Kellogg MBA essays analysis and writing tips 2011-2012


Briefly assess your career progress to date. Elaborate on your future career plans and your motivation for pursuing an MBA. (600 words)

Outline major steps in your career so far, explaining your career choices and what has mainly influenced these choices. Tie these with your personal qualities/interests and your academic/professional background. Going forward, how do you see your career shaping, and what drives your choices? How will the MBA add value in the pursuit of your chosen career e.g. you want to learn practical business problem solving in a collaborative environment, and also enhance your knowledge of different functional areas in management.

Describe your key leadership experiences and evaluate what leadership areas you hope to develop through your MBA experiences (400 words)

Dont despair if you havent led a team at work yet – leadership experiences can be from your academic life e.g. you led the Career Services function at college, you led the formation of a music band. What aspects of leading did you improve at through these experiences e.g. motivating your team members, resolving conflicts etc. What additional aspects do you want to develop and how e.g. standing for elected positions of certain societies/clubs, leadership related courses, practicums etc

Assume you are evaluating your application from the perspective of a student member of the Kellogg Admissions Committee. Why would you and your peers select you for admission, and what impact would you make as a member of the Kellogg community? (600 words)

How well will you fit in with your cohorts and peers – this is very important in a collaborative learning environment such as the MBA program. Therefore, devote words to how you have worked in peer group settings before and what qualities these experiences have brought out/enhanced in you e.g. your passion and enthusiasm for organizing events and working with large and diverse groups, made you the preferred person in your class at college for leading volunteer events. Any unique skills/knowledge you can contribute, can also find mention in this essay.

Option1:Describe a time you had to inspire a reluctant individual or group. (400 words)

As a leader, influencing skills are very important, this essay aims to assess this quality in you. Briefly describe the situation where you had to persuade/influence, what was your final purpose, where you felt ‘stuck’ with this individual/group and what techniques/approaches you used to inspire him/them. Your understanding of what motivates different individuals/groups should come out in the essay.

Option2: People may be surprised to learn that I?..(400 words)

There’s more to you than your academics/work ex, and here’s the opportunity to highlight that. At the same time, be skilful in choosing those facets of yourself which might strengthen your overall application e.g. you were a bass guitarist with a college rock band, what did this experience teach you about teamwork and about working across differences of opinion. You can even talk about a specific incident/significant experience that you went through and what impact that had on you.

Option3: The riskiest personal or professional decision I ever made was?..(400 words)

Are you confident and adventurous or do you stick to the mundane? Risk taking in leaders is highly valued, as it can make a quantum difference to results. Therefore, how good are you at evaluating opportunities for taking risks, how do you think through the situation, what do you hope to gain by taking the risk and how do you push through the decision? Answer these questions using a specific instance when you took a risky personal/professional decision. You can add how it made you feel at the end – were you successful etc.

Since your previous application, what steps have you taken to strengthen your candidacy? (400 words)

Have you taken new initiatives at work or handled greater responsibility professionally both in terms of extent and scope e.g. serving on a cross functional task force, becoming a team lead, while you were not previously etc? Also, this question asks for what steps you have taken – so these should be consciously thought of steps, e.g. if you plan to work in European financial services industry, you have started learning French/German. Maybe you want to strengthen your analytical skills, so you have enrolled for advanced financial management/mathematics courses.

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