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2012-2013 Kellogg Application Essay Breakdown

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2012-2013 Kellogg Application Essay Breakdown [#permalink] New post 15 Aug 2012, 10:03
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Today's webinar was hosted by Travis Morgan, Director of Admissions Consulting at Veritas Prep (who is a Kellogg alum and former student member of the Kellogg admissions committee).

Kellogg admissions officers are looking for:
1. A class with varied backgrounds and experiences.
2. Candidates who fit with the program.
3. Candidates with attributes to become successful leaders in B-school and beyond.

Your (respective) goals are to:
1. Differentiate yourself from other candidates.
2. Demonstrate fit with the program culturally and professionally.
3. Show balance across the “4 Dimensions of a Perfect Applicant”.

4 Dimensions of a Perfect Candidate:
1. Leadership (potential and experience)
2. Innovation (creative problem solving)
3. Teamwork (helpful and collaborative)
4. Maturity (personal maturity, comes through interview)

Support the 4 Dimensions using:
• GMAT score
• GPA/transcripts
• Professional experience
• Community service
• Hobbies and extracurricular activities
• International and cultural exposure
• Recommendations (make sure they support 4 Dimensions!)

Essay #1 – Discuss moments or influences in your personal life that have defined who you are today.
• While most schools start with “Why MBA” and career goals question, Kellogg starts personal
• This shows a clear desire to see you as a person, not simply as a list of work experience and statistics.
• Don’t feel obligated to have enormous, momentous occasions in your life. You can include small moments that have shaped who you are today.

Strategy #1: Pick themes first
Brainstorm the elements of your personal profile that define you in a unique/interesting way.
o Values, attitudes, priorities, cultural outlook, empathy, approach to challenges, etc.
Get introspective and reflect on the moments and influences that shaped these aspects of who you are.

Strategy #2: Pick stories first
• If you have some compelling life stories that you want to include, identify those first.
• Identify HOW these experiences have shaped you (themes/impacts).
• Caution: admissions officers are not just looking for amazing stories, but HOW they have impacted you.

Essay #1 enables you to show:
Maturity: introspection
Teamwork: if you choose stories that show your interaction with others, empathy, cultural awareness, etc.
Differentiation: you can “brand” yourself

Essay #2 – What have been your most significant leadership experiences? What challenges did you face, and what impact did you have? This is you opportunity to explain how you Think Bravely (personally and/or professionally)
Show balance across your profile: professional, academic, extracurricular experiences
• Explain why it is significant to you.
• Use the STAR format: Situation/Task, Action, Result
o This doesn’t have to be long; otherwise you won’t have room for 2-3 stories in 500 words.
• Don’t ignore the “Think Bravely” element.
• Kellogg is looking for bold, innovative problem solvers who are willing to take calculated risks.
• Show how you challenged established thinking, embraced innovation or found creative solutions.
Show: Leadership, Innovation, Teamwork, Maturity

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?
• Standard “Post-MBA career goals,” “Why MBA,” “Why Kellogg” question with a creative twist
Must Have: clear, realistic post-MBA career goals
Don’t just copy & paste essay from another school—Kellogg is looking for evidence of careful research.

Essay #4 – Interesting or fun fact
25 words –one sentence.
Don’t over-think. It’s supposed to be fun and random.
Don’t repeat a bullet point from your resume
• Be willing to take a risk–tell something that truly unusual
• Admissions committee is just trying to see you in a more personal light. It will be hard to screw up.

Optional Essay – 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)
• It really is optional.
• If you have extenuating circumstances, give a straightforward explanation, but don’t make excuses.
• Use this essay to point the admissions officer to the portion of your application... (video lagged here, but we can guess what was said)

The Kellogg Essays—In a Nutshell
Word count reduced from 2200 words to 1525
Essay 1: What makes you YOU (get personal!)
Essay 2: How you shine
Essay 3: Why MBA and Why Kellogg?
• Admissions looking for a broader 360° view of applicants

Remember:
Tell stories! This isn’t a high school report.
Use STAR: Situation/Task, Action, Result
“Mini-stories”: not every story needs a full intro, body and conclusion.
• By the end of your application, the admissions committee should have a real sense of who you are as a person.

Edit: Indicated host's original emphasis (bold and italicized words)

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Last edited by NonYankee on 15 Aug 2012, 11:08, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2012-2013 Kellogg Application Essay Breakdown [#permalink] New post 15 Aug 2012, 10:22
This is amazing! Thanks for the post. I missed the webinar because of work, but this is a very good summary.
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Re: 2012-2013 Kellogg Application Essay Breakdown [#permalink] New post 15 Aug 2012, 11:55
Thank you, I also had to miss this one but appreciate the notes!
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Re: 2012-2013 Kellogg Application Essay Breakdown [#permalink] New post 06 Dec 2012, 18:13
Quick question. Because of the way question 3 is presented, do you guys feel like this essay should be written in the past tense? As in, " X course helped me in my pursuit of my goals. Y club was integral to my success"

( 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? )

Thanks for any responses!
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Re: 2012-2013 Kellogg Application Essay Breakdown [#permalink] New post 06 Dec 2012, 20:26
Krest19 wrote:
Quick question. Because of the way question 3 is presented, do you guys feel like this essay should be written in the past tense?

Yes.
Re: 2012-2013 Kellogg Application Essay Breakdown   [#permalink] 06 Dec 2012, 20:26
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