Kellogg Video Essays
The Video Essay is one component of the application and provides you with an additional opportunity to demonstrate what you will bring to our vibrant Kellogg community – in an interactive way. You will respond to several short video essay questions. The questions are designed to bring to life the person we have learned about on paper.
- After submitting an application and payment, you will be able to access the video essay through the your application status page. One question will be a “get to know you” icebreaker type of question. The second question will be an opportunity to describe your plans for the future and how Kellogg will help you on that journey. The other questions will be randomly generated questions that will be similar to interview questions.
- There are practice questions that you may complete as many times as you like to get comfortable with the format and technology. The practice questions and experience will simulate the actual video essay experience, so this is meant to be a useful tool to help you feel prepared.
- We encourage you to practice so you are comfortable with the format once it is time to complete the official questions. There is not an opportunity to re-do the answer to the official video essay questions.
- You will have 20 seconds to think about the question and up to one minute to give your response.
- We estimate the video essays will take 20-25 minutes to complete – which includes time for set-up and answering all the practice questions. You will need an internet connected computer with a webcam, microphone and an updated version of Adobe Flash in order to complete the video essay.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why does Kellogg have a video essay?
A: Student culture is hugely important at Kellogg. So we want to meet everyone. EVERYONE. We use the video essays as additional information to the application. It is the last thing we review when reading an application. It gives us a sense of your personality and allows us to get to know you in a more personal way than we can through your essays.
Q: What makes a good video essay?
A: Be yourself. We don’t want scripted answers – we want to get to know you and learn something new. Please do not try to reuse an example from an essay that might in some roundabout way answer the video essay question you are being asked (and we already read that essay, so why tell us that story again?). Think about your answer and prepare ahead of time, but when you record your answer speak authentically – we can tell if you are reading notes! And, no need to memorize an answer to the Kellogg question… it might make you sound like a robot.
Q: What kind of questions will you ask?
A: We are going to be honest about this. Really. We don’t want you to stress. We will ask you one icebreaker question, with no “right answer”, to help us get to know you. Want an example? Okay. “If you could live anywhere in the world for a year, where would it be and why?” See, not so hard. The second question will be about Kellogg. And to make this even less mysterious we are going to give you the question. Seriously. Here it is: “What path are you interested in pursuing, how will you get there, and why is this program right for you?” The other questions will be interview-type questions but still not something to worry about. Here is an example of the type of question you will be asked, “Tell me about a time you were not going to be able to meet a deadline. How did you handle the situation? What was the outcome?”
Q: Are there right or wrong answers?
A: No. This isn’t a test. We use the video essay to gain additional information about you and get to know you in a more personal way. Don’t have a perfect answer to the question? Do not panic! Answer it the best way you can and let your personality shine.
Q: How many times can I record myself?
A: 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. But, when it comes to getting your actual video essay questions, you will only have one try. So practice. We know you like to be prepared! Get comfortable with the technology. We put good practice questions out there so you won’t be nervous. Have fun and do your best.
Q: Really, I don’t get a second chance?
A: Nope, sorry. This is a bit like an interview. Sometimes in an interview you are asked a question and you don’t have the perfect answer, but you go ahead and give the best response you can. And, most of the time, it turns out well. That’s what this is. Take a deep breath before you start and be confident in yourself and your ability to give a great answer.
Q: How much time will I have to think of a response and how long will I have to give my answer?
A: You will have 20 seconds to think of your response and 60 seconds to give your answer. We suggest you practice. It will make this easier. Take 10 minutes to go through the practice questions. Answer them as if they were your real questions. The more you practice the more comfortable you will feel doing the real video essays.
Q: What should I wear? Do I have to wear a suit?
A: You can wear a suit if you want to; but business casual is certainly okay with us too. And really, we will only see your head and shoulders so you can wear a collared shirt and we would never know you were still in your sweatpants.
Q: Where should I record my video essay?
A: Wherever you like – your office, kitchen, apartment, hotel room. Just make sure you pick a place where you have a good internet connection and no distractions.
