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Applying To Kellogg as a Reapplicant

Getting waitlisted at your dream b-school can be frustrating.

You work and work only to find out that you might have a chance of attending your dream school.

For Yajur Taxali, a 2018 Northwestern Kellogg School of Management MBA alum, this was his experience applying to Kellogg the first time around.

In a blog post for MBA Crystal Ball, Taxali discusses his experience reapplying to Kellogg and a few key strategies for getting in.


Kellogg didn’t disclose its acceptance rate last year, but P&Q estimated it landed somewhere around 26%.

The b-school’s class of 2021 held an average GMAT of 730 with five years of working experience, and an average 3.6 GPA.

Taxali, who scored a 710 on his first GMAT attempt, says it wasn’t enough.

“In my first application attempt in 2012, I targeted five schools – based on school rankings and the interactions I had with alumni,” he writes. “I did not secure admission from any of them. I then decided to take a strategic approach and wait a couple of years to build my profile before applying again, this allowed me to polish my skills and potentially show a jump in my career trajectory.”


Taxali decided to reapply again in 2014-15. This time, however, he had new achievements he could speak to.

He improved his GMAT score to 740 and researched more about Kellogg.

“Kellogg was always my favorite school because of the culture – it seemed to be a very student-driven and collaborative environment where I felt I would thrive,” he writes. “The general management curriculum, excellent track record in marketing and consulting recruiting, and locale of the school were other factors that grabbed my attention.”

In his Kellogg interviews, Taxali spoke to moments of growth and the reasoning behind why he made certain decisions. He also was adamant about making it known that he did his research.

“It goes without saying that it is very important to know your resume well, and clearly communicate why you are looking to do an MBA, and why you’re interested a school,” he writes. “The questions you ask the interviewer at the end also indicate the thoroughness of your research and your inclination to attend the school.”


When applying as a reapplicant, Taxali says it’s important to have recommendations that offer a new perspective to your application.

“It is important to have conversations with your recommenders in advance and discuss which stories/examples from your performance you want them to highlight in the recommendation, especially if there has been a considerable time lapse since you worked with that recommender,” Taxali writes.

Regardless, Taxali says, applying a second time around is worth it – especially if it’s your dream school.

“I want to pass on the best advice I received when I was applying for the MBA – it is 2 prime years of your life, and a lot of money forgone in salaries, most likely on top of a hefty student debt you’re signing up for,” Taxali writes. “Don’t settle for a compromise – these could (and should be) the best two years of your life.”

Sources: MBA Crystal Ball, Kellogg School of Management, Poets & Quants

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