Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, or simply Kellogg, is a perennially top-ranked MBA program. Northwestern Kellogg prides itself on developing leaders who have a thirst for creativity and innovation, a commitment to collaboration, and an eye toward empathy. Although Kellogg is perhaps best known for its marketing expertise, such esteemed professors as Philip Kotler, and placing students into brand management roles, the top industry for the school’s 2022 graduates was actually consulting, followed by technology, financial services, and consumer packaged goods.
Located in Evanston, Illinois, just 13 miles north of downtown Chicago, Kellogg offers the best of both an intimate, student-centric college town and a big city. Kellogg’s flagship building, the Global Hub, helps facilitate a culture of teamwork and collaboration that is evident in group project requirements and the numerous student-led extracurricular activities and clubs. But do not let the top-notch technology of the Global Hub fool you; students can also find serene spots with a view of the waves of Lake Michigan to unplug for a bit.
As a midsize school, the Northwestern Kellogg MBA program seeks to support a tight-knit community feel through smaller first-year sections, interactive student experiences, and Kellogg Worldwide Exploration Student Trips (KWEST) for incoming first-year students, planned and led by second-year students and consistently named a favorite Kellogg experience. Although academics and the recruiting process are a top focus, Kellogg MBA students also make time for social endeavors, with Special K, the student variety skit show offering a satirical view of life at Kellogg, and the annual ski trip at the end of first semester often cited with fondness. Northwestern Kellogg requires you to present a strong application both professionally and personally—fortunately, mbaMission offers a depth of resources and services to help you on your journey.
Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management Insider’s Guide
After consulting with Kellogg MBA students, admissions committee members, and alumni about their experiences, we have prepared our Insider’s Guide to Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. We take an in-depth look at life as a Kellogg MBA student, highlighting how the school’s location, class size, curriculum, teaching methods, facilities, alumni involvement, and rankings all affect its culture and MBA experience. Then, we delve into Kellogg’s faculty and professional student clubs, revealing how they facilitate the careers of Kellogg MBA students. Through our guide, you will learn more about the spirit of collaboration and teamwork that is core to Kellogg.
In addition to academic quality and high rankings, culture is frequently named as a key reason students choose Kellogg. Clubs and extracurricular activities are often student run, allowing for ample leadership opportunities. The inclusive environment facilitates developing deep bonds with one’s classmates and learning from diverse perspectives. With international students making up 36% of the student body and women 49%, Kellogg offers a diverse MBA program and values the perspective that individuals of various backgrounds bring to lively class and team discussions. The quantitatively rigorous first-year core curriculum allows for some flexibility, with the option to waive up to seven classes with approval and the opportunity to take electives in the first year. Although Kellogg’s teaching style is neither exclusively case method nor exclusively lecture, team projects are an important part of essentially every class, simulating the reality of most business environments. Students choose one major and as many “pathways” as desired to tailor the MBA experience to their specific career goals. And you will often find Kellogg MBA alumni back at the Global Hub as guest speakers, sharing real-world case studies in the classroom and through club conferences. The sense of teamwork and comradery so pervasive in Kellogg’s culture continues long after graduation.
Dean Francesca Cornelli, an accomplished scholar and a leader in business education, joined Kellogg in August 2019. Given the prevalence of change and disruption in the current era, Dean Cornelli said her goal is “to teach people to be adaptable, to see change and to embrace opportunity.” She went on to say, “So when people ask what is the value of an MBA, I say it’s not your next job. We want to impact all your life, the entire trajectory.” The new dean also emphasized the deep-rooted strength of Kellogg’s culture, sharing that “the biggest surprise is how big and distinctive the culture is.” Learn more about Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management through our comprehensive guide, which presents eight key criteria to consider when evaluating whether Kellogg is a good fit for you.
Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management Essay Analysis, 2023–2024
Applicants to the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University must provide two required written essays. The first deals with a leadership experience that resulted in some form of ongoing merit, while the second focuses on candidates’ guiding principles. Interestingly, both essays center on “value(s)” but in very different ways, according to two separate definitions of the term. Kellogg’s questions thereby seem to address two key aspects of business today, and candidates will need to demonstrate their awareness of both and their potential to fulfill them. In addition, the admissions committee requires that applicants submit three brief video essays, but thankfully, it gives candidates some information in advance as to what the questions are (or at least are about) as well as significant opportunities to practice before recording their official responses. For more advice on interpreting and approaching the school’s essay and video prompts for 2022–2023, read on.
In our analysis, we provide in-depth guidance on each of Kellogg’s 2023–2024 written and video essay questions (note that specialized MBA programs require responses to additional essay questions):
- Written Essay 1: Kellogg’s purpose is to educate, equip and inspire 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)
- Written 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)
- Video Essay 1: Please introduce yourself to the admissions committee. Consider this your opportunity to share what you would want your future Kellogg classmates and our admissions committee to know about you. What makes you, you?
- Video Essay 2: What path are you interested in pursuing, how will you get there, and why is this program right for you? This is an intentionally broad question so you can answer honestly and meaningfully. We want to know why you’re pursuing an MBA and why you’re choosing a particular Kellogg Full-Time Program.
- Video Essay 3: This question will be based on a challenge you’ve faced and what you’ve learned from it.
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Northwestern Kellogg MBA Application Deadlines (2023–2024)
September 13, 2023
January 10, 2024
April 3, 2024