In September 2014, Kellogg “rebranded” itself and moved away from the more obscure “Think Bravely,” which was difficult to wrap your mind around. It’s returning to its traditional core values or at least to a more concrete mission: “Inspiring growth.” The video below explores and clarifies this mission as well as the values Kellogg holds dear. I highly recommend that you watch it to grasp understand Kellogg’s fundamental principles.
A couple of key takeways from the video: Kellogg seeks individuals who:
- Have a growth mindset (for details, please see Caroline Dweck’s Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, one of my favorite books).
- Work well in a collaborative environment while striving to grow individually and at the same time inspiring growth in individuals, organizations, and markets.
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)
A perfect prompt for an essay showing that you take responsibility for you actions — even in challenging situations — and that you courageously face those challenges, deal with them, and grow from them.
The question asks you to describe one experience that you found challenging. I suggest you open with either a difficult moment or interaction, then describe what led up to it and continue with how you dealt with it. Reveal results both in terms of the situation and more importantly in terms of your personal character growth.
For more thoughts on resilience, please see Resilience: Moving On.
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)
This question reflects Kellogg’s emphasis on collaborative leadership. As in question 1, Kellogg is asking you to describe one experience. This time the school seeks a professional one where you influenced others. You can use a STAR framework for this response (Situation, Task, Action, Results). Start with the situation and simply describe what was going on. Then relate your group’s task and responsibility. How did you motivate the others to move in one direction? How did you influence and persuade? Finally what were the results for the group, but more importantly for you? What did you learn about leadership, collaboration, and influence?
While it isn’t a requirement and I can imagine instances where this may not be true, in general examples where you led by virtue of your stature and others’ respect for you will be more compelling than those where you led by virtue of station and title.
Re-Applicants Only: Since your previous application, what steps have you taken to strengthen your candidacy? (250 word limit)
No trick questions here. How are you a better candidate today than when Kellogg rejected you? Have you addressed weaknesses in your previous application? Check out MBA Reapplicant 101 — a lot of (free) resources.
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)
This is a true optional question If necessary, use it to provide context for possible negatives. Take responsibility for mistakes if necessary and discuss what you have changed so that you don’t err in the same way again.
Keep this section short and to-the-point. Don’t be fooled by “No word count.”
The Video Essays provide applicants with an additional opportunity to demonstrate what they will bring to our vibrant Kellogg community – in an interactive way. Each applicant will complete two short video essay questions. The questions are designed to bring to life the person we have learned about on paper.
• 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.
• There are 10 practice questions which candidates can complete as many times as they 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 and help applicants feel prepared.
• 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.
• Candidates will have 20 seconds to think about their question and up to 1 minute to give their response.
• We estimate the Video Essays will take 30 minutes to complete – which includes time for set-up and answering all the practice questions.
To prepare for your webcam session, you need to practice for the experience of talking to a video camera with no responses from another human being. For tips on how to prepare and behave during the webcam session, please see Kellogg’s “Video Essay” on its Application Components page as well as my Tips for Video MBA Essay Questions.
If you would like professional guidance with your Kellogg MBA application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our MBA Application Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the Kellogg application.
|Round .||Due Date* .||Decisions Released|
|Round 1||September 24, 2014||December 17, 2014|
|Round 2||January 7, 2015||March 25, 2015|
|Round 3||April 1, 2015||May 13, 2015|
*Your application must be received by Kellogg no later than 5p.m. CT on the deadline for the round in which you are applying.
By Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.