MBA Operations

Guidelines and Tips for Writing Quality Award Nominations

The key to a well-written nomination is providing evaluators with specific information illustrating how the individual’s or group’s achievements have made a positive impact on Kellogg’s goals. The number of examples is not as important as ensuring that the nominee’s (or nominees’) contributions match the specific award criteria, and that there are measurable results. Here are some additional tips:

  • Keep it brief. Write short sentences that are concise and give specific detail. Avoid giving work history or job descriptions, unless it directly relates to the award criteria. The goal is quality, not quantity.

  • Answer the “what” and “how.”

    • WHAT did the nominee(s) do?
      • Projects and/or activities above and beyond job descriptions
      • Any challenges or issues encountered and overcome
    • HOW did the nominee(s) do it?
      • Initiative and/or leadership
      • Teamwork
      • Creativity and/or innovation
      • Behaviors and/or attitudes
    • WHAT were the results and/or impacts?
      • What did the nominee(s) accomplish?
      • Are there specific benefits derived from those efforts?

  • Be clear and specific. Don’t assume the Rewards & Recognition selection committee members will understand the specific nature of a project or achievement without full explanations. Be specific about what the nominee(s) did and how that helps fulfill the school’s mission.

  • Say it like it is. Don’t worry about using “fancy” speech. Feel free to use bulleted lists when appropriate. Be sure to explain the technical details in such a way that non-experts will understand, and spell out/define any unfamiliar acronyms.

  • Use concrete examples. Anecdotes, quotations from colleagues or patrons, specific numbers or statistics, etc. help strengthen your nomination. Describe the amount of time and resources spent on the project. If the project the nominee(s) is/are working on is still being developed or has not produced results, consider identifying major milestones completed. If this progress is not of substantial impact, consider waiting to submit the nomination until after the results/impact can be documented and supported.

  • Communicate sincerity and personal commitment. Show that you personally value the contributions of your nominee(s).

  • Consider a collaborative, group-written nomination. If you find yourself shying away from a solo nomination, then round up a colleague or two and write one together. This approach may make gathering ideas and writing the nomination easier.

  • Review your nomination. Verify the accuracy of all information in the nomination.

  • Ask questions. If you are unclear about the award criteria, ask for clarification.