New Considerations When Applying to Kellogg

Kellogg MBA Admissions GuideThe Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University has recently released its “Facts and Figures” statistics for the new Class of 2018, and boy is it impressive! With record numbers across the board, it is important for prospective MBA candidates to understand what some of these key facts and figures are, as well as what strategic insights about the school can be uncovered from the new numbers.

Record GMAT Score
The first and most prominent metric that jumps out in Kellogg’s “Facts and Figures” is the school’s impressive GMAT average, which has climbed to 728! To put this in context, Kellogg’s 2012 “Facts and Figures” listed their average GMAT score as 708 – 20 points lower than it is today, less than five years later.

Kellogg’s average GMAT score has been rapidly rising every year. In fact, its current number is 2 points higher than Harvard’s last reported average GMAT score, representing a significant change in the school’s approach to admissions as more “numbers driven”. Historically, Kellogg has used a much more holistic approach to admissions, often admitting candidates who may have been “soft” in their GPA or GMAT numbers. While Kellogg remains holistic, it is clear that key quantitative data points, like GMAT scores, have increased in importance.

Record Gender Diversity
Kellogg has always placed an emphasis on gender diversity, both in admissions and within the student community, consistently boasting one of the most active Women’s Business Association and strongest female alumni networks. So Kellogg’s record percentage of women in their program represents a strong actualization of the school’s mission. I suspect Kellogg will continue to take a leadership role in this category and aim to grow their 43% women closer to a 50/50 ratio.

Shrinking the Two-Year Class
Since taking over the helm at Kellogg, Dean Sally Blount has sought to re-balance the school’s two-year and one-year programs – the goal with this approach is to shrink the two-year class and increase the one-year class. This plan is not only a strategic one to attract specific audiences (those for whom the two-year program may not be the best fit) but also, potentially, a functional one that will allow the school to improve the statistics of its two-year program, which is reflected most notably in the advertised class profile.

Interested candidates should use these trends to identify the best program type for their unique profile. Candidates with “softer” data points and a strong business background may want to consider the one-year program as a potential option, given the increasing competitiveness of Kellogg’s two-year program.

Kellogg’s “Facts and Figures” are always a great representation of trends at the school. Use the factors above to develop the optimal strategy for your own application to Kellogg. And for more information on Kellogg, check out Veritas Prep’s Essential Guide to Top Business Schools.

Applying to business school? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or take our free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation for personalized advice for your unique application situation! As always, be sure to find us on FacebookYouTubeGoogle+ and Twitter.

Dozie A. is a Veritas Prep Head Consultant for the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. His specialties include consulting, marketing, and low GPA/GMAT applicants. You can read more articles by him here.

How to Tackle Kellogg’s 2016-2017 Video Essays

Kellogg MBA Admissions GuideNorthwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management has double downed on the recent trend of video essays, bringing back their video essay for another year. Kellogg has continued to tweak the questions and format over the years but the general premise and ways to succeed in this aspect of their application have remained consistent.

As far as the operational aspects go, you have a week to complete the video essays after submission of your application – the video essays themselves are pretty straightforward and should be approached as such. I believe that these video essays are genuinely used so that the admissions committee can “get to know” the candidate on a more personal level. Therefore, the applicant should try to be friendly and open about the questions (while still being appropriate, of course) rather than overly stiff and formal.

The video essays can also be used as another way for the Admissions Committee to get a little glimpse into the personality traits of applicants. This is not something that will be really tricky or challenging, such as a mini-case – it is much more personal.

Kellogg is looking to see how you come across in an unscripted, conversational moment. The important thing to remember here is to convey calm confidence and answer the question directly within the time allotted. The good thing about these video essays is that you have a bank of 10 practice questions to prep with, so utilize this to get a feel for the questions and the technology. I would also recommend practicing a few responses for timing purposes to see how long or short a minute really is.

This is the kind of thing where I think over-preparation could potentially backfire, since you don’t know what the questions will be (outside of video prompt #2, which the school has made publicly available to all). Remember, the objective of the exercise is to be yourself and have fun, so be ready to be flexible in your responses to what you are asked. Your personality should be consistent with who you have portrayed yourself to be in the application (which should be in line with who you really are) while factoring how the Admissions Committee perceives you (young candidate, international, brain, etc.).

Prep some responses to common questions under each of the prompt categories, but keep in mind that these questions are not meant to be brain teasers, just personal questions you should have sorted through about yourself and your interest in the school prior to completing your application. One question will be Kellogg-focused, another will be more personal and the last will exploring a challenge you have faced.

Finally, try and have a good structure in your responses to the questions – communication is obviously one of the major elements being tested here, so stay poised and show off that executive presence Kellogg values so much.

For more thoughts on Kellogg, check out our free Essential Guide to Top Business Schools.

Applying to Kellogg or other business schools? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or take our free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation for personalized advice for your unique application situation! As always, be sure to find us on FacebookYouTubeGoogle+ and Twitter.

Dozie A. is a Veritas Prep Head Consultant for the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. His specialties include consulting, marketing, and low GPA/GMAT applicants. You can read more articles by him here.

5 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Business School for Its Maximum Global Impact

Europeean MBA ProgramsAs the world has become increasingly global and interconnected, the business world has followed the same trend. As such, the ability to be a global thinker has been ingrained in many business school curriculums, both domestically and internationally. For some, this educational dalliance with a global curriculum at many MBA programs is insufficient and does not effectively prepare students to lead in an international setting.

Choosing an MBA program for a global impact is extremely important for students looking to live or work internationally. Also, globally-minded programs tend to attract more students who are interested in working at multi-national corporations that may be headquartered outside of the U.S. For international students, attending programs with a high percentage of other international students eases the transition to a new country and provides a more comfortable experience during the 2-year business school journey. Let us discuss some other things to consider as you explore what constitutes the right globally-minded MBA program for you:

1) Location
The location of your future business school is one of the biggest factors to consider when determining your fit with a specific program. Now, when thinking about programs that can deliver a global impact, usually the closer you are to your target region of post-MBA work, the better off you are – if you are interested in working in Europe, for example, then a European MBA program like INSEAD may make more sense for you than an MBA program in the United States.

2) Reputation
Even an MBA program that is not based in your region of interest can provide great post-MBA career opportunities if its name carries the right reputation. Globally-reputed programs resonate anywhere in the world, which can allow students a great education with career opportunities in other international areas.

3) Curriculum
If you are interested in how global an MBA program is, make sure to review the academic offerings of your target schools, paying close attention to how they weave global learning into their course requirements. The best global programs will offer relevant international coursework, treks, and experiential learning opportunities to provide practical and academic experiences for interested students. Some programs, like the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, even have international education requirements that mandate students to study abroad, take internationally-focused coursework, or engage in some other global experiential learning opportunities.

4) Alumni
Prominent alumni or a high number of alumni in a region from your target school can be another great indicator of fit. A strong, connected alumni network can often help you secure short-term or long-term employment in a desired nation of your choice or multi-national company.

5) Current Students
For applicants interested in global exposure, the amount of international students currently in the MBA programs they are interested in can be a strong indicator that they may click with that program. Having an internationally diverse student body provides tremendous networking opportunities for students interested in learning more about global career opportunities as well as the cultures in specific regions around the world.

Follow the tips above to inform your decision making when choosing the right globally-minded MBA program for your unique needs.

Applying to business school? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or take our free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation for personalized advice for your unique application situation! As always, be sure to find us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter.

Dozie A. is a Veritas Prep Head Consultant for the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. His specialties include consulting, marketing, and low GPA/GMAT applicants. You can read more articles by him here.

