Kellogg School of Management Essay Questions and Tips

Two essays are required of all applicants. The first question asks about a leadership experience and impact made. The second question asks about your values and motivation in life and work and how they have shaped or influenced you.

Essay #1

Kellogg’s purpose is to educate, equip and inspire brave leaders who create lasting value. Provide a recent example where you have demonstrated leadership and created value. What challenges did you face and what did you learn? (450 words)

Kellogg is asking for one recent experience. Here, Kellogg is not limiting you to professional settings. You have the option to use a non-professional leadership experience. Choose something your proud of, and if it is from longer ago in the past, a reader may wonder “What have you been doing lately?”

You can use a CARL (Challenge, Action, Results, Learning) framework for this response. Start with the challenge that you faced by simply describing the situation and obstacles. Then relate your actions. How did you motivate others to move in a particular direction? How did you influence and persuade? Finally, what were the results? How did you create value, not just for yourself but for your team, group, department, company, club, or whatever entity you were contributing to? Finally, what did you learn about leadership, collaboration, and influence?

Essay #2

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

The values you focus on could be a particular religious or philosophical approach to life. It could be something political or something more personal like mindfulness, healthy living, service to others, helping the less fortunate, or any number of values. There are a lot of possibilities.

However, the tough part of the question isn’t listing values. It is discussing how they have influenced you. How are you a different person because of them? How do those values guide your behavior guided?

Additional Questions 

Certain applicants will respond to additional questions:

1Y applicants: Please discuss your post-MBA career goal, the current experience you will leverage to support the transition, and the Kellogg 1Y opportunities that will help you reach this goal. (250 words)

JD-MBA applicants: Please discuss your post-JD-MBA career goals and why the JD-MBA Program is the right program to help you reach those goals. (250 words)

MMM applicants: The five core values of the MMM Program are curiosity, creativity, empathy, open-mindedness and a learning mindset. Describe a situation in which you demonstrated one of these values. Why is this value an important part of the MMM experience for you? (250 words)

Reapplicants: Since your previous application, what steps have you taken to strengthen your candidacy? (250 words)

All applicants have the opportunity to provide explanations or clarification in Additional Information. Use this section if you think the person reviewing your application might have a few questions about one or more of your responses. This could include:

  • Unexplained gaps in work experience
  • Academic, GMAT or GRE performance
  • Extenuating circumstances that we should be aware of when reviewing your application

Video Essay

The Kellogg admissions team advises the following in regards to the video essay:

The video essay provides you with an additional opportunity to demonstrate what you will bring to our vibrant Kellogg community - in an interactive way. You will respond to several short video essay questions. The questions are designed to bring to life the person we have learned about on paper.