Kellogg 2014 Application Essays Examples

 

Good luck to all the Round 2 applicants to Kellogg! Deadline is 2 months,0 weeks,4 days,0 hours ago and our Kellogg essay guide can help!

 

Hooboy. The Kellogg Class of 2019 profile is… daunting. Can you say “EVEN HIGHER GMAT”?! The Class of 2019 profile for Kellogg is out and average GMAT NOPE, BOYS AND GIRLS, IT’S 732 NOW. Please don’t hit your head on the ceiling, you crazy GMAT test takers. Sheesh.

 
 


 
These essays are HARD!!

Our Kellogg MBA essay guide for 2017 will help you out.


 

 
 

2017 Kellogg Full-Time MBA Essay Questions – Class of 2020

The essay questions for Northwestern Kellogg are only slightly changed from last year:

  1. Kellogg’s purpose is to educate, equip & inspire brave leaders who create lasting value. Tell us about a time you have demonstrated leadership and created lasting value. 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)

The second question is the same as the past few years, but they’ve tweaked the wording on the first one to a) incorporate their purpose thing and b) introduce this “lasting value” angle in what they’re asking you. Eeek! That’s gonna be tough!!!!! And, if previous Brave Supplicants’ experiences are any guide, you’re going to have some trouble with essay 2 question 2 especially. The wording is not as straightforward as it could be and it’s not so easy to do a good job with this.

Here’s a classic mistake that many make in writing for these types of questions. We also talked about the Kellogg essays in this post on inside-out and outside-in stories and another on professional stories and showing “growth” for Kellogg MBA Essay 2. The Kellogg adcom suggests that you think about the essays combined, as a set, and look at the balance of content you’re presenting across both of them. They also encouraged you to use more recent examples.

You’ll note that there is no explicit career goals essay, though you will be answering questions about goals in the application. It’s often relevant to discuss goals in essay 2 question 2, but not always. It’ll need to be handled carefully if you do.

They’re also keeping the three video questions (they were one of the pioneers for this format back in 2012). You’ll complete these after you submit the written application.

On the video essay, don’t read from notes when you give your answers! They want you to be yourself. You should not be overpreparing. It’s fine to take notes when you get the question but you should not have a scripted answer prepared in advance.

The earlier you submit your application (before the deadline) then the more choices you’re going to have with the interview request.

Our Kellogg essay guide has been updated for 2017 – no excuses, you can get started now!

 

Kellogg MBA recommendations 2017

In 2017, Kellogg is again deviating from the standardized recommender questions and in entirely new and different ways. Gah!

This can be enough to throw a wrench into the works for a recommender. 🙁

For Kellogg especially, our Recommenders’ Instruction Sets is likely to be of real help to your recommenders.
 

The Kellogg Application Guide is ready to roll to support you in this application!
 

Kellogg Class of 2020 Full-time MBA Dates & Deadlines

Kellogg F/T MBA Application Deadlines – if you’re requesting an off-campus interview then you should do your best to submit your application as early as possible (in 2013 they recommended submitting almost a MONTH before the Rd 1 deadline – they don’t have such explicit recommendations these days but they do say they can more easily accommodate your requested interview option if you submit early). If you can’t pull that off, don’t panic.

  • Round 1: – no change from last year. Kellogg does not do a midcycle “release” since they manage interviews differently than other schools.
  • Round 2: January 10, 2018 – YAY!!! THEY MOVED OUT THEIR ROUND 2 DATE!!! One of the few adcoms that is actually being applicant-friendly on this Round 2 deadline!

EssaySnark does not list Round 3 dates because you really shouldn’t bother, it will just be a waste of your time and money and it will set you up for greater challenges as a reapplicant in the Fall.

 

Kellogg Links & Application Info

Kellogg Info Courtesy of EssaySnark

Pro Tip: We give PRO TIPS!! They’re in SnarkCenter! If you’re signed up for stuff here on essaysnark.com you can set your School Targets in My SnarkCenter and see our breaking-news and don’t-do-this advice for all BSers, along with a link to the full ‘Snarchive on Kellogg-specific posts going back to the beginning of snarkville.

 

EssaySnark Reviews

We’ve done a lot with the Kellogg essays! And there’s a lot of former BSers in Evanston. Here’s where we ripped some of those previous essays to shreds:

And really old:


 

For Reference: Kellogg’s Past-Season Questions

Click to view 2016 questions
The current essay questions for Northwestern Kellogg are:
  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)

Those happen to be the same as they asked in 2015. And, if last year’s Brave Supplicants’ experiences are any guide, you’re going to have some trouble with essay 2 question 2 especially. The wording is not as straightforward as it could be.

