Kellogg Northwestern Essay Questions

 

Good luck to all the Round 2 applicants to Kellogg! Deadline is 2 months,0 weeks,1 day,7 hours ago and our Kellogg essay guide can help!

 

Hooboy. The Kellogg Class of 2019 profile is… daunting. Can you say “EVEN HIGHER GMAT”?! The Class of 2019 profile for Kellogg is out and average GMAT NOPE, BOYS AND GIRLS, IT’S 732 NOW. Please don’t hit your head on the ceiling, you crazy GMAT test takers. Sheesh.

 
 


 
These essays are HARD!!

Our Kellogg MBA essay guide for 2017 will help you out.


 

 
 

2017 Kellogg Full-Time MBA Essay Questions – Class of 2020

The essay questions for Northwestern Kellogg are only slightly changed from last year:

  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? (450 words)
  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)

The second question is the same as the past few years, but they’ve tweaked the wording on the first one to a) incorporate their purpose thing and b) introduce this “lasting value” angle in what they’re asking you. Eeek! That’s gonna be tough!!!!! And, if previous Brave Supplicants’ experiences are any guide, you’re going to have some trouble with essay 2 question 2 especially. The wording is not as straightforward as it could be and it’s not so easy to do a good job with this.

Here’s a classic mistake that many make in writing for these types of questions. We also talked about the Kellogg essays in this post on inside-out and outside-in stories and another on professional stories and showing “growth” for Kellogg MBA Essay 2. The Kellogg adcom suggests that you think about the essays combined, as a set, and look at the balance of content you’re presenting across both of them. They also encouraged you to use more recent examples.

You’ll note that there is no explicit career goals essay, though you will be answering questions about goals in the application. It’s often relevant to discuss goals in essay 2 question 2, but not always. It’ll need to be handled carefully if you do.

They’re also keeping the three video questions (they were one of the pioneers for this format back in 2012). You’ll complete these after you submit the written application.

On the video essay, don’t read from notes when you give your answers! They want you to be yourself. You should not be overpreparing. It’s fine to take notes when you get the question but you should not have a scripted answer prepared in advance.

The earlier you submit your application (before the deadline) then the more choices you’re going to have with the interview request.

Our Kellogg essay guide has been updated for 2017 – no excuses, you can get started now!

 

Kellogg MBA recommendations 2017

In 2017, Kellogg is again deviating from the standardized recommender questions and in entirely new and different ways. Gah!

This can be enough to throw a wrench into the works for a recommender. 🙁

For Kellogg especially, our Recommenders’ Instruction Sets is likely to be of real help to your recommenders.
 

The Kellogg Application Guide is ready to roll to support you in this application!
 

Kellogg Class of 2020 Full-time MBA Dates & Deadlines

Kellogg F/T MBA Application Deadlines – if you’re requesting an off-campus interview then you should do your best to submit your application as early as possible (in 2013 they recommended submitting almost a MONTH before the Rd 1 deadline – they don’t have such explicit recommendations these days but they do say they can more easily accommodate your requested interview option if you submit early). If you can’t pull that off, don’t panic.

  • Round 1: – no change from last year. Kellogg does not do a midcycle “release” since they manage interviews differently than other schools.
  • Round 2: January 10, 2018 – YAY!!! THEY MOVED OUT THEIR ROUND 2 DATE!!! One of the few adcoms that is actually being applicant-friendly on this Round 2 deadline!

EssaySnark does not list Round 3 dates because you really shouldn’t bother, it will just be a waste of your time and money and it will set you up for greater challenges as a reapplicant in the Fall.

 

Kellogg Links & Application Info

Kellogg Info Courtesy of EssaySnark

Pro Tip: We give PRO TIPS!! They’re in SnarkCenter! If you’re signed up for stuff here on essaysnark.com you can set your School Targets in My SnarkCenter and see our breaking-news and don’t-do-this advice for all BSers, along with a link to the full ‘Snarchive on Kellogg-specific posts going back to the beginning of snarkville.

 

EssaySnark Reviews

We’ve done a lot with the Kellogg essays! And there’s a lot of former BSers in Evanston. Here’s where we ripped some of those previous essays to shreds:

And really old:


 

For Reference: Kellogg’s Past-Season Questions

Click to view 2016 questions
The current essay questions for Northwestern Kellogg are:
  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)
  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)

Those happen to be the same as they asked in 2015. And, if last year’s Brave Supplicants’ experiences are any guide, you’re going to have some trouble with essay 2 question 2 especially. The wording is not as straightforward as it could be.

