Purdue Krannert 2015 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

More advice for writing about your MBA goals.

Purdue Krannert

First, the statement of purpose will introduce you to Krannert –it is in essence a classic goals essay. Then you must address an issue clearly of high interest to Krannert in the required essay: integrity.  That essay will illuminate not only what you think about integrity, but also your thought process itself.  The key to making these very different essays work together is to create a synergy between them – i.e., the experiences and plans you portray in the statement of purpose will form a vivid foundation for the thoughts, examples, and ideas you discuss in the required essay.  


Statement of Purpose – Please submit a statement introducing yourself to the admissions committee.  (500 words max)

Some topics you may wish to discuss include:

a.  Brief academic and professional background

b.  Reason for seeking an MBA or Master’s degree at Purdue

c.  Desired career path after graduation

d.  Your thoughts on giving back as a student and as an alumnus

This question doesn’t technically require you to discuss the a-b-c-d points.  But if the adcom mentions them, you can be sure the adcom is interested in them.  So you can’t go wrong in addressing these points, even if you weave in something else as well. 

A natural and effective approach is to portray aspects of your experience (educational and/or professional) that animate your goals, and then elaborate on your goals.  Use your response to point “b” to demonstrate understanding of the program.  Point “d” gives you an opportunity to present distinctive experiences, including ones that may not necessarily relate to your goals, but that will enable you to enhance and invigorate your MBA class.

Required essay: Integrity – What does integrity mean to you? How does integrity relate to building communities of trust in academic, personal and professional settings? What expectations should Purdue have towards its students with regards to academic integrity? What consequences should students who do not uphold these standards face? (500 words max)

This is really four questions (each one of which could use more than 500 words!).  Your answer to the first question, what integrity means to you, will shape the essay and guide your responses to the subsequent questions.  Answer this initial question with a succinct definition and illustrate it with a concrete example showing what integrity means to you and why.  Address the subsequent questions in a way consistent with  your initial definition, adding further brief examples as warranted.  In the part about Purdue’s expectations, weave in specific details of Purdue’s program structure or approach.

Optional essay  – If you feel there are any parts of your application that require additional explanation, or if there is any additional information you wish to share with the admissions committee, please use this optional essay as an opportunity to do so. (250 words max)

This question invites you to explain anything that needs explaining (e.g., gap in employment, choice of recommender if not direct supervisor, a bad grade, etc.) – and also to present new material that will enhance your application.  If you choose to do the latter, make sure it’s a point that is essential for a clear and full picture of your candidacy.

Remaining Deadlines:

If you would like professional guidance with your Purdue Krannert 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 Purdue application.

Tip for answering the MBA goals essay
Cindy TokumitsuBy , co-author of The Finance Professional’s Guide to MBA Admissions Success, and author of numerous ebooks, articles, and special reports. Cindy has advised hundreds of successful applicants in her last fifteen years with Accepted.com.

Should You Retake the GMAT Exam?

You can train in order to achieve a higher GMAT score

You have the time to prepare & study to achieve a higher GMAT score

There’s no yes or no answer here, but I will give you some points to consider that will help you make your decision.

You probably should retake the GMAT if…

• You have other weaknesses in your profile and you feel a high GMAT score will help you compensate for them.

• You have the time to prepare, study hard, and change the outcome.

• You are a reapplicant who has received feedback that suggests you need to boost your GMAT score.

• You blame you’re not-so-brilliant score on a bad day and know that if you retook the GMAT you’d have a meaningfully higher score.

You probably shouldn’t retake the GMAT if…

 • You proudly overshot the 80-80 hurdle. (Note: If you scored above the 80th percentile in both the verbal and quant sections of the GMAT, then you generally don’t need to retake the GMAT, even if you apply to a school at the tippy top of the tier.)

• You’ve already taken the GMAT 3+ times. (Think about the law of diminishing returns.)

• You are aiming too high and know deep down that you should probably just apply to b-schools with lower average GMAT scores at matriculation. If your GMAT is high enough for schools that you would be happy to attend, then you don’t need to retake it.

Join our upcoming webinar: How to Get Accepted to Top B-Schools with Low Stats!

