Located on Northwestern University's main campus in Evanston, Illinois, the Kellogg School of Management's MBA program emphasizes teamwork and develops "leaders who are empathetic, innovative and who harness the power of diverse teams to meet complex challenges." Kellogg has released its application deadlines and essays for the 2022-23 application season.
|Application Deadline||Decision Released|
|Round 1||September 14, 2022||December 14, 2022|
|Round 2||January 10, 2023||March 28, 2023|
|Round 3||April 5, 2023||May 10, 2023|
The essay questions remain unchanged from last year and focus on leadership and values. Like last few years, the first question asks about leadership and its impact. The only change this year is that the admission committee now specifically asks you to recount your recent leadership experience. The second question asks about your values and motivation in life and work and their influence on you. Reapplicants will write an additional essay.
Here is MER's analysis of the essay questions.
Written Essay #1: Kellogg's purpose is to educate, equip & inspire brave leaders who create lasting value. Provide a recent example where you have demonstrated leadership and created value. What challenges did you face and what did you learn? (450 words)
This question asks the applicants to recount a leadership experience in which they made a significant impact while overcoming challenges and learning something that helped them in similar situations in the future. Please note the word "brave leaders" and choose a leadership example in which you stepped outside your comfort zone to guide people around you towards a goal.
Regarding examples of leadership, you may choose stories from your personal or professional experiences. Make sure that the impact you have made and the value you have created are not only about dollar amounts or percentages but also about the challenges faced. Examples can be handling an uncooperative team member or a supervisor, taking a decision with insufficient information, convincing someone of your innovative ideas, handling a new project, meeting stringent deadlines, managing a client's expectations, or resolving the conflict between two team members, etc. But make sure to select an anecdote that happened in the past two years.
In these exceptional times, when the whole world is dealing with a global health crisis, what actions did you take to do your part in helping people that made a difference in their lives? Did you take the initiative to make masks or PPE for the hospitals, or did you private tutor kids, or got involved with a local NGO to contribute in any way you could, or connected with your alma mater in their virtual efforts to help the underprivileged. Maybe you stepped up to volunteer in your community and helped old and physically disabled people in your neighborhood with groceries or medicines or took responsibility for your family as your parents have immunity issues. During this ongoing crisis, you can show leadership in many ways. The key is you stepped out of your comfort zone at this challenging time, took the reins, and made a difference.
As always, we recommend you follow the 4-part STAR framework below:
- Situation: what was the situation/ challenge? Who were the people involved in this situation- players, stakeholders?
- Task: what did you need to accomplish? What conflict/ challenges did you encounter?
- Action: What actions did you take? Describe this in detail as it will become a crucial part of your essay.
- Result/ Impact: What was the outcome of your leadership efforts? Were you able to address the situation? What "lasting value" did you create? What lessons did you learn?
Since the second part of the essay question asks you to share learnings from your experience, you must explain at length why that experience is meaningful to you in terms of what you achieved and learned about yourself. The experience may have revealed to you your vital attributes, which you might not have been aware of earlier. For example, you might have never known that you could rise to the occasion to contribute to the ongoing crisis, but this complicated situation offered you an opportunity to lead people that yielded great results. You may wrap up the essay with a final note about how you are now applying or trying to apply those lessons in similar situations.
You may also use this essay as an opportunity to comment on a leadership position you are interested in holding as a student at Kellogg and add value to the Kellogg community.
Written Essay #2: Values are what guide you in your life and work. What values are important to you, and how have they influenced you? (450 words)
This essay requires applicants to do a significant self-reflection to understand what values and beliefs are meaningful to them. Simply discussing values that you think will impress the admission committee members will not work here, as it is crucial to explain how you have demonstrated those values/ beliefs in your life.
Also, please don't be tempted to provide a laundry list of values. You may discuss only 2-3 values and back up your statements with concrete examples from your life (personal or professional). Also, explain how these values have shaped your personality and have influenced your decisions and actions.
You may wrap up your essay by stating how you see yourself enriching the Kellogg community through these values.
