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SOM 310 Statement of Background and Goals (Essay)

What is a Statement of Background and Goals?

Along with grade point averages, graduate test scores (e.g. GMAT, LSAT), activities, and accomplishments, a prospective employer or graduate school may require you to write an essay about your background and goals. They are looking for factors that have influenced or shaped your career and/or research decisions. They will read your essay to determine whether you "fit" in their organization or program, based largely on the professional image you portray (the "story" you tell about yourself). When you write such an essay, you want to think about what details will help convey a professional image; also think about what you should leave out (while remaining honest and sincere). Other opportunities to write statements of background and goals may occur during your yearly review on the job, or in professional career development workshops. You may also be asked to provide a brief "bio" (biography) for an article you wrote for publication, a project you managed, a proposal you are spearheading -- or, you may be asked to sum up your background and goals before or after a professional speech you are giving at a conference, or a briefing you lead for upper management in your company.

In each of these instances, your audience changes, and your specific purpose may change, and thus your content will change -- even as you overall purpose is still to tell about your background and objectives in some fashion.

Directions (A):

Directions (B):

Write a brief biography that includes information about your background and goals for:

  1. your SOM instructor
  2. your new date's parents
  3. your career counselor

Tips For Proceeding:


Revised 9-98/EdC