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

Related Resources:

GMAT & MBA Admissions: True or False?
MBA Admissions A-Z: 26 Terrific Tips
Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One

MIT Sloan Fellows 2015 Essay Tips

MIT Campus

Your three MIT Sloan Fellows essays must collectively convey the unmistakable message that you surpass your peers through consistently outstanding impact, and that you are destined to become a leader in your company and even industry.  Simultaneously, the essays must convey fit with MIT Sloan’s enduring emphasis on being an innovative leader and agent of change.  Use the three essays to present different aspects of your accomplishments and your character, to show that you envision and drive change, and to portray your rightful place in the “global leadership community.”


Statement of Objectives: What are your immediate (1 – 5 years) and ultimate (>15 years) professional objectives for attending the program? Specifically, please indicate your objectives and how they fit with the purposes of the MIT Sloan Fellows Program. How would your unique background contribute to the diversity of the Sloan Fellows community? (500 words or less, limited to one page)

Let’s break this question into its three parts:  

First, your professional objectives.  Be specific about position, company/industry, expected scope of responsibilities, and vision for what you want to accomplish. Give more detail for the 1-5 year segment.  For the longer term goals, show direction – but not as detailed.

Second, your objectives’ fit with the program.  Identify and describe specific aspects of your objectives that align with the values and purposes of the program.  Focus on the 2-3 key elements of this fit – fewer, with thoughtful discussion, is far better than a “laundry list” of fit points.

Third, your potential contributions to the community.  Again, focus on the 2-3 key aspects.  “Unique background” certainly could refer to professional background, and it can also include other relevant, interesting experiences if they represent a potential contribution, such as intimate knowledge of a poorly represented geographic region.  This section can be tricky – interesting facts alone don’t show potential contribution; you need to add your insight to make it meaningful.

Essay 1: Discuss an event in your life that has defined who you are today. (500 words or less, limited to one page)

This question essentially asks for a story.  Also, note “event” – it can cover a big range, from personal or family events, to large, geopolitical events (unfortunately, war comes to mind). Balance the “interest factor” with the actual influence on you – while it’s great to have an inherently intriguing topic, the point of the essay is not the drama or rarity of the event; rather it is (a) the influence of the event on you and (b) your perception of that influence, and of how you responded and grew.  MIT has always had an interest in your self-understanding and your responsiveness, and this essay continues that trend.

With only 500 words, don’t waste any on a “conventional” intro that gives the ending away. First tell the story, then add a paragraph reflecting on why and how the event was formative.

Essay 2: Tell us about a personal or professional decision in which you took a minority perspective in a group and what did you learn about yourself from this experience. (500 words or less, limited to one page)

Another story; follow the above suggested format and structure.

Since the first essay will likely involve a somewhat older event, I suggest using a recent story for this essay, to make the essay do “double duty” strategically by also showing you performing in a high-stakes, challenging situation. Whether or not you win over the group to your view is not important for this essay.  Rather, the quality of your evaluation of your effort – how insightful, frank, and nuanced it is – will matter a lot.  It won’t hurt to briefly mention how you’ve since then applied the learning as well.  

Second deadline: January 5, 2015

Give Your MBA Application that Final Check!Cindy TokumitsuBy Cindy Tokumitsu, co-author of The EMBA Edge, and author of the free special report, “Ace the EMBA.” Cindy has helped MBA applicants get accepted to top EMBA programs around the world. She is delighted to help you too!

Related Resources:

A Transformational Year: The MIT Sloan Fellows Program
MIT EMBA 2015 Essay Tips
Top MBA Program Essay Questions: How to Answer Them Right

MBA/MMM Interview with Kellogg Student: Using Empathy to Succeed

Click here for more MBA student interviews!This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with current MBA students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top MBA programs. And now for a chat with Michael Nguyễn, a student at Northwestern Kellogg’s joint MBA/Masters in Design Innovation program.

Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? Where are you currently studying?

Michael: I was born and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. I was unfortunately a mediocre student at Cal (UC Berkeley) because I spent a lot of my time playing video games. Thus, even though I started in Computer Science and really enjoyed it, I eventually changed to Comparative Literature (which is actually really difficult – I did not know this when I switched) after a couple of years. However, the time spent in both majors has helped me immensely throughout my career.

