Why Kellogg

Hey everyone, hope you’re doing well.  I recently got an email from someone interested in applying to the JD-MBA program. She sent a couple of questions, including “Why Northwestern (Kellogg?) That’s always a pretty tough question, but I’ll  take a stab at answering the question below.



So when I tell people I’m headed to Northwestern’s JD-MBA program, I usually get three different responses: (i) Congratulations! (ii) Why Kellogg/Northwestern? and (iii) Why a JD and an MBA?

What I’ve learned about going through this process and answering these questions is that choosing a business school is no easy feat. The are a number of top programs out there that will help you accomplish your career goals. I had the good fortune of being part of Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) as an applicant. MLT focuses on the business school application process and specifically helped me determine my priorities for choosing a school. As part of the program, I spent a lot of time visiting campuses, interacting with current students, reflecting on my personal goals, writing strong essays, and going to admitted student weekends. I strongly suggest that any graduate school applicant go through the same due diligence.

I ultimately chose to attend Kellogg’s JD-MBA program. Accepting a place at Kellogg was not a hard decision given it’s top ranking and premier resources. However, turning down other top schools was a bit more difficult. Upon reflection, there are a couple of specific reasons that helped me realize that Kellogg was the best fit for me.

Teamwork. Having worked on a variety of project teams as a consultant, I’ve learned the distinct advantage of having a high-performing team. Kellogg pioneered the concept of teamwork in b-school. From being a student-driven culture, to rotating study groups, to a lopsided amount of team-based coursework, Kellogg and Northwestern law will best allow me to hone my teamwork skills.

Classmates: Students at Northwestern are slightly older and amongst the most collegial, fun loving students at any school. This is true at both Kellogg and Northwestern Law, and I look forward to a really fun three years. I also think this adds a more mature and experienced dynamic to the classroom. Will be pretty interesting learning from interesting and experienced classmates.

General Management. Kellogg also has a world-class general management curriculum, and tends to do a lot of things really well. With a background that’s pretty generalist in nature, including consulting, I do think that getting a general management background is a good idea, and for me it is the best way to go.

Marketing Orientation. Unlike many Kellogg students, I don’t specifically plan to go into marketing after graduation. But I do believe that marketing/ sales is one of the most important functions in business. As such, Kellogg’s strong marketing curriculum–from the world-renowned marketing curriculum to its annual marketing competition–will be a good fit for me.

Leadership Development. I believe that running a company is as much about good leadership as it is about analysis and processes. I’ve had the fortunate experience of having worked with one or two really good leaders in addition to a lot of really bad ones, and personally think that it’s important to show strong leadership in business. Kellogg offers things like a 360 leadership assessment, a culture based on feedback, a great MORS major (and leadership minor), and countless ways to lead/organize as a part of the student body.

Negotiation Coursework. I am really interested academically in negotiations. Law school is generally a great way to get this exposure, and Northwestern Law is one of the best with the topic. Northwestern Law is also known for its practical coursework and its clinics, including a negotiations clinic. Kellogg also has a great negotiations curriculum. They have some of the best professors in the field who have written some of the best books in the field. At Kellogg, you can even get a minor in negotiations.

Consulting. I have a background in consulting and am thinking about the management consulting field post-graduation. Kellogg is one of the best at sending students into the field. They even have the “Analytical Consulting” major specifically designed to enter the field.

JD-MBA Program. I will talk more about the specifics of the dual program going forward, but attaining both the JD and the MBA was probably the biggest factor in my school decision, as my long-term professional interests have ties to both law and business, e.g. startups, politics and social change. In my opinion, Northwestern far and away has the best and most integrated JD-MBA program and it certainly has the oldest JD-MBA “program”.

At Northwestern, I know I can gain the skills and experiences to achieve my professional goals. I look forward to starting at Northwestern this fall.

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009 Business School

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Jeremy C Wilson is a JD-MBA alumni using his site to share information on education, the social enterprise revolution, entrepreneurship, and doing things differently. Feel free to send along questions or comments as you read.


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The contents of this blog are mine personally and do not reflect the views or position of Kellogg, Northwestern Law, the JD-MBA program, or any firm that I work for. I only offer my own perspective on all issues.
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