Tag Archives: Kellogg School of Management

Tuesday Tips: Northwestern Kellogg MBA Essay Tips

Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management is a close-knit community that values leadership and teamwork. At the same time, diversity in experience, background and thought is important to the Kellogg admissions committee. Do your research …

Kellogg MBA essay tipsNorthwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management is a close-knit community that values leadership and teamwork. At the same time, diversity in experience, background and thought is important to the Kellogg admissions committee.

Do your research on the programs, activities, clubs, classes and professors at Kellogg as you approach your essays. While you are reading and conversing with students and alumni, envision how you will contribute to the community.

Kellogg has two mandatory video essays as part of the application process. After you submit your essays you will receive the questions, one of which will focus on Why Kellogg and another will be a general “getting to know you” question. The video essay is an opportunity for the admissions committee to see the person behind the accomplishments you will describe.

Prepare as if you would for an interview, drafting the topics you want to cover and practicing your presentation. The video should accurately portray your personality and demeanor, and extensive preparation will help you be comfortable and be yourself.

Video essays can be daunting, and Stacy Blackman Consulting has developed customized preparation to help you practice for this important component of the application and provide our expert feedback. Contact us to learn more about how we can prepare you for the entire Kellogg application.

Essay 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)

This essay focuses on leadership and teamwork using a behavioral essay framework. By seeing the details about exactly what you did and said in your leadership story, Kellogg admissions will understand how you are likely to perform in the future. When approaching this essay spend some time on set up to explain the background, and then use the majority of the space describing specifically what you did, thought, felt and how you behaved.

As the question specifically asks about challenges, it will be useful to show how you have overcome difficulty as a leader or learned from a tough situation. Don’t be nervous about showing weakness here. Every leader has to learn and develop, and willingness to be open to feedback and improve will be an asset to your profile.

Do not neglect mentioning teamwork, which is a core value of Kellogg’s culture. Your leadership experience is likely part of a team at work or in an extracurricular activity, and sensitivity to teamwork and collaboration in any leadership story demonstrates maturity and people skills.

Essay 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)

This essay question is a hybrid of a classic career goals essay and a personal essay. Kellogg is interested in candidates who are able to integrate their personal and professional goals and show how a Kellogg MBA will serve both sides of life.

When you describe professional and personal growth in the past, make sure it is relevant to your plans to pursue an MBA at Kellogg. The story you tell in this essay should provide insight into your decision to pursue an MBA and allude to your future goals. Because this isn’t a question about your entire career thus far you can choose just one or two main experiences to share.

The topic of this essay should also be an experience that did show growth over time. Something like starting in an entry level position at work and progressing into a management role comes to mind easily, but also consider something like developing leadership skills over time and personal investment in your career. You could also focus on a passion outside of work that has developed over time and led to personal growth.

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)

Doing your research on Kellogg MBA’s academics and resources will help you answer the question about why you need a dual degree to achieve your goals. If you are applying to the MMM program, you’ll have to show how the degree will prepare you more effectively for your career goals than the MBA alone.

Be able to articulate what is different about the Kellogg MMM program as compared to the MBA and other joint degrees. Know the classes you want to take, the professors you hope to work for, and how the MMM experience will be an asset in your future career.

Similarly, the JD-MBA at Kellogg is a highly competitive admissions process and will require a very clear explanation of what you will do with both degrees after school. Consider the unique attributes of the Kellogg JD-MBA program as compared to others, and also why you specifically need both a JD and an MBA.

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

In answering this question make sure you provide tangible evidence that you have improved the overall package you are submitting this year. Improvements like GMAT score or new quantitative classes are especially tangible, but a promotion, increase in responsibility at work, a job change or even a change of goals and mission can apply.

Additional Information (Optional)
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)

If there are any areas of concern, this is the correct place to address them. Strike an upbeat tone here and avoid excuses. Explain your issue clearly and focus most of the essay on the correction for the issue. For example, if you had a disciplinary issue in college, spend most of the essay demonstrating that you learned from the experience and have been an ideal citizen ever since.

Low GPA issues should be explained here, and if there is a grade of C or below on your transcript the admissions committee will want to know why and feel comfortable it is an outlier in your overall academic record. For academic questions make sure you emphasize your improved performance either later in your college career or in subsequent work or classes since college.