However, essay 2 question 1 is also proving sticky for many BSers. We covered a classic mistake in writing for these types of questions on the blahg in September. We also talked about the Kellogg essays in this post on inside-out and outside-in stories in December, and here it is right before the deadline and we’re doing another post on professional stories and showing “growth” for the Kellogg MBA Essay 2.

Also you’ll note that there is no explicit career goals essay, though you will be answering questions about goals in the application. It’s often relevant to discuss goals in essay 2 question 2, but it’ll need to be handled carefully.

For essay 1, this previous post on “lessons learned” in essays might be useful.

They’re also keeping the video questions (they were one of the pioneers for this format) and even expanding them from two to three. You’ll complete these after you submit the written application.

In a webinar in August 2016, Kellogg adcom was very candid in offering some advice from last year’s applicants since the essay questions were the same. They suggested that you think about the essays combined, as a set, and look at the balance of content you’re presenting across both of them. They also encouraged you to use more recent examples.

And finally:

Can you say “high GMAT score”? The Class of 2018 profile for Kellogg is out and average GMAT is now 728!!!!! They’ve also got 20 fewer students in the class, which is the opposite direction we’d expect to see in an increasing-apps environment. Last season was indeed crazy competitive. Let’s hope this year’s not quite so bad!!!

A few other trends:

  • Fewer women: 41% which translates to 194 female students, compared to 211 in the Class of 2017
  • Fewer internationals: 35% (166 students) compared to 40% (197) last year
  • More work experience: 80% range of 3.5 to 7 years of experience, compared to 3 to 7 years in the class of 2017

We doubt that they explicitly designed these shifts into the class makeup so it’s not like these are trends that will continue for the upcoming admissions season – but they’re definitely marked changes from the year before.

[end discussion of last year’s questions.]


Click to view 2015 questions

The Class of 2017 profile for Kellogg is a little intimidating!! Average GMAT up to 724?!?
The Kellogg essay questions are reasonably straightforward but the second question is tricky, and they do have those video questions which makes some people nervous. The Kellogg application process is also different, since you need to request your own interview – plus there’s some important wrinkles and potential gotchas in the app itself. Our Kellogg MBA Application Guide walks you through everything.

Here are the 2015 essay questions:

  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)
  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)
  3. After submitting a completed application, each applicant will be asked to complete two Video Essay Questions. One will be about the candidate’s interest in Kellogg and the other will be a “getting to know you” type of question.

You can see their FAQ on the Video Essay in their application instructions .

Their online app also asks for a lot of stuff, as every school’s does – including, in this case, some questions on your career goals.

There’s also a reapplicant essay (up to 250 words) and another essay if you’re applying to MMM or other dual-degree program, plus an optional Additional Information section with no word limit (only use that if necessary to explain something you’re not covering elsewhere).

Just like the 2014 season, Kellogg is continuing the trend of being kind to Brave Supplicants. Clear language, easy-to-understand questions, and a real opportunity to share something important, with both essays.

For 2015-’16, Kellogg took the extra step of publishing some specifically useful and practical tips for your essays – advice which we’ve covered for years in our Kellogg application guide (/end shameless self-promotion) and which also can apply to plenty of other schools.

[end discussion of last year’s questions.]


Click to view 2014 questions

Two written essays and two in-app video questions:
  1. Resilience. Perseverance. Grit. Call it what you will…. Challenges can build character. Describe a challenging experience you’ve had. How were you tested? What did you learn? (450 words)
  2. Leadership requires an ability to collaborate with and motivate others. Describe a professional experience that required you to influence people. What did this experience teach you about working with others, and how will it make you a better leader? (450 words)
  3. After submitting a completed application, each applicant will be asked to complete two Video Essay Questions. One will be about the candidate’s interest in Kellogg and the other will be a “getting to know you” type of question.

Wow. Kellogg. Nice essays.
[end discussion of 2014 questions.]


Click to view 2013 questions

2013 Essays – EssaySnark’s Analysis

Things were CON-FUS-ING at Kellogg that year. They completely changed their application process, AND they implemented a video essay at the same time – and none of these changes were managed well.
Here’s how the interview/application deadlines worked then:

  • Round 1
    • Off-campus interview request – recommended deadline was September 18 last year – the problem was, they announced this on like August 20th or something crazy! It created much panic in the minds of BSers everywhere
    • Final Rd 1 deadline was October 16 last year – they claim no disadvantage to submit on the deadline but they were pretty firm that you should apply early if you can
  • Round 2
    • Off-campus interview request – recommended deadline was December 3 last year
    • Final Rd 2 deadline was January 7 last year

Thankfully they fixed this problem for the 2014 season.

