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Kellogg Class of 2026 Essay Analysis


Kellogg has released its 2023-25 application, with changed essay questions.



Question 1(450 words)

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?


Question 2 (450 words)

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?


Specialized Program Questions

Candidates for MBAi, MMM, and JD-MBA programs will be asked an additional question about their program of interest. When those questions are detailed and published, we will update our guidance.


Reapplication Question Reapplicants will receive a prompt about their growth since their last application: How have you grown or changed personally and professionally since you previously applied and what steps have you taken to become the strongest candidate you can be? (250 words)


2023/24 essay question analysis


Essay 1

This is a new question from Kellogg, and should be anchored around a specific example, rather than talking about a more generalized approach to solving problems. When articulating skills, use those that are aligned with what Kellogg is looking for, and link your use of skills to the positive outcome you were able to generate in the story.


The quality of the essay will be driven by the explanation of skills used in addition to the magnitude of problem you were trying to solve. If a personal challenge or something tied to navigating a difficult upbringing, those examples can prove powerful differentiators and showcase amazing skills that will also prove useful in future successes. While skills can include hard skills like modeling, problem-solving, or strategic planning, they could also include soft skills like adaptability, collaboration, communication, commitment to develop others self-awareness respect for others, resilience, or even global mindedness.


The question also asked, "What did you accomplish?" Did you get someone to adopt an idea that they hadn't previously considered? Did you introduce a new program that impacted some part of your community? No matter what the accomplishment, make sure that it's tangible and something that's easily identifiable for any reader.


It’s interesting to note that the question asks about leaders who are prepared to tackle today’s pressing concerns. In our early discussions with candidates, the best examples have focused around times when people have been able to take initiative to make a difference. People can certainly make a difference in their day-to-day work, such as managing a person who is under performing or convincing people to adopt an initiative that challenges their capabilities. However, most of the time, the pressing concerns referenced in the question are addressed through extracurriculars within the workplace or outside of the workplace. NOTE: if you have launched and managed an initiative of your own at work, that could also be a relevant example.


Essay 2

This is also a new question, and is designed to help Kellogg assess how you will make your class better, given your unique background and experiences. If discussing professional experiences, then consider examples that are either different than what other applicants might discuss (i.e. helping solve a particularly difficult or unique consulting case, not just any case) so you differentiate yourself with Admissions. If discussing personal experiences, then make sure to link how those experiences will make your classmates, and the school, better.


In asking the question, they are specifically asking about the importance of diversity. So, consider how you will differentially contribute to the program. If you come from a distinctive background, this question might be easy. However, if you come consulting, private, equity, banking, or technology, you’ll want to identify how you are different from your peers. We can help.


2023/24 deadlines

Deadline time: 5:00pm CST


Round 1: Application deadline: September 13, 2023; Decision date: December 13, 2023

Round 2: Application deadline: January 10, 2024; Decision date: March 27, 2024

Round 3: Application deadline: April 3, 2024; Decision date: May 8, 2024


Other application details


Click here for school interaction opportunities.


The online application is expected to be released soon.


Re-applicant?

Check out information here.


School resources

Check out our links to several of school's resources, including blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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