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When Kellogg admissions officers review an application, they evaluate potential students based on six categories. Here, Beth Tidmarsh, director of admissions for Kellogg’s full-time MBA programs, demystifies what happens once you submit your materials and helps you think about how to formulate the story that will help the admissions team learn more about you. 


PREVIOUS TOPICS: Intellectual ability, Work experience, Professional goals, Leadership, Impact

Our community values collaboration, involvement and giving back, and we look for that in our applicants as well. A significant part of the Admissions process is ensuring a good fit between student and program. If you thrive in team-based environments, Kellogg might be a good fit for you.

The ability to work in teams doesn’t mean agreeing all the time, nor is it an easy approach. Team-based learning means you can push ideas, disagree respectfully and challenge each other, but also that you’re doing so in a way that’s both productive and conducive to a better outcome. Our ideal applicant likes to hear different viewpoints, respects others, can voice and challenge opinions and isn’t afraid to speak up, but can do so in a way that’s collaborative and would help further a group or a classroom conversation.

If everyone came from the exact same environment and was used to working in the exact same way, no one would learn much from each other. The diversity of perspectives and opinions in our community creates a rich arena for debate. Bringing together all those different perspectives enhances everybody’s experience. Learning to synthesize and negotiate those differences is a vital component of the Kellogg experience, too.

Some applicant’s backgrounds line up very well with business school, and they may have had more opportunities to demonstrate interpersonal skills. We recognize that some people may come from an environment that requires more independent work. Knowing that you want to grow in this area, explaining that you crave more teamwork and collaboration, expressing that you want to push yourself in that area — all of that is valuable information for our admissions team.

Read Beth Tidmarsh’s previous series on “Tips for applying to Kellogg”