CareerMBA Essays

Kellogg School Of Management Essay Analysis 2020 – 2021


Welcome to this article in which I will talk about Kellogg School of Management, and its MBA program. If you’re looking at applying to Kellogg this year, well, you have come to the right place.


First of all, let’s look at the Kellogg program. One thing about the program is that people think of Kellogg as a marketing school but truth be told, all the Ivy League schools that are on the top ten aspire to be the next Harvard. If you think about it, Harvard is not really known as a marketing school or a finance school but is known as a general management school. The same goes for Kellogg. Yes, It’s great for marketing and there is no denying it, but if you look at it from a B-School perspective, it gives you a great opportunity in other areas as well, such as consulting. Hence, my suggestion is, don’t look at Kellogg as only a marketing B-School, don’t try to beat it down. Kellogg probably doesn’t want to hear it because it wants to be known as a general management program.



What is unique about the program?


Team-Based Learning

A lot of learning at Kellogg is team based learning. What you mean by team based learning is that you are essentially put into different teams. This means that for a particular project while working with your team, if one person is not pulling his weight, or you’re not getting along well with another person, well, it’s too bad. You still need to make it work, because they think that this is what will happen in real life. In real life, you can’t go crying to your boss and say, “I don’t like this guy. Why don’t I change my team, or why don’t you change his team? ” This is the beauty of team-based learning.


Team-based learning also comes into student involvement.Kellogg prides itself for its student involvement. You can find that most of the clubs and communities in Kellogg are student run. That’s the huge highlight of Kellogg.


Kellogg Community


The second important factor is that they emphasize on the Kellogg community. They are proud of the fact that they essentially have the students network with the alums for their professional development. I have heard about this from Kellogg alums; our CrackVerbal students who have been there.The Kellogg network is very strong. One of our students who got into Kellogg is now interviewing the incoming class. That’s the kind of involvement the students have. They are very driven and passionate about giving back to the Kellogg brand name.



With that, let’s look at the application deadlines.


2020-2021 Northwestern / Kellogg MBA Deadlines


Round 1

Application Deadline: September 19, 2020

On-campus Interview Scheduled by: September 21, 2020

Decision Notification: December 12, 2020


Round 2

Application Deadline: January 9, 2021

On-campus Interview Scheduled by: January 11, 2021

Decision Notification: March 27, 2021


Round 3

Application Deadline: April 10, 2021

On-campus Interview Scheduled by: April 12, 2021

Decision Notification: May 15, 2021





2020-2021 Northwestern / Kellogg MBA Essay Questions


Essay 1


Kellogg’s purpose is to educate, equip & inspire brave leaders who create lasting value.  Tell us about a time you have demonstrated leadership and created lasting value.  What challenges did you face, and what did you learn? (450 words)


In this essay, you have to talk about an incident that is in some sense, larger than you. It’s very important for us to focus on “This is a leadership experience, where you had created a lasting value”. The word “Lasting value” is something that is beyond you.


A mistake that a lot of students make is that they talk about a personal accomplishment. They write something like, “I was working on this project and we had a deadline and someone had to step up the plate…someone had to roll up their sleeves and do it…I worked a couple of all-nighters….I went and convinced people from other departments and I made it happen.” Making it happen is one thing but building something that is going to last even when you’re not there is another.

Contributing or volunteering for an NGO is one thing. Setting up an NGO where there are people who are going to contribute even after you, is another thing. It is very important for you to pick something that is larger than you; that’s the key thing here.


The second thing is, for building the story, you can use a very simple framework. You can talk about what I call as “The Start Framework”.


   • S – Situation

   • T – Task

   • A – Action

   • R-  Result

   • T – Takeaway

   • What was the background when you came in?

What was the task that you were assigned? You need to be very specific. Don’t say, “We were supposed to do this.”. Tell them what you were supposed to do.

   • What was the action that you performed?

   • What was the result of the action?

   • What were your personal takeaways? What did you learn from this experience about yourself?


Situation, task, action, result, and takeaways. That’s how I would build this essay. Each framework with 90 words. One more thing is that people tend to not focus on takeaways. You need to talk about what you learned. So make sure that you don’t miss it because that is a crucial part of this essay.



Essay 2


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 a typical career goal essay. What we need to do for the career goal essay is to divide the essay into three parts.


The First part – Write about yourself


How have you grown in the past? Write a paragraph that describes your growth journey.  Who were you when you started as a fresher? Who are you today? What have you learned about life?  How has that made you a better person?



The Second part


Now that you have grown so much, what have you come to realize?

When you look ahead, what are the kind of goals you want to pursue?

In order to pursue those goals, what is it that you need to equip yourself with?



The Third part


Now that you have figured out the things you want to equip yourself with, how would an MBA, specifically a Kellogg MBA, help you achieve that?


Okay. So you have three parts :

   • Where are you?

   • Where do you want to be?

   • How do you intend to get there?


That’s how I would break up this essay. This essay is about 450 words. You can write about 150 words for each paragraph. Obviously, in 150 words, we shouldn’t end up describing way too much as the space will not be enough. Don’t repeat things that are found in your resume. Don’t tell Kellogg what it already knows.



Optional Essay


My recommendation for the optional essay is to write about something like a gap in your education or work experience, or if there is something important that you want to tell the school but did not have the opportunity to do so anywhere else in your application form.


Do not use this space to retrofit a story that you probably thought would be interesting but did not find a place to write. Don’t do that; you would do yourself a greater disservice by retrofitting.


I hope this article was useful. If you’re applying to Kellogg this year, as discussed, we have worked with successful candidates who have gone to Kellogg so we can help you. We would love to hear from you, so go ahead and click the link below.