, or even the way your responsibilities have increased over a period of time while working in the same position for a company. If you have worked on some major projects, they could also act as headlines for your career story.
Once you have the headlines, then you need to start connecting all the dots. Start thinking about the reasons - why you have done different things at different times? Create a clear picture of how you have progressed through your career, and why?
For example, if you moved from one company to another, why did you do so? Your reasons could range from a better position to better pay, personal or professional, but they need to be clear and justifiable.
Now that the reasons for your movements are clear, you need to start listing down your key challenges and achievements in each role. The last part of your career progress story is to identify your key learnings and growth areas from each of these roles.
The leadership experiences will follow the same structure as for your career progress story - you need to start with identifying your key leadership experiences.
You have to realise that being a leader does not mean that you have led the company - nobody expects you to do that with the amount of experience you have had. However, it does mean that you act and think like a leader - it means that you have taken charge of situations, shown empathy to your teammates, and brought together teams to achieve something meaningful.
Once you have identified your key leadership experiences, start listing down the things or actions you took - as a leader - which helped your team achieve its goal.
Finally, and most importantly, identify what did you learn from these instances, and what leadership strengths did you exhibit in these examples.
Completing this entire exercise will help you create two powerful stories about your complete career journey and the different leadership experiences you have had - with all aspects connected to form an excellent, continuous story - a story you can write about in your essays, and talk about in your interviews.
If you need personalised help for applying to the top MBA and MIM programs, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.