Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Kellogg Essays- A round of celebration ends!

Kellogg- A great mix of conventional and fun essays

What I like most about the Kellogg essays is their word limits or lack thereof. Another thing I really like about Kellogg is the mix of topics for the short essays. If the first essay is too cramped for space you can use the "significant leadership experiences" essay or the "how did you persuade people" essay to elaborate your professional achievements that you could not fit into essay 1. If you find that essay 1 covers your professional life adequately, then these essays will work really well for talking about some important extracurricular activities too. And there is always the "Outside of work I..." essay for extracurricular activities/ interests/ hobbies. This essay is a real boon, I have not found so much space to focus on my interests in any of the other schools' essays.

Frankly, I was really glad that the ethical issue essay is optional. I guess that says all that I feel about that essay. The open ended nature of "I wish the admissions committee had asked me..." is really cool. This is a great chance to discuss some aspect that does not fit into any of the usual B-School questions. It could be about a unique experience, your ancestory, how you overcame a traumatic problem. Or it could double up to do the job of an optional essay to explain a gaps in workex, poor grades/GMAT etc.

The "uniqueness" essay is also pretty open ended. You can choose from background, values, academics, activities, leadership skills. This essay can be used to discuss a couple of specific incidents or a general overview of your life in a different country or a mix of incidents from various realms of life. The liberal 2 page word limit will allow you to do all this and more if used judiciously.

It's important to remember that essays are supposed to be double spaced. So the 2 page essays can be about 1000 words each and the shorter ones 400-500 words each. I guess the lack of word limits is in a way illusory, but the good thing is I did not keep checking the word count after completing each line of my essays. So the illusion does make for a peaceful writing experience :D

Another important thing about Kellogg is the emphasis placed by the school on "team work, collaboration, community experience, cooperation, collective learning experience...". Although the school does not explicitly ask you to demonstrate team skills, I'm sure it's one quintessential quality they look for in your application. So make sure to weave in stories that highlight what a good team player you are!

Update on my applications:
  • Harvard and Wharton essays are in final form (hopefully), apps are filled and ready to be submitted. Yippie!
  • Chicago's long essays are ready
  • 2 Page resume is ready. Thankfully I can submit the same one for all schools. None of them specify a one page resume
Target for October 2nd (End of long weekend):
  • Have Chicago and Kellogg app also ready to submit. That will make 4 schools complete.
  • Remaining recommendations submitted/ready to submit, have to nudge the recommenders to action :-)
  • Submit Kellogg part 1 (Am waiting for my damned TOEFL score to reach me. Grrrr)
Also check out: My take on Harvard, Wharton, Stanford, Chicago essays.