Northwestern Kellogg Application Essay Tips, 2023-2024
- R1 Deadline: September 13, 2023
- R2 Deadline: January 10, 2024
- R3 Deadline: April 3, 2024
Kellogg’s essays for the upcoming admissions season represent a fresh update and yet remain consistent with the school’s philosophy of valuing collaborative leadership. These questions will challenge applicants to think one level deeper about the different layers related to leadership and creating impact. Rest assured, however, that Kellogg is still looking for high-impact, low-ego leaders—“the kind of people who elevate the level of everyone in the room without making it all about them”—to loosely quote a former Kellogg admissions staffer when describing how they think about the program’s ideal applicants.
Consistent with Kellogg’s tradition to holistically review all applicants, the admissions committee has both written essay questions and video response essays to gain as complete a picture of an applicant as possible. Kellogg is also continuing its intention to make the application process less stressful for applicants by allowing people to express interest in multiple MBA program options through the same application.
Question 1 (450 words)
Kellogg Leaders are primed to tackle today’s pressing concerns everywhere, from the boardroom to their neighborhoods. Tell us about a time in your life where you’ve needed a combination of skills to solve a problem or overcome a challenge. Which skills did you use? What did you accomplish?
This question still speaks to Kellogg’s purpose: To educate, equip and inspire leaders who build strong organizations and wisely leverage the power of markets to create lasting value. In answering this question, applicants can draw from different aspects of their life—both professional and personal—to identify the best example of where they have achieved impact in solving a problem. Candidates have the opportunity to be more granular in thinking about the different tools in their skill set to approach solving a problem. Big challenges are not solved by one person, so applicants should think about how they have motivated teams, brought varied perspectives into the decision-making process, and inspired others to achieve meaningful results.
Applicants can think about breaking this question into a CAR (Challenge/Action/Result) model, wherein the problem is presented along with the specific actions that were taken and the skills used to achieve results. This question also presents applicants with the opportunity to reflect upon their own leadership journey, utilizing self-awareness to recognize and describe how they have made valuable contributions in their professional or extracurricular activities.
Question 2 (450 words)
At Kellogg, our values are based on research that concludes organizations comprised of leaders with varied backgrounds and perspectives outperform homogeneous ones. How do you believe your personal and professional experiences to date will help to enrich the Kellogg community?
In approaching this question, it can be helpful to review the qualities that Kellogg shares on its website regarding its ideal applicants:
WE VALUE INDIVIDUALS WHO:
- Approach business problems with a mix of hard and soft skills.
- Seek to adapt to the evolving business world with open curiosity and innovation.
- Believe in strong, empathetic collaboration as a way to strengthen work, perspectives and outcomes.
- Embrace the power of diversity in your teams and networks.
WHAT WE LOOK FOR:
- Academic readiness
- Work experience
- Professional goals
- Interpersonal skills”
Kellogg gives applicants the opportunity to reflect further on their personal leadership journey by thinking about how they have problem-solved utilizing the talents of different groups of people. The admissions committee wants applicants to first share an experience when they have embraced diversity—thinking about any of its components: functional, cultural, socioeconomic and even age—and then provide a sense of how applicants can bring those talents to the Kellogg community. In the previous iterations of the Kellogg application, the video essay was the only opportunity candidates had to share how they could contribute to the Kellogg community. In this version, applicants can be specific about naming particular clubs and resources where they can add value. Reach out to students to learn more about the specifics of Kellogg’s offerings, and spend some time thinking about how you can enhance the community.
If your example in Essay 1 drew on your professional experience, consider how some of your extracurricular experiences can inform your answer to Essay 2—or vice versa—to give Kellogg the fullest version of who you are and what drives your interests.
Certain applicants will respond to an additional question about their interest in our specialty programs.
Reapplicants will receive a prompt about their growth since their last application: How have you grown or changed personally and professionally since you previously applied and what steps have you taken to become the strongest candidate you can be? (250 words)
How are you a stronger applicant than when you last applied? Have you retaken the GMAT or GRE? Completed new courses? Been promoted or faced with new challenges at work? Use these 250 words to show growth, change, improvement, and excellence.
In Stratus Admissions’ Guide to Getting into Kellogg School of Management you will find information on a variety of the MBA program’s offerings, such as the Global Hub building, Complete Immersion in Management, the Kellogg Ski Trip, and the Kellogg Tech Conference. This free guide also includes class profile statistics. Download our guide to learn more about Kellogg!