Kellogg School of Management is one of the leading business schools in the world. ARINGO conducted a short interview with Jennifer Hayes, Director of Admissions at Kellogg, to learn more about the school and its MBA programs:

Q: What is special about your MBA program? In addition to its’ excellent reputation, what differentiates it from other Top MBA programs?
A: Our Full-Time MBA Program develops leaders who can ignite and inspire lasting growth. With several options to earn a Full-Time MBA (Two-Year, One-Year and dual degree programs such as MMM and JD-MBA), each provides an immersive experience that guarantees an unparalleled education taught by our world-renowned faculty and grounded in the Kellogg culture.

Q: Are there any recent changes in the programs or in the admission process?
A: In 2020 Kellogg launched our Kellogg Future Leaders Program, our deferred MBA Program.  This means, as a University senior you can secure admission to Kellogg and hold your place for 2-5 years.

In terms of the application to our Full-Time Programs, Kellogg has a comprehensive application and holistic review process and has continued to evolve our application in order to select the best and brightest.  This upcoming year there are no major changes to the application, expect for the fact that for the time being there will be no on-campus interviews or visitors to the Global Hub and most of our alumni interviews will likely be conducted virtually. Please stay up-to-date on our events here.

Q: Has the COVID-19 situation have an impact on getting accepted to the programs at your school? Is there any other impact candidates should be aware of?

A: Kellogg has been fortunate to see a strong applicant pool and plans to enroll a class with a similar and profiles as previous years.  While we hope our students can make it to Evanston for the start of their programs, we will offer a virtual option.

Q: Can you share some details about the atmosphere in the school? Amongst the students? Between students and faculty? How do students spend their free time?

A: Kellogg students are very active outside of the classroom.  Each year there are over 80 active clubs where students take on meaningful leadership roles.  Students plan events, engage with alumni, host conferences and some of our most active clubs are Net Impact, Women’s Business Association, and the Consulting clubs.

Q: Can you share some details about the area the school is located in?

A: Kellogg is located in Evanston, Illinois.  Evanston, the first in a string of North Shore Chicago suburbs, stretches along four miles of Lake Michigan. A truly “urban suburb,” Evanston includes residential neighborhoods, parks, business districts, beaches and recreational facilities. The city is just a short train ride away from downtown Chicago.

Most Kellogg School students live in Evanston, which maintains thriving shops, restaurants, movie theaters and art galleries, while some commute to classes from nearby Chicago. Chicago’s public transit system is extensive and far-reaching, with many bus and train stops throughout both cities.

Full-time students take classes in the Global Hub, a 415,000-square foot building featuring fluid space designed to build community and empower a new era of business leaders in the 21st century. With views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline, the Global Hub features spaces designed to support various scales of collaboration and learning.

Q: Can you share some details regarding job opportunities and summer internships for students in your school?

A: Our award winning Career Management Center (CMC) supports students in their career journey.  Employers seek out Kellogg graduates because of their balanced skill set, rigor, vision and ability to influence and inspire teams. In fact, more than 200 companies hired graduates from Kellogg last year. This opens up much broader opportunities for you to find your ideal match.

Q: What is it that you are looking for in a candidate? Who will especially enjoy this school? who will be a good fit to the school?

A: Kellogg seeks students who have the academic rigor to contribute in the Kellogg classroom, who have career experience to leverage to add unique insights, who are ready for a fully immersive MBA experience, and have clarity around their goals for the MBA and beyond.  Since Kellogg pioneered the team based learning approach in the business school classroom, appreciating the learning that comes from teaming is also a key to success as a Kellogg student. Learning outside of the classroom is valuable so we look for students who will embrace the many opportunities to get engaged and grow.

Q: One most important piece of advice for an applicant based on your experience?

A: It is important for you to get to know Kellogg and understand what is important to us.  However, in the application we want to know about you and what is important to YOU!  I believe the best advice I can offer is to be yourself and let your personality come through in the application, video essays, and interview.  It’s what makes you special and how we can see you as part of Kellogg.

Q:  What NOT to do in the admissions process?

A: Perhaps related to the above, I see many applicants who read our website and frame their essays around what Kellogg believes and what Kellogg stands for.  You will stand out in the application mix if you are true to who you are.  And remember, once a Kellogg student, we will help you develop to be the leader we believe the business world needs.

Q: Are later rounds worth considering?

A:  We typically admit most of our class in Rounds 1 and 2 and as an International student to one of our summer start programs (1Y and MMM) it’s important to focus on these two rounds.  In addition, the most amount of scholarship awards are made in Rounds 1 and 2.  However, if the best time for you to apply is in Round 3, we encourage you to submit when you believe your application to be the most competitive.

Q: GMAT and importance as a % of the candidacy? What is the minimum GMAT you are looking for?

A: The GMAT and GRE are only part of our evaluation for admission.  It is important for us to see academic rigor so we are confident you can handle the rigor at Kellogg.  But that doesn’t mean we have a minimum score.  Our class profile provides information on average GMAT scores and our range for the 2Y Program.

Q: Is there anything you’d like our candidates to know regarding the admissions process?

A: The application review process is holistic and while we have many application components, they are weighed equally to help us gain a full picture of you.

Q: Can you tell us more about funding – scholarship/fellowship options in your school?

A: Financing your MBA is an investment in your future, and we’re here to guide you through the process. Our financial aid officers are experts in the field who will help you identify and secure financial resources to meet the cost of your education. Financing options include loans, merit-based scholarships and need-based scholarships.

At Kellogg 62 percent of students have some form of financial aid, whether it’s a loan or a scholarship. All admitted students are considered for merit scholarships – there is nothing additional required in order to be considered.

Q: Can you share some information about partners who are joining the student- Employment options for him/her? What are the visa requirements?

A:  We strive to make your family feel a part of the Kellogg community. Nearly 40 percent of our students are married or accompanied by a partner, and thanks to clubs like Joint Ventures and Kellogg Kids, those family members are able to build their own memorable Kellogg experiences.

Joint Ventures is the official Kellogg club for the partners and families of Kellogg students.  The JV Committee and its friendly volunteers can help your family transition to life at Kellogg and provide mutual support throughout your stay.

Spouses and partners (“JVs”) are invited to meet, share interests, take in a movie or explore Chicago together—they can even audit Kellogg classes. Activities include lunches and dinners, social and cultural events, help with job development and meaningful volunteer opportunities. JVs maintain a strong integration with the entire Kellogg community and hold joint activities with other clubs from time to time.