Q: What part of the application process is the video essay? How do I access the Video Essay?
A: After submitting your application, the Video Essay will be available when you log in to your applicant status page.
Q: How much time will I have to complete the video essays?
A: After submitting your application you will be given access to the Video Essay component and will have 48 hours after the application is due to complete the Video Essay. We encourage applicants to complete their Video Essay shortly after submitting the application while information is still fresh in your mind and so you don’t forget! Also, please try not to wait for the last possible moment to record your video essay – it will feel more stressful if you are doing it at the last minute and in a rush. Block out 20-25 minutes a few days after you submit your application and complete it.
Q: How long will this take me?
A: To be safe we are saying 20-25 minutes, but we think 15 if you decide not to do all the practice questions and don’t have any questions on the set-up.
Possible Kellogg Video Essay Questions 2017:
• 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, whom do you approach for advice and why?
• What accomplishment are you really proud of?
• What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received?
• If you could witness any event..past present or future-what would it be?
• What one interesting / fun fact would you want your future Kellogg classmates to know about you?
• If you could teach a class on any topic. What would it be and why?
• If you were given a chance to meet anyone, current or historical, who would you meet and why?
• What was the most interesting class you took at University?
• Tell us about an organization or activity in which you have dedicated significant time. Why was it meaningful to you?
• Tell us about something good someone else did for you and how you felt about it?
• Tell us about the most interesting place you’ve traveled to. What did you enjoy most about it.
• What invention during your lifetime has had the biggest impact on you and why?
• If money was not a concern. what would you do?
• Why did you choose your college major?
• What is the most meaningful thing anyone has done for you in your life? X 2
• If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
• What food do you like? Will you be able to eat that food everyday?
• How have you changed in the last 5 years?
• Whom do you respect most, and why?
• What is your favorite motto or quote, and why
• What risk have you taken and what did you learn?
• What impact do you have on your co-workers?
• What inspires you?
• What are you most passionate about?
• What is your favorite song/artist/album?
• What superpower you’d want and why?
Admissionado back once again with fresh, farm to table essay analyses for McCombs's 2017 application! We wanted to jump in and give you a head-start on those essay questions so you can spend less time staring at a blinking cursor and more time deciding between all those MBA offer letters! Soooooo, without further ado:
Texas McCombs School of Business MBA Essay 1
Introduce yourself. Select only one communication method that you would like to use for your response.
Select only one communication method that you would like to use for your response.
Write an essay (250 words)
Share a video introduction (one minute)
Introductions can take place in a variety of ways. Standing in a circle of a few at a cocktail party. In a one-on-one interview. First day on the job.
The version we’re after here is much different. McCombs just handed you a mic, dimmed the house lights, and threw a spotlight onto you. This is your time not just to introduce yourself, but to perform. A performance is artful. And requires a special type of messaging. Your challenge isn’t to hold the attention of the guy sitting across the desk who is usually forced to tune in. Your challenge is to capture and sustain the attention of a room full of people, whose magnitude (by itself) tends to make it an uphill battle from minute one.
Dullness is deadly.
Don’t be dull. Don’t be quiet. Don’t be average. Don’t be monotone. Don’t be… safe.
Now’s your chance to tap your inner Louis CK. Your inner MLK. Your inner Seth Macfarlane. Charm. Wit. Risk. Energy. A deviating from that safe, straight, center pathway.
Whether it’s an essay or a video, the very first thing you need to do is grab your audience’s attention. There’s no real room for a slow burn here. If this were a two hour movie, and you had a proven track record, maybe an audience would spot you an unceremonious beginning, trusting in a future payoff. You have no such luxury here, my friend. Your cohort doesn’t know you. You need to be spectacular and attention-worthy from second 1.
What makes for a good opener? Well, practically speaking, “it” can be absolutely anything, which is to say it can take the FORM of just about anything. But what most great opening moments have in common is this: they knock the reader/audience off balance. For most of you, that may sound great, but it still may not mean much. “How the hell am I supposed to throw the reader off balance?” Well, one way to think about it is to leave some stuff OUT. The more buttoned up your opening is, the more likely your audience will feel secure. And secure—for now—is lethal. Bad.
“My name is Craig Blodgitsnick. I am 27 years old. And I’m a banker.” Great. Super clear. And therefore… too clear? It’s all buttoned up. The audience needs a reason to hear more. With an opening like that, however, we’re left with no such desire. Here’s an alternative.
“I make people cry for a living.”
Um, say what? What the hell does that mean. Did he just say that? I have no idea who this guy is, I have no idea how I feel about him, I have no sense of whether that’s a good or bad thing. What I do know… is that I’m dying to hear more. Success. This speaker has the audience in the palms of his hands.
“Pond. Cigarette. Abandoned BMW. These three things almost got me arrested, led me to my future wife, and ultimately set me on a path of world domination.”
Huh? I mean, I couldn’t be more in. Who the hell says that? How on Earth are those three things connected? After everyone gives their boring standard speech, I can bet you money I’m gonna remember the person who said THAT.
Throw your reader off balance. Give them a reason to want to read more. Now, not to scare you, but this isn’t easy. It is a touch risky, and it requires some finesse. But it is absolutely worth working toward. But just for a moment, let’s talk about the downside…
If you can’t quite pull it off, and it seems forced and inauthentic, then you run the risk of seeming like you’re trying too hard. And that’s a liability. So, get a gut check from a second set of eyes (doesn’t have to be a pro, could be anyone—see if they buy it). If it’s just not passing muster, there is recourse. Which is to tell a very honest, earnest story. Your story, a personal story. But, it’s gotta be a cool story. If it’s a straightforward, you are toast. There’s gotta be some GRIT in there, some adversity, some uniqueness. That can be equally compelling.
“Hi, my name is Glenda Crevitz and I became an adult when I was five years old when I was separated from my parents and grandparents. My first job was…”
Yah, I’d listen to that person. (But did you notice how even here, the author has thrown the audience off balance? This is not happenstance.)
Whichever medium suits you best, take advantage of it. Don’t choose the video if all you do is read an essay. If you use video, it has to be because there’s something about your look and body language and visible energy that communicates something a written essay can’t quite capture. If you choose an essay over video, it’s gotta be because there are certain things you’re able to do with the written word that would be MORE effective than a video version.
Keep your audience on the edge of their seat, though, by throwing them off balance.
Texas McCombs School of Business MBA Essay 2
Picture yourself at graduation. Describe how you spent your two years as a Texas MBA student, and how that experience helped to prepare you for the post-MBA world. (500 words)
Start thinking about this essay with a very specific (and crucial) premise: “I am not able to achieve or even pursue my short-term goals effectively today because…” Because what? Generate a list. Are they skills? Is it a lack of certain experience? Is it a lack of plain, hard knowledge? Is it a lack of network? Got that list ready? Proceed…
Let’s play pretend one more time. Let’s say you’re like most MBA applicants and are applying to 7-10 programs. Pretend that three of those are ranked in the Top 10, and that 3-5 of those are ranked below #20. UT Austin is right smack dab in the center of it all. Admit-time rolls around and you receive invites from 100% of the schools on your list. Now YOU are in the driver’s seat. What is it about two years at McCombs that might address the items on your list in a particularly appealing way? This is the part where you need to dig deep. (Mind you, we haven’t done a THING toward writing a response to this essay yet; this is all crucial prep work.) What extracurricular offerings does McCombs have? What is it about the campus culture? What is it about certain professors? What about folks who recruit there? What is it about Austin? What is it about…. anything and everything you have researched and know about this program that has convinced you that MCCOMBS IS THE ONE to advance your objectives powerfully? This is the part where you make a second list. And even better, a second list that’s connected to all the specific items on that first list. Once you have these elements secure in your mind, now you’re ready to generate a draft because the essay has already – by now – written itself.
This essay should read a lot like a military battle plan. (You’ll hear us say that a lot, and there’s good reason for it.) This should NOT come across wide-eyed and dreamy and speculative and wishy-washy and general. It should instead feel like the result of someone with laser focus, with ultra-clear objectives, a well-thought-out plan of attack. Bonus points if there’s dried-up drool on this sheet of paper. McCombs wants feral beasts who are salivating at the opportunity to ATTACK the program, and EXTRACT. And that only happens when people have real INTENT. “Motive.” A battle plan. This is your chance to lay out that plan.
How To Organize This Essay
Part 1 – Establish the Goals
First up, we need to understand your goals, your existing skill set, and therefore, those GAPS. Best thing to do is start off with a VERY brief overview of where this WHOLE thing is headed, your overall vision. Within a sentence or two or three, we should have a decent sense for where you hope to be in twenty years. Now, walk us through what you need to do in the VERY near-term (first five years after your MBA, say), in order to get you on that overall/LT path. Remember, think militaristic. Step A leads logically to Step B which then leads to Step C, which then enables us to consider and pursue Step D. That kind of thing. Explain the stuff you need to do, and the skills required to pull that all off. (100-125 words)
Part 2 – Explain Your GAPS
First explain BRIEFLY some of the “thus-far” achievements that have brought you to 80% of the way there. Give us a sense for the stuff you already HAVE, skills-wise. Be efficient here. Now explain the stuff you need. This is that GAP section. From that first list you generated. Don’t just explain these gaps in a vacuum, explain each one within the context of why they’re relevant specifically to your goals. This context is absolutely key, because now you’re not just generic-MBA-person, you’re salivating-feral-beast-person with lusting after PREY, locked in your sights. I needed “X in order to then pursue Y aspect of my short-term goals for Z reason.” That kind of thing. (125-150 words)
Part 3 – How You Took a Bite Out of McCombs, Specifically
This is the part where you catalogue your experience at McCombs (as though in retrospect, as though it actually happened, etc.). Take us through experiences with specific classes, professors, clubs, off-campus activities, internships, socialization opportunities, anything and everything you can think of that might advance you from your 80% starting point on Day 1 to the 100% version at graduation. Explain what you did to narrow that 20% gap, bit by bit.
The key isn’t to actually write your future accurately, no one’s gonna ever check. The key is to indicate that there’s CLARITY in the way you can establish an objective, and then design a plan of attack to achieve it. Generally that comes from a plan that is detailed, and rooted in logic. As long as it makes sense, and seems achievable, the admissions committee is going to buy it. Now, if you can do that, and also let slip your passion for the program, bonus points. (200 words)
Part 4 – Next Steps
The best way to send this sucker home is to give a brief description of what happens immediately after graduation. No need to spend too much time here because you’ve already laid SOME of this out in previous sections when establishing your short-term goals. You may just want to close with a hypothetical “I will be starting as an X at Y company this fall, where I will notch Step 1 toward my short-term goals.” You can even have fun with what you plan to do in the few weeks between graduation and when you start your job, or some other character-revealing fun reveal, like marrying one of your b-school cohorts named Z that you met along the way, yadayada. (50-75 words)
Texas McCombs School of Business MBA Optional Essay
Please provide any additional information you believe is important and/or address any areas of concern that will be beneficial to the Admissions Committee in considering your application (e.g. unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, academic performance, or extenuating personal circumstances). (250 words)
Read our team’s complete take on the idea of optional essay, including a brief (recent) history of b-schools’ relationship with it, and how our recommendations have evolved over the years, right here.
And that's that. Helpful, eh? If you have any questions on it or McCombs or anything, just reply here or shoot us a PM. And if you want more Essay Analysis Goodness, check out more schools here. We're updating 'em daily as new prompts are released, so keep checking back.
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Last edited by JonAdmissionado on 17 Aug 2017, 22:09, edited 2 times in total.