The Anatomy of a Great Kellogg Mba Essay

We are back with another MBA essay series where we undoubtedly to our dedicated applicants who wish to book a seat in their dream college. This time we’ll discuss “The Anatomy of a Great Kellogg Mba Essay.” So let’s prepare you to knock it out of the park.

Here is a quick guide on Kellogg MBA  Essays with dos and don’ts regarding the Essays and video statement and some tips regarding short answer questions and reapplication so that you can build the most unique and authentic application to stand out.

Before we dive deeper into essays, let us break a myth for you; essays do not only involve ‘writing.’ The two learnings you may want to take home after this article are ‘Introspection’ and ‘Research’. First, introspect deeply about who you are, your personality, your aspirations, and why you have an MBA. Then, research the programs you target, activities, goals, and classes you are excited about. Our experts say talking to students and alums will be worth investing in learning about the Kellogg MBA community.

If you’d like personalized, honest, and in-depth feedback on your profile and essays, feel free to book a 1:1 Profile evaluation with our profile experts (students and alums in the top 10 B-Schools). 

Just a warm-up statement! Undoubtedly, getting a good score on the GMAT will increase the chances of your selection. But trust us when we say it doesn’t help you make the cut (which most applicants assume after getting a good score). Nevertheless, an extraordinary essay and video statement are important to build a strong case of why you should deserve that seat and make you stand out. We speak to the admissions team of top B-schools every year, and while up-to-the-mark scores help them understand your quantitative aptitude, what they look for in ‘academic potential’ is much beyond that.

You must showcase your intellect, curiosity, perseverance, and willingness in your essays to go above and beyond in your journey.


We strongly believe in embracing authenticity as it is the direct connection to the reader’s interest. Also, adcoms believe in quality over quantity, so utilize those limited worthful 450 words for each question into a remarkable essay that can reflect you as a person while also demonstrating a strong fit to the school (from its class to culture and community). Kellogg’s intention is not to enroll students with impressive academic backgrounds. Still, they want upcoming leaders with multifaceted personalities who can be an asset for their institution and add and create new elements in their class and community. 

1.Provide a recent example where you have demonstrated leadership and created value.

The question is very straightforward but choosing the right example where you created a lasting value is a task. So think about this question twice, dive deep into your leadership stories, and write them down.  (Quick tip: Don’t neglect the word recent in the question, and frame your answer in something that can grab the attention of adcoms).

Now, when you are writing all your stories,  use the STAR approach. Showcase the situation your organization was in, what task they wanted to accomplish, what leadership skills you showed that helped elevate people, places, or circumstances, and lastly, how your actions resulted that revealed you and the organization got success. The last component, ‘i’, will answer the second part of ‘how you created value. This ‘i’ refers to ‘impact’. Write down the impact created by your action and when you think about effects, think qualitative impact. A

Once you are done writing all your stories, identify the one. 

2. What challenges did you face, and what did you learn?

This will be the narration of your story, as you might have faced a challenging situation where you learned how to tackle the crisis, people, resources, and mistakes. You might need clarification about whether mentioning your mistakes will be the right thing to do. They would love to know your weakness. 

While writing this, an important thing to note is to emphasize the learnings rather than describing the weakness/failure. Also, bits important that you exemplify how you can implement these learnings further to impact the Kellogg community- it will demonstrate your competitiveness and collaboration, which Kellogg highly values. 


The adcoms want to test the collinearity in your values and goals. They believe that values guide you in your life and work. Make sure to distinguish matters from a list of great adjectives. It must be something you feel, embrace, and reflect on in your life & work and the way they drive your decisions and actions in certain aspects that matter to you. 

The key point to note is bringing authenticity and removing self-biases while discussing your values. They can easily sense that in your essay as they have gone through tons of them, not to mention the extensive years of experience they have. 

Q) What values are important to you, and how have they influenced you?

The best opportunity to tell a story that is personal to you or that talks about “you.” The b-school members want passionate students and well-rounded individuals who can easily gel up with classmates. But, again,  do not simply put what you think adcoms want to hear. Try to be as authentic as possible while connecting your values to Kellogg’s values and how they fit well with its culture and community.

The best tip to nail this essay question is to connect the past, present, and future. Elaborate on how your values and perspectives will influence your Kellogg classmates. You can also mention the moments where you acted wisely, which deeply affected and prompted you. These personal moments will enhance your essay. 

For each value you choose to highlight, discuss “why” this value is important to you and “how” this has impacted or shaped you. For example, it might be driving excellence, helping others, giving back to the community, leading a team, etc. 


The video essay simply means that you are adding life to your essay from a virtual medium. Bring your personality’s shine and confidence on your face and show the person that crafted an excellent essay to adcoms. Before giving you some tips, the school has guidelines an applicant must adhere to. 

No more than 1 minute (60 seconds) in length

Single take (no editing)

Speaking directly to the camera

Do not include background music or subtitles

We can sense that you must be nervous yet excited but don’t be scared. Schools don’t want to hear the “right thing”; they want to hear “you”, one you know very well.  Show your dynamic personality and the desire to be part of them. We always give this advice and keep continuing this  “Be you, not an ideal.” 

The important point to remember is more than just mugging up things and dictating your essay. Even you can self-analyze that your video will be boring and can create a negative impact. Refrain from praising their curriculum; you will already mention why you want to join or post-MBA goals in your essays. We are confident that you have more to your personality, then why tell that story again?

Sometimes taking opinions from the right person will give you the right perspectives, which you may need to be aware of. In this task, you can take help from your close ones or an expert who will hear you and give you honest feedback. Jot down the points and create combinations that benchmark your personality in their minds.

You can book a 1:1 session with our experts to get personalized feedback on your profile and roadmap for your applications if you require it.

The best thing is Kellogg allows you to practice the video format a few times with practice questions before your official video. So make your mirror your best friend, and let them help boost your confidence, communication, and expression. 

To introduce yourself, tell them your interesting background, a quirky hobby, and a wonderful achievement (other than academic). Think about something memorable and unique you can describe here. You have already mentioned your goals but tell them why their MBA is the right fit for you and what excites you to be part of their community. 

The main aim of a video statement is to challenge you on how well you cope with the tension in your aura and how calm you are with deep knowledge like an ocean. 


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)

The most important thing to keep in mind here is COLLINEARITY. There should be a strong connection between your professional experience, short-term goal, and how Kellogg will support you. 

As you will already discuss much in your essay, be crisp and straightforward here. This question is designed for business background applicants, so the answer should be shaped by how you can accomplish your goals in just one year. Be relevant here; outline those elements you will take advantage of on campus and how you will turn this advantage into an opportunity.

This article will further help you understand how you can create strong collinearity. 


Again, this is the best chance that Kellogg provides you; if you think you have improved your academic score, got promoted, are working on a new and exciting project, increased community involvement, have recent voluntary activity, or have taken on some personal challenge, you can submit a new application with proof materials and emphasize what has changed since you last applied. This will show your dedication and that you believe in consistency and want to improve to be the perfect candidate for Kellogg, and it will create an impression on adcoms.

Read the success story of a reapplicant!

With this, we end this article with all the information regarding Kellogg Mba Essays, but this is still ongoing from our side.  If you need an upper hand, our team is always there to show you the right direction. 


We offer a limited number of complimentary profile evaluations each week to maximize your chances. We match you with the students and alums of top B-Schools according to your background and target schools. In this call, the experts will try to dig out your USP for top B-schools and provide you with honest feedback on your profile and chances to your target schools.

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