INTRODUCTION

Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management offers a top-notch business education setting. Kellogg’s faculty possess a wealth of knowledge in an academic and business setting. Kellogg’s curriculum provides a solid educational foundation and couples it with more than 1,000 experiential learning opportunities.

Kellogg’s program is highlighted by students gaining mastery in multiple disciplines, a truly customized curriculum, access to 37 exchange programs across 20 countries, and a top-rated career services and placement program. Kellogg boasts more than 120 student-led clubs and sending graduates to more than 500 companies worldwide.

A foundation of nine core courses in fundamental subjects such as accounting; management and organizations; marketing; finance; managerial economics; decision sciences; operations; and management and strategy is placed during the first year. During the second year, students have the opportunity to customize and choose from 18 different majors to focus on. One elective course must be completed in an international setting.

Throughout the educational experience, students can take advantage of Kellogg’s world-renowned Career Management Center. The Center offers one-on-one coaching for students, job search resources and workshops, a job board with more than 5,000 annual listings, as well as extensive alumni connections.

RANKINGS

14
Financial Times
2
The Economist
6
US News Rankings

CLASS PROFILE

PLACEMENT STATISTICS

APPLICATION DEADLINES

ROUND 1: 18 September 2019

ROUND 2: 08 January 2020

ROUND 3: 08 April 2020

DECISION 1: 11 December 2019

DECISION 2: 25 March 2020

DECISION 3: 13 May 2020

APPLICATION ESSAY TIPS

Once again, Kellogg asks applicants to answer two essay questions. Essay 1 remains largely unchanged for the third year in a row while Essay 2 is new this year. These two fairly broad essays give candidates a good opportunity to reflect on and discuss multiple aspects of their candidacy. Below we have shared these essay questions along with a few recommendations on how to approach them.

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)

The only change in this first question is the request for a “recent” example. Last year, a time period was not specified. Many candidates are likely to share a professional story to answer this first prompt. However, strong leadership examples in your extra-curricular activities could also work well here, provided they are fairly recent.
Be sure to think of a significant undertaking where you can clearly demonstrate the value you added. This story should also be easy enough to explain that you do not have to waste too many words from this short 450-word limit setting up the situation. Be sure to discuss the actions you took and try to 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 them forward to future endeavors. A strong answer here will not only demonstrate leadership but also showcase 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 new essay is a challenging one as it forces candidates to reflect on what is truly important to them. Authenticity will be key when developing your answer to this question. Do not simply discuss the values that you think admissions committee members will want to hear. Instead, write about values that you have repeatedly demonstrated in your life. For each value selected (while I do not advise a laundry list, you should include more than one value), discuss WHY this value is important to you and show HOW you have lived this value. With this question, candidates can and should include some personal detail so that the reader can truly understand how this value has influenced their actions, beliefs, and aspirations. It is particularly crucial that you have someone who knows you well read this essay to ensure it is authentic. (Of course, this is a good idea for all essay questions).

Finally, Kellogg has retained its video essay.

The video essay provides you with an additional opportunity to demonstrate what you will bring to the vibrant Kellogg community — in an interactive way. You will respond to several short video essay questions. The questions are designed to bring to life the person they have learned about on paper.

  • After submitting your application and payment, you will be able to access the video essay through your application status page. The first question will ask you to introduce yourself to the admissions committee. Then, you ‘ll have an opportunity to describe your plans for the future and how Kellogg will help you on that journey. The remaining questions will be randomly generated and similar to interview questions.
  • There are practice questions that you may complete as many times as you like to get comfortable with the format and technology. The practice questions and experience will simulate the actual video essay experience, so this is meant to be a useful tool to help you feel prepared.
  • We encourage you to practice so you are comfortable with the format once it is time to complete the official questions. You will not have an opportunity to re-do the answer to the official video essay questions.
  • You will have 20 seconds to think about the question and up to one minute to give your response.
  • We estimate the video essays will take 20-25 minutes to complete — which includes time for set-up and answering all the practice questions. You will need an internet connected computer with a webcam, microphone and an updated version of Adobe Flash in order to complete the video essay.

Videos are increasingly being used by business schools as an additional way to assess applicants. After all, you will have limited career success if you are unable to nail an interview. For some schools, such as MIT, this video question is provided in advance and applicants submit a pre-recorded video with their applications. For other schools, including Kellogg, Yale SOM, and INSEAD, applicants are asked to record videos on the spot after submitting their applications.
For these statements, be yourself. These videos offer admissions committee members the chance to learn more about you on a personal level. Potential topics include passions, values, hobbies, etc. While you do not want to sound overly rehearsed, it is important to practice for these videos. If you have the question, write out a rough script in advance of filming. If you do not, practice sample questions. As you practice, consider factors such as audio quality, demeanor, and fluency in addition to the content itself.

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