Kellogg MBA essays, analysis, and tips
The Kellogg MBA essays are different from those of most other schools because these essays require you to think, introspect, and then craft. Unlike other schools, Kellogg does not have a long goals response (they have a shorter 240 character response in the application), and its essays focus on who you are and how you do things. These are the central things to keep in mind when approaching the Kellogg MBA essays.
The Kellogg essays are also something that the school attaches a lot of value to, and successful applicants have leveraged them very well in the past.
Essay 1: Kellogg’s purpose is to educate, equip & 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? (approximately 450 words)
The purpose of this essay is to make you think about your own accomplishments and how they relate to the Kellogg mission. The Kellogg admissions team wants to learn about your accomplishments and what impact they have had on others. As with any response to an open-ended question, there are no wrong answers. The key is to write in a way that feels authentic, because that will allow the admissions committee to get a sense of who you really are.
You should try to select an example that illustrates your leadership skills, while also showing that you are able to solve complex problems. For example, if you were part of a project team at work, you may want to share how you led the team members through important decisions and helped them achieve success. You can also talk about how you lead people in other contexts such as volunteering or other activities outside of work. In addition, make sure that your essay is relevant and specific to Kellogg. You don’t want your essay to sound generic or like it could have been written for any business school program. Here’s how using leadership skills in the right way helped an applicant make it to Kellogg.
Keep the following things specifically in mind as you approach this essay:
-This question is asking for an example of leadership that demonstrates “creating lasting value.” It’s not just about making money, but also about making a difference. That could mean creating new products or reaching out to underserved populations or developing a better way of doing something. The first step to answering this question is to consider the definition of leadership and value. Leadership is about taking charge, motivating others, and making decisions in the best interest of the organization. Value is the benefit that a person or organization provides to others through their work.
– The next step is to identify an issue or problem that you faced in your current or past job and then describe how you resolved it. It’s important that you frame this as a challenge so that it’s clear that there were obstacles to overcome. You want it to sound like you had no choice but to step up and take charge because no one else was going to do it for you!
-Tell them what you learned from these experiences —what did you learn about yourself, about others, about organizations or society? How does this relate to the mission of Kellogg? What have these experiences taught you about leading others (or being led)? Kellogg believes that a well-rounded leader is one who can think critically, communicate effectively, and take action with impact.
Essay 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)
In this essay, you are asked to share your values, how they have influenced you, and how they will guide you in the future.
It is important to show that you understand what values are and why they are important. You should use examples from your life, such as personal experiences or stories about other people or events. You can also use specific situations that have happened at work or school to illustrate the influence of your values on your decisions. A good answer will be specific, personal and unique; it will reveal something about who you are as a person. It won’t just talk about what you do; it will reveal what motivates and drives you.
Here are the major things to keep in mind before you answer this essay:
– The prompt is specific about what you should write about: values that have influenced you. You can’t simply say that your values have guided you or impacted your life — this prompt is looking for specific examples of how those values have shaped who you are.
-You don’t need to write a long paragraph about each value, just a sentence or two. The admissions committee doesn’t want to hear a long list of values, so don’t give them one!
-The prompt is asking for your values, not a list of your accomplishments or even what kind of person you are. You’re being asked to describe your values in detail and explain how they have shaped your life choices.
-You don’t need to write about all the values that are important to you. Pick three or four that are most important and explain how they’ve influenced your life and (to some extent) your career path so far.
-Be specific and concrete. Don’t just say “I believe in hard work,” but rather describe an instance when you’ve worked hard and what it accomplished for you (or others). The same goes for other values like integrity, respect etc.; don’t just say that these things are important to you but give an example of when they were tested and how your actions affected other people positively or negatively.
– The last point notwithstanding, try and stay away from cliched values. Connect everything to yourself. Remember, Kellogg knows that these values exist – you get no points for mentioning that. What you get credit for is showing why these values are important to you.
All applicants have the opportunity to provide explanations or clarification in Additional Information. Use this section if you think the person reviewing your application might have a few questions about one or more of your responses. This could include:
- Unexplained gaps in work experience
- Academic, GMAT or GRE performance
- Extenuating circumstances that we should be aware of when reviewing your application
Kellogg is interested in learning more about the reasons for any unexplained gaps in your professional experience. You may want to consider discussing how you were able to keep up with developments in your field through reading journals and attending conferences, or how you were able to continue learning new skills through on-the-job training.
You can also use this section to explain extenuating circumstances that could have affected your performance in school or on standardized tests. You might want to discuss any health issues (physical or mental) that impacted your ability to perform normally, as well as other significant events such as a death in the family, personal financial problems, etc.