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Kellogg Class of 2021 Essay Analysis

June 13, 2018

Kellogg has released its essay questions for the 2018-19 application cycle, keeping the same prompts as the previous year.

2018/19 essay questions

Essay 1: Kellogg's purpose is to educate, equip & inspire brave leaders who create lasting value. Tell us about a time you have demonstrated leadership and created lasting value. What challenges did you face, and what did you learn? (approximately 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? (approximately 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.).

2018/19 essay question analysis

Essay 1

Similar to last year, this essay question is more focused on impact rather than role. We have seen successful essays include anything from work leadership experiences to community impact. 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 leadership learning experience that you can elaborate on, rather than multiple examples that risk sounding like a summary of your resume. Even if you made mistakes when responding to leadership challenges, you can highlight the learning that came from the situation, and how those lessons learned benefit you 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 (i.e. being President (of anything), which does not necessarily mean you’re demonstrating leadership. If you’re stuck on examples, let’s brainstorm together!

Essay 2

To focus your answer, address one specific area of growth and tell stories that relate to your lessons learned throughout this growth process. Using the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) framework, describe your growth. Brainstorm areas that require continued development, then discuss Kellogg resources that you plan to use to continue this growth.

This question requires you have a strong understanding of specific resources at Kellogg; the more specific you are in discussing differentiated examples regarding courses, student organizations, faculty interactions, student interactions, etc., the more you will separate yourself from other applicants (in a good way!). Note: It isn’t enough just to mention a resource. You have to discuss how you will use it in order to reach your goal.

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.

2018/19 deadlines

Round 1: Application deadline: September 19, 2018, Decision date: December 12, 2018

Round 2: Application deadline: January 9, 2019, Decision date: March 27, 2019

Round 3: Application deadline: April 10, 2019, Decision date: May 15, 2019

Other application details

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