I am currently at Kellogg (Northwestern) in its newly revamped MMM program, which is a dual-degree MBA and Masters of Science in Design Innovation program run in conjunction with the McCormick School of Engineering and Segal Design Institute.

Accepted: Can you tell us more about your joint degree? What does “Design Innovation” mean? What do you plan on doing with your degrees?

Michael: The MMM program ends at the same time as the normal Kellogg two year MBA program but now starts one quarter early, in the summer. Though this does come with additional cost, this also means you get to enjoy the summer in Chicago! Another great benefit is that you will become very close with your MMM program mates, the other 59 students (the program is limited to 60 per year).

I personally define Design Innovation as an end-user empathy lens for looking at the world, but one that is not just relevant to developing products. If you manage a team, you need to be able to put yourself in team members’ shoes before you can create a rally point. If you are trying to sell a product, you need to know what your target customer is thinking – who they are, why they do what they do. It’s not that someone is just “stupid” or one of “those people” you can generalize. Everyone is unique and design thinking helps you use those lessons in your career.

From my time working in Southeast Asia, I used empathy in order to succeed at creating compelling products for different types of people as well as to win trust and motivate teams despite cultural and language barriers.

After the program, I am looking to return to smaller tech startups or perhaps start my own. However, the range of careers that others in the MMM program are seeking is very broad. Many are looking to enter into consulting, with more top firms now embracing design innovation, but there are also students looking to go into finance, consumer packaged goods (CPG), and technology.

Like the MBA, I think the Design Innovation degree is a toolset you can adapt for any career trajectory. Simply, the Innovation is the change you make in an existing product, process, or organization; the Design is the user-driven approach.

Accepted: It looks like you’ve got an interesting work history! Can you talk about a few of your most recent projects?

Michael: Previous to Kellogg, my professional background for the last decade has been in Business Operations at multiple startups. My first work experience was helping RedOctane become acquired for the Guitar Hero game franchise by Activision. I ran its e-commerce operations, including shipping logistics and customer service.

I then spent 7 years in Vietnam, becoming COO of the first social networking service there, Cyworld Vietnam, a 70 person startup funded by SK Telecom and IDG Ventures Vietnam. During my time in Vietnam, I worked closely with partners such as Nokia, LG, and Yamaha as well as local mobile carrier giants such as Viettel within the restrictions of one of the rare capitalist-socialist governments in the world.

During this time, I co-founded the most popular Vietnamese microblogging service, Mimo.vn, in 2010, helping it grow to 2 million users. Before I left Vietnam, I also worked on another side project which became a dating app called FriendsPlus. It was sold pre-launch to the largest dating service in Vietnam, Noi.vn, and the technology and service concept was integrated into Noi.vn as a whole.

In general, I have a deep interest in how different types of people connect with and add meaning to each other’s lives.

Accepted: What is your favorite thing about Kellogg so far? 

Michael: When you are in a good class (happens more often than not thankfully), you can compare it to seeing a brilliant performer, whether that be musical, athletic, or theatrical. In many ways, that’s exactly what it is – a professor with a tremendous academic and real work pedigree who is educating you about different aspects of business. Because of this, I actually like to sit in the front to get the best view. After all, I am paying over $60,000 a year for this show!

What most surprised is me how every class links to each other. In a business setting, that wouldn’t be surprising because well, that’s business. If you run a company, you cannot just be a product guy with no understanding of finance and vice versa. But in this class format, you will see each class bring in aspects of the entire MBA education. Thus, if you are taking Finance, you are not asked to just do math. You are asked to think about what firm and market strategies change the math in the real world and how you sell that story to someone else (your boss, management, investors, etc.).

I feel that in every class, you are not challenged to solve the problem but to create and then sell the story so it can be implemented in a company.

Accepted: If you could change one thing about the program, what would it be? 

Michael: In the busy lives of the MBA students here (classes, groupwork, recruiting, competitions), it’s not easy to make deep connections with others in the student body. I think this problem likely exists at many schools, so despite Kellogg’s reputation as a great school to make friends and be around team-focused individuals, no school can create the perfect social setting for everyone.

Thus, if you are an international student or more of an introvert, Kellogg’s emphasis on big social group events may be uncomfortable at times. CIM week can feel like a rehash of your undergrad years where the majority of students solidify their social groups within the first few weeks and do not go outside their comfort zones to befriend people that may be unlike them.