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Kellogg School Posts Fall 2016 Deadlines, Essay Questions

The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University has announced the application deadlines and essay topics for the 2015-2016 admissions season. Deadlines Round 1 Application due: September 22, 2015 Decision released: December 16, 2015 Round …

Kellogg deadlines and essaysThe Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University has announced the application deadlines and essay topics for the 2015-2016 admissions season.

Deadlines

Round 1

Application due: September 22, 2015
Decision released: December 16, 2015

Round 2

Application due: January 6, 2016
Decision released: March 23, 2016

Round 3

Application due: April 6, 2016
Decision released: May 11, 2016

Applications are due no later than 5 p.m. CT on the application deadline date. All applicants are considered equally; however, the earlier you apply, the greater chance of accommodating your interview preference. If you’re an international applicant, Kellogg encourages you to apply in Round 1 or 2 to allow time for your visa application.

MBA Essay Questions

  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)
  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)

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 in Additional 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)

After submitting a completed application, each applicant will be asked to complete two Video Essay Questions. One will be about the candidate’s interest in Kellogg and the other will be a “getting to know you” type of question.

Please look over the instructions on the Kellogg MBA admissions website for detailed information on how to practice for this format.

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Advice for Incoming MBA Students

If you’re headed to business school in the fall, your brain is probably near melting with an information overload right about now. We’re going to add just one thing more to your overflowing plate, though …

always learningIf you’re headed to business school in the fall, your brain is probably near melting with an information overload right about now. We’re going to add just one thing more to your overflowing plate, though you’ll probably find this next bit quite useful.

The admissions blog at Kellogg School of Management has a regular columnist this year in first-year student Rohan Rajiv, who blogs once a week about important lessons he is learning at Kellogg. His most recent entry, written as a letter to an incoming MBA student, covers all the basics of what to expect at business school, but then he takes a deep dive into how to “frame” the MBA experience.

The post covers three principles:

  • the MBA is a two-year course in decision making and tradeoffs;
  • the experience is entirely what you make of it;
  • foolishness is believing your value multiplied by 10 just because you spent two years running around a university campus.

“The MBA journey is the first step to the next phase of your life journey,” Rajiv writes. “The lessons from this post aren’t just about doing well in graduate school. I think the principles apply for life after school.”

Fair warning, his post is long. But it does provide ample food for thought and may serve as an important reality check for the newest members of the MBA Class of 2017.

You may also be interested in:

Checklist for Admitted MBA Students

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Study Abroad: Key to Competing in the International Economy

How important are travel and education experiences abroad to achieving success in the global economy? That’s almost a trick question, since the answer is a resounding v-e-r-y. The ability to work well internationally with people …

How important are travel and education experiences abroad to achieving success in the global economy? That’s almost a trick question, since the answer is a resounding v-e-r-y. The ability to work well internationally with people and cultures other than your own has never been more critical than it is today, and one of the best stepping stones to cross-cultural competence is studying abroad.

study abroad

CC 2.0 By Fedecomite

Wharton Magazine has published a fascinating article highlighting the recent White House Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship. During that event, First Lady Michelle Obama said studying abroad is “quickly becoming the key to success in our global economy. Getting ahead in today’s workplace isn’t [just] about getting good grades … but about having real experience with the world beyond your borders. Study abroad is about shaping the future of your country and of the world we all share.”

Several travel bloggers and digital media influencers were invited to the event. One such guest, the publisher of WanderingEducators.com Jessie Voigts, says, “Study abroad and gaining international experience are critical to citizens of the world today. In order to compete in the international economy, we need to have an educated, well-traveled, resilient population.”

We’ve covered the subject of studying abroad in the past, and of particular interest were the research findings of Kellogg School of Management Professor Adam Galinsky, who suggested that living abroad boosts creativity.  Together with the study’s lead author William Maddux, an assistant professor of organizational behavior at INSEAD, they conducted five studies to test the idea that living abroad and creativity are linked.

The results showed that the longer students had spent living abroad, the more likely they were to come up with more creative solutions to problems. “Knowing that experiences abroad are critical for creative output makes study abroad programs and job assignments in other countries that much more important, especially for people and companies that put a premium on creativity and innovation to stay competitive,” Maddux wrote. 

