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Calling all Kellogg Fall 2010 Applicants!

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Re: Calling all Kellogg Fall 2010 Applicants! [#permalink] New post 18 Jun 2009, 14:18
ACNguy wrote:
Is anyone else having a terrible time trying to fit Essay #1 into 600 words? I feel as though they're trying to get two traditional essays into one with both a rundown of your work experience AND future goals AND why an MBA AND why Kellogg.

What breakdown are you guys/gals going with in terms of percentage of each topic. It says "briefly" describe your work experience, and then the other stuff. It seems silly to only devote like a paragraph to skim your work experience but it sounds like that's what they're looking for...am I crazy?


I don't think you're crazy. Even though last year's limit was based on pages rather than word count, my essay ended up being about 600 words. The breakdown was roughly 140 words on career progress, 200 on goals and 200 on why MBA/why Kellogg (with 60 for a conclusion paragraph to tie it all together nicely). They're saying to be brief, so be brief. You also get the opportunity to highlight your work experience on your resume (although again that's brief) and you'll get to talk about it during the interview.
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Re: Calling all Kellogg Fall 2010 Applicants! [#permalink] New post 18 Jun 2009, 14:37
Im dying with the 600 word limit. How do you take 5 years of work experience, with significant accomplishments, and squeeze it in 140 words ? :)

I guess I need to really nail down what 'assess' means. Im afraid that if I skim over my roles, then I lose out on the opportunity to really sell what Ive done to the adcom.
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Re: Calling all Kellogg Fall 2010 Applicants! [#permalink] New post 18 Jun 2009, 15:32
pmenon wrote:
Im dying with the 600 word limit. How do you take 5 years of work experience, with significant accomplishments, and squeeze it in 140 words ? :)

I guess I need to really nail down what 'assess' means. Im afraid that if I skim over my roles, then I lose out on the opportunity to really sell what Ive done to the adcom.



They can see what's on your resume. Repeating what's on your resume is not the purpose of your essay. Instead, give them an overview of what you've done, how you've progressed and other details that they can use as supplement when they take a look at your resume and other parts of your application package.

Try not to repeat what's already said in one part of your entire application package. Think of every part of your application package as 30 second Super Bowl commercial. You only have 30 seconds. Why show something that you have shown earlier? Instead, show them your complete profile as a person and as an ideal applicant by maximizing every part of your app package.

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Re: Calling all Kellogg Fall 2010 Applicants! [#permalink] New post 18 Jun 2009, 15:57
ACNguy wrote:
Is anyone else having a terrible time trying to fit Essay #1 into 600 words? I feel as though they're trying to get two traditional essays into one with both a rundown of your work experience AND future goals AND why an MBA AND why Kellogg.

What breakdown are you guys/gals going with in terms of percentage of each topic. It says "briefly" describe your work experience, and then the other stuff. It seems silly to only devote like a paragraph to skim your work experience but it sounds like that's what they're looking for...am I crazy?


Yes, these word limits are not agreeing with me. :twisted: I had a draft of my careers essay, which was based on page numbers. I used a lot of it in my Ross essay too, which was 500 words I think, so I can trim it, but don't look forward to it. I drafted essay three this week too, which currently sits at 900 words. Hopefully as I cut down the words I can make is suck less as well :? .

One tip - use active voice. I am noticing a lot of passive voice that is helping me cut relatively easy.
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Re: Calling all Kellogg Fall 2010 Applicants! [#permalink] New post 18 Jun 2009, 17:20
I m no way an expert in essays..but given the word limit, i would say the workex related stuff shd take min space...as the adcom already has ur CV!

ACNguy wrote:
Is anyone else having a terrible time trying to fit Essay #1 into 600 words? I feel as though they're trying to get two traditional essays into one with both a rundown of your work experience AND future goals AND why an MBA AND why Kellogg.

What breakdown are you guys/gals going with in terms of percentage of each topic. It says "briefly" describe your work experience, and then the other stuff. It seems silly to only devote like a paragraph to skim your work experience but it sounds like that's what they're looking for...am I crazy?

