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With application deadlines around the corner, Inside Kellogg connected with current Full-Time, Evening & Weekend, and Executive MBA students to share their number one piece of advice for those of you completing your application — ranging from pacing yourself in the process to leveraging your mentors for critical feedback. Here’s what they had to say.

Pacing & prep

“Start early and remember to take breaks in-between. It can help you view your application from a new perspective as well as help you re-charge.”
Shubhendra Agrawal (MMM 2021)

“I focused 90% of my time on the essays, and I’m so glad I did. It was the most important part of my application to really highlight my personality, passions, ambitions, and story. Use a family member, close friend, or significant other to work through what you want to convey. You’ll be so glad you did!”
-Emily Mohr (E&W 2021)

“Create a project timeline for the application process and identify trusted mentors that are best suited to support you for each component of the application. Reach out well in advance to communicate timelines, goals, and expectations. It is amazing how many people want to help you succeed during this process!
-Kevin Kosiewicz (E&W 2021)

“Do it afraid. Applying to Kellogg and graduate school in general can be intimidating. And it never feels like the right time. You can always come up with a good excuse for why later is more convenient. But like most things, if you trust the process, it is all worth it.”
-Joshua Davis (EMBA 2023)

“Take as much time you need to talk to as many you can from Kellogg (current students, alumni, admissions staff). The insight and advice is just unparalleled and invaluable. Nothing can beat that.”
-Praveen Singalla (EMBA 2023)


“I come from a non-traditional background and got a lot of advice to really think through the question “why do you want an MBA.” Of course, the Admissions Committee cares about your answer to this question, but they also care deeply about who you are as a person and future community member. The process really opened up for me when I grounded it in a different question: what unique passion or experience do I have and how can I use that to show the AdCom who I am and why that makes me a great candidate?”
-Vanessa Gottlieb (2Y 2022)

“Kellogg is guided by the values of brave leadership and impact. So, as you craft your story, don’t just think about what you hope to gain from a Kellogg MBA – but also, what you will uniquely bring to Kellogg to have lasting impact on the community.”
-Marvin Harris (2Y 2021)

 “When you reflect and write about how you will be a value add to Kellogg, use this as an opportunity to explore all of the program offerings, clubs, and courses that we have. Finding these opportunities to contribute will not only demonstrate to our admissions team your authentic, holistic self, but will be a roadmap for how you can be an involved member of our community once you matriculate.”
-Anne Frazier (E&W 2021) 

“Kellogg’s team-oriented approach and focus on developing self-confident, but humble, leaders is something that really resonated with me personally. For me, it is important that I keep moving forward. Part of that process requires being honest with yourself about the things you do well, as well as, the areas where you can continue to improve. My approach in applying was to be transparent about that assessment and how I saw Kellogg and the corresponding coursework fitting into that plan.”
-Matt Rogers (EMBA 2023)

“Be as authentic as possible, don’t try to guess what the admissions team wants to hear, tell them your story. This requires you to dig deep, who you truly are, your values, desires, aspirations, what you want to achieve and say that in as simple of terms as possible. I dare say loftier the goals the better, certainly have goals you can clearly articulate.”
-Mayank Sharma (EMBA 2023)

Mentors, peers & family

“My advice in applying for school, and frankly for life, is to identify and nurture a group of people (a “Board of Directors” if you will) who know you best and can help you to craft your story. Use this group to review your plans for your essays, discuss your application package as a whole, and support in writing letters of recommendation. It takes a village to get into business school and you cannot do it without setting up support for yourself!”
Adam Wolford (2Y 2021)

“Have someone who loves you read your essays. Even if they know nothing about business or business school. They will tell you if they make sense, and most importantly, if they sound like you. This is critical since, at the end of the day, you’re trying to go to a school where you can be you.”
Jamie McLaughlin (2Y 2021)

“I’d recommend having a conversation with your close friends and family so that they understand what you’re getting into as well. This an amazing experience and you’ll want to be able to fully invest in it without feeling like you have to go back and renegotiate your other responsibilities after you’ve started this journey.”
Chris Hardeman (EMBA 2023)

The Kellogg community & curriculum

“After joining Kellogg, I realized that the community at school plays an important role in your MBA success. So, my advice to MBA aspirants would be to take the time to interact with current students and assess your fit within the community. Kellogg offers “Preview Days” where applicants get an opportunity to spend a day at Kellogg, attending classes and interacting with students and faculty. This is a great opportunity to get a feel of the community that you are aspiring to be a part of.”
-Rashmi Babtiwale (E&W 2021)

“Reach out to current students, clubs and alumni to know more about Kellogg. Kellogg is more than a fantastic picture or a paragraph of vivid description. Kellogg is about the people studying, working and thriving here.”
-Peter Xi (2Y 2021)

“Talk to as many alumni as you can and ask to sit in on classes. Observe and soak in everything you can from that class, but not in so much to what the teacher says, but in how the students engage with each other. What you’ll see will reflect that school’s culture, and whether that culture speaks to you will help determine whether that program is the right fit for you. I knew I belonged at Kellogg.”
-Jordan Hanson (EMBA 2023)

“Learn about the great networking opportunities available alongside a strong core curriculum. I was fascinated by how supportive and attentive the administrative staff was during my application process, interviews and the unforgettable experience during the launch week — even in this new virtual world. Kellogg’s team was so resilient while staying ahead with the changing daily needs of the ongoing pandemic. Having started this exciting journey, and learning the value added by the talented team and cohort members — and the extensive global network “who got your back” — was so impressive. I have no regrets and recommend Kellogg to any future EMBA applicant.”
-Vasu Appalaneni (EMBA 2023)


Looking for more application tips?

Get to know the application requirements for the Full-Time and Evening & Weekend Programs!

Check out recent application tips on Inside Kellogg from our admissions team!