A Fantastic Partner That Truly Understood My Application
May 16, 2023Read More
November 24, 2022
Note that whereas Kellogg’s two-year program doesn’t ask you for an essay on your goals, its 1Y program does. That’s because applicants to the One-Year MBA program will not have access to a summer internship and therefore need to persuade the admissions committee that they are savvy/realistic about their post-MBA goals. One goal of this essay should be to convince that committee that you are someone who excels in the time-constricted environment of an intensive one-year program.
The key phrase here—’disconnect between business and technology’—is deliberately broad so any applicant to MBAi will be able to come up with a relevant experience. Note that Kellogg requires that it be a disconnect scenario that you personally experienced rather than one you saw in the news. Where have you seen or experienced a situation where business and technology were not aligned – e.g., a new technology that addressed no market application or consumer need, or where engineers/technologists on the one hand and marketers/business developers/strategists on the other were speaking different languages or using conflicting assumptions. Just because the scenario must involve a disconnect does not mean it has to be a failure or setback scenario. The essay can have a ‘happy ending’ – if you stepped up with a solution that closed the gap. If you have such a story then this becomes an accomplishment essay. If you do not – if the disconnect remains unsolved – then use that gap to explain how the Kellogg program will give you the tools to address this disconnect post-Kellogg. Get very specific about the actual Kellogg MBAi resources that will help you close this technology-business gap.
Be strategic about choosing the core value that you discuss here. If any of these values are discussed in Question 2 above, you’ll want to highlight a different value here. I view the higher-value-adding values here as ‘creativity’ (all business schools seek innovative, imaginative thinker-doers), ‘empathy’ (evidence of a desire to benefit society is valued by all schools), and ‘open-mindedness’ (think of this as an openness to people different from yourself – diversity & inclusion). ‘Curiosity’ and a ‘learning mindset’ sound like very similar values to me – they speak to intellectual motivations, which are great, but business school is much more about learning to work and grow in teams than it is in intellectual exploration for its own sake. If you’re uncertain which value to choose let the scale or impact of the ‘situation’ you’ll use to illustrate the value decide for you: choose the example/value with the most impact or leadership.
Few applicants will truly need the demanding (expensive) experience of a JD-MBA program, so applicants who are sure that the program is relevant to them need to use this essay to state goals that clearly are more achievable via a legal and management education and to explain how each of the degrees is relevant to their long-term career plan.
Most applicants know or can figure out why they were dinged. It’s those deficits that this essay should be addressing. The big-ticket reapplicant improvements are job promotions, higher test scores, and big extracurricular or community impact. But if you don’t have any of these, share what you do have. There’s no way you don’t have some experience or achievement that can’t be pitched as evidence that you are improved since your last application. Everything counts here: work improvements and test score improvements above all, but also new coursework, a big new personal experience or achievement, even new interactions with the target school that have helped you learn more about it.
All applicants have the opportunity to provide explanations or clarification in Additional Information. Use this section if you think the person reviewing your application might have a few questions about one or more of your responses. This could include:
Remember, you should not use this Additional Information section to slot in an accomplishment or fun fact (they’re not asking for that) or to explain something (e.g., a 3.8 GPA) that doesn’t need explaining. This section is for damage control. Period. State the circumstance that needs explaining briefly and factually. The emphasis should be on the mitigating factors that may excuse or offset the gap or performance issue. Maintain a mature and non-whining tone.