Kellogg Essay Topic Analysis 2010-2011

5已有 1128 次阅读  2010-06-30 01:11   标签Analysis  Topic  Essay  Kellogg 
With most questions remaining identical to last year’s application, Kellogg continues to show an interest in an applicant’s potential contributions to the community, encouraging candidates to discuss what makes them unique and how they would be a valued and active member in the program.

Essay #1
a) MBA Program applicants – Briefly assess your career progress to date. Elaborate on your future career plans and your motivation for pursuing an MBA. (600 word limit)

This is a fairly standard career goals/why MBA essay.  As usual, it’s important to remember that specificity of goals is key, and keep in mind that the school prides itself on its collegial culture when addressing the ‘why Kellogg’ issue.  One more thing to note is that the request that applicants “assess” their progress to date is unique to Kellogg’s version of this question.  This would suggest that it might be appropriate to incorporate a few reflective or even evaluative comments into your discussion of your professional path in order to tailor your perspective to Kellogg’s question.

As is the case with most schools, demonstrating an understanding of the unique merits of Kellogg’s program is crucial to an effective response to this question (as well as the second essay about one’s potential contribution).  Taking the time to learn about the school’s curriculum, special programs and extracurricular activities – whether through a visit to campus or conversation with alumni will pay dividends here.

Essay #2
Describe your key leadership experiences and evaluate what leadership areas you hope to develop through your MBA experiences. (600 word limit)

This essay is a great opportunity to showcase your various leadership roles in college and afterwards. Given the number of subjects that need to be covered in this response, it would be wise to focus your discussion on two or three leadership examples rather than a laundry list of positions held. Of course, it’s also important to take note of the Kellogg-specific slant of this inquiry. In addition to touching on situations in which you’ve taken the lead and the skills gained and lessons learned from these experiences, you’ll want to think through the ways that you could apply these to the benefit of the Kellogg community, as well as how you could enhance your leadership approach during your time in business school.

Essay #3
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 word limit)

This is one of the trickier questions out there in the MBA admissions world, as the request that applicants take a third-party perspective on their own applications virtually prohibits them from introducing any new information in this essay, as they must evaluate their own candidacy based upon the information that they have already submitted. The key is to use this response to draw the inferences that you would hope the reader to make based on your application, perhaps explicitly commenting on themes that run through your experience or drawing connections between your goals and some aspect of your background.

To answer the second part of the prompt, it would make sense to focus on your potential contributions in the classroom and around campus.  Keep in mind that past academic performance may not be as importance to one’s peers as background, interests and hobbies, and perspectives.  Examples of possible material might include discussing your unique achievements, demonstrating that you are in a great position to share something interesting in the classroom, or shedding light on a particular passion that might translate into involvement in one of Kellogg’s clubs.

There are number of additional strategies that work for this essay, and we encourage Kellogg applicants to contact us directly for further information about our counseling services in this regard.

Essay #4
Complete one of the following three questions or statements. (400 word limit)
Re-applicants have the option to answer a question from this grouping, but this is not required.

a) Describe an instance where you encountered resistance in a professional team setting. How did you address the situation?
New to Kellogg’s application, this prompt signals the adcom’s interest in how potential students handle opposition. As Kellogg highly values one’s ability to work in teams, the admissions committee is likely interested in learning how you managed any interpersonal fall-out in navigating the situation.  After describing the situation in detail, applicants should comment on both their thoughts and actions in response, highlighting how they were able to address the resistance they faced.  This essay gives applicants the opportunity to highlight their problem-solving skills, so applicants should focus on the steps they took to improve the situation or resolve the problem, as doing so will show the adcom how applicants would succeed through challenges at Kellogg and in their future career.

b) People may be surprised to learn that I…
This essay prompt enables candidates to discuss some element of their backgrounds that will show a new and interesting side of themselves that doesn’t come across in the rest of their application materials, and which might make them more three-dimensional to the person reviewing their files.  The prompt might be of most value to applicants from traditionally oversubscribed groups (i.e. engineers and financial analysts), as they may highlight what differentiates them from the rest of the applicant pool.  Beyond the surprising fact itself, it would make sense to offer some reflection on what led one to develop a skill or what implications a unique experience has had for one’s life or career.  For example, an analyst at an investment bank who grew up on a farm might surprise the adcom with the fact that he knows how to shear a sheep, and then move into a discussion of his early years and the way lessons he learned through this experience have served him since.

c) The best mistake I ever made was…
This essay is also new to the Kellogg application, although the subject of failure or setback is a popular one for business school essays in general.  By asking them to discuss the “best” mistake they ever made, Kellogg is prompting applicants to discuss a situation in which the lessons they learned have benefitted them greatly in their professional and/or personal lives.  While it’s important to display maturity and self-reflection in detailing the mistake you made, this essay affords you the opportunity to showcase your growth and development in explaining how this mistake was a learning experience.  It may also behoove applicants to discuss how what they’ve learned will point them towards success at Kellogg and in their career plans.

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