Kellogg MBA admissions essay analysis and tips

Kellogg 2016-2017

APPLICATION DEADLINE
ROUND 1 - SEPT 21, 2016

DECISION RELEASED
ROUND 1 - DEC 14, 2016

APPLICATION DEADLINE
ROUND 2 - JAN 4, 2017

DECISION RELEASED
ROUND 2 - MARCH 22, 2017

 

Kellogg 2016-2017 Essay Questions

For 2016-2017, the following two essays are required of all applicants:

Leadership and teamwork are integral parts of the Kellogg experience. Describe a recent and meaningful time you were a leader. What challenges did you face, and what did you learn? (450 words)
Pursuing an MBA is a catalyst for personal and professional growth. How have you grown in the past? How do you intend to grow at Kellogg? (450 words)


Certain applicants will respond to additional questions:

Dual-degree applicants: For applicants to the MMM or JD-MBA dual degree programs, please explain why that program is right for you. (250 words)
Re-applicants: Since your previous application, what steps have you taken to strengthen your candidacy? (250 word limit)

All applicants have the opportunity to provide explanations or clarification inAdditional Information:

If needed, use this section to briefly describe any extenuating circumstances (e.g. unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance, etc.) (no word count)

http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/programs/full-time-mba/admissions/application-process.aspx

 


Information is subject to change. Please verify all data with the schools.



Kellogg MBA 2015-2016 Application Deadlines

 

  • Round 1: September 22, 2015

  • Round 2: January 6, 2016

  • Round 3: April 6, 2016

 


Information is subject to change. Please verify all data with the schools.


 

Kellogg MBA Application Essays

The Questions

  • Kellogg Essay Question 1: Leadership and teamwork are integral parts of the Kellogg experience. Describe a recent and meaningful time you were a leader. What challenges did you face, and what did you learn? (450 words or less)

  • Kellogg Essay Question 2: Pursuing an MBA is a catalyst for personal and professional growth. How have you grown in the past? How do you intend to grow at Kellogg? (450 words or less)

 


Information is subject to change. Please verify all data with the schools.


 

ESSAY 1 OF 2

Question One

Kellogg Essay Question 1: Leadership and teamwork are integral parts of the Kellogg experience. Describe a recent and meaningful time you were a leader. What challenges did you face, and what did you learn? (450 words or less)

 

Questions behind the Questions

First, please read this post “How to answer Kellogg's essay questions — Part 1” 

The 2015-16 Kellogg Full-Time MBA application features two distinct essay questions. In the first of a two-part series, Beth Tidmarsh, director of admissions for Kellogg’s Full-Time program, reveals how to write a stellar response.

  • So, leadership again, eh? Yep. Once again in considering our overall application, we decided that leadership is the most difficult trait to draw out, and we want to encourage you to discuss it.

    • Sure, we can see your resume and your list of activities – possibly you were president of every single one, and we can safely assume you’re a leader. 

    • But more often, people choose one area to take on a significant leadership role and do it well – whether professionally or maybe in an activity outside of work – and you need some space to tell us about that. 

    • Maybe your title does not accurately convey the leadership responsibilities you managed on a particular project.

  • Why do we specify “recent and meaningful”? Well, you might be surprised how far back people dig to find examples. Here’s a good rule of thumb:

    • If the example is from your professional time horizon, great, solid choice.

    • If you think back to college, OK, that may work.

    • If you really want to use a pre-college example … that may not stand out for the reasons you hope.

  • What challenges did you face? 

    • Oh yes, we want to understand the challenges for your team. (You had a team, right? Because you were a leader, there must have been some other people involved.) 

    • The challenge is what tests you as a leader. Was it a lack of resources? A last-minute change of scope? Unclear goal? A mistake for which your team had to take accountability?

    • If you’ve led people, then I bet you’ve faced an obstacle that would make great essay material.

  • But most importantly – what did you learn?

    • How did this challenge and this experience change your perspective? A warning to people who write about marathons, triathlons, mountain climbing and mud races – what did you learn that you can bring to Kellogg? I already know mud racing is hard, that’s why I avoid it! Spend most of your response talking about what you learned from your leadership experience, and perhaps how you have applied it.

    • These lessons learned and your changing perspectives are going to be the foundation for your growth as a leader and team member at Kellogg.


(found at http://wp.me/p2dBYj-1cg via @InsideKellogg; Posted by Kellogg School Admin on July 15, 2015)

 

Second, before writing a full draft, please share at least two possible story options with your Agos Admissions Consultant. In this case, we suggest you use the situation, action, result (SAR) framework. 

