Another week of essay writing, reviewing, scratching, and rewriting later I finally submitted my Part II of the Kellogg MBA application today. I also did my alumni interview for Kellogg on the 13th October. Thus, I have completed all requirements for the Kellogg Round 1 application, and a long and excruciating wait lies ahead for the results.
I have planned trips to Spain, Switzerland and India to keep me occupied. Expecting a tough application season I had worked pretty hard in the early part of this year to have a lighter workload for Q4 and I think my hard-work is going to pay-off big time now :).
Kellogg Interview Experience:
For the Kellogg interview I went through the Kellogg website thoroughly one more time. Watched all the videos from their online events, asked alumni for tips and trawled the mba application forums for pointers. The other part of the preparation involved knowing what stories I am going to present. So I did a first pass on my application essays, rehearsed walking through my resume and jotted down my themes for previous year’s questions. The Clear Admit wiki with Kellogg interview questions is a great resource, and I would recommend going through it for your interviews.
On the day of the interview, I took a wrong turn and went completely in the opposite direction (I just knew this was going to happen!). Thankfully, I had planned for this contingency and as soon as I realized I was lost asked for directions and was still able to make it to the meeting place 5 mins before time. The alum arrived a couple of minutes late, by which time I had selected a nice cozy corner of the cafe and was ready with a coffee. She introduced herself and set a very friendly informal tone for the rest of the interview. It felt more like a conversation than an interview. I walked through my resume, explained my long term goal, why Kellogg, what would I do there, my biggest professional achievement, experience of working in a team, time when I had to overcome an obstacle. But the discussions just flowed from one topic to the other and it was not a question and answer session. Satisfied that all her questions were answered, the alum invited me to ask a few of mine. I just wanted to know couple of her experiences from Kellogg which were symbolic of the school. And with that the interview was over, the hour had just flown by.
On my way back I realized that my extracurricular activities never came up (I had some very interesting stories!). So all-in-all I was satisfied with the way interview went but believe I could have added more personality to my application if given the chance.
The Kellogg essay set was very difficult for me. The first and second essays were not straightforward. The first one having the added element of career progression to the goals and why MBA, while the second one wanted leadership experiences and what I would do at Kellogg to become a better leader. The third wanted me to become a adcom student member and extoll my own virtues. I tried to write it in first person and it sounded very cheesy to me. But this was only until I tried to write it in third person to a lot worse effect. So I decided to choose the lesser of the two evils and went with a first person chronicle. I am not very comfortable blowing my own trumpet and I think this is evident in my essay :(. The essay 4 with its options promised to be easier, but no such luck. I had stories for all three options but did not seem to be adding anything new to my candidacy. So I finally decided to go along with a surprising fact about me, to at least let the adcom know a little bit more about me as a person.
I felt that my Michigan essays as a whole were better than my work for Kellogg, but I don’t think I could have done much better with the prompts that Kellogg had provided. Satisfied with my handiwork I pressed the submit button today and now look forward to the Kellogg admit decisions & Ross interview invites.
The way forward:
Until I have something to report on the MBA application front, I plan to digress and add a few posts for GMAT prep and MBA research. If there are topics that you consider can form interesting posts, do mention them in comments, and I would try to cover them over the next few weeks.