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Kellogg MBA Essay Questions – Analysis and Tips

For the 2019 – 2020  MBA application season, the Kellogg MBA Essay questions focus on two attributes – Leadership and Values.  The applicants are required to submit two written essays and one optional essay. Apart from the written essay, Kellogg also requires three short video essays that are designed to get to know the applicant better in an interactive way.

 

Kellogg's-essay-tips-analysis

In this article, we will analyze and provide tip’s towards approaching Kellogg MBA Essay questions for MBA admissions 2020. Here are the topics that we cover in this article:

Expectations of the Admission Committee

What-to-expect-from-Kellogg-adcomsThe first step towards approaching Kellogg MBA Essay questions is to understand the expectations of the admission committee and create an essay that satisfies their expectations.

According to Kate Smith, Assistant Dean of Admissions at Kellogg School of Management, “Kellogg values applicants that are engaging and motivated towards driving an impact.” She further pointed out a list of attributes that Kellogg Admission committee evaluates:

    • Applicants who can motivate people and work in a team. They should be leaders who create impact
    • Applicants who are not afraid of questioning the status quo and provide non-obvious solutions to a problem
    • An applicant who can approach the business problem through their intellect, energy, and creativity
    • Applicants who are seeking diversity and the benefits of diverse perspectives

Kellogg’s community talks about “high impact, low ego leadership where the Kellogg students seize the opportunity and seek to elevate everyone within a problem or a project.”

The admissions committee values all these attributes, and the same need to be reflected while approaching the Kellogg essay questions.

In the following section, we will analyze the Kellogg’s essay questions and provide our tips to create a stand out essay.

Read more about the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management MBA Program  Class Profile | Employment Reports | Notable Alumni

Basic Guidelines of Kellogg MBA Essay Questions

Follow-the-guidelines

Kellogg Written Essay Questions

You can submit your written essay questions by uploading the document online, or you can type/copy-and-paste your document in the space provided.

You should make sure that you include the essay prompt in bold at the top of your response, and if you are uploading the document, then you are required to use 12-point Times New Roman font, with 1.5 line spacing and 1-inch margins.

Below is a snapshot of the Kellogg MBA essay application page:

Kellogg-essay-questions-application

Kellogg Video Essay Questions

After submitting your online application and payment, a video essay link will appear on your application status page. The video essays need to be submitted 48 hours after the application deadline. Candidates are required to have an internet-connected computer with a webcam, a microphone, and an updated version of adobe flash.

The Kellogg MBA video essays take 20 -25 minutes to complete, which includes your set up time.

Kellogg  MBA Essay Questions 2020

This year Kellogg has kept its first essay question the same but has updated the second one, which now focuses on the applicant’s guiding principles rather than their past and future growth. The essay questions for 2020 Kellogg MBA application are:

Northwestern Kellogg MBA Essay Questions

Kellogg MBA Essay Question 1 Kellogg’s purpose is to educate, equip, and inspire brave leaders who create lasting value. Explain with a recent example where you have created value and demonstrated leadership. What challenges did you face, and what did you learn? 450 words
Kellogg MBA Essay Question 2 Values are what guide you in your work and life. What are the values that are important to you, and how those values have influenced you? 450 words
Kellogg Re-applicant Essay Since your previous application, what steps have you taken to strengthen your candidacy? 250 words

 

Kellogg MBA Essay Question 1: Analysis and Tips

Kellogg’s purpose is to educate, equip, and 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)

Kellogg-essay-questions-1

 

There are two parts to this question. The first part of the essay is straight forward where the applicants need to highlight a leadership experience, which leads to a significant impact and created value.

Kellogg is trying to know your capabilities to lead and participate in collective experience during school and beyond.

You should note two key words pointed out by Kellogg’s, i.e., “brave leaders” and “recent example.”  A recent example will help in illustrating your current capabilities and values. In contrast, the leadership example that you choose should demonstrate an instance where you stepped out of your comfort zone and led people towards a goal.

According to mbaMission Insider’s Guide for Kellogg School of Management, the key to approaching this essay is to show that you have shared a valuable experience with your colleagues, attained the desired outcome, and extracted the most from your team members. It’s possible that the leadership example you choose doesn’t have a successful ending, but what Kellogg is looking for is the evidence of “value.”

Another thing to note is that Kellogg has not specified whether the leadership example must be from your workplace or personal life. Thus, you can choose examples from your personal or professional experiences — for instance, your leadership role while doing community service or leadership role in a family life setting.

The second part of this essay question wants you to highlight the challenges and learnings that you gained out of the leadership experiences. One of the common mistakes that applicants make in this type of essay is that they start with presenting a strong narrative in which they highlight their leadership skills, and then near the end, make a brief reference to the learnings and challenges they faced.

To have an outstanding essay, you need to provide an example that not only incorporates your leadership experience but also includes your learnings and challenges from that experience. Kellogg wants to learn this information as it will demonstrate how you will translate your learnings at Kellogg during your MBA and beyond.

Thus, including a conclusion sentence that relates to how you will apply your learnings at Kellogg can be a good strategy.

Kellogg MBA Essay Question 2: Analysis and Tips

Kellogg Essay Question 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)

Kellogg-essay-questions-2

 

According to Kate Smith, values and motivations are among the attributes that the Kellogg admission committee evaluates in an applicant. Under this essay, Kellogg wants to know your values that influence your decisions and actions. Please note that Kellogg is not only asking you to highlight your values but also asking for examples for the same.

