Kellogg values individuals; who you are as a person, what you’ve done, and how you will be engaged in the school’s greater community are all very important. Yes, academics and work experience are also key parts of your profile, but the school’s essay prompts seek to elicit more about your personality, your values, and your goals so the admissions committee can determine your “fit” with its program. That is one of the reasons they also require video essays.
Kellogg has three excellent videos on preparing its application, and I urge you to watch all of them so you’ll understand better what the school is looking for. And Kellogg provides detailed explanations of its different MBA programs so you can find the one that is right for you. Each MBA program requires that you write these essays and in some cases, an additional essay related to the specific dual degree being pursued (e.g., MBA/JD, MMM, MBAi).
Ready to get to work on your Kellogg application? Read on.
Kellogg application essay tips
Kellogg is unique in that we ask you to complete written essays as part of the application as well as video essays. This is your chance to tell us why you think Kellogg is the right place for you. Take some time to think through the experiences that led you here and how they have shaped where you want to go.
Question 1 (450 words)
Kellogg Leaders are primed to tackle today’s pressing concerns everywhere, from the boardroom to their neighborhoods. Tell us about a time in your life where you’ve needed a combination of skills to solve a problem or overcome a challenge. Which skills did you use? What did you accomplish?
This is a new question, and it indicates what is most important to Kellogg: your ability to face a challenge and come up with creative solutions. In the process, you must also show your strong teamwork skills and collaborative nature. You’ll want to discuss how you motivate others, how you encourage your team to look beyond difficulties and seek nonconventional methods to achieve a goal, and what skills were most valuable in the process.
If you have cross-functional skills and also cross-cultural skills, this is the place to show those. Briefly, reflect on examples that will demonstrate how you overcame a challenge, and this can be at work or outside of work. You’ll want to add something that the admissions committee doesn’t already know about you, so try to come up with a story that isn’t fully described on your resume.
Once you’ve selected a strong example, think about how to describe the challenge in simple terms. Please don’t focus too much on technical details that people who are not in your profession won’t understand. Next, describe how you had to think of ways to work around the difficulty presented. Did you brainstorm with your team, or ask advice from people who might have dealt with a similar situation? How did you involve other people, and what did you learn from that? Which of your own skills were brought into play, and what did you discover that you didn’t know? Why did you make the choices that you did?
Question 2 (450 words)
At Kellogg, our values are based on research that concludes organizations comprised of leaders with varied backgrounds and perspectives outperform homogeneous ones. How do you believe your personal and professional experiences to date will help to enrich the Kellogg community?
Certain applicants will respond to an additional question about their interest in our specialty programs.
Kellogg’s essays in the past have inquired about candidates’ “values.” This is similar yet brings the focus back to Kellogg and how your unique experiences will add to its community. Reflect on your values – how did you acquire them? Family, culture, faith, a significant event in your life? Values represent principles that are important to you, guide your life, help you make decisions, and help you shape the world around you. In brief, they make you who you are, and each of us is unique in this respect.
In this essay, the Kellogg admissions committee wants to find out what you value and how that has been manifested in your actions, especially when interacting with people who might have a totally different value system. Are you someone who is open to others’ ideas and opinions? Can you give an example of when your judgment was challenged and you ended up seeing things differently? Or alternatively, did you manage to change someone else’s perspective, and if so, how did you do so? Again, the core of this question is conveying how you will collaborate with others and how you will be engaged in the Kellogg community. It doesn’t mean listing a lot of clubs you’re interested in or jobs you’ve had, but more importantly, what has enriched your life that you think will do the same for others? To answer this question well, you need to really understand the “personality” of Kellogg and its community. The best way to do that is to reach out to student ambassadors or talk with alumni of the program who can share with you valuable insights.
Reapplicants will receive a prompt about their growth since their last application: How have you grown or changed personally and professionally since you previously applied and what steps have you taken to become the strongest candidate you can be? (250 words)
For this and any other reapplicant essay, you need to show what’s changed from your former application. It could be a new test score, it could be a promotion, or it might simply be a reevaluation of your goals and the realization that what you thought you wanted to do wasn’t really feasible. Keep your message short and to the point, and don’t reiterate anything you said in your previous application essays.
We’ve read your essays, we’ve read your resume — now we want you to bring all that to life in a video. Show us the person behind all those carefully crafted words. The video will be comprised of three questions, each designed to help you showcase your personality and share some of the experiences that brought you here today.
We find these videos to be a great opportunity for you to tell us more about your story, experiences and why Kellogg is the right place for you.
Here are some things to keep in mind as you prepare to complete this section:
- Video essays are due 96 hours after the application deadline.
- A video essay link will appear on your application status page after you submit your application and payment.
- You will need an internet-connected computer with a webcam and microphone
- The video should take about 20-25 minutes to complete, which includes time for setup.
The video essay should not be perfect! Don’t over rehearse or read from a script. You won’t know the questions until you’ve submitted your application, but the questions are usually about something you know, and you will have time to prepare for them.
Practice speaking into a camera, and record yourself to be sure you are looking at the camera and not somewhere else!
Speak slowly and clearly. If you rush, you’ll look nervous, and worse, your listeners might not be able to understand what you are saying.
Have a neutral background with lighting in front of you. And lock the doors so no one can interrupt you while you are recording.
Kellogg isn’t trying to trip you up; the admissions committee is looking for reasons to admit you, so breathe deeply, do a few practice runs before you begin (to be sure your equipment is working), and don’t forget to smile!
For expert guidance with your Kellogg MBA application, check out Accepted’s MBA Application Package, which includes comprehensive guidance from an experienced admissions consultant. We’ve helped hundreds of applicants get accepted to Kellogg’s MBA program and look forward to helping you, too!
Kellogg application deadlines
|Application Deadline||Decision released|
|Round 1||September 13, 2023||December 13, 2023|
|Round 2||January 10, 2024||March 27, 2024|
|Round 3||April 3, 2024||May 8, 2024|
***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with Kellogg directly to verify its essay questions, instructions, and deadlines.***
Kellogg class profile
Here is a look at the Kellogg MBA Class of 2024 (data taken from the Kellogg website):
Class size: 503
U.S. minorities: 37%
Average GMAT score: 729
GMAT score range: 620-780
Median GRE Verbal: 162
GRE Verbal range: 150-169
Median GRE Quant: 163
GRE Quant range: 148-170
Average GPA: 3.7
GPA range: 2.6-4.0
Average years of work experience: 5
- Economics/Business: 45%
- Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics: 38%
- Humanities: 24%
- Consulting: 24%
- Financial services: 19%
- Technology: 17%
- Other: 8%
- Government/Education/Nonprofit: 7%
- Consumer products: 7%
- Healthcare/Biopharma: 7%
- Media & entertainment: 4%
- Military: 4%
- Manufacturing: 2%
- Energy: 2%
Getting into Kellogg, or any of the top-tier MBA programs, is very competitive. Our Comprehensive MBA Application Package has everything you need to get you there. We’ll match you with an experienced admissions consultant who will work with you one-on-one to create an outstanding application and prepare you to ace your interview. So give yourself the edge and get ACCEPTED!
Dr. Christie St-John has more than 25 years of higher ed and admissions experience, including ten years in admissions at Dartmouth Tuck. She was formerly the director of MBA recruiting and admissions, director of international relations, and an adjunct faculty member at Vanderbilt University. Having also served on the board of directors of the MBA Career Services & Employer Alliance and the Consortium for Graduate Studies in Management, Christie has a deep knowledge of MBA and other graduate admissions. Want Christie to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch!