Earlier this week ARINGO conducted an interview with Melissa Rapp, Kellogg School of Management’s Director of Admissions of Full Time MBA Programs. Below you can find a transcript of that interview:


What is special about the Kellogg MBA? What differentiates it from other Top MBA programs?

At Kellogg, we have three core pillars that define the Kellogg experience. Our unique approach to thought leadership delivers students a balanced and dynamic skill set that prepares them to solve complex problems facing businesses today and excel in their careers. Additionally, our expansive global footprint provides the broadest array of global offerings to help students develop the tools and mindset necessary to thrive in today’s global economy. Our partnerships with top-tier institutions around the world make for a truly immersive global MBA learning experience.

Finally, we have a distinctive, collaborative culture, which is baked into how students operate in and out of the classroom. Students have the opportunity to be involved in decision making at all levels of the school, including curricular, co-curricular, facilities and admissions. This allows them the chance to have more interaction with faculty and staff that is available at many schools, to develop personally, and to have a greater impact on their Kellogg experience.

In addition to our three core pillars, Kellogg offers an innovative portfolio of 4 Full-Time MBA degree programs, creating opportunities for prospective students to advance their careers based on their backgrounds and goals. Along with our traditional two-year MBA program, we offer an accelerated One-Year MBA program for students who meet requisite coursework as an undergraduate or graduate. We also offer duel-degree programs with the MMM program, which offers students best-in-class methodologies for driving innovation and utilizing design thinking tools, and the JD/MBA program, which offers students who are positioned to be business leaders with legal expertise or pursue a law career with a solid foundation in management. Kellogg offers this JD/MBA program in a 3-year format, while other leading schools typically offer a 4-year format.


Any recent changes in the programs or in the admission process?

I’m thrilled to say that Kellogg’s celebrated the opening of our new flagship building, the Global Hub, in March. It is home to our Full-Time MBA programs, world-class faculty and academic departments. This 415,000 square-foot space is designed to enhance collaboration, creativity and team-based learning. Among its many groundbreaking achievements, the Global Hub also features flexible classrooms that can be reconfigured for adaptive learning, a 6,000-square-foot central meeting place for the entire Kellogg community, and a design wing for hands-on experiential learning. This flexibility not only serves Kellogg’s needs today, but also provides for greater adaptability in the future.

Advanced technology is also embedded throughout. Classrooms are equipped with the latest audiovisual capabilities and new learning technologies, such as lecture capture to record instruction and discussion and telepresence. Students at our Chicago and Miami campuses can beam in to participate in a classroom discussion. Telepresence also facilitates guest lectures and other live and interactive opportunities to enrich learning that are both social and synchronous.

We are so excited to say that the Global Hub is open, and can’t wait to welcome our future Class of 2019 to be the first class that experiences the new building for the entirety of their time at Kellogg.

Additionally, curricular innovation has a priority for us given the increasingly complex problems that business leaders face. Last year alone we launched 11 new courses across Kellogg’s department – including courses targeting Human and Machine Intelligence, Launching and Leading Startups, and the Business of Social Change. You can see the full list here.


Can you share some details about the atmosphere in the school? Between students, between students and faculty? How do you spend your free time?

Kellogg is a collaborative learning environment. Leadership and teamwork are integral parts of the Kellogg experience, and Kellogg provides an environment for people to take risks and try new things – exactly what leaders do in the business world. We constantly look for students willing to embrace those risks and work with one another to solve complex problems.

An excellent example of this is our Kellogg on Growth Forum, which is a student-led event and one of our most prestigious conference of the year. Students work with faculty to design every phase of the agenda, forging connections with Fortune 500 executives, industry innovators, authors and other leaders shaping the face of business today. Over 2,000 students, alumni, faculty and corporate partners registered for a day of thought-provoking, interactive sessions all focused on taking a deep dive into the subject of Growth. Taking ownership from this event from start to finish provides tremendous leadership and growth opportunities for our students.


Can you share some details about the area/city?

Kellogg’s campus is located in Evanston, Illinois, the first in a string of North Shore Chicago suburbs and stretches along four miles of Lake Michigan. The city is just a short train ride away from downtown Chicago, a cosmopolitan hub of business, culture, sports, and diversity. Chicago is home to 31 beaches with 24 miles of lakefront, and includes 600 parks, 8 major league sports teams, two conservatories, and over 100 museums to explore.

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.


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

Every Two-Year Full-Time MBA student goes through a three-month summer internship after their first year. These internships encompass a variety of industries, from consulting and technology to consumer-packaged goods and finance. Employers seek out Kellogg students because of their balanced skill set, rigor, vision, and ability to influence and inspire teams.

In all, 95 percent of the graduating Full-Time MBA class last year received an offer by three months post-graduation. More than 200 companies hire Kellogg graduates, with 16% of students accepting jobs internationally. This is illustrative of Kellogg’s ability to effectively empower students to compete successfully for jobs with top MBA employers.

At Kellogg, companies use multiple channels to recruit students throughout the year. We have a robust group of companies that participate in the formal on-campus recruiting process, and we also have firms who recruit on a “just in time” basis. Recruiting kicks off in the fall with events, including more than 150 company events hosted by the CMC that allow firms to come to Evanston and engage with students. We also have the Kellogg Job Board and a resume database, which companies use to identify talent.

Recruiting is very customized to the student. When a student comes in and has that first coaching session, it’s about understanding what they want to get out of their MBA experience and how we can guide and support them. For some students, that may mean working through a self-assessment, creating a target list, networking, resume building, etc.


What did you like about the school/program? Any classes / clubs you would recommend for future students?

The Kellogg student experience reaches far beyond the classroom. From club trips to international learning experiences, we provide opportunities that equip students for the global marketplace. Our students do more than learn new skills in the classroom. They put them to practice in more than 130 clubs focused on a variety of industries, geographies, and social and cultural interests, which you can view here. Club topics range from Fintech to Social Impact to Buddhism and Zen.

Kellogg Worldwide Experiences & Service Trips (KWEST) is one of the most popular non-academic opportunities at Kellogg. It unites incoming students through a variety of social, site-seeing and community service activities, with international destinations including Malaysia, Japan, Chile, Egypt, Turkey, Iceland, Italy and Peru, while domestic destinations include Alaska, Hawaii and Yosemite National Park. Students also take trips with sailing, snorkeling, hiking, and wine-tasting clubs.


What kind of candidates is the school looking for? Who will especially enjoy this school? who will be a good fit to the school?

Kellogg looks for MBA applicants who are high impact, low ego leaders that are ready to be active contributors to our student driven culture and embrace the rigor and collaboration of our classroom. In addition to test scores and work experience, we’re are also interested in learning about a candidate’s intellectual ability, problem solving skills, leadership experience, values and motivations, extra curricular activities, and interpersonal skills.

Our application for the Class of 2020 launches very soon, on July 12. Keep an eye on our admissions website for more details.