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Kellogg Class of 2019 Essay Analysis

July 11, 2016

Kellogg has kept the same questions as last year’s application cycle. We reiterate our suggestions from last year’s blog post (and recommend that you read it for context before jumping into this post), but also wanted to add some additional insights.

2016/17 essay questions

Essay 1: Leadership and teamwork are integral parts of the Kellogg experience. Describe a recent and meaningful time you were a leader. What challenges did you face, and what did you learn? (450 words)

Essay 2: Pursuing an MBA is a catalyst for personal and professional growth. How have you grown in the past? How do you intend to grow at Kellogg? (450 words)

Optional question: If needed, use this section to briefly describe any extenuating circumstances (e.g. unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance, etc.) (no word count)

2016/17 essay question analysis

Essay 1

Last year, we saw successful essays for this prompt include anything from work leadership experiences to community leadership. A reminder – answer both parts of the prompt and set the context (challenges) as well as what you specifically learned from that experience. To make your answer easier for the reader to follow, focus on one specific leadership learning experience that you can elaborate on. Even if you responded to leadership challenges in a different way than you would have liked, you can highlight the learning that came from the situation, and how it continues to impact your interactions today.

A special note for this essay: leadership has to do with setting goals / establishing a direction, getting others on board and influencing their direction, and achieving results together. This should not be confused with a specific role / title (e.g. being President (of anything), which does not necessarily make you a leader. Be specific about what it was that you did that makes you a leader. If you’re stuck on examples, let’s brainstorm together!

Essay 2

To focus your answer, it will also be helpful to focus on one specific area of growth and having anecdotes that relate to your learning experiences. Clearly indicating the lessons and areas of growth will be crucial for this question. Using the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) framework, describe your growth. Draw out areas that require continued growth and development, then include Kellogg resources that align with your goals. This question requires you have a strong understanding of the resources at Kellogg that will spark your personal and professional growth. Be sure you know the specific aspects of the courses, student organizations, faculty interactions, student interactions, etc. that would develop. Special note: avoid vague / general references to ways that you grew, and name-dropping Kellogg resources. You’ll want to have done your research of how exactly the Kellogg program/club/conference/class/etc. will contribute to your growth!

Optional essay

The optional question is available for you to explain any additional information that you may not have had the space to clarify in other parts of your application.

2016/17 deadlines

Round 1: Application deadline: September 21, 2016 at 5:00pm CT, Decision date: December 14, 2016.

Round 2: Application deadline: January 4, 2017 at 5:00pm CT, Decision date: March 22, 2017.

Round 3: Application deadline: April 5, 2017 at 5:00pm CT, Decision date: May 10, 2017.

Other application details

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The online application is now available.

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School resources

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