Chances are that you are already staring at this question as part of your application essays. If you were lucky enough to dodge it during the essays, you would definitely face it in the interviews. To be honest, you would actually face this question or a variant of it while responding to your application essays.
In the rush to figure out which business schools to apply to, loans, scholarships, career options, we lose sight of the main question behind this gigantic effort of adding the 3 letter word in our resume. And guess what? The answer to this question helps you to stay awake through sleepless nights of completing assignments, working through your internships, meeting disinterested recruiters and definitely a few years after your first job.
The decision to pursue a MBA is an expensive one, in terms of commitment, career gap and money. Hence if you are still not sure on why you would be benefited by the degree, you would fail yourself in a lot of places. Copying a brilliant essay or Googling is not an intelligent or honest solution. Professors and recruitment committees are highly experienced to detect such ingenuity. You would also sound rather unconvinced during an interview which is disastrous. The worst would probably be during the end of the program when a lot of us evaluate and try to figure out whether our MBA met most of the expectations that we had in mind while opting for it.
Figure out why you actually want to do a MBA. The common desires are usually high salary (yes it’s usually first 🙂 ), switching careers, advancing careers, etc.
Suppose, your primary reason is “high salary”, do you know why only a MBA degree will give you a high salary? Did you think or try of alternative options of working harder, getting a relevant certification, updating your work skills. Do you have examples ( real-life), case studies, facts and figures to actually explain your reasoning. Would you be able to defend your reasoning against recent findings? (For example, a HBR blog posted about lower pay for new MBAs. And here is an interesting post from Quartz on a similar note of why Harvard MBA grads are earning less money!) In case you do that’s great . Because you can showcase a business case, logical thinking, communication skills , a strong drive to go after MBA. This also means that it you would survive the big bad world of business school, complete your degree and get placed soon!
You might need to research, talk to alumni, people in the Admissions committee in the business schools and most importantly do some deep inward thinking to figure this out.
This is not an answer for your essay or interview question. It is an example and a guide to do some soul searching and come up with an answer. Also people might have one or two or many reasons for pursuing their MBA. All the best in discovering yours.