This is what we said when the 2013 essay questions came out… remember this analysis is not for the current season (but the Kellogg adcom does still care about these things, which is why we’re keeping this for your reference).

Here’s the Kellogg essay questions – they went shorter with one but not unreasonably so. Good job, Kellogg!

Three essays including a very straightforward career goals question:

  1. What’s the greatest obstacle you’ve overcome (personally or professionally)? How has overcoming this obstacle prepared you to achieve success now and in the future? (350 words)
  2. What have been your most significant leadership experiences? What challenges did you face, and what impact did you have? This is your opportunity to explain how you Think Bravely. (500 words)
  3. (This requires two separate answers; it’s not a single essay)
    • Part 1: What career/role are you looking to pursue and why? (250 word limit)
    • Part 2: Why are Kellogg and the MBA essential to achieving these career goals? (250 word limit) (Please answer Part 2 in terms of your program choice: One-Year, Two-Year, MMM, JD-MBA).
  4. There’s also a Video Essay – you’ll answer an impromptu question within the application itself using a webcam and your browser (we discuss it in the Kellogg essay guide and if you want help preparing, our Automated Interview Prep offers a very similar experience in a practice environment)

These questions were different, but they were still very Kellogg! Besides that video essay, Aw snap. They really didn’t. There were indeed two sets of dates per round again that year. And they only announced it A MONTH BEFORE THEY WANTED PEOPLE TO SUBMIT APPS. And they had only released the app on August 22nd!!! With apps due on September 18th? Totally uncool, Kellogg.

[end discussion of 2013 questions.]
[


Click to view 2012 questions

2012 questions – these are REALLY OLD
Three essays and a quick answer:
  1. Discuss moments or influences in your personal life that have defined who you are today.
  2. What have been your most significant leadership experiences? What challenges did you face, and what impact did you have? This is your opportunity to explain how you Think Bravely (personally and/or professionally).(You can definitely expect a question about leadership from Kellogg.)
  3. Imagine yourself at your Kellogg graduation. What career will you be preparing to enter, and how have the MBA and Kellogg helped you get there? (Please answer in terms of your program choice: One-Year, Two-Year, MMM, JD-MBA)
  4. What one interesting or fun fact would you want your future Kellogg classmates to know about you? (25 words or less)

[end discussion of 2012 questions.]


Success Story!

We always preserve anonymity for our successful clients, and sometimes they prefer us not even to divulge the name of the school they got admitted to when they write about their experiences… but sometimes they’ll tell where they’re going! This former Brave Supplicant got into Kellogg a few years back and offered a great story about the process. Here’s another from a 2015 military candidate.

Our SnarkStrategies Guide for Kellogg has been updated for 2017 questions and details.

 

[Index of essay questions by business school]

Admissions

Applying to Kellogg

You're ready to take on new challenges to be a better, stronger, more adaptable leader. You're just a few steps away from getting started on your Kellogg MBA.

For International Candidates

Contact Admissions Office

Find everything you need to know about our application process, from eligibility requirements to decision notifications.

Stay on top of our application deadlines and decision notification dates for each of our three admissions rounds.

For 2017-2018, the following two essays are required of all applicants:

  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? (450 words)
  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)

Certain applicants will respond to additional questions:
  • Dual-degree applicants: For applicants to the MMM or JD-MBA dual degree programs, please explain why that program is right for you. (250 words)
  • Re-applicants: Since your previous application, what steps have you taken to strengthen your candidacy? (250 word limit)
All applicants have the opportunity to provide explanations or clarification in Additional Information:
  • 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)


The Video Essay is one component of the application and provides you with an additional opportunity to demonstrate what you will bring to our 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 we have learned about on paper.
  • After submitting an application and payment, you will be able to access the video essay through your application status page. One question will be a “get to know you" icebreaker type of question. The second question will be an opportunity to describe your plans for the future and how Kellogg will help you on that journey. The other questions will be randomly generated questions that will be 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. There is not 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:    Why does Kellogg have a video essay?
A:    Student culture is hugely important at Kellogg. So we want to meet everyone. EVERYONE. We use the video essays as additional information to the application. It is the last thing we review when reading an application. It gives us a sense of your personality and allows us to get to know you in a more personal way than we can through your essays.

