Applicant Question: What Qualities Does Kellogg Look For?

Every year, thousands of people apply to business school and apply to Kellogg. Senior managers looking to transition from one firm to another.  Former consultants and bankers looking to gain credentials to go back to their former firms. And recent graduates ready to gain access to more opportunities and take on the world. Despite their differences in backgrounds they do all share one commonality. They all want to figure out how to get in to business school, including Kellogg.

In a recent post on BeatTheGMAT.com a person asked me about just that.  In short, they wanted to know what Kellogg loos for. Her full question was: “When you interview a first year candidate, what qualities do you specifically look for ? How do evaluate ‘fit’ for Kellogg?”

In part, this is a tough question because there are so many moving parts to an interview and so many possible answers here. And it was also tough because I had very limited time to answer the question, given I was on a chat forum. Maybe just two or three minutes. That said, I did have a few thought to share. See below for my response. And below that for her counter response.

And also be sure to check out BeatTheGMAT.com and BeatTheGMAT’s Kellogg Wall for similar question on MBA admissions.

ORIGINAL QUESTION

When you interview a first year candidate, what qualities do you specifically look for ? How do evaluate ‘fit’ for Kellogg?”

 

MY RESPONSE

Great question. First, I’ll note that everyone’s interview is very different, so you can’t necessarily predict your interview experience. That said, there are a few things that Kellogg likely assesses candidates for. I’ll provide three here:

1) Culture. The Kellogg culture is vibrant, fun, and high energy. People also spend a lot of time working in teams here, so the ability to show cultural fit is key. While there’s not one specific way to do this, focus on being yourself, on demonstrating how you like to work in teams, and on being personable.

2) Communications skills. Because spends so much time in teams and focused on leadership development, people here tend to be very good at communication skills. So high energy, ability to tell a good story and convey a message, things that are not only important here at Kellogg but also professionally after school is over.

3) Being well-rounded. As a general management school, being well-rounded is also important. That means displaying a high number of interests and skills. A propensity to work on a number of different business issues rather than just being a finance person or a marketer. And the ability to work with a large number of people. Further, if you work hard during your day job but area blogger, singer, dancer or anything else, make sure to discuss those things. You’ll likely be better off.

 

APPLICANT RESPONSE

Thanks Jeremy.. big fan of your blog.. I also hope to create a blog which is as organized as yours by next year..once I get thru one of my top choice Bschool..

 

MY RESPONSE

Thanks for the follow up message. Blogging takes a lot of work, but for many is well worth the time. Feel free to let me know once you get started. I’d love to have a look.

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011 Admissions, Business School, Careers

1 Comment to Applicant Question: What Qualities Does Kellogg Look For?

[…] ask questions for an upcoming interview with the HBS Director of Admissions. Kellogg ’12 Jeremy responded to a reader question focused on what the Kellogg Adcom was looking for in applicants. GW ’12 Part-Timer wrote his latest post about negotiation role playing. Darden ’12 Patrick […]

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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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