Kellogg Executive MBA Application Essay Tips & Deadlines [2020 – 2021]

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Kellogg Executive MBA Application Essay Tips & Deadlines [2020 - 2021]

Kellogg’s 2 required EMBA application essay questions present a paradox: they’re straightforward and complex. Together, they draw out a fully rounded view of you as a person and as a professional, what you’ve done and how you think and perceive the world. To the extent possible, ground your essays in detail and concrete experience, and use reflection as the thread weaving those details and experiences into a vivid whole.

Essays 1 and 2 together should amplify and resonate with each other. They should be neither redundant nor discordant. Before or while drafting them, consider them as a whole. While they must each succeed as a separate statement, to do you the most justice they also should work together as parts of a dynamic whole.

Kellogg Executive MBA 2019-20 Application Essays

Kellogg EMBA Essay #1

What do you want to achieve in your professional life? What have you already done to get there and how do you think Kellogg can help you? (approximately 450 words)

“What you want to achieve” means your career vision; therefore, discuss the impact you hope to have. Support this vision by describing your goals in specific terms: likely positions, which company or companies, desired location, and some related context, e.g. anticipated challenges you or your organization may face, your take on industry trends and how they affect your goals, and so forth. Then connect the dots: explain how this stated path will enable you to achieve the vision.

In asking what you have already done to pursue these goals, the adcom is essentially seeking evidence that you are truly committed to this career path. Answering this part allows you to show that you are proactive, strategic, and resourceful. Don’t cite everything you’ve done in this regard, but rather identify the 2-3 most important experiences – and what you gained from them. In discussing why Kellogg will be the next important step on that path, link the resources of the Kellogg EMBA to the specific learning and professional needs arising from your planned path. (And keep in mind essay 2, to avoid redundancy.)

Kellogg EMBA Essay #2

Values are what guide you in your life and work. What values are important to you and how have they influenced you? (approximately 450 words)

This question aims right at the heart of who you are, and that is what Kellogg cares about (and always has). The goals (in essay 1) may be great, but here is the context for them.

The practical aspects of answering this question: First, note that it says “values” – plural. So, you must discuss at least two. But with only 450 words and the need for some elaboration, don’t offer a list of admirable values. Select the top 2-3 that at this point in your life are most compelling to you – and that are somewhat different – e.g. don’t use empathy and compassion as two different values, considering their similarity and overlap.

Of course, “values” is an abstract term, but avoid an abstract (mind-numbing) discourse. Instead, in answering how the values have influenced you, base it on your actual experience. That needn’t mean dramatic things; reading a book can change your life – you just have to make it come alive to the reader if that’s the case. This approach will both enhance the credibility of your essays and make a memorable read for the adcom.

Last but not least, I do suggest presenting examples/anecdotes here that are not work related; it’s fine to discuss work and link some of the discussion to it, but work should not be the focus of this essay. The question suggests a more holistic approach.

Kellogg EMBA Essay #3 (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.).

This question explicitly limits the potential topics to extenuating circumstances, so don’t use it to further market yourself by presenting new material to enhance your application. If you do not have extenuating circumstances, do not write the essay. If you do need to provide such information, do it succinctly and straightforwardly.

If you would like professional guidance with your Kellogg Executive MBA application, check out Accepted’s MBA Application Package, which includes advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the Kellogg EMBA application.

Kellogg Executive MBA application deadlines for January 2021 and September 2021 start dates

 January 2021 Start DateSeptember 2021 Start Date
Round 1August 19, 2020April 21, 2021
Round 2October 7, 2020June 2, 2021

***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***

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