What MBA Class Size is Best for You?

In ClassThere are many different characteristics that can factor into selecting the right business school for you. From school reputation, recruiting, and alumni network to teaching style and professors, MBA programs come in all shapes and sizes. One aspect that is often overlooked in the business school search process is class size – not to be confused with the size of individual classes within a school or by the size of the entire student body.

Why is this so important?  The class size of your MBA factors into many aspects of your business school experience and will continue to influence your career many years after matriculation. MBA programs like the Tuck School at Dartmouth or the Johnson School at Cornell boast tight knit cultures that offer small class sizes. By contrast, programs such as Harvard Business School, Columbia Business School and the Wharton School at Penn boast large class sizes with deep alumni networks.

So what type of environment is right for you? Only you can say, but consider the following:

Personality
What setting do you thrive in? For some, a bigger class size would be too overwhelming, while others might thrive in this setting but feel intimidated by the intimacy of a smaller class size. The decision to pursue an MBA is an intensely personal one, as is the type of program you choose, so be sure to reflect on your preferences to ensure the class size of the program you choose will mesh well with your unique personality.

Career
How will the class size of your target program impact your future career options? With a larger student body often comes more resources and access to a wider breadth of recruiters, however, such large a large student population also brings the risk of potentially finding yourself “lost” in the crowd of your classmates. Do some research and ensure the programs and recruiters necessary to support your career development align with the type of class you are looking to join.

Network
Are you more inclined to build small, closer relationships or broadly connect with many? Bigger programs can allow you to better address both of these options, while smaller programs may restrict your ability to accomplish the latter.

However, it is important to note that the culture of a school’s student community may play a more important factor than even overall class size. For example, Northwestern’s Kellogg School (a program with large class sizes) has historically been known to have very collaborative students, which counteracts the stereotypes commonly associated with programs of its size. This just goes to show that an MBA program can’t always be judged on its size.

As always, research is the key go beyond common stereotypes associated with programs of all sizes and make an informed decision as you construct your target school list or make a matriculation decision.

Applying to business school? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or take our free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation for personalized advice for your unique application situation! As always, be sure to find us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter.

Dozie A. is a Veritas Prep Head Consultant for the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. His specialties include consulting, marketing, and low GPA/GMAT applicants. You can find more of his articles here.

Breaking Down the 2017 U.S. News Ranking of Top Business Schools: Part 2

US News College Rankings

Make sure you check out Part 1 of this article before you begin reading more of our thoughts on the recently released U.S. News and World Report‘s 2017 ranking of Best Business Schools. Now let’s take a deeper look at some of the surprises this year’s rankings presented:

 

Ranking surprises 
We were quite surprised to see Columbia (#10) come behind Tuck and Yale this year (ranked #8 and #9 respectively). Columbia has a very high yield of admitted applicants who choose to attend the school, and it has been working hard to foster a more collaborative culture. However, Tuck’s employment statistics and remarkably high percentage of graduates receiving a signing bonus (87%!) play well to the U.S. News methodology. We shouldn’t sell Tuck short, though, as other intangibles at Tuck not included in this ranking — such as student satisfaction, alumni network, and tight-knit culture — also rate among the highest of any MBA program.

Yale snagged Dean Ted Snyder from Chicago Booth back in 2011 after he presided over its precipitous rise in the rankings. His magic potion seems to be working at Yale as well, and we’ve dubbed him the “Rankings Whisperer.” He thoroughly understands the drivers of rankings and pushes all levers to the max to improve the standings of his schools. Yale has begun to move away from its ties to the social and nonprofit sectors, driving up average starting salaries and recruitment percentages, but perhaps distancing the program from its roots.

University of Virginia’s Darden School always seems to be the sleeper success story, and this year is no exception. With its best placement in more than a decade, Darden came in at #11. Darden’s reputation amongst peer schools and recruiters is not as strong as most other programs ranked in the top 15, but it has a very strong starting salary/bonus and other statistics.

Be wary of average salary numbers
The U.S. News ranking incorporates average salary plus signing bonus in its rankings, which in theory, is not a bad thing. After all, many applicants desire to gain an MBA, at least in part, to improve their salary potential. However, we recommend that you look at salaries just like the rankings themselves—by using the numbers in a broader context. After all, the difference in average salary and bonus between Harvard (ranked #1 overall) and Cornell (ranked #14 overall), is less than $5,000 per year.

If you analyze the data industry-by-industry (as we have), you’ll find that there’s little difference in salaries coming out of the top 10 to 15 programs. The biggest difference is the percentage of graduates who are able to land positions in highly selective industries, such as private equity. But here’s the rub: most of these highly selective industries are looking for extremely qualified candidates who have pre-MBA experience that fits their needs. So even if you manage to squeeze into Harvard or Stanford, if you don’t have the pre-MBA experience that these firms are looking for, then you’re going to have a tough time getting an interview, much less landing a job, in the highest paying private equity or venture capital positions.

Also, some roles, such as in investment banking, do not have as high of base salaries or signing bonuses, but a high percentage of your income will come from performance-based quarterly and annual bonuses. Other roles simply pay less, such as marketing and product management, but remain very attractive to a significant number of MBA graduates. Schools with a higher percentage of graduates taking these roles, such as Kellogg, can have lower overall salary averages, when their graduates make as much or more than peers within their chosen industry. None of this information can be captured in the U.S. News ranking.

Bottom line: Are you likely to make more money coming out of a program ranked #5 than ranked #20? Yes. But should you let this number dictate your decision between #7 and #12? Not necessarily. There are many other factors to consider, such as whether your target companies, industries, and so forth.

A holistic approach
We’ve provided a bit of context and analysis around this year’s ranking, and we encourage you to use these lists as merely a starting point in your research process. We encourage you to take advantage of our Veritas Prep Essential Guide to Top Business Schools to assist in your process, as it’s now available for free on our website!

In addition, if you’re interested in finding out your chances of admission to the top schools, you can sign up for a free profile evaluation to explore your individual strengths and weaknesses. Veritas Prep has worked with thousands of successful applicants to the top business schools, and we look forward to assisting you on your own journey!

Travis Morgan is the Director of Admissions Consulting for Veritas Prep and earned his MBA with distinction from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He served in the Kellogg Student Admissions Office, Alumni Admissions Organization and Diversity & Inclusion Council, among several other posts. Travis joined Veritas Prep as an admissions consultant and GMAT instructor, and he was named Worldwide Instructor of the Year in 2011. 

How to Show Fit During the Interview Process at Kellogg

Kellogg School of ManagementIf you have received an interview invite to the prestigious Kellogg School of Management, then congratulations! Kellogg has historically been known as a program that really focuses on admitting “real people,” and thus, is one of the few top MBA programs that strives to interview every candidate. The program has long been known for its strong student community and this thorough interview process goes a long way in determining if potential candidates can make the cut in this area.

Hopefully, you have already conducted tons of research to prepare yourself for the big day. You know the ins and outs of the school’s academic programs, have a good handle of the recruiting advantages, and even have a comprehensive list of the top extra-curricular activities you’d like to lead. In addition to these factors, understanding the importance of fit at Kellogg is critical in identifying what the program looks for in potential candidates and how you can best position yourself for interview success. Let’s examine some key ways you can showcase fit to your Kellogg interviewer:

Intellectual Ability
This is business school, after all. Kellogg is looking for the best and the brightest, so it is important to project that you can hang academically, as well as bring a diverse point of view to the classroom. Utilizing professional anecdotes here can certainly do the trick, but the structure and style of your communication can also go a long way here.

