Kellogg MBA Application Essay for 2019-20
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)
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)
Reapplicants: Since your previous application, what steps have you taken to strengthen your candidacy? (250 words)
Kellogg MBA Winning Sample Essay – 1
Kellogg MBA 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)
If I were to pick a quote to personify myself it would be “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.” by Quincy Adams.
I was raised in a traditional South Indian family that believed women are to be married young, bear children and live forever taking care of them. While this is an ideal way of life for some, it wasn’t for me.
In the year 2014, a year after our marriage, my husband vocalized his intent to take a break from his career and pursue medical residency and if I would be willing to support him. As a young independent individual, I was more than happy to support my husband, and we decided that we were in it together as a team. However, our parents were opposed to this idea as they are very traditional. They argued that my husband should find steady work, and I should be staying home taking care of the family. Nevertheless, during this period, I stepped up to handle a career at Ogilvy & Mather as a software developer where I partnered with a team to incubate a new initiative and in parallel, I also made sure the home and parents were taken care of. At the end of the 4 years, after a lot of ups and downs, my husband completed his exams and residency. He secured a medical director job at a top pharmaceutical company.
Once my husband completed his exams, I took another step that our parents did not agree with by taking the entrepreneurial route and to build a publishing platform. With the help of three other founders, We co-founded a content creation platform called “Medium Theory” which was a next-gen destination that focused on women. The platform published content on careers, technology, news, politics, mental health and entertainment for women. We bootstrapped the platform with six team members where I was a product manager that was responsible for defining the roadmap and initiatives we pursued. We successfully grew the platform to more than 500 unique monthly users and were working with recognized brands and freelance content creators which was a successful start to my dreams.
These are the two instances where I exemplify Quincy’s quote but for myself. In both these examples, I did not lead big teams but these are big situations that have pushed me to challenge my own status quo. Going against your family is never easy but I learned to use that criticism to power through and succeed. I refused to be bound by archaic roles and dared to dream more, do more and become more.
Kellogg MBA Essay 2: Values are what guide you in life and work. What values are important to you and how have they influenced you? (approximately 450 words)
For me, being able to deeply touch and impact another life in a positive way is the most profound satisfaction. One of my principles in life is to make a positive impact in this world in my lifetime.
I have been in a lot of circumstances where I was underestimated and was given a secondary consolation position just because I was a woman. Education has empowered me to think, take action, control the situation and eventually break the barriers of my surroundings. Having broken my own barriers and knowing that there are many other women and children in similar situations inspired me to help empower them.
I am an active member of “pledge 1%” and for the past three years, I have been volunteering and mentor for ‘girls who code’ where I teach high school students about programming in the NJ/NY area. I also dedicate my time to provide mentorship and career guidance for students entering their first jobs after graduation. I have mentored seven students to date that have grown into their respective careers and working with three other students that are graduating in 2020.
Another value that deeply resonates with me is being persistent for what I care about and what I want to achieve. Over the years, I have developed this innate quality to go towards a goal with whatever it takes to make it happen. The very first instance when I learned about this innate persistence of mine was during high school. I was not great at academics and outside of that the one thing that I really enjoyed was volleyball and I became so deeply passionate about it that I spent sixteen hours a day training and learning the skill. Still, I failed the first two selection trials for my school team but the passion for the sport did not let me down. I worked on figuring out my shortcomings with my coach and focused on building chemistry with other players to work together as a team and succeed. To improve, I increased playing with the team and not just by myself. I also took up throw-ball and badminton to understand and learn team strategy. I eventually ended up playing for my school at the state and national level during the next consecutive years.
Through all my highs and lows in playing as a team I learned how important being passionate is and if you want to achieve something, you have to figure out if you really care about it and if you are ready to give it your heart and soul.