It is something that Kellogg is aware of and looking for initiatives to help address the issue. In fact, a friend and I are working on a mobile product that we hope will help with this and we are looking to get the Kellogg administration’s support for it as well.

Accepted: Looking back at the MBA application process, what would you say was your greatest challenge? How would you advise others who may also be facing that challenge?

Michael: I actually decided to apply to MBA programs two months before Round 1’s began, and I also wanted to make sure I applied for Round 1. This meant I needed to prepare for the GMAT and every other part of the application in a very short amount of time – an MBA was something I had not seriously considered for the previous five years. Fortunately, things worked out, and I got into a great school.

However, others should not follow this route. An MBA program is a very serious time and financial commitment, one that is essentially your last chance to use an academic setting to create a long term impact on how people view you professionally. Do spend the time (at least 1 year in advance) to prepare your applications properly to maximize your chance into getting the program that’s best for you. Beyond that, also use that time to get a proper understanding of which schools you can actually get into.

I am not a big believer in backup schools. If you there is a school you absolutely want to go to, and your background is a good fit for that school, spend the most time on that school. Even if that means working an extra year to improve your professional accomplishments, I say do it!

Accepted: Do you have any other admissions tips for our readers?

Michael: Although we are asked to pretend we know what we want to do after our MBA, few people really do. Because of this, don’t be worried if you really will follow-up on everything you talk about in the application. What’s most important is to think about what you would want to do right now and think through how going to a particular school is well suited to help with those specific goals. I think schools like Kellogg are not judging your ambitions but your ability to construct plans and build towards them.

For Kellogg MMM specifically, it’s a great program that is not getting a lot of publicity right now, likely due to the recent curriculum change. However, I recommend (to everyone) to look at it more closely and talk to people in the program (like myself). Many people I’ve met at Kellogg regret not applying for it because they had misconceptions about the program or thought it wouldn’t be relevant to their career. Once they better understood how the program works, however, they realized its applications were much more broad than the words “Design Innovation” may initially suggest.

For one-on-one guidance on your b-school application, please see our MBA Application Packages. For specific advice on how to create the best application for Kellogg please see:

Kellogg 2015 MBA Questions, Deadlines, & Tips
2015 Kellogg Executive MBA Admissions Tips

You can read more about Michael’s journey by checking out his LinkedIn profile and his blog, I Spit Hot Fire. Thank you Michael for sharing your story with us – we wish you loads of luck!

Learn How to Choose the Best MBA Program for You!

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best
Related Resources:

Are You Growth Minded? Mastering Kellogg’s Changing Brand
Insights of Tennis Player Turned Kellogg MBA
5 Ways to Make Top B-Schools Love You

Application Timing: When Should You Submit?

Timing. Timing. Who’s got the best timing? Applicants frequently stress over when to submit,  wondering if when they apply will affect the outcome. They lose sleep with questions like: When is the best time to apply? When do I have the greatest chance of getting accepted? The answer is surprisingly simple.

Listen to this episode for Linda Abraham’s important advice on timing your application to enhance your chances of acceptance.

00:01:56 – The simple answer to when you should apply.

00:03:45 – When should an MBA applicant apply Round 3?

00:06:09 – The best time for 2016 MBA applicants to take the GMAT.

00:06:52 – MBA applicant with a military background, high GPA but low quant score. When should he apply?

00:09:21 – Medical school applicants – the importance of being early!

00:09:50 – Thinking of applying late? Think of the game of musical chairs.

00:10:25 – Rushing to take the MCAT? Submitting your application before it’s ready? Think again!

00:11:13 – The ideal time table for submitting your AMCAS application.

00:12:40 – The advantages of starting your AMCAS personal statement this winter break.

00:14:18 – Linda’s rule of timing when applying to grad school.

Listen to the full conversation to learn more!*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Related Links:

•  MBA Application Timing
•  MBA Round 1 Timeline
•  Medical School Admissions: Why Applying in June is Critical
•  Can You Submit Your AMCAS Application BEFORE Retaking the MCAT?
Applying to Medical School Late in the Application Cycle

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Waitlisted! What Now?
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