From The Staff of MBA Admit.com
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The 2013-2014 Kellogg Application
The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University has released its 2013-2014 application essays, as well as the other required components of the application for the Class of 2016. Below are the application deadlines.
Round 1: Applications due by October 16, 2013
Round 2: Applications due by January 7, 2014
Round 3: Applications due by April 2, 2014
The Essay Section
As with other top business schools, Kellogg has altered their essay requirements this year, although not to the extent that some other schools have done. The application will require three essays from all applicants, as well as one additional essay for re-applicants, and one optional essay for applicants to explain any extenuating circumstances. The essay prompts will be seen on the Kellogg application as they do below.
: What’s the greatest obstacle you’ve overcome (personally or professionally)?
How has overcoming this obstacle prepared you to achieve success now and in the future? (350 word limit)
: What have been your most significant leadership experiences? What challenges did you face, and what impact did you have?
This is your opportunity to explain how you Think Bravely. (500 word limit)
: Part 1: What career/role are you looking to pursue and why? (250 word limit)
Part 2: Why are Kellogg and the MBA essential to achieving these career goals? (250 word limit)
(Please answer Part 2 in terms of your program choice: One-Year, Two-Year, MMM, JD-MBA).
Re-Applicants Only: 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 #1-3.
Additional Information (Optional): If needed, briefly describe any extenuating circumstances (e.g. unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance, etc.) (No word limit)
Required essays one through three mirror the three required essays from last year’s application. Last year, Kellogg made a big leap in its application tradition by asking four completely new essay questions, including the first question which prompted applicants to tell the admissions committee about influences in the personal life that have affected the applicant today. This question from last year is similar to the first essay prompt seen above. However, Kellogg this year has extended the guidelines of the essay question by allowing applicants to speak to either their personal or professional life. The basis of the essay is very similar to last year’s — Kellogg wants to get to know you, not just through your resume and transcripts, but through a story and experience that will help the admissions committee understand how you define yourself today.
Essay questions two and three are almost identical to the essay prompts from the 2012-2013 application cycle. Question two essentially asks what skills you have developed through taking risks and through your leadership experiences, while question three speaks to your career goals and why Kellogg specifically would be a good fit for you.
Finally, some applicants may notice that while last year Kellogg asked for a 25-word short answer on a “fun fact” about each applicant, this year that question has been eliminated. Apparently the short answer portion of last year’s application did not help the admission board gain insight into applicants’ deeper character.
In total, this year’s essay questions must total 1350 words, as opposed to 1500 words from last year. While the reduction is not as significant as other top schools have made, be wary of the word count and use your words wisely.
The Evaluative Interview
All Kellogg applicants are required to request an evaluative interview – a two-way interview which allows applicants to learn more about Kellogg, and allows Kellogg to learn more about the applicant’s interpersonal skills, maturity, and experience level. Local students can request an on-campus interview; otherwise, the applicant may request an off-campus interview, where they will be interviewed by alumni or a member of the admissions staff. If Kellogg is unable to accommodate off-campus interviews, applicants may either receive a waiver or be asked to take part in a phone interview. It is the applicant’s responsibility, however, to go to all efforts to arrange an on- or off-campus interview.
Kellogg has stated on its official website that this year, applicants will only be required to report their highest GMAT or GRE score. While the website “encourages applicants to report additional scores if the test is taken more than once”, it is not mandatory.
Letters of Recommendation
Two letters of recommendation are required for Kellogg applicants. Kellogg states that one letter should come from a current supervisor or manager, while the second letter should come from a professional associate who can evaluate the applicant’s leadership potential and managerial skills. If either of these is not possible to achieve, reason as to why should be mentioned in the optional essay.
Other Application Requirements
In addition to the above material, the Kellogg application will require academic transcripts from all attended institutions, a TOEFL score for all applicants who are not U.S. citizens, and a $250 application fee.
Dr. Shel (Shelly Watts)
President, MBA Admit.com