However, essay 2 question 1 is also proving sticky for many BSers. We covered a classic mistake in writing for these types of questions on the blahg in September. We also talked about the Kellogg essays in this post on inside-out and outside-in stories in December, and here it is right before the deadline and we’re doing another post on professional stories and showing “growth” for the Kellogg MBA Essay 2.

Also you’ll note that there is no explicit career goals essay, though you will be answering questions about goals in the application. It’s often relevant to discuss goals in essay 2 question 2, but it’ll need to be handled carefully.

For essay 1, this previous post on “lessons learned” in essays might be useful.

They’re also keeping the video questions (they were one of the pioneers for this format) and even expanding them from two to three. You’ll complete these after you submit the written application.

In a webinar in August 2016, Kellogg adcom was very candid in offering some advice from last year’s applicants since the essay questions were the same. They suggested that you think about the essays combined, as a set, and look at the balance of content you’re presenting across both of them. They also encouraged you to use more recent examples.

And finally:

Can you say “high GMAT score”? The Class of 2018 profile for Kellogg is out and average GMAT is now 728!!!!! They’ve also got 20 fewer students in the class, which is the opposite direction we’d expect to see in an increasing-apps environment. Last season was indeed crazy competitive. Let’s hope this year’s not quite so bad!!!

A few other trends:

  • Fewer women: 41% which translates to 194 female students, compared to 211 in the Class of 2017
  • Fewer internationals: 35% (166 students) compared to 40% (197) last year
  • More work experience: 80% range of 3.5 to 7 years of experience, compared to 3 to 7 years in the class of 2017

We doubt that they explicitly designed these shifts into the class makeup so it’s not like these are trends that will continue for the upcoming admissions season – but they’re definitely marked changes from the year before.

[end discussion of last year’s questions.]


Click to view 2015 questions

The Class of 2017 profile for Kellogg is a little intimidating!! Average GMAT up to 724?!?
The Kellogg essay questions are reasonably straightforward but the second question is tricky, and they do have those video questions which makes some people nervous. The Kellogg application process is also different, since you need to request your own interview – plus there’s some important wrinkles and potential gotchas in the app itself. Our Kellogg MBA Application Guide walks you through everything.

Here are the 2015 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)
  3. 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.

You can see their FAQ on the Video Essay in their application instructions .

Their online app also asks for a lot of stuff, as every school’s does – including, in this case, some questions on your career goals.

There’s also a reapplicant essay (up to 250 words) and another essay if you’re applying to MMM or other dual-degree program, plus an optional Additional Information section with no word limit (only use that if necessary to explain something you’re not covering elsewhere).

Just like the 2014 season, Kellogg is continuing the trend of being kind to Brave Supplicants. Clear language, easy-to-understand questions, and a real opportunity to share something important, with both essays.

For 2015-’16, Kellogg took the extra step of publishing some specifically useful and practical tips for your essays – advice which we’ve covered for years in our Kellogg application guide (/end shameless self-promotion) and which also can apply to plenty of other schools.

[end discussion of last year’s questions.]


Click to view 2014 questions

Two written essays and two in-app video questions:
  1. Resilience. Perseverance. Grit. Call it what you will…. Challenges can build character. Describe a challenging experience you’ve had. How were you tested? What did you learn? (450 words)
  2. Leadership requires an ability to collaborate with and motivate others. Describe a professional experience that required you to influence people. What did this experience teach you about working with others, and how will it make you a better leader? (450 words)
  3. 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.

Wow. Kellogg. Nice essays.
[end discussion of 2014 questions.]


Click to view 2013 questions

2013 Essays – EssaySnark’s Analysis

Things were CON-FUS-ING at Kellogg that year. They completely changed their application process, AND they implemented a video essay at the same time – and none of these changes were managed well.
Here’s how the interview/application deadlines worked then:

  • Round 1
    • Off-campus interview request – recommended deadline was September 18 last year – the problem was, they announced this on like August 20th or something crazy! It created much panic in the minds of BSers everywhere
    • Final Rd 1 deadline was October 16 last year – they claim no disadvantage to submit on the deadline but they were pretty firm that you should apply early if you can
  • Round 2
    • Off-campus interview request – recommended deadline was December 3 last year
    • Final Rd 2 deadline was January 7 last year

Thankfully they fixed this problem for the 2014 season.