Problem Solving Skills
Kellogg is looking for problem solvers! Whether in your personal or professional past, the school is looking for the type of people who can not only take on a challenge but also solve one. As a Kellogg MBA, you will be expected to solve some of the most challenging global problems in business, so showcase your track record here. For extra points, highlight instances where you solved problems in a group setting.

Leadership Experience
Although Kellogg has long been known as a top business school that emphasizes teamwork, leadership at the school is equally important. Focus specifically on your individual contributions as you regale the interviewer with your leadership experiences. Keep in mind, particularly for younger candidates, these experiences do not need to be limited to the professional side. Share your most impactful leadership experiences whether they are social, academic, or professional.

Values and Motivations
Kellogg is looking to admit people, so don’t be afraid to share personal aspects of who you are and what you value. A large part of your evaluation will be whether your personality and vibe can fit in at Kellogg, so don’t try to be anything other than yourself.

Extra-Curricular Activities
The Kellogg MBA is built on engagement, and as such, the school is seeking candidates who have shown a track record of engagement in the past as this signals a likelihood of being similarly engaged at Kellogg, and later on as an alum. Clearly articulate how you have engaged yourself in the past, as well as how you plan to engage yourself in the future as a Kellogg MBA. Be specific here, and make sure you have more than one example of your engagement goals at the school itself.

Interpersonal Skills
The ability to work with and lead others is core to all aspects of thriving in the student community at Kellogg. Although this may be the last criteria shared, it may actually be the most important. Don’t be afraid to include examples of how you have engaged with others in all aspects of your life, but remember, Kellogg will have a discerning eye for those inauthentic in this aspect of the evaluation. Also, how you carry yourself in person will be another key indicator if you have what it takes to join the Kellogg community, so keep this in mind.

Follow these tips so come interview day, you will be able to breeze through Kellogg’s interview process and put yourself one step closer to that MBA.

Applying to business school? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or take our free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation for personalized advice for your unique application situation! As always, be sure to find us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter.

Dozie A. is a Veritas Prep Head Consultant for the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. His specialties include consulting, marketing, and low GPA/GMAT applicants. You can read more of his articles here.

4 Predictions for 2016: Trends to Look for in the Coming Year

Can you believe another year has already gone by? It seems like just yesterday that we were taking down 2014’s holiday decorations and trying to remember to write “2015” when writing down the date. Well, 2015 is now in the books, which means it’s time for us to stick our necks out and make a few predictions for what 2016 will bring in the world of college and graduate school testing and admissions. We don’t always nail all of our predictions, and sometimes we’re way off, but that’s what makes this predictions business kind of fun, right?

Let’s see how we do this year… Here are four things that we expect to see unfold at some point in 2016:

The College Board will announce at least one significant change to the New SAT after it is introduced in March.
Yes, we know that an all-new SAT is coming. And we also know that College Board CEO David Coleman is determined to make his mark and launch a new test that is much more closely aligned with the Common Core standards that Coleman himself helped develop before stepping into the CEO role at the College Board. (The changes also happen to make the New SAT much more similar to the ACT, but we digress.) The College Board’s excitement to introduce a radically redesigned test, though, may very well lead to some changes that need some tweaking after the first several times the new test is administered. We don’t know exactly what the changes will be, but the new test’s use of “Founding Documents” as a source of reading passages is one spot where we won’t be shocked to see tweaks later in 2016.

At least one major business school rankings publication will start to collect GRE scores from MBA programs.
While the GRE is still a long way from catching up to the GMAT as the most commonly submitted test score by MBA applicants, it is gaining ground. In fact, 29 of Bloomberg Businessweek‘s top 30 U.S. business schools now let applicants submit a score from either exam. Right now, no publication includes GRE score data in its ranking criteria, which creates a small but meaningful implication: if you’re not a strong standardized test taker, then submitting a GRE score may mean that an admissions committee will be more willing to take a chance and admit you (assuming the rest of your application is strong), since it won’t have to report your test score and risk lowering its average GMAT score.

Of course, when a school admits hundreds of applicants, the impact of your one single score is very small, but no admissions director wants to have to explain to his or her boss why the school admitted someone with a 640 GMAT score while all other schools’ average scores keep going up. Knowing this incentive is in place, it’s only a matter of time before Businessweek, U.S. News, or someone else starts collecting GRE scores from business schools for their rankings data.

An expansion of student loan forgiveness is coming.
It’s an election year, and not many issues have a bigger financial impact on young voters than student loan debt. The average Class of 2015 college grad was left school owing more than $35,000 in student loans, meaning that these young grads may have to work until the age of 75 until they can reasonably expect to retire. Already this year the government announced the Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE) Plan, which lets borrowers cap their monthly loan payments at 10% of their monthly discretionary income. One possible way the program could expand is by loosening the standards of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program. Right now a borrower needs to make on-time monthly payments for 10 straight years to be eligible; don’t be surprised if someone proposes shortening it to five or eight years.

The number of business schools using video responses in their applications will triple.
Several prominent business schools such as Kellogg, Yale SOM, and U. of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management (which pioneered the practice) have started using video “essays” in their application process. While the rollout hasn’t been perfectly smooth, and many applicants have told us that video responses make the process even more stressful, we think video is’t going away anytime soon. In fact, we think that closer to 10 schools will use video as part of the application process by this time next year.

If a super-elite MBA program such as Stanford GSB or Harvard Business School starts video responses, then you will probably see a full-blown stampede towards video. But, even without one of those names adopting it, we think the medium’s popularity will climb significantly in the coming year. It’s just such a time saver for admissions officers – one can glean a lot about someone with just a few minutes of video – that this trend will only accelerate in 2016.

Let’s check back in 12 months and see how we did. In the meantime, we wish you a happy, healthy, and successful 2016!

By Scott Shrum

Is Your GMAT Score More Important Than Ever?

GMAT ReasoningThe dreaded GMAT has long been one of the most feared components of the MBA application process. For many years the importance of the GMAT has been a bit overvalued by applicants, with too much focus being placed on the score and not enough on other areas of the application process. Just as admissions committees’ consistent message of their reliance on holistic reviews of candidate profiles has begun to sink in, a shift has seemingly started back the other way.

Although there has been a consistent upward trends over the last few decades in GMAT scores across the board, over the last year or two in particular the average GMAT scores at top MBA programs like Northwestern’s Kellogg School, Chicago’s Booth School and Pennsylvania’s Wharton School have risen by record percentage points. These record averages should signal to prospective applicant’s the increased importance of the GMAT.

Now, GMAT scores have always been important aspects of the MBA admissions process, but should applicants be more concerned with the rising scores at these top MBA programs?  The quick answer is no!  But you do want to accept this answer with a bit of a caveat: with dramatically rising GMAT scores across the board, it is even more important for applicants to target programs that are a clear fit for their background and showcased aptitude (GPA/GMAT). More specifically, applying to programs where your GMAT score falls below the average score has become a riskier option.

The typical candidate should make sure they hit or are very close to the listed averages. Now for candidates coming from a more competitive applicant pool like the Indian male, White male, and Asian male, it is important to target a score above schools’ listed averages to ensure you stand out from the pack. For non-traditional applicants, a strong GMAT score can be a way to stand out in the face of rising scores and increased competition.

The main takeaway from this trend for all applicants should be to really focus up front on creating the right list of target schools. Mind you, this list should not simply be one of the top 10 programs. Instead, create a list where your academic aptitude, professional goals, and other data points all align with the programs you plan to apply to so that you are able to maximize your chances of gaining admission to your target schools.