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Re: Calling all Kellogg Fall 2010 Applicants! [#permalink] New post 18 Jun 2009, 17:48
I cut down my goals essay and I think I'm at about the same proportions as Jerz had earlier. I'm currently at 100-175-150, plus intro/conclusion.

I cut more out than I had to, so I'm planning to add back some of my why Kellogg info, so I think I'll end up around 100-175-200, with my intro having some overlap with my future goals.
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Re: Calling all Kellogg Fall 2010 Applicants! [#permalink] New post 18 Jun 2009, 17:51
pmenon wrote:
Im dying with the 600 word limit. How do you take 5 years of work experience, with significant accomplishments, and squeeze it in 140 words ? :)


The same way I captured 7 years of work experience in 140 words: be concise. And as nink suggested, think big picture. You don't have to fit every accomplishment in your career into this essay. You also have a CV, 3 other essays and a 45 minute interview to talk about your accomplishments.

pmenon wrote:
I guess I need to really nail down what 'assess' means. Im afraid that if I skim over my roles, then I lose out on the opportunity to really sell what Ive done to the adcom.


I wouldn't try to talk too much about accomplishments in this essay. Instead I'd focus on summarizing what you've learned or skills you've gained from your experience and how that's prepared you for MBA and your career goals. Remember, you're assessing your career progress (in the context of your goals and why you need an MBA), not summarizing or explaining your career progression.
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Re: Calling all Kellogg Fall 2010 Applicants! [#permalink] New post 21 Jun 2009, 13:31
wow, this is 5 pages already? count me in for kellogg RD 2
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Re: Calling all Kellogg Fall 2010 Applicants! [#permalink] New post 21 Jun 2009, 17:10
Great post steel! +1

Steel wrote:
Jerz wrote:
pmenon wrote:
Im dying with the 600 word limit. How do you take 5 years of work experience, with significant accomplishments, and squeeze it in 140 words ? :)


The same way I captured 7 years of work experience in 140 words: be concise. And as nink suggested, think big picture. You don't have to fit every accomplishment in your career into this essay. You also have a CV, 3 other essays and a 45 minute interview to talk about your accomplishments.

pmenon wrote:
I guess I need to really nail down what 'assess' means. Im afraid that if I skim over my roles, then I lose out on the opportunity to really sell what Ive done to the adcom.


I wouldn't try to talk too much about accomplishments in this essay. Instead I'd focus on summarizing what you've learned or skills you've gained from your experience and how that's prepared you for MBA and your career goals. Remember, you're assessing your career progress (in the context of your goals and why you need an MBA), not summarizing or explaining your career progression.


I think you should step back a bit before talking about word limits and how to fit the template set out by the fine predecessors on this board. While I agree with the advice given in general, the proportion with which you dedicate to a particular part of this essay really needs to be considered with respect to your goals for this essay within the context of the rest of the essays and vis a vis how you want to position yourself with Kellogg.

Particularly, do you see your work experience, your vision, or your need to convince Kellogg that you're a good fit with the school to be your primary goal of the essay? Which piece of this puzzle won't you be able to address elsewhere?

I for one, as younger applicant at the time, used this essay to delve into the quality of my work experience and talked for over half the essay about it. Obviously, this is not as important a bar to convince with the more work experience you have (or the level of detail might be different).

My point is craft this balance based on the entirety of your application (the same way a reader will read your application), not on this essay in its own. Answer the question in its entirety - but focus based on the totality of your app.

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Re: Calling all Kellogg Fall 2010 Applicants! [#permalink] New post 22 Jun 2009, 12:30
For Kellogg, how much "fun" are we allowed to have with the essays, specifically regarding essay 4b or 4c? I find that these are the perfect prompts for me to really differentiate myself by talking about some of my quirky passions (and the outrageous 'fantasies' attached to them), but I don't know if that is appropriate. Should I convey my personality and quirks in a more serious and somber manner? I feel like we're asked to really show who we are in bschool essays and these prompts have "exhibition" written all over them.