  • Situation: What was the situation? What challenges did you face? Did you need someone's help to get something done? Was there an employee, teammate or colleague who was not motivated to help you? Did someone resist your idea or disagree with your plan?

  • Action: Show the steps you took to persuade this person to make a major change in his or her attitude, beliefs, or actions. How did you persuade or motivate someone to support your idea and/or help you implement it? What was the turning point? What decisions did you make that help you overcome challenges and achieve results? What action steps helped change someone's mind? How did you change their 'no' into a 'yes'? Did you use data? Were you simply persistent? Did you involve others who could influence seniors? Did you involve someone influential from outside your team to support your idea?

  • Result: What outcome did you achieve? Can you quantify your results? Can you qualify your impact? Most importantly, how did this situation help you grow as a leader? Did you develop curiosity? Did you gain insight? Did you increase your engagement with key stakeholders? Did you improve your resilience to recover from setbacks? 

 

 


 

ESSAY 2 OF 2

Question Two

Kellogg Essay Question 2: Pursuing an MBA is a catalyst for personal and professional growth. How have you grown in the past? How do you intend to grow at Kellogg? (450 words or less)

 

Questions behind the Questions

Kellogg Essay Question 2: Pursuing an MBA is a catalyst for personal and professional growth. How have you grown in the past? How do you intend to grow at Kellogg? (450 words or less)

How to answer #KelloggMBA essay questions — Part 2

First of all, let's hear from Beth Tidmarsh, director of admissions for Kellogg’s Full-Time program.

Beth writes,

"This has to be one of the most straightforward questions you are going to see. It gives you a lot of latitude to talk about a subject you know well – yourself!

You are a bright, successful person, and that’s part of the reason you want to attend business school. You aren’t going to invest all the time, energy, and frankly money it takes to get through B-school to stay the same.

You want to change.

You want to grow.

You want to be brighter and more successful. Let’s hear about it.

First part, take some time to look back over your life – what do you think brought you to this point? What stretched you and made you who you are today? What might your unique background contribute to your Kellogg classmates?

Then let’s hear about your future. Why do you want to come to Kellogg? What gets you excited? Do you think you’ll be involved? How will you juggle the demands of preparing for class, making friends, taking risks, joining clubs, being social, oh – and finding a new job? Each applicant probably thinks about the importance of those categories differently. Help us understand your motivations for applying.

Just don’t get carried away telling us about Kellogg – tell us about YOU. We know Kellogg. What you have is an opportunity to convey more about you.

And that’s it. A portion reflecting back, some time explaining why you are interested in Kellogg and you’re done.

Isn’t this just the age old “Why Kellogg?” in a different form? Sort of, but with the added lens of how you hope to grow and develop while you’re here. So get writing! Take a step back, focus on the big themes and talk about your journey."

(found at https://kelloggmbastudents.wordpress.com/2015/07/16/how-to-answer-kelloggs-essay-questions-part-2; accessed 2015/07)

Second, let's read an edited version of the some great tips posted by Kellogg MBA Scott Shrum, with whom I serve on the AIGAC Board.

Scott writes,

"Assuming you have a good leadership growth story covered in Essay #1, then look for stories that will complement that nicely. How have you matured since graduating from college? What was a weakness you’ve overcome? What strengths have you developed with the help of senior colleagues and mentors?

Your story absolutely can come from your personal life — indeed, those often make for the most moving stories in essays like this one — but the more recent, the better. You’re still young and you are still evolving, so a story from fifteen years ago will likely be less compelling for admissions officers than one that happened in the past few years. (Of course, there are always exceptions to every rule!)

Your reasons for wanting to attend Kellogg may have very little to do with the compelling growth story you identified for the first part of this prompt, which is why we don’t necessarily love this new question from Kellogg.

When showing how you intend to grow at Kellogg, you should probably also cover why you need an MBA, and why Kellogg best prepares you achieve your post-MBA career goals.

Can you make a convincing case that Kellogg is right for you?"

(modified from text found at http://www.veritasprep.com/blog/2015/07/kellogg-admissions-essays-and-deadlines-for-2015-2016; accessed 2015/07)

 


 

 

RE-APPLICANT ESSAY

THE QUESTION

Re-applicants: Since your previous application, what steps have you taken to strengthen your candidacy? (250 word limit)

QUESTIONS BEHIND THE QUESTION

Three steps to successful MBA reapplication ▸ https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLNeJs5Tvx34iNQjyLpCQm0V7GSi9sywYE

 


 

- Updated by Vince on 10 Sep 2015

 

 


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