Scott Edinburgh
July 14, 2023

Kellogg MBA Essay Advice and Application Deadlines: 2023-2024

Kellogg MBA Essay Analysis

Kellogg School of Management has released its essay questions and application deadlines for the 2023-2024 application cycle. Once again, Kellogg asks applicants to answer two essay questions. This year, Kellogg has changed its application essay and has made the video essay questions (which were optional last year) mandatory.

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The 2023-2024 Kellogg MBA Application Deadlines Are as Follows

Round 1: September 13, 2023

Round 2: January 10, 2024

Round 3: April 3, 2024

Read Personal MBA Coach’s Top Tips For Tackling Kellogg’s MBA Essays Below!

Kellogg MBA Essay 1:

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? (450 words)

Kellogg has reworked its leadership essay this year; however, the objective is the same as in recent years: give Kellogg an example of how you are an accomplished leader.

Many candidates likely will share a professional story to answer this first prompt. However, strong leadership examples in your extracurricular activities could also work well here.

Be sure to think of a significant undertaking where you can clearly articulate the challenge that you overcame. Ideally, with this example you will also 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 which specific leadership skills you used in your approach. While this year’s question does not specifically ask, you might consider sharing some learnings from this experience. A strong answer not only will demonstrate your leadership experience but also will highlight your most impressive strengths.

Kellogg MBA Program Essay Advice and Application Deadlines


Kellogg MBA Essay 2:

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? (450 words)

This second Kellogg MBA essay is completely new, replacing Kellogg’s longstanding “values” essay. As we have increasingly seen with other schools this year, Kellogg is giving applicants flexibility to talk about what makes them unique, noting the importance of diversity (though not in these exact words) in the classroom.

For this essay, you want to think about how you stand apart from your peers. You can think of this essay as you would any personal story essay (for more on how to think about a personal story essay – check out this blog.)

Ask yourself: “What makes me special?”

You might also evaluate what you have done beyond what is in your resume or items that you wish you had space within your resume to elaborate on.

As you draft you answer, consider how your accomplishments (both in and out of the office), background and/or experiences have shaped you. Then, as you discuss your past, go beyond just telling the reader what you did or how you were raised, and dig deeper. Think about what you have learned from these experiences.

Next, and most importantly, tell the reader how these experiences have prepared you to add value on campus. Write about how you might share your passions, perspective, experiences, and successes with your future peers. Tell the reader how you will improve and enrich the Kellogg community.

As with all essays, be specific about the contributions you will make on campus, and less is more. Do not submit a laundry list here.

Additional Kellogg MBA Application Essays

Kellogg requires candidates considering options other than the full-time MBA to answer these additional essay questions.

One-Year applicants: Why is the Kellogg One-Year Program the right fit to help you reach your post-MBA career goals? And what unique academic, personal or professional experience do you bring into this specific program? (250 words)

MBAi applicants: Why is the Kellogg McCormick MBAi Program the right fit to help you reach your post-MBA career goals? And what unique academic, personal or professional experience do you bring into this specific program? (450 words)

MMM applicants: Why is the MMM Program the right fit to help you reach your post-MBA career goals? And what unique academic, personal or professional experience do you bring into this specific program? (250 words)

This year, Kellogg asks applicants to the one-year MBA program, MBAi or MMM program to answer an additional essay. 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.

The question for all three programs is essentially the same, but applicants to the MBAi have a little more space to work with.

For all three questions, 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. To answer these specialty MBA questions, you want to tell the reader where you are in your career currently, and what gaps you are hoping to close. Next, you want to demonstrate how the unique offerings within your chosen program are best suited to help you close these gaps and reach your goals.

Be specific here, outlining what you will take advantage of on campus and how each opportunity will help you.

You should also consider how you will contribute specifically to the program of your choice by sharing what you uniquely bring to the table. Be sure not to repeat anything already discussed in essay 2.

Reapplicants are also required to answer one additional question: Since your previous application, what steps have you taken to strengthen your candidacy? (250 words)

Reapplicants should use the required additional essay to demonstrate growth. We advise candidates to review our tips for reapplicants before tackling this essay.

Woman at Desk Reviews Kellog MBA Application Deadlines

Kellogg MBA Video Essay Questions

“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.”

Finally, Kellogg has mandatory video essays this year. 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 Kellogg video essay through your application status page. Unlike last year, the school has not shared these essay questions in advance.

Read Personal MBA Coach’s tips for handling videos and other Kellogg MBA application extras.

Schedule a free consultation today for 1:1 Kellogg application support including essay brainstorming and unlimited editing, resume review, and more!