Reapplicant Essay: Since your previous application, what steps have you taken to strengthen your candidacy? (250 words)
This is a straightforward reapplicant essay. Through this question, the Ad Com would like to know if your need for the Kellogg MBA is as strong as last time. Hence you should demonstrate your continued interest in Kellogg by explaining how you have enhanced your old application. Focus on the areas you have improved upon since you applied last. For example, you may have taken extra classes, boosted your GMAT score, received a promotion, led a new exciting project, increased your community involvement, taken on a personal challenge, or articulated your goals. The key here is to demonstrate that you are now a stronger candidate. Your conscious efforts to strengthen your profile and to work on your weak areas will prove how determined you are about your Kellogg MBA. Please read our blog for our advice on reapplicant strategy:
To see the person behind those 'carefully crafted words', Kellogg continues to ask applicants to submit 3 video essays. Video essays offer you a platform to showcase your personality and character. So please reflect on new stories instead of repeating material from written essays.
"Here are some things to keep in mind as you prepare to complete this section:
- Video Essays are due 96 hours after the application deadline
- A video essay link will appear on your application status page after you submit your application and payment
- You will need an internet-connected computer with a webcam and microphone
- The video should take about 20-25 minutes to complete, which includes time for setup
After submitting your application and payment, you will be able to access the video essay through your application status page. You will be asked to answer three questions:"
Video Essay #1: Please introduce yourself to the admissions committee.
- Consider this your opportunity to share what you would want your future Kellogg classmates and our admissions committee to know about you. What makes you, you?
This question allows you to present your personality to Ad Com and your classmates. You can discuss your cultural background, motivation, personal and professional goals, hobbies/ interests, and issues that pique your interest. The motive is to tell them who you are. Since you will be discussing your plans in your second video essay, you may just touch upon them in this video essay.
Video Essay #2: What path are you interested in pursuing, how will you get there, and why is this program right for you?
- This is an intentionally broad question so you can answer honestly and meaningfully. We want to know what set you en route to pursuing an MBA and why you're choosing a particular Kellogg Full-Time Program."
The second question provides you with an opportunity to describe your career goals and how Kellogg will help you achieve them. The written essays do not offer a chance to discuss your post-MBA goals and why you are interested in Kellogg. So is a great place to show how your goals align with the offerings and resources of Kellogg. You may read the following blog for tips on goals essays.
Video Essay #3: The third question will ask about a challenge you've faced and what you have learned from it.
Here are some additional tips:
- There are practice questions that you may complete as many times as you like to get comfortable with the format and technology. The practice questions and experience will simulate the actual video essay experience, so this is meant to be a useful tool to help you feel prepared.
- We encourage you to practice so you are comfortable with the format once it is time to complete the official questions. You will not have an opportunity to re-do the answer to the official video essay questions.
- You will have 20 seconds to think about the question and up to one minute to give your response.
Director of Diversity Admissions, Lance Bennet's Advice on Video Essay #3
"This moment is challenging for us all, but it is a moment that is challenging us in different ways. Personally, COVID-19 has challenged me to do my work very differently, especially when engaging with and growing the Kellogg community. … I urge you to speak about how you've been specifically challenged and how you're managing yourself through it. At Kellogg, so much of leadership is actually about how you lead yourself. And your answer will help us get a better understanding of who that leader is. For more details, click here.
The Kellogg application suggests sample questions that you can use to prepare video essays. You should practice as often as you like until you get comfortable with the format and technology. You may prepare MBA-related and non-work questions about your interests/ passions and volunteer work. Add more items to the list and begin practicing. Also, it is a great idea to seek the help of family or friends and get their feedback on your topics and delivery style so you can improve yourself accordingly in your next recording. The applicants will have 20 seconds to think about the question and up to one minute to give their response. So timing is the crucial thing in this response. Please note that you will not get a second chance to record your answer to the official video essay questions. Make sure to practice getting a clear sense of how much time you need to think and record your response.
Click here for Kellogg's Tips on Video essays.
You may also check out this blog post for application advice from current students!
You may also be interested in Kellogg alumnus Eduardo's advice:
Also, check out Kellogg admit Rohit's story.
You may email Poonam at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions about your Kellogg application.
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