Through this question, Kellogg wants to have an idea of how you tend to incorporate your core beliefs into your life, which will, in turn, provide them an idea about how you might fit into Kellogg’s classroom and the business world after graduating. For example, you can state that you value efficiency and then move towards explaining how you have incorporated it in your work/life.

Applicants need to note that they can either provide one core value that influenced 2 to 3 instances or a different set of values that influenced instances from your work/life.

According to Poonam Tandon, from my essay review, the applicant needs to do a significant amount of self-reflection to understand the values and beliefs that are truly important to them. Thus, merely discussing values that you think will impress the Kellogg admissions committee will not work under this type of essay. Make sure you provide examples regarding the values you incorporate.

Kate Smith’s advice towards approaching this essay question is quite direct. She states that the goal of the admissions committee is to uncover what motivates and inspires you. What is it that drives you and makes you who you are?

In addition to these questions, Kellogg is looking at how your values will make you a meaningful member of the Kellogg community.

There are no set values that Kellogg excepts an applicant to demonstrate. Thus, the applicants need to focus on being authentic and sincere while writing the essay.

 

Optional and Re-applicant Essay Question: Analysis and Tips

Apart from the above two essay questions, all applicants have an additional space where they have an opportunity to provide explanations or clarification towards any information that requires special attention to the admissions committee.

It is advisable to use this section if you think the person reviewing your application might have a few questions regarding your responses in the application. For example, unexplained gaps in work or education, low GMAT score, or any circumstances that the Kellogg admission committee should know while reviewing your application.

Learn What is a good GMAT score for Kellogg School of Management?

Kellogg’s optional essay does not have any word limit, but don’t get tempted by it. This essay is not for you to retell your experiences or sum up your application.

Make sure that you address any shortfalls in your application and specify what steps have you taken towards rectifying the same.

 

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

In addition to the above essay questions, re-applicants must write one more essay question. Under this essay, re-Applicants need to specify any developments that they have made in their application to Kellogg as compared to the previous time. Kellogg is looking for you to answer the following questions:

    • Whether you have improved your academic record
    • Have you received any promotion?
    • Have you worked on a new project?
    • Have you increased your community involvement?
    • Or taken up additional courses

Under this essay, you need to show Kellogg that you have been actively striving to improve yourself and your profile and how Kellogg MBA plays an essential role in your future goals and aspiration.

 

Kellogg Video Essay 2020

After submitting your online application and paying the application fee, Kellogg will send you a video essay link that will appear on your application status page. The video applications are due 48 hours after the application deadline.

The video essay provides an additional opportunity for the applicant to convey how they will contribute towards the Kellogg community and helps the admission committee in interactively knowing a person and not just on paper. The questions are designed to help the applicant showcase their personality and share the experiences that brought them to pursue the Kellogg MBA program.

This year the first video essay question is new and requires the applicant to introduce themselves to the Kellogg admission committee. The second and third video essay remains the same as the previous year. The video essay questions for 2020 Kellogg admissions are:

    • Kellogg MBA Video Essay 1 – Introduce yourself to the admissions committee
    • Kellogg MBA Video Essay 2 – What path are you interested in pursuing, how will you get there, and why is this program right for you?
    • Kellogg MBA Video Essay 3 – Each of you will receive a randomly selected prompt, all of which have the same objective. You need to show how you handled a challenging situation in your career or personal life.

Kellogg MBA Video Essay 1: Analysis and Tips

Kellogg Video Essay 1 – Introduce yourself to the admissions committee

Kellogg-video-essay-1

Kellogg’s video essay 1  is an icebreaker video essay, where Kellogg wants the applicant to share information regarding who they are and want they want their future Kellogg classmates or admissions committee to know about them. Here Kellogg wants to know what makes you, you?

For example, as stated by Poonam Tandon, you can discuss your cultural background, personal or professional goals, hobbies, motivation, and issues that interest you. The primary motive of this question is to know who you are.

Kellogg MBA Video Essay 2: Analysis and Tips

Kellogg Video Essay 2 – What path are you interested in pursuing, how will you get there, and why is this program right for you?

Kellogg-video-essay-2

 

To answer this question, you need to understand why you are choosing the Kellogg MBA program. Kellogg wants you to briefly discuss your professional goals and how the Kellogg’s MBA fits in the puzzle. You should have comprehensive knowledge about the program and the resources that Kellogg provides to achieve your goals.

This video essay is a great place to discuss your post-MBA goals and why you are applying to the Kellogg MBA program. Keep in mind to showcase your goals and align them with the offerings and resources at Kellogg.

 

Kellogg MBA Video Essay 3: Analysis and Tips

Kellogg Video Essay 3 – Each of you will receive a randomly selected prompt, all of which have the same objective. You need to show how you handled a challenging situation in your career or personal life and learning from those challenges.  

Kelloggs-video-essay-3

 

Kellogg video essay 3 is typically an interview-style question generated randomly, but the theme of the essay will revolve around challenges that you have faced. For example, Kellogg might ask you to tell about a time you failed to achieve a goal that you had set for yourself or about the time when you overcame an obstacle in the workplace.

Keep in mind that there are two parts to this video essay where you not only need to talk about your challenges but also need to highlight the learning from those experiences.

To help you get comfortable with the video format and technology, Kellogg offers a set of practice questions that you can complete as many times as you like. Thus, it is advisable to practice as many times as you can.

GMAT is the stepping stone if you want to pursue your MBA from Kellogg School of Management. Start your GMAT Preparation online by registering for our free trial today.

 

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