Even though the Kellogg MBA video essay is just one component of the holistic application, it is the part that causes the most anxiety. However, a video essay is a great opportunity to bring your story into life and offer the admission committee a glimpse into your personality. In this article, we provide you the full guide on how to nail the video essay to access your chance at the most prestigious university in the world.  

1. Kellogg MBA video essay 

1.1. Why does Kellogg require a video essay?

There are three main reasons why Kellogg requires a video essay: 

It allows our entire admissions team to truly meet all of the applicants around the world.  This gives the applicants the opportunity to demonstrate what they will interactively bring to the school. And right now there’s this sort of imperfect process in the application process where you may only meet one interviewer and you don’t have that opportunity for the admissions committee to meet you. You may meet members of the school community but from the admission committee that might be your only touchpoint. 

This is a great opportunity for the school to check your English level, your ability to communicate with others.

The ability to communicate on video is becoming a more integral part of the business communications landscape. Kellogg’s career management center is seeing companies like Nike, Apple, Uber, and others leverage video interviews in their hiring process. So to get you ready for the next chapter of your career, this is another skill that you will need to develop throughout the application process. 

1.2. How does Kellogg MBA video work? 

Once your application is complete, you will receive an email from a company called Kira Talent. This email will contain a link allowing you to access the video essay platform. You will get three questions in total, one at a time, and have  20 seconds to think about your answer and then up to one minute to answer the question. 

There are no opportunities to redo the questions, and you only get one chance to speak and provide your answer. You do not have to use the entire minute, so if you finish your answer earlier, it’s fine to stop using the technology

2. Kellogg MBA video essay’s strategy 

2.1 Format of a Kellogg MBA video essay 

After signing in and “starting” the session, a video will appear on the screen. This video will show a member of the Kellogg community, who will read the question you are tasked with answering. The question will also appear in written form in the video below.

After the time runs out, the screen video will disappear and your image will be visible on the screen. After the preparation time runs out, the clock to answer (60 seconds!) will start, and you will need to give your answer during this period of time.

Remember: you cannot redo any of the questions.

After you answer the question, the system will upload your answer to the server (depending on your connection to the server) and will present you with the next question.

You shouldn’t leave your computer during the upload time, even if it’s taking a while. You cannot pause the process, and you may end up missing questions!

2.2 The strategy of each question.  

Regardless of when you submit your application, you should submit our video essay response no more than 96 hours after the round’s deadline.

Here are  the values that Kellogg would look for an MBA applicant for your reference:

  • Can motivate a team to drive impact.

  • Are not afraid to question the status quo and seek non-obvious solutions.
  • Approach business problems with a mix of intellect, energy, and creativity. 
  • Seek diversity in their networks and teams

  • Are eager to dive in and collaborate with an engaged, ambitious community of peers.
  • Introduction: Take one minute to introduce yourself to the Admissions Committee.

This is your chance to have a little more freedom and an opportunity to be creative in your video essay. You shouldn’t spend just one minute focusing on your background or your entire life story.  When you are being asked “Please introduce yourself to the admissions committee”, that means what values you can bring, and in this Kellogg MBA video essay, consider sharing what you want from future Kellogg classmates. 

This is a great opportunity to reinforce your brand and how fit you are with the school’s values. Or you can make use of this opportunity to reinforce things on your profile that haven’t been explained anywhere else, such as special skills or volunteer work.

We recommend you create a clear sentence that consolidates your personal brand. 

  • The  Kellogg question

This is an actual question. to ask the reason why you are pursuing an MBA and why you are choosing a particular Kellogg. It could be: “ What path are you interested in pursuing, how will you get there, and why is this program right for you?” 

It may be considered the most crucial question in the Kellogg video essay and you are likely to know the question ahead of time so you can have a chance to prepare your answer in advance. 

Showing consistency with the other things you have shared in your Kellogg essays is highly recommended.