Applying to business school? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or click here to take our free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation for personalized advice for your unique application situation! As always, be sure to find us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter.

Dozie A. is a Veritas Prep Head Consultant for the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. His specialties include consulting, marketing, and low GPA/GMAT applicants. You can read more of his articles here.

Breaking Down Kellogg Evaluation Criteria

Kellogg School of ManagementThe Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University has always taken a holistic view of their application process and the criteria with which it assesses candidates. Before diving head-first into the application process, candidates should review the evaluation criteria that the school has publicly communicated.

This approach will allow interested applicants a chance to strategize how they will best craft their profiles for success in applying to the the prestigious midwestern university. Now keep in mind, creating a game plan based on the evaluation criteria below should not be confused with trying to “game” the process – it should be instead used to focus your approach to the Kellogg application.

Let’s explore the five aspects of Kellogg’s evaluation criteria that the Admissions Committee utilizes for interested applicants:

1) Work Experience

This is business school after all, so your pre-MBA work experience will matter. Kellogg, like many other top MBA programs, is pre-disposed to strong brands, not just because these names have more cache, but because often these strong brands afford great development opportunities for those early in their careers. However, not having a strong brand on your resume is not necessarily a negative. The AdComm is really looking for the rigor and nature of your work experience here more so than a flashy brand. The more logical and upward-trending your work experience appears, the better off you will be in this area.

2) Impact

The criterion of impact connects directly with your work experience but is not limited exclusively to this domain. This single category can communicate a lot to the AdComm about your past, present and potential future. Kellogg seeks applicants who have driven impact in their past organizations and will continue to do so in the future, so make sure, if possible, you highlight your impact on the various organizations you have been a part of.

3) Professional Goals

Are your professional goals clear and logical? Do they align with your background? These are some of the questions you need to make sure you have articulated responses to. Kellogg wants to know that you have thought through your career goals as well as how their particular school can help you reach them, and specifically, Kellogg is seeking to determine whether the program can help you reach your goals given your background and the offerings of the school.

4) Leadership

Leadership skills are one of the top skills the AdComm at Kellogg look for in prospective students. Whether you are a seasoned professional or an applicant early in your career, it is important to showcase at the very least pockets of leadership in your background.  Leadership can exist anywhere, so make sure to canvas all aspects of your background to ensure you are highlighting your most relevant leadership experiences. Remember, leadership skills do not have to be limited to your professional experience –extra-curricular leadership experiences can be just as important if framed appropriately.  Kellogg is looking for the future leaders of tomorrow, so try to get the program excited about your leadership potential.

5) Interpersonal Skills

Coming from Kellogg, it should come as no surprise that this is a key evaluation point, given the educational approach that the school has pioneered and championed over the last few decades. Kellogg has built an unparalleled student community and has created a comprehensive application process that filters out the right type of applicants. Utilize the various touchpoints Kellogg offers via their application process to highlight the unique aspects of your personal and professional character and experiences.

Applying to business school? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or click here to take our Free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation! As always, be sure to find us on FacebookYouTubeGoogle+ and Twitter.

Dozie A. is a Veritas Prep Head Consultant for the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. His specialties include consulting, marketing, and low GPA/GMAT applicants. You can read more of his articles here

Kellogg Admissions Essays and Deadlines for 2015-2016

Kellogg School of ManagementThe Kellogg School of Management recently released its essay questions and deadlines for the 2015-2016 admissions season. After doing a lot of essay trimming over the past several years, Kellogg has decided to stay the course this year and stick with two required written essays. However, the essay prompts are new this year. And, the school’s “video essay” remains. Kellogg has a decent FAQ for its video essay on its website.

Let’s get down to it. Here are Kellogg’s application essays and deadlines for the Class of 2018, followed by our comments in italics:

Kellogg Application Deadlines
Round 1: September 22, 2015
Round 2: January 6, 2016
Round 3: April 6, 2016

After moving its Round 1 application way up (i.e., making it much earlier) last year, Kellogg has only made a minor adjustment this year. Note that applying in Round 1 means that you will get your decision by December 16, which should give you enough time to complete your Round 2 applications for other programs if you don’t get into Kellogg. The school’s Round 2 and Round 3 deadlines have not changed much this year, with the only notable change being that the Kellogg Round 3 deadline comes five days later this year than it did last season.

Kellogg Application Essays

  • 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)
    This question is new this year, although it’s really quite similar to the second essay on last year’s Kellogg application, which started with, “Leadership requires an ability to collaborate with and motivate others.” Note the emphasis on leadership and teamwork here… Both are key traits that the Kellogg admissions team looks for in all applicants. And, even though the second sentence above only mentions leadership, you’d better believe that the admissions committee also wants to see evidence of collaboration and cooperation… in other words, teamwork! Kellogg isn’t looking for sharp-elbowed people who lead by ordering others around. rather, the school wants to find applicants who inspire people to work harder and achieve great things through teamwork and empowerment.

    This essay is a classic candidate for the SAR (Situation – Action – Result) outline that we recommend our clients use. The situation will likely be an opportunity or challenge where you needed to rely on someone in order to get something done. The action will be how you managed to influence them in order to see things your way and to convince them to take up your cause. Perhaps it was an employee or teammate who wasn’t motivated, or didn’t agree with what you wanted to do. How did you win them over? Finally, the result will be the outcome — not just of that particular situation, but also the positive impact that it had on you as a young leader. Pay particular attention to the last few words of this essay prompt; what you learned may be what admissions committee pays attention to the most.

  • 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)
    This question is also new this year. However, over the years Kellogg has asked similar questions that have all addressed the ideas of personal growth and change. Assuming you have a good leadership growth story covered in Essay #1, then look for stories that will complement that nicely. How have you matured as a young adult? What was a weakness that you’ve worked on and have overcome? What strong qualities in others have you been able to emulate? As yourself these questions as you consider what makes for an effective topic here. Your story absolutely can come from your personal life — indeed, those often make for the most moving stories in essays like this one — but the more recent, the better. You’re still young and you are still evolving, so a story from fifteen years ago will likely be less compelling for admissions officers than one that happened in the past few years. (Of course, there are always exceptions to every rule!)

    The second part of the question may require you to drastically shift gears halfway through this essay… Your reasons for wanting to attend Kellogg may have very little to do with the compelling growth story you identified for the first part of this prompt, which is why we don’t necessarily love this new question from Kellogg. Sticking these two questions together may leave many applicants tempted to invent a theme in which they dramatically shape the story in the first half to fit what comes in the second half. We actually think a more effective approach is to present a true, impactful story of personal growth in the first part, and then hit the “What do you want to do at Kellogg?” question (which is really a “Why an MBA? Why Kellogg?” question at its core) head on. Some writers will tie the two together better than others, but remember that this isn’t an essay writing contest. It’s far more important for you to help the admissions committee get to know you (and want to admit you!) than to come up with an artful essay theme that doesn’t reflect the true you or make a convincing case that Kellogg is right for you.

Want to know what your chances are of getting into Kellogg? Fill out a free profile evaluation and get an in-depth evaluation from an MBA admissions expert. And, as always, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!

By Scott Shrum

Kellogg Application Essays and Deadlines for 2014-2015

Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management has released its MBA admissions essays and deadlines for the Class of 2017. While most top MBA programs have mostly been making nips and tucks to their admissions essays this year, Kellogg has made a lot of changes. And, like other business schools, Kellogg has dropped a required essay, going from three to two required essays for applicants to its traditional MBA program. The video response, which Kellogg introduced last year, remains.

