Kellogg EMBA: Essay 2: Community Impact

Essay 2: Community, belonging and inclusion are important values at Kellogg. Tell us about a community that’s important to you and how you contribute to or impact that community. (450 word maximum)

Kellogg has added the DEI angle to this essay this year, showing you how important it is to them. Approaching this question, consider what stories each of your recommenders could share in the first recommendation question, “

  • Kellogg has a diverse student body and values students who are inclusive and encouraging of others with differing perspectives and backgrounds. Please tell us about a time when you witnessed the candidate living these values. (300 words)

Which stories are best shared by them, and which is best shared by you? So strategize along these lines – we want the admissions committee to gain new information through this essay, to learn more about you in different settings. I always like to choose more personal than professional anecdotes for the essays because everything else – resume, recommendations, interview, short answers are all work related. Also, because it’s easier to create a memorable and emotional connection with the adcom through personal or community/extracurricular examples.

What’s behind the question

Kellogg is great for marketing and great at marketing. They understand their niche: attracting those who want a friendly, social experience doing their MBA – the warm, fuzzy factor. I like to tell clients they are both the *product* and the *consumer* - realizing this, Kellogg wants to deliver on their brand promise by serving up students who are teamwork and community minded.

Also, they want to recruit students who want to be part of a community long-term: who’s doing all those alumni interviews? You, prospective student, that’s who.

As for “Tell us about a community that’s important to you and how you contribute to or impact that community” if you have some choices, think first about where you have had the most impact. 

Here might be an interesting example to help you brainstorm. I had a client in Toronto who worked with a feed the hungry type organization before COVID hit. Once it hit, all their programming had to change – because it was all in-person stuff. They now delivered food to homes but had no transparency on their costs and for this reason, could not expand past a certain radius. My client did a ground-up budget for them. This gave them enough clarity on their costs to justify hiring an Executive Director; his efforts led to them expanding their reach and impact 3X. This helped them get grants based on the new ways they fulfilled their mission, as well. So, his effort really helped feed lots more hungry people in Greater Toronto, during an especially critical time.

My advice would be to start with 100 or so words stating your passion and motivation around this community – why it’s important to you – why it reflects your values. And then use the rest of the space narrating the story in chronological order (STAR: situation/problem – task – action – result) similar to what I wrote above.


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