This is what we said when the 2013 essay questions came out… remember this analysis is not for the current season (but the Kellogg adcom does still care about these things, which is why we’re keeping this for your reference).

Here’s the Kellogg essay questions – they went shorter with one but not unreasonably so. Good job, Kellogg!

Three essays including a very straightforward career goals question:

  1. What’s the greatest obstacle you’ve overcome (personally or professionally)? How has overcoming this obstacle prepared you to achieve success now and in the future? (350 words)
  2. What have been your most significant leadership experiences? What challenges did you face, and what impact did you have? This is your opportunity to explain how you Think Bravely. (500 words)
  3. (This requires two separate answers; it’s not a single essay)
    • Part 1: What career/role are you looking to pursue and why? (250 word limit)
    • Part 2: Why are Kellogg and the MBA essential to achieving these career goals? (250 word limit) (Please answer Part 2 in terms of your program choice: One-Year, Two-Year, MMM, JD-MBA).
  4. There’s also a Video Essay – you’ll answer an impromptu question within the application itself using a webcam and your browser (we discuss it in the Kellogg essay guide and if you want help preparing, our Automated Interview Prep offers a very similar experience in a practice environment)

These questions were different, but they were still very Kellogg! Besides that video essay, Aw snap. They really didn’t. There were indeed two sets of dates per round again that year. And they only announced it A MONTH BEFORE THEY WANTED PEOPLE TO SUBMIT APPS. And they had only released the app on August 22nd!!! With apps due on September 18th? Totally uncool, Kellogg.

[end discussion of 2013 questions.]
[


Click to view 2012 questions

2012 questions – these are REALLY OLD
Three essays and a quick answer:
  1. Discuss moments or influences in your personal life that have defined who you are today.
  2. What have been your most significant leadership experiences? What challenges did you face, and what impact did you have? This is your opportunity to explain how you Think Bravely (personally and/or professionally).(You can definitely expect a question about leadership from Kellogg.)
  3. Imagine yourself at your Kellogg graduation. What career will you be preparing to enter, and how have the MBA and Kellogg helped you get there? (Please answer in terms of your program choice: One-Year, Two-Year, MMM, JD-MBA)
  4. What one interesting or fun fact would you want your future Kellogg classmates to know about you? (25 words or less)

[end discussion of 2012 questions.]


Success Story!

We always preserve anonymity for our successful clients, and sometimes they prefer us not even to divulge the name of the school they got admitted to when they write about their experiences… but sometimes they’ll tell where they’re going! This former Brave Supplicant got into Kellogg a few years back and offered a great story about the process. Here’s another from a 2015 military candidate.

Our SnarkStrategies Guide for Kellogg has been updated for 2017 questions and details.

 

[Index of essay questions by business school]

Video interviews are here to stay at Kellogg

Kellogg confirmed last summer that they would once again be asking MBA applicants to go through the video interview questions for the school’s MBA Class of 2017 application. The “video essays” were introduced last year by both Kellogg and Yale SOM (we also analyzed the Yale video essay at length as part of our Analyzing the Applications series). Video interviews help schools compare applicants more directly, as the admissions committee is not only able to watch every applicant’s video (as opposed to seeing just the handful that they interview) but they are also able to juxtapose applicants’ answers directly.

At the same time, the new video essay format induced a lot of anxiety among applicants. However, we do not think there is much cause to be anxious. If you are about to go through the video interview process, we suggest that you read our list of preparation tips in order to increase your odds of making a positive impression on the adcom.

Key changes this year: less time to prepare, only one attempt to make an impression

For starters, Kellogg allows applicants 20 seconds to collect their thoughts before the recording begins. Even though this is much less than last year (applicants had more than a full minute to prepare then), it is still ample time to think about. In addition, applicants are offered to practice as much as they with a list of 10 practice questions, which should give everyone a chance to become familiar with the the format and technology. According to the school, “the practice questions and experience will simulate the actual video essay experience, so this is meant to be a useful tool and help applicants feel prepared”.

Last year, applicants could sleep over their first recording and perform a new attempt in a separate session. The process therefore was quite forgiving, and was not meant to generate stress at all. Unfortunately, it seems that this will no longer be the case this year, so we recommend to practice extensively prior to answering the actual application question. Even worse, while last year applicants were given three attempts to record their answer, this year the school is stating that “there is not an opportunity to re-do the answer to the official video essay questions. We encourage applicants to practice so they are comfortable with the format once it is time to complete the official questions“. This is quite a significant change.