Without further ado, here are the Kellogg essays and deadlines for the 2014-2015 admissions season, followed by our comments in italics:

Kellogg Admissions Deadlines
Round 1: September 24, 2014
Round 2: January 7, 2015
Round 3: April 1, 2015

Kellogg has moved its Round 1 application WAY up, by more than three weeks. If you plan on applying to Kellogg in Round 1, this means you should get started no later than early August. Note that applying in Round 1 means that you will get your decision by mid-December, which should give you enough time to complete your Round 2 applications for other programs, if you don’t get good news from Kellogg. The school’s Round 2 and Round 3 deadlines are virtually unchanged since last year.

Kellogg Admissions Essays

Note that we don’t include Kellogg’s essays for dual-degree applicants or re-applicants here. You can find those essay prompts on the Kellogg admissions website.

  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)

    This question is new this year, although it actually replaces a fairly similar question that Kellogg used in last year’s application. This year’s version actually gives you 100 more words to work with, and puts a bit more emphasis on the “What did you learn?” aspect, although, at its heart, this question is still trying to get at the same thing: The admissions committee wants to see how you have grown in your relatively short professional career. The phrase “challenging experience” gives you the opportunity to talk about situations you faced that weren’t necessarily of your own doing. For example, getting laid off when your company goes out of business represents an obstacle, but not a mistake on your part.

    Your mission will be to show introspection (What did you learn?) and a motivation for self-improvement (How did you use what you learned to better yourself and avoid that mistake again?). Also, note that your story can be a personal or a professional one. Ideally you will have a terrific work-related story to at least consider using there, but remember to look for experiences in all aspects of your life. Your most powerful “obstacle” story may come from outside your job, and that’s perfectly fine.

  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)

    This question is also new this year. Again, though, it mostly covers the same topic (leadership) that last year’s second question covered. In some ways, this new question represents at least a small move by Kellogg back towards the school’s roots in teamwork and collaboration. More than any other top MBA program, Kellogg has staked its reputation on its ability to produce great team players and collaborative leaders, and this question reflects that philosophy. Note both parts of that term (“collaborative leaders”)… Kellogg doesn’t want just friendly team players, bur instead wants people who can take charge and get things done. At the same time, the admissions committee isn’t looking for sharp-elbowed people who lead by edict; Kellogg wants to find applicants who inspire people to work harder and achieve great things through teamwork and empowerment.

    This particular essay prompt is a classic candidate for the SAR (Situation – Action – Result) outline that we recommend applicants use. The situation will likely be an opportunity or challenge where you needed to rely on someone in order to get something done. The action will be how you managed to influence them in order to see things your way and to convince them to take up your cause. Perhaps it was an employee or peer who wasn’t motivated, or didn’t agree with what you wanted to do. How did you win them over? Finally, the result will be the outcome — not just of that particular situation, but also the positive impact that it had on you as a young leader.

  3. 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)

    As we always tell applicants with these optional essays: Only answer this essay prompt if you need to explain a low undergraduate GPA or other potential blemish in your background. No need to harp on a minor weakness and sound like you’re making excuses when you don’t need any. If you don’t have anything else you need to tell the admissions office, it is entirely okay to skip this essay. Don’t let yourself get too tempted by that lack of a word limit… Less is more!

Finally, Kellogg’s video response returns for its second year. The recorded video answer was crafted to mimic an interview in that you will be given a question and will have to record your response right away (after a couple of minutes to gather your thoughts). Note that, while last year Kellogg would let you try again (with a new question) if you didn’t like your attempt, this year you will NOT be able to try again. (You will be able to warm up on some practice questions first.) And, you won’t know the questions ahead of time. For your official response, you will have just 20 seconds to think up your answer, and one minute to deliver it… No pressure! This is just one more example of how top MBA programs are trying to break away from the essay and get to know applicants better using other formats.

If you hope to get into Kellogg, download our Essential Guide to Kellogg, one of our 14 guides to the world’s top business schools. If you’re ready to start building your own application for Kellogg and other top-ranked MBA programs, fill out a free profile evaluation and get an in-depth evaluation from an MBA admissions expert. And, as always, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!

By Scott Shrum

Kellogg Application Essays and Deadlines for 2012-2013

Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management recently released its application essays and deadlines for the coming admissions season. Continuing the theme we have seen across top MBA programs, Kellogg has made some significant changes this year. In fact, Kellogg has perhaps gone further than any other school this year, completely replacing its essay set and making the total word count much lower in the process.

Why the dramatic changes? Earlier this year Kellogg introduced Kate Smith as its new Director of Admissions. (Smith was a surprising hire since she actually came from outside of academia.) When a new admissions director takes over, it’s not uncommon for that leader to put her stamp on the admissions process by making big changes to the school’s application. That’s surely, at least partly, what we’re seeing here.
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Kellogg to Shrink Class Size for Its Two-year MBA Program

Yesterday the Kellogg School of Management unveiled its new strategic vision for the coming decade, called Envision Kellogg. The plan, announced by Kellogg Dean Sally Blount, contains many moving pieces, including an expanding global footprint and a complete overhaul of the school’s MBA curriculum. Most notably, Kellogg plans to shrink its two-year MBA program class size by as much as 25%, and double or even triple the size of its one-year MBA program.

There are few, if any, American one-year MBA programs as prominent the one Kellogg offers. (Among top-ranked schools, Columbia’s accelerated January-intake class is the most similar.) Recognizing this unique asset and the apparent growing popularity of accelerated MBA programs around the world, Blount is doubling down on the one-year program in an effort to further stand out vs. its U.S. competition. Its two-year full-time enrollment, which currently stands at about 1,115, may drop as low as 850. Meanwhile, the school’s one-year program class size could grow from approximately 80 students to as many as 250.
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Five Things That Make Kellogg Different

We work with dozens of Kellogg applicants every year. Given the school’s sterling reputation in marketing, its ability to turn out well-rounded general managers, and its high-energy culture, it’s no wonder that so many applicants aim for Kellogg every year. What does surprise us, though, is how many Kellogg applicants don’t really know whether the school is good fit for them. We always urge these applicants to go back and do their homework a bit more before they start crafting their Kellogg applications.

Are you thinking about applying to Kellogg this year? If so, why? How do you know if it’s really is a good fit for you? More importantly, how do you know the Kellogg admissions team will think you’re a good fit for the school? Today we present five things that make the Kellogg academic experience unique:
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Kellogg MBA Admissions Essays and Deadlines for 2011-2012

Kellogg Admissions GuideNorthwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management recently released its admissions essays and application deadlines for the Class of 2014. We dig into them below.

Note that Kellogg has an unusual two-part application process: Part I includes your data sheets, resume, self-reported GMAT and TOEFL scores, and stated preference for whether you would like an on-campus or off-campus interview. (They also ask for your $250 application fee in Part I!) Part II includes your letters of recommendation, your essays, and your official GMAT and TOEFL scores. For each admissions round, be sure that you hit both deadlines!
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Kellogg Is a Good Fit for You If…

Kellogg Admissions GuideEvery year we get countless inquiries from applicants who are certain they want to go to Kellogg. Once we dig a little deeper to get at their reasons, though, many of them realize they still have a lot more homework to do. Kellogg is one of the most highly regarded MBA programs in the world, and for good reason: Its reputation in marketing is virtually unmatched, and its ability to produce strong grads of all types makes it a popular place for blue-chip firms such as McKinsey and Goldman Sachs.

