The Kellogg application essays have been released. And there are lots of changes. As with so many schools this season, Kellogg has reduced the total word count. In addition it has changed all its questions significantly, reflecting the leadership of Dean Blount.
Essay 1. Discuss moments or influences in your personal life that have defined who you are today. (500 word limit)
What have been the most significant influences or events in your life? What has molded and shaped you? Choose 1-3 such experiences and discuss here. Note the phrase "in your personal life." Do not expound on professional experiences or influences. This question is not about work.
You can go many different ways with this essay. You first have to decide how many experiences to write about. Don't discuss more than three influences or seminal moments; I can easily imagine many excellent answers that would be limited to only one influential person or event.
In terms of structure, you can start with the event and or an interaction with the influential individual that exemplifies your relationship or their impact. Then go back and analyze it. How has this experience, person, or event defined you? How has it changed you? Show how it has influenced your actions, not just your thoughts or perspective.
Essay 2. What have been your most significant leadership experiences? What challenges did you face, and what impact did you have? This is your opportunity to explain how you Think Bravely (personally and/or professionally). (500 word limit)
Here you can draw on professional or personal experiences, but make sure your answer shows you in a leadership role. Again you have the option of discussing more than one experience. Due to the word limit, I would bring up no more than three, and obviously choose the "most significant." Answer the question as posed, but just as Kellogg suggests keep in mind its "Think Bravely" motto.
Because of that motto, focus on challenges that were not just technical or logistical; focus on leadership experiences where you were innovating or facing interpersonal issues or dealing with a serious risk of failure. Those are the situations where thinking bravely will almost automatically come into play.
Essay 3. Imagine yourself at your Kellogg graduation. What career will you be preparing to enter, and how have the MBA and Kellogg helped you get there? (Please answer in terms of your program choice: One-Year, Two-Year, MMM, JD-MBA) (500 word limit)
This is an MBA goals question in a somewhat creative format. Where would you like to be at your Kellogg graduation? What do you hope to have experienced (be specific) as you don your gradation gown and look back on your time at Kellogg? What do you intend to be looking forward to in terms of professional opportunity?
Realize that you will need to really know what you want to do post-MBA as well as how whichever Kellogg option you choose will help you reach your goals. Clarity about your desired destination and how you intend to get there via Kellogg are mandatory.
Essay 4. What one interesting or fun fact would you want your future Kellogg classmates to know about you? (25 words or less)
Yes. That word limit is really 25 words. In roughly one grammatical tweet with correct spelling, what one fun or interesting fact would you tell your classmates? Do you juggle? Play the saxophone and compose music? Have you climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro? Are you a foodie and master chef? Did you complete a marathon and vow never to do it again -- only to have done it six more times? Do you love Hemingway? Gershwin?
Since your previous application, what steps have you taken to strengthen your candidacy? (400 word limit)
Please note: re-applicants are required to answer this question in addition to #1-4.
No trick questions here. How are you a better candidate today than when Kellogg rejected you? Have you addressed weaknesses in your previous application? Check out MBA Reapplicant 101 — a lot of (free) resources.
Additional Information (Optional)
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 limit)
This is a true optional question If necessary, use it to provide context for possible negatives. Take responsibility for mistakes if necessary.
Keep this section short and to-the-point. Don't be fooled by "No word limit."
If you’d like more help with your Kellogg MBA application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our Kellogg MBA Packages.
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||May 15, 2013
Please note that Kellogg has a more complex deadline system than most schools. Please visit their web site for details.
By Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.
Accepted.com's experienced admissions consultants can help you create the most impressive application possible with comprehensive packages, or provide targeted assistance from picking perfect programs to designing a dazzling resume, constructing engaging essays, or preparing for intense interviews…and more! Accepted.com has guided thousands of applicants to acceptances at top MBA programs since 1994 – we know what works and what doesn't, so contact us to get started now!
This article originally appeared on the Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog, the official blog of Accepted.com.