Pursuing an MBA is a catalyst for personal and professional growth. How have you grown in the past? How do you intend to grow at Kellogg? (450 words)
Let’s talk about two key elements of Kellogg’s “growth” essay:
- What is growth?
- How should you relate this to Kellogg?
Growth. Growth is all about change from X to Y. Consider a plant. If a plant is in a certain environment, subjected to certain external pressures and conditions, it will experience a fundamental change we call “growth.” It may lengthen. It may produce flowers. Whatever it is, there’s some kind of DELTA between the before and after. Easy enough to understand right?
Okay, but let’s dig into it a bit more. What actually caused that growth? Was it the DNA of the plant? Or was it the conditions it was exposed to? Well, it can’t JUST be the DNA. If that were true, you could plant evergreen trees in the middle of the Sahara desert and they’d do just fine right? Wrong. The DNA is a terrible match for the harsh, arid environment of the desert. So, DNA alone doesn’t ensure growth. Likewise, conditions are only as effective as the “DNA” of the thing they’re influencing. Reverse it. Apply rain to coniferous trees and they love it. Apply the same rain to succulents, and it’s lights out. We’ve just applied the wrong “environment” to the DNA.
Conclusion: it has to be a match of:
- The inherent characteristics of the element.
- The conditions of its environment.
This is a key concept as you consider your own growth stories. First, you have to talk about growth in terms of a clear before and after. But also, you must address what the environment was, and how it influenced “your DNA.” In order to do this well, you need show a clear understanding of what you’re made of, and how that particular environment helped to shape it.
Now, you need to airlift that formula and apply it to something you detect about Kellogg. What is it about the Kellogg environment that holds promise for you that you will grow in a similar way? What is it about their culture, or a specific aspect of their curriculum, or some other Kellogg-specific thing that is going to exert a force on you that encourages personal growth? The only way you can predict this is if you have a story in your past that shows how you respond to certain stimuli, that you can then connect to something at Kellogg that therefore holds the same promise for you.
First, walk us through a “growth” story. Paint a clear before and a clear after, and explain how the ENVIRONMENT acted to help SHAPE that transformation from A to B. Hover on the environmental aspect, focus on the stuff that helped bring about that change. What were those external influences? How did they inspire you to grow?
Now, identify specific aspects of Kellogg that resemble those “conditions.” Be careful, the stuff you pick can’t apply equally well to other schools, or else your point won’t weigh anything. It has to be Kellogg-specific. Now explain the parallel to how these conditions are the exact conditions that promote personal growth in you. We’ll believe you because you’ve already PROVEN this in section 1.
Now that we’ve handled that, need to look back at Essay 1?
Read more and explore each step of the Kellogg full-time MBA application process here.
I came to Admissionado with big dreams and bad numbers. What can I say? I am just not the best test taker. With a 640 GMAT score and a 3.3 GPA, I know I had the odds set against me, but I wanted to go to a great school, a top-10 school.
Julie from Admissionado worked with me to bring out everything positive that I had done to tell me story, to show my assets and make them shine brighter than my numbers. She took the time to dig deep and ask me questions to get to know me during our initial call, which really seemed more like a chat with a friend than an intimidating interview (which I feared it might seem like!). At the end of the call, I felt like Julie gave me the opportunity to be vulnerable and really get to understand me and why I was trying to get an MBA.
Honestly, I started this process a bit scatterbrained. I was studying/panicking about the GMAT and trying to understand if I could even get into business school. I really just dumped everything on Julie, and she came back to me with everything I dumped tied into a logical package of my strengths, assets, notable accomplishments, important experiences, and career trajectory. She took everything I said and turned it into a story that made sense, which giving me the permission to refine the story along the way.
After the initial call, we started on the essay drafting. I was able to shoot emails back and forth with Julie to ask her questions as I went along, which was immensely helpful. I started off giving her essays that were about twice the mandatory word limits (I can be a bit wordy), and by the end of all of our rounds of editing, I was not only at the word count but I was also left with a finished product that was a beautiful, moving set of essays. Julie took the time to read these drafts over and over again, refining them, asking me to dig deeper and clarify my thoughts and goals. I promise you, these essays sparkled by the end.
I recently read an article about essay plagiarism in the MBA process due to consultants reusing essays for their clients. I can tell you with 100% confidence that this will never happen with Admissionado -- the service they give each client is so unique and personal to that client that there would be no way you would be left with anything but an incredible and distinct essays.
Admissionado was incredibly helpful and supportive throughout this, and customizing their program to me and definitely met high expectations. The turnaround was fast and I feel as if my Admissionado consultant is more of my friend/cheerleader now than anything. Now I am in the awesome position of taking a full-ride to Yale SOM or a 75% tuition scholarship to Kellogg -- and I know I couldn't have done it without them!
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