But how do you know if Kellogg really is a good fit for you? More to the point, how do you know if the Kellogg admissions committee will decide that you’re a good fit for Kellogg? Today we look at five things that might make Kellogg your first choice among MBA programs:
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Sally Blount Shares Her Plans for Kellogg

Sally Blount
Kellogg Dean Sally Blount: "We've got to be creative. The world has changed."
In an in-depth interview published by the Financial Times earlier this week, new Kellogg School of Management Dean Sally Blount shared some of her thinking regarding what’s next for the school. Now that she’s more than 100 days into her job (a period of learning and listening that she chronicled on her own blog), Dean Blount is ready to roll up her sleeves and make her mark on the school.

While it sounds like she’s treading somewhat carefully, it also is clear that Blount is not afraid to shake things up. When asked about Kellogg’s current way of expanding its footprint in new markets, which relies heavily on partnerships with institutions in those countries, Blount described the approach as “a great late 20th century strategy.” But, now things have changed, and she is considering all sorts of new options for how to expand Kellogg’s global footprint, including possibly building Kellogg-run schools in other parts of the world.
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Former Kellogg Dean Dipak Jain to Lead INSEAD


On Friday the Financial Times reported that INSEAD is expected to announce that Dipak Jain, former Dean of Northwestern University’s School of Management, will replace Frank Brown as Dean of INSEAD. While it’s not yet official since INSEAD’s board and faculty need to approve the appointment, Jain is widely expected to get the nod later this month.

Jain, who served as Dean at Kellogg from 2001 to 2009 (the FT erroneously reports that Jain assumed the Dean’s job at Kellogg in 1994), worked his way up the ranks after joining Kellogg as an assistant professor in 1987. For much of the 1990s he served as Don Jacobs’ right-hand man, helping to implement Jacob’s vision to build on Kellogg’s strengths as a marketing and teamwork-oriented MBA program. When Jacobs stepped down in 2001, it was only natural that Jain took the reins at Kellogg.

What may have most attracted INSEAD to Dipak Jain is his international experience, and in particular his enthusiasm for building better business education in Asia. INSEAD’s Singapore campus, which opened just ten years ago, reflects the school’s ambitions beyond France. Jain, who strengthened Kellogg’s ties to Asia and was also a key player in getting the Indian School of Business off the ground, seems perfectly suited to the task of continuing to expand INSEAD’s influence in Asia.

Interestingly, the Financial Times also points out that INSEAD’s appointment of Jain may also reflect a trend among Europe-based business schools to get back to having academics, rather than people who come from industry, in the top leadership posts. Recently London Business School and IMD have replaced deans “from industry” with new leaders with more purely academic credentials. We wonder if any other business school leaders will be swept out as the ramifications of 2008’s economic meltdown still ripple through the education field.

If you’re considering applying to INSEAD or Kellogg, be sure to download our free Annual Reports, 15 completely free guides to the world’s top business schools. If you’re ready to start building your own application to a top MBA program, call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today!

Kellogg Application Essays for 2010-2011

MBA AdmissionsNorthwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management recently released its admissions essays for the coming year. While Kellogg’s application won’t be live until early August, now is a great time to start mapping out your essays for a Round 1 application to Kellogg.

Here are the new essays, followed by our comments in italics:


Kellogg Application Essays

  1. a) MBA Program applicants — Briefly assess your career progress to date. Elaborate on your future career plans and your motivation for pursuing an MBA. (600 words)

    b) MMM Program applicants — Briefly assess your career progress to date. How does the MMM Program meet your educational needs and career goals? (600 words)

    These questions have changed only very, very slightly from last year. For the most part, they are the standard “Why and MBA? Why now?” questions that you will see on nearly every top business school’s application. One challenge that applicants face is BRIEFLY describing their career progress until now, and then devoting enough space to why an MBA is right for them, why now is the right time, and why specifically Kellogg is the right MBA program for them. While there is no hard rule, ideally the backward-looking part of your essay will take up no more than about half of the total word count. Admissions officers will learn enough about your professional background from the rest of your application (your CV, your data sheets, your letters of recommendation, etc.), so no need to completely rehash it here.

  2. Describe your key leadership experiences and evaluate what leadership areas you hope to develop through your MBA experiences. (600 words)

    This question has been the same for a couple of years now. The best examples of responses to this question are ones in which the applicant focuses on no more than two or three mini stories. The fewer, the better, since including too many examples means that no one story will have very much impact. Be as specific as possible here, rather than discussing leadership in broad terms or with vague generalities. When discussing what areas you want to develop, be realistic about what you will learn in the classroom — Kellogg knows that you won’t emerge from a classroom lecture as a completely finished leader. Discuss what you want to learn at Kellogg, but also tie it back to the “real world” and your post-MBA career.

  3. Assume you are evaluating your application from the perspective of a student member of the Kellogg Admissions Committee. Why would you and your peers select you for admission, and what impact would you make as a member of the Kellogg community?

    Kellogg introduced this question last year, although it’s similar to a question that Kellogg used to use, which encouraged applicants to evaluate their applications as if they were admissions officers. Note that the emphasis is now on how a STUDENT member of the admissions committee would look at your application, driving home the emphasis that Kellogg places on fit with its culture. This is a terrific opportunity to highlight the two or three core themes that you want to make sure jump out from your application. While Kellogg looks for some humility in every one of its students, don’t be a afraid to toot your own horn a bit here!

  4. Complete one of the following three questions or statements. Re-applicants have the option to answer a question from this grouping, but this is not required. (400 words)

    a) Describe an instance where you encountered resistance in a professional team setting. How did you address the situation?

    b) People may be surprised to learn that I…

    c) The best mistake I ever made was…

    Questions A is new this year, although it’s closely related to last year’s Question 4A, which asked about a time when an applicant had to make an unpopular decision. This is your chance to discuss an experience that shows off leadership abilities, teamwork, and/or ethics. Question B lets you have some fun and discuss some less obviously MBA-related traits. Don’t underestimate how important these traits are to admissions officers; they truly do want to get to know you “beyond the numbers.”

    Question C is new this year, which is sort of too bad, because it replaces the school’s old “I wish the admissions committee had asked me…” question, which we always liked. However, this new question gives you a chance to show off some serious introspection: You had the humility to admit you made a mistake, you learned from it and grew as a person, and then (ideally) you were able to put what you learned to use in another setting. If that structure reminds you of a story in your background, this new question could be a great one for you to choose.

  5. Required essay for re-applicants only — Since your previous application, what steps have you taken to strengthen your candidacy? (400 words)

    (This last question says it all when it comes to describing what every top MBA program looks for in reapplicants. Ideally you will have at least one or two significant achievements or experiences that will bolster a weakness that may have kept you out of Kellogg last year. The most obvious examples are a big promotion at work, a higher GMAT score, or strong grades in some post-college coursework, but anything that demonstrates leadership, teamwork, maturity, or innovation — if one of these was a weakness in admissions officers’ eyes last year — can help your candidacy.)

If you haven’t already, this is a good time to check out our Kellogg Annual Report, one of 15 completely free guides to the world’s top business schools. And, be sure to subscribe to this blog and follow us on Twitter!

Kellogg Application Deadlines for 2010-2011

MBA AdmissionsNorthwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management recently released its application deadlines for the 2010-2011 admissions season. This year there are just some subtle changes, which we’ll cover below.

Kellogg presents and uses its admissions deadlines a little differently than most other schools, and it can be a little hard for an applicant to follow. For each round, the first deadline is the date by which you should contact the admissions office to set up an interview. At Kellogg, the applicant initiates the interview process, not the school.

