If you’re applying to Northwestern Kellogg’s MBA program and looking for advice on the essays you’ve come to the right place. Applicants to Northwestern Kellogg must answer two essay questions and complete a video essay.
Essay 1: Kellogg’s purpose is to educate, equip & inspire brave leaders who create lasting value. Provide a recent example where you have demonstrated leadership and created value. What challenges did you face and what did you learn? (450 words)
Use the SAR method to tell stories. 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 demonstrate leadership in order to get something done. The action will be how you exercised your leadership. Perhaps you influenced a team to see things your way and convinced them to take up your cause. Finally, the result will be the outcome—the lasting value you created–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 the admissions committee pays attention to the most.
Essay 2: Values are what guide you in your life and work. What values are important to you and how have they influenced you? (450 words)
Provide insight on what motivates you. The values you choose are important, but the reasons why you chose those values are even more important. The best answers will include specific examples or stories that demonstrate how or why these values have significance in your life. We can’t really say it better than Kate Smith, Assistant Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at Kellogg. “We hope to hear how these values have influenced you. Last year, this question focused on how an applicant has grown in the past, and how he or she intends to grow at Kellogg. Our change comes from wanting to understand what drives you when you get up every morning. How will this make you meaningful members of our community at Kellogg? How will these values shape the kind of leader you will become one day?” It’s a lot to pack in to 450 words, but try to be as specific as possible and providing examples with concrete details will help bring your answer to life and be an engaging read.
We’ve got a couple more tips for Essay 2. To read them check out the full version of our advice.
The Video Essay
Video essay 1: Please introduce yourself to the admissions committee.
Video essay 2: What path are you interested in pursuing, how will you get there, and why is this program right for you?
Video essay 3: Each of you will receive a randomly selected prompt, all of which have the same objective. We want you to show us how you handled a challenging situation in your career or personal life. For example, we might ask you to tell us about a time you failed to achieve a goal you had set for yourself.
Tips for success
First, practice, practice, practice. Get comfortable with the format and the technology using the sample questions provided in the application.
The questions for the video essay aren’t intended to be difficult. For the first question, with just one minute to respond, you may want to pick one or two aspects of your background to share that you may not have been able to bring to life in other parts of your application. For the second question, show enthusiasm and thoughtfulness. You have a plan. If you’re excited about it, it’s more likely that the viewer will be excited about it and you, too. For the third question, be prepared to think somewhat on your feet. You may not think of a brilliant answer for all of these questions, and you might even stumble a little bit. That’s actually fine. Simply do your best and let them see a glimmer of your personality.
These are just a few quick thoughts on the 2019-2020 application essays for Kellogg. For more about Kellogg check out the Essential Guide to Kellogg. To learn more about 12 of the top MBA programs check out the Veritas Prep Essential Guide to Top Business Schools.
Veritas Prep has helped people just like you discover their story and produce top-notch applications, gaining them admission to the most selective MBA programs in the world. Contact us today to find out how we can help you. Give us a call at (800) 962-2069 or fill out this quick form to schedule a free MBA consultation, where we’ll review your applicant profile and give you actionable advice for your unique situation.