Take a look at Lisa Ellen Niver‘s piece, “Make Study Abroad an Education Imperative,” for further thoughts on how international education experiences will help Americans keep pace with other countries in global marketplace.

You may also be interested in:

Living Abroad Boosts Creativity, Say INSEAD & Kellogg Profs

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Wharton’s Social Impact Initiative Welcomes New Senior Fellow

Jonathan Greenblatt, founder of Ethos Water and currently Special Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation, will serve as a Senior Fellow at University of …

Jonathan Greenblatt, founder of Ethos Water and currently Special Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation, will serve as a Senior Fellow at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School starting in January, the school announced late last week. 

A serial social entrepreneur, Greenblatt is considered one of the leading experts in the country on social innovation and shared value. Ethos Water, the premium bottled water that helps children around the world get clean water, was  acquired by Starbucks Coffee in 2005.

While working with the Wharton Social Impact Initiative, Greenblatt is expected to lecture on a number of topics for the remainder of the 2014-2015 academic year, including impact investing, shared value, social entrepreneurship, cross-sector leadership, and nonprofit management and strategy.

Last month, Greenblatt was named as the new national director of the Anti-Defamation League, where his service will begin in July 2015.

“We are delighted to welcome Jonathan to Wharton,” says Geoffrey Garrett, Dean of the Wharton School.  “He brings a unique perspective on innovation and leadership, enriched by a rare combination of experiences at the highest level of government, business and the nonprofit world.  We are excited to have him on campus to work with our students and faculty.”

Jonathon was a classmate and friend of mine at Kellogg School of Management, so I’d also like to extend my personal congratulations to him for this latest recognition his important work has received.

 

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How Does Kellogg Assess MBA Applicants?

MBA hopefuls are always looking for clues as to how the admissions process works. With that in mind, Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management has attempted to demystify the applicant assessment process with a series …

MBA hopefuls are always looking for clues as to how the admissions process works. With that in mind, Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management has attempted to demystify the applicant assessment process with a series of blog posts this week.

Beth Tidmarsh, director of admissions for full-time MBA programs at Kellogg, addresses three key areas in this series: intellectual ability, work experience, and professional goals. While this information is tailored for a specific group of applicants, we believe the guidance holds true no matter where you’re applying.

Kellogg is looking for candidates who have demonstrated academic excellence. While your GMAT or GRE scores are key indicators that you can handle the work, the admissions team also wants to see what you’ve done to broaden your knowledge base and challenge yourself academically.

“If your scores or grades seem a little lopsided, we dig deeper into your application to look for evidence that you’ve taken steps to develop those skills,” says Tidmarsh. “That tells us if you’ve taken charge of balancing out your skill set.”

When in doubt, err on the side of explaining any dips or gaps in your academic record. You never want the admissions team speculating about your past performance.

Tidmarsh’s comments about work experience are particularly enlightening, and perhaps reassuring as well for some candidates. The director explains that applicants are analyzed within the context of their own career paths—not compared against each other.

Use your application to show how your work experience is noteworthy. If you’ve taken on more responsibilities, been promoted more quickly, and generally progressed faster than others at your same level, this is the kind of information the admissions officers want to hear, says Tidmarsh.

We really like her tip to help applicants avoid the trap of using too much industry-specific jargon.

“Think about how you would explain your job to a 10-year-old or your grandmother…This is a great place to show us how you can communicate ideas across fields and disciplines.”

Because the admissions team already has a copy of your resume, use the opportunities within the application to further explain your responsibilities and provide rich detail about your career to date. Don’t just copy your resume into the input fields, Tidmarsh admonishes.

Finally, it’s important to have a pretty clear picture of your career goals and how a Kellogg MBA will help you reach them. That’s not to say you can’t change your mind once you’re on campus. Students often explore new paths while in business school, and may decide to pursue a new direction after experiencing all that an MBA program has to offer.

“Our Admissions officers are checking to make sure you’ve got a plan in mind. We understand the plan may change over time, but do think about what areas and opportunities you would focus on if you were starting our program today,” Tidmarsh advises.

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