Kellogg video interview questions are mostly personal

The questions for Kellogg’s video interview should be personal in nature, so applicants don’t need to worry about solving a tough math problem or answering a business question. The admissions committee says this is so they can get to know the applicants better — a sign they’ll ask about your extracurricular activities, passions, and priorities. This is something you can anticipate and prepare for, brainstorming a handful of anecdotes about who you are, what you like to do, and the things that make you tick. Having these stories at the front of mind (you shouldn’t be using notes for the video question!) is important; our advice to “show, don’t tell” applies to video questions and interviews as much as it does to essays. We have gathered a few example questions that were asked to candidates who went through the video essay last year. As you can see below, these questions were pretty straight forward, and there weren’t any curve balls:

Sample Kellogg Video Essay Questions (actual questions reported by past applicants).

  1. Why are you applying to Kellogg? (every applicant should prepare for this question)
  2. What makes you a great fit for Kellogg?
  3. What is one thing you’ve always wanted to try? 
  4. What is one piece of technology you can’t live without? 
  5. What is the most interesting course you took as a student?
  6. If you could meet anyone (living or dead), who would it be and why?
  7. What is your most treasured possession and why?
  8. What inspires you?
  9. Why did you choose your college major?
  10. What invention during your lifetime has had the biggest impact on you and why?
  11. If you could teach a class on any subject, what would it be and why?
  12. What is one interesting thing about you that you would want you future Kellogg classmates to know?

We also want to credit UCLA MBA student Piyush Jain for posting this quite comprehensive list of questions on his blog (we have removed duplicates from this list):

  1. If you had an extra hour every day, what would you do with it?
  2. What word describes you best and why?
  3. Tell us about the first job you ever had?
  4. What’s the best book you have ever read and why?
  5. When you have a problem, whom do you approach for advice and why?
  6. What accomplishment are you really proud of?
  7. What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received?
  8. If you could witness any event..past present or future-what would it be?
  9. Tell us about an organization or activity in which you have dedicated significant time. Why was it meaningful to you?
  10. What have anyone done good for you and how did you felt about it?
  11. Tell us about the most interesting place you’ve traveled to. What did you enjoy most about it.
  12. What invention during your lifetime has had the biggest impact on you and why?
  13. If money was not a concern. what would you do?
  14. What is the most meaningful thing anyone has done for you in your life?
  15. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
  16. What food do you like? Will you be able to eat that food everyday?
  17. How have you changed in the last 5 years?
  18. Whom do you respect most, and why?
  19. What is your favorite motto or quote, and why
  20. What risk have you taken and what did you learn?
  21. What impact do you have on your co-workers?

In a supporting video (posted below) Kate Smith, Assistant Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at Kellogg, reiterated that the purpose of this video essay was for the adcom to “get to know you”, and insisted that there wee no right or wrong answers.

The easiest way to let this new video question hurt your application is therefore to allow it to become a bigger focus than it deserves to be. It is a small, supplemental piece of the puzzle, and it will rarely elevate a mediocre candidate from ding to admit. More often than not, you should only expect this video question to ding a few candidates that come across as remarkably obnoxious, self-absorbed, or disconnected from reality in another way.

So, to ace this part of the Kellogg interview, keep it in perspective. Be yourself, of course, prepare a handful a good stories, practice answering potential prompts a few times, and dress the way you would for an actual interview. 

Don’t forget to stay tuned to this space as we analyze Kellogg’s essay questions and the rest of the schools application!

Get ready: professional video essay preparation service is now available

Feeling that you are ready to apply to Kellogg and need help preparing for the video essay? MBA Admissions Advisors just launched a new service to specifically help Kellogg applicants prepare for their video essay. We’ll put you under similar conditions as the actual admissions video interview, and will provide you with personalized feedback and recommendations. Please contact us if you are interested in finding out more about this service.

Finally, why not try our MBA matching algorithm and get an assessment of your profile within a couple of minutes? Or feel free to reach out to us to request a free consultation. We’d love to help.

 

Tweet This entry was posted in Analyzing the Applications, Kellogg, Kellogg School of Management and tagged interview, Kellogg, Kellogg MBA, Northwestern, video interview on by Vincent Ho-Tin-Noe.

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