Q:    What makes a good video essay? 
A:    Be yourself. We don't want scripted answers - we want to get to know you and learn something new.  Please do not try to reuse an example from an essay that might in some roundabout way answer the video essay question you are being asked (and we already read that essay, so why tell us that story again?).  Think about your answer and prepare ahead of time, but when you record your answer speak authentically – we can tell if you are reading notes! And, no need to memorize an answer to the Kellogg question… it might make you sound like a robot. 
Q:    What kind of questions will you ask? 
A:   We are going to be honest about this. Really. We don't want you to stress. We will ask you one icebreaker question, with no “right answer”, to help us get to know you. Want an example? Okay. "If you could live anywhere in the world for a year, where would it be and why?" See, not so hard. The second question will be about Kellogg.  And to make this even less mysterious we are going to give you the question.  Seriously. Here it is: “What path are you interested in pursuing, how will you get there, and why is this program right for you?” The other questions will be interview-type questions but still not something to worry about.  Here is an example of the type of question you will be asked, “Tell me about a time you were not going to be able to meet a deadline.  How did you handle the situation?  What was the outcome?”
Q:    Are there right or wrong answers?
A:    No. This isn't a test. We use the video essay to gain additional information about you and get to know you in a more personal way. Don't have a perfect answer to the question? Do not panic! Answer it the best way you can and let your personality shine.

Q:    How many times can I record myself?

A:    You can practice recording yourself as many times as you want and the practice experience (format and types of questions) will be identical to the actual experience. But, when it comes to getting your actual video essay questions, you will only have one try. So practice. We know you like to be prepared! Get comfortable with the technology. We put good practice questions out there so you won't be nervous. Have fun and do your best.

Q:    Really, I don't get a second chance
?
A:    Nope, sorry. This is a bit like an interview. Sometimes in an interview you are asked a question and you don't have the perfect answer, but you go ahead and give the best response you can. And, most of the time, it turns out well. That's what this is. Take a deep breath before you start and be confident in yourself and your ability to give a great answer.

Q:    How much time will I have to think of a response and how long will I have to give my answer?
A:    You will have 20 seconds to think of your response and 60 seconds to give your answer. We suggest you practice. It will make this easier. Take 10 minutes to go through the practice questions. Answer them as if they were your real questions. The more you practice the more comfortable you will feel doing the real video essays.

Q:    What should I wear? Do I have to wear a suit?
A: You can wear a suit if you want to; but business casual is certainly okay with us too. And really, we will only see your head and shoulders so you can wear a collared shirt and we would never know you were still in your sweatpants.

Q: Where should I record my video essay?

A: Wherever you like - your office, kitchen, apartment, hotel room. Just make sure you pick a place where you have a good internet connection and no distractions.

Q:    What part of the application process is the video essay? How do I access the Video Essay?
A: After submitting your application, the Video Essay will be available when you log in to your applicant status page.

Q:    How much time will I have to complete the video essays?
A:    After submitting your application you will be given access to the Video Essay component and will have 48 hours after the application is due to complete the Video Essay. We encourage applicants to complete their Video Essay shortly after submitting the application while information is still fresh in your mind and so you don’t forget!  Also, please try not to wait for the last possible moment to record your video essay - it will feel more stressful if you are doing it at the last minute and in a rush. Block out 20-25 minutes a few days after you submit your application and complete it.

Q:    How long will this take me?
A:    To be safe we are saying 20-25 minutes, but we think 15 if you decide not to do all the practice questions and don't have any questions on the set-up.
If you have applied in the past and want to re-apply, we encourage you to complete the re-application process.

We’re proud to receive applications from candidates in over 90 countries. International candidates should follow our application process and provide TOEFL or IELTS information.

Learn from your peers as well as our faculty. Kellogg's diverse student body offers a unique global and cross disciplinary perspective that enriches your studies.

Find out what we look for in a candidate, tips on when to apply and more.

The Kellogg Admissions Office has developed the following list of frequently asked questions to help you navigate the waitlist.

Deadlines & Notifications

Application Deadlines

Round 1 - Sept 20, 2017

Round 2 - Jan 10, 2018

Round 3 - April 11, 2018

Decision Released

Round 1 - Dec 13, 2017

Round 2 - March 28, 2018

Round 3 - May 16, 2018

Pages in Admissions:

Pages in Full-Time MBA Program

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