Monthly Archives: September 2013

Analyzing the Applications: the Kellogg Essays

By Kyle Watkins (last updated: December 17, 2013)

After covering Kellogg’s video essay question in a recent post, and with only about two and half weeks before Kellogg’s first-round deadline, we wanted to take a step back and consider the best approach to tackling the school’s essay questions.

The Kellogg School of Management

The Kellogg School of Management

More than perhaps any other top-tier MBA program, Kellogg places significant emphasis on a candidate’s character. First, consider that Kellogg interviews all of its applicants. They’ve clearly demonstrated that they need to meet each candidate to judge whether he or she is a fit. They don’t simply weed out 80%, as HBS does, based on stats, resumes, and essays alone. Second, consider the questions implicit across Kellogg’s website and admissions materials: What do you value? What motivates you? How strong are your interpersonal skills? Are you mature? How do you contribute to the community? You shouldn’t have to search long to find phrases like those across Kellogg’s website or admissions office.

Given this emphasis, it’s important your Kellogg essays focus primarily on one of a few areas: your character, your motivations, your leadership style, or your interpersonal skills. Of course, you must also talk about what you’ve accomplished, but that will never be the focus of the best Kellogg essays.

With that in mind, let’s breakdown each of Kellogg’s essay questions:

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Submitting Your MBA Application (MIT Sloan)

By Vincent Ho-Tin-Noe (last updated: September 25, 2013)

A few days ago, we blogged about Harvard Business School’s first round application and the checks applicants should perform before pressing the “submit” button.

MIT Sloan School Building E62

As the MIT first-round deadline is approaching, we thought that a refresher would be useful for MBA applicants to the Sloan School of Management.

In the last few hours leading up to the dreaded deadline, here are the 5 essential steps you should take to ensure that you are submitting a solid and comprehensive application package:
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HBS Round One Interviews

By Vincent Ho-Tin-Noe (last updated: December 12, 2013)

[Note] For the latest information regarding HBS round one decisions, please check out our December 9 update.

According to the HBS admissions director, first round “interview invitations will be sent out via email on October 9 and October 16. Candidates invited to interview will receive detailed instructions about the sign-up procedure. The interview scheduler will go live the following day.

On October 16, candidates who will not be invited to interview will be notified of their release. A group of Round One applicants, possibly 100-150, will be placed under “further consideration.” These candidates will be re-viewed in Round Two and either be invited to interview or released on the Round Two timetable.

Round One interviews will be conducted between October 21 and November 22.. (…) In addition to on-campus interviews, we will be interviewing in New York City, Palo Alto, London, Paris, Shanghai, Dubai, Mumbai, Sao Paulo, and Santiago. Candidates who cannot travel may be accommodated via Skype.”

According to Mrs. Leopold: “Interviewing on campus is a great opportunity to get to see life at HBS, but the location of an interview is not a factor in the selection process.”

As a final note, your odds of receiving an invitation are actually fairly high (we’ve estimated that 20% of applicants receive an invitation to interview with HBS). If you are interviewed, you then statistically stand a 60% chance of being admitted. Know your story inside out, and make sure to start reading the Wall Street Journal daily to avoid being caught off guard by a question about a recent piece of news during your interview. Preparation will be key if you do not want to be among the 40% of interviewed applicants who end up having regrets.

Good luck!

Submitting your MBA application (Harvard Business School)

By Vincent Ho-Tin-Noe (last updated: September 6, 2015)

Just a few hours before the first application deadline for Harvard Business School, we thought that MBA applicants could use a checklist for items to review before hitting the “Submit” button.

View of Harvard University and the Charles River

View of Harvard University and the Charles River

[Author's Note] Although we initially wrote this article with HBS in mind, it has now been edited to meet the needs of applicants to most MBA programs. Please let us know if you disagree with its content or think we missed anything. Thank you!

1. Thoughts About The Introduce Yourself Essay (Specific to HBS)

We recently covered the new application essay and overall HBS application process in several posts. Make sure to check them out. Continue reading

What it’s like to interview at HBS

By Kyle Watkins (last updated: December 17, 2013)

I always had a lot of questions about what it was like to interview at HBS. I still remember scouring online for examples of HBS interviews, but I never really found a lot of that covered the process in detail. So, to hopefully help fill that need, below I recall my own experience interviewing at HBS just a few years ago. Then, at the end of the post, I consider what other applicants can learn from my experience about good interview preparation, HBS’s 24-hour post-interview reflection, and the interview process.

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