Why Kellogg - Executive MBA Essay 1

In the application, you shared your short-term and long-term goals. How will Kellogg and an Executive MBA equip you to reach those goals? What are you looking to gain or develop during your MBA experience? (450 word maximum)

Kellogg wants to make sure you have a clear focus – which is why the question on short term career goal and long-term career goal are only a few words. If you need more space to articulate it, it’s not specific enough. Role/industry/geography is about all you need.


Reflecting on your short term career goal, consider what might be stopping you from achieving that now. Would you be in better standing to get the goal job with an EMBA? Or, do you feel you would be out of your depth in that job without a formal education in a few things? Many feel they would be doing things inefficiently in a business-related role without the academic underpinnings and the mastermind alliance of their “small group” at Kellogg. I like the expression, “none of us is as smart as all of us.”


The ideal answer here is partly about what you need from a functional perspective: finance, strategy, marketing etc. but also points to an area of growth that might be stopping you from maximizing your leadership potential. These are usually things like fear of being visible, confidence, perfectionism, willingness to take calculated risks. Kellogg appreciates self-awareness, maybe more than any other MBA program, because they are known for leadership development. Self-awareness forms the foundation for leadership development – without that awareness, would you be coachable? Capable of transformation? Able to leverage the program? It’s worth meditating on this question, to come up with an answer that shows self-awareness – and from there, consider how to leverage the EMBA to achieve it. Kellogg realizes that happy customers who spread good juju have set a specific mission when entering the EMBA and having this, are more likely to achieve it and feel it was a good investment.


If you feel teamwork is an area you need to develop to be an effective member of operating committee, working with your small group will be something to expand on. Set up informational interviews with current and past students to understand how this helped them grow; what goals it helped them achieve. Another example: maybe your company wants you to help with international expansion. So, you need to take Global Network in Emerging Markets to understand the dynamics of expanding to emerging markets. And also, maybe you haven’t had the opportunity to lead international team members and need to understand gain a sense of the “unknown unknowns” there to build effective teams in that new location.


My point is, show that you have researched the program in a number of settings. And, that you don’t just know about the program offerings – we don’t want to barf up the course catalog here – but instead match up the specific elements of the Kellogg EMBA that speak best to your 1) knowledge gap and 2) growth edge.


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