Essay #4 - Complete one of the following three questions or statements. (400 word limit)
Re-applicants have the option to answer a question from this grouping, but this is not required.
a) Describe a time when you had to make an unpopular decision.
b) People may be surprised to learn that I….
c) I wish the admissions committee had asked me……

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Re: Calling all Kellogg Fall 2010 Applicants! [#permalink] New post 22 Jun 2009, 12:39
2012dreams wrote:
For Kellogg, how much "fun" are we allowed to have with the essays, specifically regarding essay 4b or 4c? I find that these are the perfect prompts for me to really differentiate myself by talking about some of my quirky passions (and the outrageous 'fantasies' attached to them), but I don't know if that is appropriate. Should I convey my personality and quirks in a more serious and somber manner? I feel like we're asked to really show who we are in bschool essays and these prompts have "exhibition" written all over them.

Essay #4 - Complete one of the following three questions or statements. (400 word limit)
Re-applicants have the option to answer a question from this grouping, but this is not required.
a) Describe a time when you had to make an unpopular decision.
b) People may be surprised to learn that I….
c) I wish the admissions committee had asked me……


Depends on the quirky passion :) People definitely write some out there essays successfully (any current/admitted student knows this by the Beth Flye "One of you" speech). But that being said - it needs to have purpose within the context of your application. If you feel like you might need to convince Kellogg on fit, then showing a passion in something that you can relate to Kellogg could be perfect.

Basically - it needs to fit within the context of your application and within the context of applying to Kellogg (not just an interesting fact that might catch an eye - that can go on a resume). It needs to show something about the way you think, act, are dedicated, show leadership, work in teams, etc. that would bolster your app.
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Re: Calling all Kellogg Fall 2010 Applicants! [#permalink] New post 22 Jun 2009, 12:43
2012dreams wrote:
For Kellogg, how much "fun" are we allowed to have with the essays, specifically regarding essay 4b or 4c? I find that these are the perfect prompts for me to really differentiate myself by talking about some of my quirky passions (and the outrageous 'fantasies' attached to them), but I don't know if that is appropriate. Should I convey my personality and quirks in a more serious and somber manner? I feel like we're asked to really show who we are in bschool essays and these prompts have "exhibition" written all over them.

Essay #4 - Complete one of the following three questions or statements. (400 word limit)
Re-applicants have the option to answer a question from this grouping, but this is not required.
a) Describe a time when you had to make an unpopular decision.
b) People may be surprised to learn that I….
c) I wish the admissions committee had asked me……

I had a lot of fun with (c) - tried to show personality/creativity. Still, I was careful to tie everything back to how I would add value to Kellogg.
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Re: Calling all Kellogg Fall 2010 Applicants! [#permalink] New post 22 Jun 2009, 15:21
2012dreams wrote:
Essay #4 - Complete one of the following three questions or statements. (400 word limit)
Re-applicants have the option to answer a question from this grouping, but this is not required.
a) Describe a time when you had to make an unpopular decision.
b) People may be surprised to learn that I….
c) I wish the admissions committee had asked me……


For 4c, I actually turned it into a failure essay. A couple of reasons:
- it allowed me to speak more about my ECs
- it was a chance to have the readers connect a bit more personally with my app
- I was able to reuse some of the material from Booth/Tuck apps
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Re: Calling all Kellogg Fall 2010 Applicants! [#permalink] New post 22 Jun 2009, 16:36
Any tips for the leadership essay (question 2) ? Specifically, what key messages should we be trying to get across, and what are some examples of 'leadership areas' ?
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Re: Calling all Kellogg Fall 2010 Applicants! [#permalink] New post 22 Jun 2009, 22:27
Wow, hadnt noticed that the Kellogg essays were now word limits instead of page limits. That does agree with me more, since i cant seem to find myself filling whole 2 pages without boring the reader.

Regarding the question

Essay #3 – Assume you are evaluating your application from the perspective of a student member of the Kellogg Admissions Committee. Why would your peers select you to become a member of the Kellogg community? (600 word limit)

As an international applicant, i am not in a position to visit Kellogg and experience the student run culture first hand. Any tips as to how you would approach this question?
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Re: Calling all Kellogg Fall 2010 Applicants! [#permalink] New post 23 Jun 2009, 02:34
bpr81 wrote:
Wow, hadnt noticed that the Kellogg essays were now word limits instead of page limits. That does agree with me more, since i cant seem to find myself filling whole 2 pages without boring the reader.

