Kellogg MBA Video Essays & How to Tackle the New Question

June 07, 2021 | by William Kotas

Kellogg asks each applicant to complete a video essay component after submitting its MBA application. This year, the school gives you all three questions upfront.

This year, Kellogg has refreshed question 3 of its video essays. Last year’s prompt named the momentous events of 2020 and asked how you responded. Similar to previous years, this year’s question 3 will be based on a challenge you’ve faced and what you’ve learned from it. While you may not know the precise wording of question 3, the good news is that you have time to prepare possible responses. Your challenge – and opportunity – is to respond in a way that’s concise, meaningful and introspective.


Register for the Kellogg & Chicago Booth Admissions Masterclass on June 8 @ 12 ET. Hosted by Fortuna’s Matt Symonds and featuring the industry expertise of Fortuna’s Bill Kooser (former Associate Dean at Chicago Booth) and Julia Brady (former Managing Director at Kellogg & former Assoc. Dean at UChicago), this is also the opportunity go get your questions answered.


How to Tackle the Kellogg Video Essay Questions

The first video question asks you to ‘introduce yourself to the admissions committee’ in the spirit of what you’ll bring to future classmates and ‘what makes you, you?’. The second drives at your career goals and ‘why Kellogg.’ For the third question, you can expect an interview-type behavioral prompt focused on a challenging moment in your personal or professional life.

Consider the video essays a huge opportunity to showcase your personality and character. Remember that Kellogg wants to learn something new about you (meaning, prepare some fresh material and don’t regurgitate examples from your written essays).

As you prepare, imagine how to convey what’s not obvious in your resume, credentials or LinkedIn profile. What will help make your application sticky and memorable? Again, reflect on the story you want to tell and offer a dimension that might be missing.

Play with ways to take advantage of the medium itself in your storytelling. Among my favorite efforts at a ‘introduce yourself’ video response was from a candidate who gave a brief viola performance, then used an element of the instrument itself as a metaphor to convey his personality and interpersonal style.

As you reflect on possible responses to the new third question, consider: What meaning can be discerned from your story and what does it say about you and who you are as a leader? How might the qualities that are most important to Kellogg be reflected in your response? Considered self-reflection is the key to delivering something that’s both meaningful and distinctive. As you do, keep your audience in mind – this is a business school essay after all, and your words are directed to the MBA admissions committee.

5 Top Video Essay Tips:

1. Plan your answers.

Jot down a few bullets or talking points or outline a quick structure, e.g., main answer and supporting examples. But avoid overly scripting – you want to appear fluid and natural on camera.

2. Stand for more energy.

Ensure your face is in good light (consider a ring light if you don’t have good natural light), and elevate your laptop to eye level.

3. Record yourself when you practice.

What type of impression are you giving off? Are you friendly and approachable? Would others feel comfortable working with you?

4. Don’t forget to smile.

When you enjoy yourself, it shines through and makes a connection with the viewer (you’re on camera, after all).

5. Visualize success.

Ask yourself, if the person reviewing my video essay takes nothing else, what is the number one thing I want them to remember about me?

Kellogg takes great pride in identifying candidates who have really self-reflected on what they want, how Kellogg will get them there and how their aspirations support a broader vision for having a positive impact. Nearly every aspect of the Kellogg application has some component geared toward discerning if a candidate is the right fit.

How to Tackle the Written Essays 

 

For advice on how to tackle the written essays, view our related post: Kellogg MBA Essays: Strategy & Tips. You can also view our MBA Admissions Essay Masterclass featuring Kellogg along with MIT Sloan, Chicago Booth & Columbia.

Want more advice? 

Join the Kellogg & Chicago Booth Admissions MasterclassTues., June 8 @ 12 noon ET. Hosted by Fortuna’s Matt Symonds and featuring the industry expertise of Fortuna’s Bill Kooser (former Associate Dean at Chicago Booth) and Julia Brady (former Managing Director at Kellogg & former Assoc. Dean at UChicago), this is also the opportunity go get your questions answered. Registration is free but spaces are limited, so register now to reserve your place.


William Kotas is an MBA admissions consultant at Fortuna Admissions, as well as a former Kellogg Director and Kellogg MBA Alum. For a candid assessment of your chances of admission success at a top MBA program, sign up for a free consultation.

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