Here are Kellogg’s admissions deadlines, followed by our comments in italics:


Kellogg Application Deadlines for Part 1: Off-Campus Interview Requests
Round 1: September 24, 2010 (Oct. 14 for on-campus interviews)
Round 2: December 15, 2010 (Jan. 11 for on-campus interviews)
Round 3: March 24, 2011 (Apr. 7 for on-campus interviews)

Kellogg Application Deadlines for Part 2
Round 1: October 14, 2010
Round 2: January 11, 2011
Round 3: April 7, 2011

These deadlines are quite similar to last year’s, although note that the deadline for contacting Kellogg for a Round 1 off-campus interview is now a bit earlier, on September 24. This is consistent with the trend we’ve seen across most of the top MBA programs, with deadlines creeping forward a little more each year. Note that, for the first time, Kellogg will send out Round 1 decisions in December (by December 20, to be exact), giving you a couple of weeks to pull together Round 2 applications to other schools if you don’t get into Kellogg.

If you haven’t already, this is a good time to check out our Kellogg Annual Report, one of 15 completely free guides to the world’s top business schools. And, be sure to subscribe to this blog and follow us on Twitter!

Kellogg Names Sally Blount New Dean

According to a news release put out by Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management early this morning, Sally Blount, the dean of the undergraduate college and vice dean of the Stern School of Business at New York University, has just been named dean of the school, effective this coming July. (The Wall Street Journal picked up the story, and quoted Veritas Prep in its article today.)

Blount, who is currently the Abraham L. Gitlow Professor of Management and Organizations at NYU Stern, is an expert in the fields of negotiation and behavioral decision making and has extensive international experience in higher education. In 2007 she was appointed by NYU’s president and provost as their special advisor for global academic integration.


In this morning’s news release, Northwestern Provost Daniel I. Linzer said, “Dean Blount brings a remarkable combination of strong academic achievement and proven administrative experience at both the business school and university levels. She is someone who has a demonstrable record as both a scholar and as a leader in the field of global business education. We are very excited to welcome her back to Kellogg and Northwestern.”

Blount will actually be returning to Kellogg, where she earned her PhD in management and organizations in 1992 after earning a joint bachelor’s degree from Princeton University’s engineering and Woodrow Wilson schools in 1983. After earning her PhD, Blount taught for nearly a decade at Chicago Booth (back when it was called Chicago GSB), where she she consistently earned high teaching marks from MBA and executive education students.

Not lost in the excitement of the announcement was the fact that Blount will be one of the very few female deans at a top business school. Today’s Financial Times led with this headline: “Kellogg Appoints Female Dean,” which unfortunately downplays all that she’s accomplished but nonetheless points out just how rare is its for a woman to lead a business school. (Judy Olia at UCLA Anderson and Sharon Oster at Yale are the two other examples of women leading top-ranked MBA programs. Former Chicago Booth dean Edward Snyder will take over for Oster next year.) FT.com went so far as to say, “Prof Blount will arguably become the most influential female dean in the US.”

This sounds like great news for Kellogg, which has been in a bit of a holding pattern under interim dean Sunil Chopra ever since Dipak Jain stepped down last year. That’s no disrespect to Chopra; it’s simply hard for a school (or any organization) to aggressively break new ground while its top leadership is anything other than permanent and 100% dedicated to the task at hand. Hopefully now the school can forge ahead with is plans for a new building and continued international expansion.

If you haven’t already, this is a good time to check out our Kellogg Annual Report, one of 15 completely free guides to the world’s top business schools. And, be sure to subscribe to this blog and follow us on Twitter!

Kellogg Admissions Officers Offer Insights in Online BusinessWeek Chat

MBA AdmissionsEarlier this week Beth Flye, assistant dean and director of admissions at the Kellogg School of Management, and Carla Edelston, senior associate director of the school’s Career Management Center, fielded questions from applicants during a live online chat on BusinessWeek. In the chat Flye and Edelston offered up some good nuggets for applicants who are in the thick of the MBA admissions process.

When asked about how much Kellogg “weighs extracurricular activities,” Flye’s response was right on target with what we tell our clients: “We do review extracurricular activities as that area shows us more about the applicant

Five Things You Should Know When Applying to the Kellogg School of Management

Business School Guides
The Kellogg School of Management’s Round 2 deadline is a little more than a month away, but there’s still plenty of time for you to craft a winning application. Continuing our series of admissions insights clipped from Veritas Prep’s Annual Reports, our in-depth insider’s guides to 15 of the world’s top business schools, this week we look at a few factors that make Kellogg unique among top business schools. (Our Annual reports are absolutely free — all you have to do is register to access all of them — but we thought we’d share some snippets here to help get you started in your Kellogg research.)

To help you with your planning, our MBA admissions consultants have pulled together five things you really should know about Kellogg before you apply. Some are more obvious than others, but all are important things that mark the Kellogg experience:

  • The Kellogg Culture. The emphasis on teamwork inside and outside of the classroom is the hallmark of the Kellogg experience, and is the foundation for the rest of the school

In a Rough Job Market, Some Business Schools Fare Better than Others


Last week BusinessWeek ran an article titled “MBAs Confront a Savage Job Market,” which painted a pretty rough picture for many grads of top MBA programs. At some top business schools, as many as 20% of grads were still unemployed three months after graduation. Furthermore, according to BusinessWeek, 16.5% of job-seeking students from the top 30 MBA programs did not get even one offer within three months of graduation (compared to 5% for the Class of 2008).

Salary numbers also suggested that the job market for MBAs isn’t great: Starting pay was down from about $98,000 in 2008 to $96,500 this year. For many of the top-30 business schools, this is the first time since the the dot-com crash that salaries haven’t increased, adding to the evidence that this is truly a once-in-a-generation (or once-in-a-decade?) downturn.


Fortunately for some grads, though, the world of top-30 business schools is not universally gloomy. Some schools’ career offices have been able to direct their students into more stable industries, such as government, health care, energy, and the non-profit sector. While becoming a mid-level government bureaucrat may not quite hold the same appeal as being a six-figure-making banker, many grads have opened their eyes and realized that these sectors are where the jobs are right now, and are taking these jobs when they can.

In other cases, hiring did happen, although it happened later than it normally does. The Kellogg School of Management, for instance, reported that 85% of of its grads received at least one offer, although many students received offers late in the spring — months later than they normally would. (To learn more about the Kellogg School of Management, download our free Veritas Prep Kellogg Annual Report.)

Other top schools have also been able to weather the storm pretty well. BusinessWeek ranked the schools in terms of how well they’ve held up job-wise in the recession, with Yale, Washington University, HBS, Stanford, and MIT Sloan coming out on top. At Yale, for example, only 8% of grads were without any job offers three months after graduation, just two percentage points higher than a year ago. While not all of these placed grads ended up in the careers they envisioned when they first applied to business school, you can be sure that they’re glad to have jobs at all.

If you’re just now starting to research business schools, download our 15 free Veritas Prep Annual Reports. If you’re ready to craft your own winning application, call us at 800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today!

Kellogg Application Deadlines for 2009-2010

A couple of weeks ago Kellogg released its admissions essays for the coming year. Now, the admissions office has published its application deadlines for the 2009-2010 season.

Kellogg presents and uses its admissions deadlines a little differently than most other schools, and it can be a little confusing for an applicant. For each round, the first deadline is the date by which you should contact the admissions office to set up an interview. At Kellogg, the applicant initiates the interview process, rather than the school inviting candidates to interview.

This year, the off-campus interview request deadline is October 2, while the on-campus interview request deadline is October 15. This is known as “Part 1” of Round 1, and it is critical that you meet this deadline in order to get things rolling for Round 1. Then, the next deadline to note is for “Part 2,” which is your actual application, including your essays and recommendations.

