I’m going to start by reading you the ‘Values’ listed on the Mission and Values page page of Johns Hopkins University’s Carey School of Business (where the MS in Business Analytics and Risk Management takes place):
“Promise: We shape leaders who seize opportunities to create lasting value in an ever-changing world … Relentless Advancement: Challenge the status quo … Boundless Curiosity … Unwavering Humanity … Carey advances society and shapes leading citizens…”
I think it’s also quite startling and notable that they have taken out a trademark on the phrase:
“Build for What’s Next ™”
On the Legacy page of the website, you’ll see this further emphasized:
“… [the founders of Johns Hopkins University’s] vision of building for tomorrow continues with the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. Students find their paths. Together, we build for what’s next.
On the landing page for the MS programs, they state “The graduate programs are designed for students to develop advanced business skills and thrive in the rapidly changing global market.”
For the MS in Business Analytics and Risk Management program, one of the four key points emphasized at the top of the program’s dedicated landing page is: “Lead through uncertainty: Empowers students with an understanding of the science and art of risk management which prepares them to lead in volatile environments.”
Hopefully you are starting to get the impression that ‘building for the future’ is extremely important to Johns Hopkins. It’s important to them that their students conceive of themselves as future contributors, and that they have a clear and precise idea of how the program they apply for will give them the leverage and skills they need to make those contributions.
Therefore, when generating material you will use to answer this question you should be seek to show:
1. Developed and well-informed awareness of the industry in which you intend to make your future contributions.
2. That you share the school’s future-looking perspective.
The first one requires research and reflection on your experiences and what you’ve learned about the direction your industry is taking. This is more straightforward.
The second, is a little more challenging. Importantly, you should not do this by making vague, unrealistic, or grandiose proclamations of intent about what you will do in the future! You should be specific and realistic when stating goals. You will benefit from paying particular attention to the following two phrases when developing your answer:
§ “inspire change”
§ “create lasting values”
They’re very interesting phrases. I suggest that you reflect thoughtfully on what these phrases mean to you. Write your own ‘working definition’ of them, to refer to as you think about your answer. When you’re satisfied you have an intelligent and interesting view on these phrases and what they mean in terms of your industry, the next step is to begin considering how you will reflect an interest in and commitment to these ideals through patterns in your own background and experience. As I’ve said in countless other places, your writing should have substance and what you write should arise from your own experience for maximum positive impact on your application.