Once again, Kellogg School of Management asks applicants to answer two essay questions. This year, Kellogg is minimizing changes by keeping the same two MBA application essays from the previous cycle and changing only one of the video essays.
However, Kellogg did announce a change that may be welcomed by many MBA hopefuls. Instead of selecting just one program during the application process, applicants can select their top choice and then rank additional programs for which they would like to be considered. This is a victory as we have consulted Kellogg about the importance of allowing candidates to express interest in multiple schools and after a few years, we are happy to see this change has been made.
The 2021-2022 Kellogg MBA application deadlines are as follows:
Round 1: September 15, 2021
Round 2: January 5, 2022
Round 3: April 6, 2022
Read Personal MBA Coach’s top tips for tackling Kellogg’s MBA essays below!
Both of Kellogg’s MBA application essays are fairly broad, giving candidates the opportunity to reflect on and discuss multiple aspects of their candidacy. However, remember to strive for quality over quantity when crafting your essays. With a 450-word limit for each, your responses should be particularly succinct.
Essay 1: Kellogg’s purpose is to educate, equip and 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? (450 words)
Many candidates are likely to share a professional story to answer this first prompt. However, strong leadership examples in your extracurricular activities could also work well here. Keep in mind the request for a recent example when developing your response to this first application essay.
Be sure to think of a significant undertaking where you can clearly demonstrate the value you added. This story also should be easy enough to explain that you do not have to waste too many words setting up the situation. A strong essay will discuss the actions you took and show how these actions required you to demonstrate bravery and leadership.
Equally as important as what you did is what you learned from this experience. Learnings should be specific. Ideally, you would also mention how you have carried these learnings forward to future endeavors. A strong answer not only will demonstrate leadership experience but also will highlight your strengths and specific skills.
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)
This second Kellogg MBA essay is a challenging one as it forces candidates to reflect on what truly drives and motivates them. Authenticity will be key when developing your answer to this question.
Admissions committee members want passionate students and well-rounded classes. So do not simply tailor your answer to what you think admissions committee members want to hear (a common MBA application misconception). Instead, you should write about the values that you have repeatedly demonstrated throughout your life.
For each value selected, discuss WHY this value is important to you and show HOW you have integrated this value into your life. While you do not want a laundry list, you should include more than one value in your response.
Candidates also should include some personal detail so that the reader can better understand how this value has influenced their actions, beliefs, and aspirations. It is particularly crucial that you have someone who knows you well read through this essay to ensure it is authentic. Of course, this is a good idea for all essay questions.
Additional Kellogg Application Essays
Kellogg requires candidates considering options other than the full-time MBA to answer these additional essay questions.
One-Year applicants: Please discuss your post-MBA career goal, the current experience you will leverage to support the transition, and the Kellogg 1Y opportunities that will help you reach this goal. (250 words)
With this short and straightforward essay, we advise applicants to be very direct both in terms of their career goal (need help on approaching a career goal essay?) and how Kellogg will help. Be specific here, outlining what you will take advantage of on campus and how each opportunity will help you.
MBAi applicants: The Kellogg McCormick MBAi program is designed to train the next generation of leaders who can help businesses deliver successful outcomes through AI-driven technology. This requires leaders who have strong technical and business skills; many firms struggle to find leaders with both skillsets. Tell us about your firsthand experience with this disconnect between business and technology and how MBAi will prepare you to successfully lead businesses at the intersection. (450 words)
With this essay, be very specific in the story you tell. You will want to clearly articulate your understanding of this challenge. While not specifically asked, candidates would benefit from sharing the work they have already done in this space. Finally, as with the one-year essay question, outline how an MBA and the offerings within the MBAi program specifically will prepare you to solve this disconnect in the future.
MMM applicants: The five core values of the MMM Program are curiosity, creativity, empathy, open-mindedness and a learning mindset. Describe a situation in which you demonstrated one of these values. Why is this value an important part of the MMM experience for you? (250 words)
Only applicants to Kellogg’s MMM program should answer this question. For those unfamiliar with the MMM program, it is a dual degree program offering graduates both an MBA from Kellogg and an MS in Design Innovation from the Segal Design Institute at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science.
For this essay, select just one value. The value you select is less important than the accompanying story. With only 250 words both to tell the story and tie it to Kellogg’s MMM program, pick a story that is easy to explain. Be sure you can show the reader how you lived this value, clearly explaining your actions. Finally, help the reader to understand why this value matters to you and how it will shape your MMM experience. This is a lot to cover so choose your words carefully.
Reapplicants are also required to answer one additional question: Since your previous application, what steps have you taken to strengthen your candidacy? (250 words)
Check out Personal MBA Coach’s tips for addressing reapplicant essays here.
Video Essay Questions
“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.”
Finally, the Kellogg video essay questions remain from the previous year as well. This component of the application offers admissions committee members the chance to learn more about you on a personal level.
Once you submit your application and payment, you will be able to access the video essay through your application status page. You will be asked to answer three questions:
Video essay 1: Please introduce yourself to the admissions committee.
Consider this your opportunity to share what you would want your future Kellogg classmates and our admissions committee to know about you. What makes you, you?
Video essay 2: What path are you interested in pursuing, how will you get there, and why is this program right for you?
This is an intentionally broad question so you can answer honestly and meaningfully. We want to know why you’re pursuing an MBA and why you’re choosing a particular Kellogg Full-Time Program.
Video essay 3: This question will be based on a challenge you’ve faced and what you’ve learned from it.
Read Personal MBA Coach’s tips for handling videos and other application extras here.
About Personal MBA Coach:
Founded by a Wharton MBA and MIT Sloan graduate who sits on the Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants Board of Directors, Personal MBA Coach has been guiding clients for 14 years and is consistently ranked #1 or #2, currently holding the #1 ranking in the US on Poets&Quants.
We help clients with all aspects of the MBA application process including early planning, GMAT/GRE/EA tutoring, application strategy, school selection, essay editing, and mock interview. Our team includes former M7 admissions directors and former M7 admissions interviewers.
Last year, our clients earned more than $6.5M in scholarships!