That said, this year’s deadlines are very similar to last year’s, with most deadlines creeping forward or back by just several days.

Kellogg Application Deadlines for Part 1
Round 1: October 2, 2009 (Oct. 15 for on-campus interviews)
Round 2: December 18, 2009 (Jan. 14 for on-campus interviews)
Round 3: February 19, 2010 (Mar. 4 for on-campus interviews)

Kellogg Application Deadlines for Part 2
Round 1: October 15, 2009
Round 2: January 14, 2010
Round 3: March 4, 2010

Note that you get a couple of extra weeks for Part 1 of your application if you request an on-campus interview (no doubt because of the logistics the admissions office has to go through with off-campus interviews to match so many applicants with alumni interviewers around the world).

For more advice on applying to Kellogg, visit the Veritas Prep Kellogg School of Management information page. For even more advice on applying to Kellogg, download our FREE Veritas Prep Annual Reports! And, be sure to follow Veritas Prep on Twitter.

Kellogg Application Essays for 2009-2010

Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management has just released its admissions essays for the coming year. While the school has not yet released its application deadlines, Kellogg applicants can start digging into these essays now.

Note that there are some changes to Kellogg’s essays this year, although the application still features three required essays and two “Choose your own question” short answers. Our comments follow in italics:

Kellogg Admissions Essays

  1. a) MBA Program applicants – Briefly assess your career progress to date. Elaborate on your future career plans and your motivation for pursuing a graduate degree at Kellogg. (600 words)

    b) MMM Program applicants – Briefly assess your career progress to date. How does the MMM Program meet your educational needs and career goals? (600 words)

  2. (These questions are the same as last year’s, and are the standard “Why and MBA? Why now?” questions that you will see on nearly every business school’s application. One challenge that applicants face is BRIEFLY describing their career progress until now, and then devoting enough space to why an MBA is right for them, why now is the right time, and why specifically Kellogg is the right MBA program for them.)

  3. Describe your key leadership experiences and evaluate what leadership areas you hope to develop through your MBA experiences (600 words)
  4. (This question remains from last year. We recommend focusing on just two or three mini stories, at the most. Be as specific as possible here, rather than discussing leadership in broad terms or with vague generalities. When discussing what areas you want to develop, be realistic about what you will learn in the classroom — Kellogg knows that you won’t emerge from a classroom lecture as a completely finished leader. Discuss what you want to learn at Kellogg, but also tie it back to the “real world” and your post-MBA career.)

  5. Assume you are evaluating your application from the perspective of a student member of the Kellogg Admissions Committee. Why would your peers select you to become a member of the Kellogg community? (600 words)
  6. (This question is new since last year, although it’s similar to a question that Kellogg used to use, which encouraged applicants to evaluate their applications as if they were admissions officers. This is a terrific opportunity to highlight the two or three core themes that you want to make sure jump out from your application. And, while Kellogg looks for some humility in every one of its students, it’s also a chance to toot your own horn a bit!)

  7. Complete one of the following three questions or statements. Re-applicants have the option to answer a question from this grouping, but this is not required. (400 words)

    a) Describe a time when you had to make an unpopular decision.

    b) People may be surprised to learn that I…

    c) I wish the admissions committee had asked me…

  8. (Questions A and B are new since last year, although A is a slightly different take on a previous question that asked about motivating a reluctant individual or group. This gives you a chance to discuss an experience that shows off leadership abilities, ethics, and/or analytical abilities. Question B gives you a chance to have some fun and discuss some less obviously MBA-related traits. Don’t underestimate how important these traits are to admissions officers. Question C can be used in much the same way.)

  9. Required essay for re-applicants only: Since your previous application, what steps have you taken to strengthen your candidacy? (400 words)

    (This last question says it all when it comes to describing what every top MBA program looks for in reapplicants. Ideally you will have at least one or two significant achievements or experiences that will bolster a weakness that may have kept you out of Kellogg last year. The most obvious example is a promotion or a big project you led at work, but any type of experience that demonstrates leadership, teamwork, maturity, or innovation — if one of these was a weakness in admissions officers’ eyes last year — can help your candidacy.)

For advice on getting into Kellogg, please visit Veritas Prep’s Kellogg information page.

Kellogg Mistakenly Sends Acceptance Letters to 50 Rejected Applicants

We wouldn’t wish this twist of fortune on anyone: This week about 50 applicants to the Kellogg School of Management received an acceptance letter from the school, only to find out later that it was the result of a computer glitch, and that they in fact had been rejected.

The applicants each received an email message with an attached acceptance letter. Kellogg official blamed the mistake on a “technical glitch” that occurred in an automated mail-merge process. The Kellogg web site always had the correct information, which applicants could see when they logged onto the site to check their status.

Understandably, some applicants prematurely started to celebrate. The Chicago Tribune quoted one applicant who excitedly called his parents and enjoyed a celebratory dinner before learning the bad news on the web site. Kellogg is going to refund his and everyone else’s $235 application fee, but of course that’s small consolation.

Something tells us that Kellogg won’t be doing any more mail merges any time soon…

For more information on applying to Kellogg, read about the 2008-2009 Kellogg admissions essays and application deadlines.

Kellogg Application Deadlines for 2008-2009

While Kellogg released its application essays back in June, the admissions office has put out its application deadlines for the 2008-2009 season.

If you look at the Kellogg page, you’ll notice that it’s fairly confusing. For each round, what you should pay attention to most is the date by which you need to contact the office for your interview and submit Part 1 of your application.

Also, note that (as of today) the Kellogg page still has a comment stating that the 2008-2009 deadlines have not yet been determined, but these dates below should prove to be a very accurate guide.

Kellogg Application Deadlines for Part 1
Round 1: October 3, 2008 (Oct. 17 if requesting an on-campus interview)
Round 2: December 22, 2008 (Jan. 12 for an on-campus interview)
Round 3: February 23, 2009 (Mar. 9 for an on-campus interview)

Kellogg Application Deadlines for Part 2
Round 1: October 17, 2008
Round 2: January 12, 2009
Round 3: March 9, 2009

Note that you get a couple of extra weeks for Part 1 of your application if you request an on-campus interview (no doubt because of the logistics the admissions office has to go through with off-campus interviews to match so many applicants with alumni interviewers around the world).

For more advice on applying to Kellogg, visit the Veritas Prep Kellogg School of Management information page. For more information on business school application deadlines, visit our MBA admissions deadlines page.

Kellogg Application Essays for 2008-2009

Kellogg applicants, look alive! The Kellogg School of Management has just released its admissions essays for the 2008-2009 application season. The questions are as follows, lifted directly from the Kellogg web site:

All applicants are required to answer questions 1, 2 and 3 in addition to 2 of the essays in question 4. For questions 1-3, please limit responses to 2 pages.

1: Briefly assess your career progress to date. Elaborate on your future career plans and your motivation for pursuing a graduate degree at Kellogg.

2: Describe how your background, values, academics, activities and/or leadership skills will enhance the experience of other Kellogg students.

3: Describe your key leadership experiences and evaluate what leadership areas you hope to develop through your MBA experience.

Choose two of the following three essays

Kellogg, in Bangkok

The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern has announced plans to open a global and social affairs research facility in Bangkok. Kellogg currently helps operate the Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Management, and is looking to further their involvement in Asia with what dean Dipak Jain calls “a global centre for ‘thought’ leadership.” They also have larger scale plans to open other international centers in the coming years.

Source: Bangkok to have institute