Regarding the question

Essay #3 – Assume you are evaluating your application from the perspective of a student member of the Kellogg Admissions Committee. Why would your peers select you to become a member of the Kellogg community? (600 word limit)

As an international applicant, i am not in a position to visit Kellogg and experience the student run culture first hand. Any tips as to how you would approach this question?


Does Kellogg do any MBA fairs or presentations in your city or a nearby city? They often will have alumni there so you can have a chance to talk to the alumni about questions you have about the culture. Or you can try finding local alumni through your own personal network, or contacting current students through a club that you're interested in. Kellogg provides contact info for club officers on the website.

Overall though, I think for this essay you need to think more about what you bring to the table that's unique and exciting. The adcom and student readers will be very familiar with Kellogg's culture and don't need to read an essay explaining it to them. They will want to know how admitting you will benefit your classmates and the school. So while it's important to tie it back to Kellogg (e.g. "my work experience as CEO of Goldman Sachs will allow me to provide interesting perspective during the Intro to Banking course", or "summiting Mt. Everest has prepared me for leading KWEST Everest next year"), this essay should be more about you than about Kellogg.
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Re: Calling all Kellogg Fall 2010 Applicants! [#permalink] New post 23 Jun 2009, 03:44
bpr81 wrote:
Wow, hadnt noticed that the Kellogg essays were now word limits instead of page limits. That does agree with me more, since i cant seem to find myself filling whole 2 pages without boring the reader.

Regarding the question

Essay #3 – Assume you are evaluating your application from the perspective of a student member of the Kellogg Admissions Committee. Why would your peers select you to become a member of the Kellogg community? (600 word limit)

As an international applicant, i am not in a position to visit Kellogg and experience the student run culture first hand. Any tips as to how you would approach this question?


One good thing about Kellogg is their website is super comprehensive, so you should be able to gleam a lot. Contact students in things you are interested as others have said.

I also found some of the student diaries helpful to see how students at Kellogg gave examples of their culture. I don't usually find these too helpful, but the girl listed there has a few good posts I thought. I just read the topic list for each poster and read the things I thought would help me learn more about K, I didn't read everything.
http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/Programs/FullTimeMBA/About_Our_Students/StudentDiaries.aspx
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Re: Calling all Kellogg Fall 2010 Applicants! [#permalink] New post 23 Jun 2009, 04:05
pmenon wrote:
Any tips for the leadership essay (question 2) ? Specifically, what key messages should we be trying to get across, and what are some examples of 'leadership areas' ?


I don't know if I have any tips, but I can tell you my approach. I plan to use two professional examples - one from a difficult customer situation and another from leading an internal team. The first was a situation that wasn't quite a failure, but something I was maybe a bit naive about - I'm planning to show what I learned and how I was able to handle a similar situation in the future. The second is a softer more teamwork-esque story. The second part of the question, I had a pretty good idea of things I could use. I looked through the Management concentration website for classes that could help me address those areas. I already mentioned club leadership in another essay I've drafted, but I could see you using that in your essay (maybe you sign up to be VP of finance for a club if you're lacking in that area, for example).

Here's the class list from MORS - maybe it will trigger something.
http://www1.kellogg.northwestern.edu/dpco/catinfo.asp?dept_seqno=6&level=MBA

Obviously I'm in the same situation as you, but hope it helps get you started.
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Re: Calling all Kellogg Fall 2010 Applicants! [#permalink] New post 23 Jun 2009, 05:21
Thanks, highopes.

Ive got two professional experiences as well. I suppose what I wasnt exactly clear about was what qualifies as a 'leadership area'. For example, can I say that I want to improve my negotiation skills, or that I want to increase my effectiveness in motivating people ?
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Re: Calling all Kellogg Fall 2010 Applicants! [#permalink] New post 23 Jun 2009, 13:29
How specific should one get in mentioning future career goals? For example, should it be as detailed as saying "I believe the rotational program at XYZ Company will enable me to...." or just broadly mention a role within your preferred industry like "Business development at a utility"
Re: Calling all Kellogg Fall 2010 Applicants!   [#permalink] 23 Jun 2009, 13:29
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