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What You Need to Know to Get into Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management

Learn what’s required to prove you belong at Kellogg and to present yourself as a leader in your industry, as well as a growth-oriented team-player.

Kellogg’s culture is embodied in leadership and teamwork abilities as well as a history of positive transformation and growth. In order to create a student body that reflects the school’s mission, Kellogg continues to specifically seek students who are leaders in their field, collaborative by nature and who are constantly finding ways to exude Kellogg’s spirit of being “Growth-Minded.”

Essay 1: (Required) Leadership and teamwork are integral parts of the Kellogg experience. Describe a recent and meaningful time you were a leader. What challenges did you face, and what did you learn? (450 words)

This question is looking for a recent experience that provides evidence that you are a collaborative and empathetic leader. Consider the following points when responding to this essay:

· Recent and Meaningful: In the past two years and transformative that helped solidify or change your identity

· Leadership and Teamwork: Does not necessarily mean you were the singular leader of the team, but must display how you behaved as a leader in some facet of the story and should stress how you performed and succeeded within a team.

· Challenges: Make sure that this story does address specific challenges. You can also consider an experience that did not result in a complete success, but reflect on what you learned about yourself through this process (and ideally mention how this helped you succeed in a subsequent event).

· Lessons learned: Describe both the results of your efforts and how you helped accomplish a team goal as well as what you are able to take away personally from the experience (bonus points if you can incorporate how that prepares you to contribute to Kellogg’s community).

Keep the description of the situation brief and spend more time reflecting on how the experience has changed you for the better. It is important to show a linear relationship between the challenges, the actions you took and the results that occurred because of those actions. It is important to demonstrate your self-awareness and what you could take away from the experience.

The STAR format that is also very helpful in organizing stories:
Essay 2: (Required) Pursuing an MBA is a catalyst for personal and professional growth. How have you grown in the past? How do you intend to grow at Kellogg? (450 words)

This question is looking for you to articulate how you have grown in the past, articulate how the have impacted your career goals and why a Kellogg MBA will help you achieve these goals. Consider the following points when answering this essay:

· Address past growth experiences: You can address either past personal and professional growth experiences or a combination of both. It is important to succinctly communicate how the experience changed you. It is to your discretion whether you would prefer to focus on one story with greater depth or use 2-3 examples from a variety of experiences that could potentially revolve around a recurring theme.

· Articulate goals: Concisely transition from how you grew into a very brief explanation of your short and long-term goals.

· Outline your future growth potential: Now you can begin to discuss how you see yourself growing at Kellogg both professionally and personally. Be very specific in the resources you will use to grow including professional student organizations (Kellogg Student Clubs), specific study abroad experiences, courses to broaden your knowledge (Kellogg Course Catalog), professors to work with and internships that may allow you to break into an industry (Link to Kellogg Employment Report 2015).

Make sure to reflect on yourself as a person and be true as to how you want to change as a result of the MBA experience. Whether you want to travel more, explore new hobbies or further develop certain soft skills. Just make sure to relate these with an established group that could satiate these needs or discuss how you would love to start one if it does not exist.

Remember that the Kellogg essays are the best way for you to truly personalize your application by giving the admissions committee a sense of your identity and character. Kellogg is unique in that the written essays are not the only method they use to learn about the person behind the application. Their initiative to have applicants incorporate video essays as well as interviewing everyone who applies to their school is a true reflection of their desire to find and attract the best Kellogians that they can.

Because of the limited space, do your best to use an active voice, limit unnecessary language, and be genuine. Try to show them the person behind the application and why you think you are an ideal fit for the Kellogg community.

About Stratus

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