 For example, if you write in the application about your desire of launching a social impact startup, you shouldn’t change your career goals in the video to “work for an international company”. It is not repetitive and it shows consistency across the application process. If you don’t, this will likely be a minus point for your profile. 

What you should do here, is to start the answer or so discussing your career goals. It would give your answer a connected context of your motivation to the Kellogg MBA program and also to the concrete objectives you plan for your career.  And then for the next one minute, we suggest you give more detail about why you’re passionate about your goal and in what ways Kellogg would help you. Make sure to include specifics (like class profiles, student initiatives) and discuss how these assets can help you grow as a professional in your field.

 If you’ve spoken with any current students or alumni who have shared meaningful experiences they had at Kellogg and you can find time to include them, you can also mention these anecdotes. If you do so, make sure not just to name drop, but to show why having a similar type of experience is important for you.

  • The situation question

Each of you will receive a randomly selected prompt, all of which have the same objective. We want you to show us how you handled a challenging situation in your career or personal life. For example, we might ask you to tell about a time you failed to achieve a goal you had set for yourself.  

In 2020, the question is “2020 has been a year of seismic disruption – fighting the global COVID-19 pandemic, tragic deaths that have brought systemic racism and social justice issues to the forefront of long-overdue conversations, and economic and political divides that are growing deeper and deeper. How has this unprecedented year challenged you and how have you faced that challenge?”

We suggest you think about the experiences that have a great influence on you the most over the past year.  You can choose whether to discuss a personal or professional experience in this essay as long as an example truly resonates with you.

The strategy for this situation question is often the STAR framework. You will begin with a situation, task, action, and then result. 

Situation: what was the situation/ challenge? Who were the people involved in this situation- players, stakeholders?

Task: what you needed to accomplish? What conflict/ challenges did you encounter?

Action: What were the actions you took? Describe this in detail as it will become a crucial part of your essay.

Result/ Impact: What was the outcome of your leadership efforts? Were you able to address the situation? What “lasting value” you created? What lessons did you learn?

3. What makes a good Kellogg MBA video essay?

Don’t rehearse a full script

You shouldn’t prepare a full script and then rehearse it until you know it by heart. Just jot down the main points of what you want to talk about and then practice telling your story in various ways. Remember the goal is for the schools to get an idea of who you are as a person, not how well you can rehearse the script and present it. 

Demonstrate engagement by using tone of voice and body language.

Your chances of securing an admin or even a scholarship may decline significantly if you don’t know how to record a persuasive video essay that creates an impact on the admissions committee. A strong and clear voice with varied tones is highly recommended. Make sure you make eye contact and smile a little bit to project your passion and your interest in Kellogg. 

Check your surroundings

You should keep the background neat and clean, have the light source in front of you and ensure you’re in a place where you won’t be interrupted. You don’t want to be thrown off, because once you start getting an answer you cannot stop and start over.

4. FAQ

Q: Are there any possible Kellogg video essay questions that I can practice?

Yes. Here are Possible Kellogg Video Essay Questions 2018:

  • What possession or memento do you treasure most and why?
  • If you had an extra hour every day, what would you do with it?
  • What piece of technology could you not live without and why?
  • What word describes you best and why?
  • Tell us about the first job you ever had?
  • What’s the best book you have ever read and why?
  • When you have a problem, who do you approach for advice and why?
  • What accomplishment are you really proud of?
Q: How long will I have to think to get a response and give my answer?

You have 20 seconds to respond and give your answer within 60 seconds. You can practice with the list of questions above to make it easier. Practice makes perfect. Answer them as if they were your real questions.

Q: Which clothes should I wear?

We recommend you to wear business casual to make you more formal even though there is no regulation for that and the committees only see your head and shoulders. 

Q: How many times can I record myself?

You can practice recording yourself as many times as you want and the practice experience (format and types of questions) will be identical to the actual experience. If it comes to your actual video essay questions, you will only have one try. So be prepared and get ready with the technology.

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