Meet Northwestern Kellogg’s MBA Class Of 2022

Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University


Many class members also bring a sense of mission to Kellogg. Christianne Johnson grew up in the shadow of the NBA, where her father was a player and coach. Growing up, she says, she met players who often squandered their earnings – including one player who ended up nearly broke after accumulating over $200 million dollars over his career. These experiences, she notes, motivated her to become a money manager after graduation. 

“I can use what I have learned to inspire the generation behind me to learn about generational wealth. In the long-term, I would like to establish my own social impact investment fund that offers honest money management coupled with community impact. My fund will focus on investing in communities of color, minority-owned businesses and affordable housing developments around the country.”

Hurricane Maria served as the defining moment for Michelle Morales. Over her career, Morales had been fighting climate change as an environmental engineer and consultant. When Maria slammed into her native Puerto Rico, she witnessed how the fury had wiped away entire neighborhoods. It also took a personal toll, as one of Morales’ aunts waited over 10 months to have her electricity restored.

“Hurricane Maria lit a fire under me to work even harder to help vulnerable communities adapt to climate change, and ultimately led to my decision to pursue an MBA. The destruction and devastation of Puerto Rico and the long-term effects of Hurricane Maria are things that I hold with me as reminders of my goals and purpose throughout my business school experience. I’m to grow and become a better leader so that I can one day develop projects that apply global resources and expertise to local solutions for communities adapting to climate change, in hopes of curbing future devastation.”


What can you say about Morales outside class? Fun fact: she was once bitten by a donkey. Beats being bitten by a shark, you could say. That said, Gonzalo Roque loves to swim with wild sharks…including at night. Looking for versatility? Picture this: Aishwarya Bedekar has sung the national anthems of 13 countries…in 13 different languages. Mike Wise attended culinary school at New Zealand’s Cordon Bleu after college. While Americans were packing on the pounds during COVID lockdowns, Hereford Johnson still managed to live the good life.

“I dropped 30 pounds during Covid and still barbequed nearly every week!”

Global Hub at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management

Thus far, the Class of 2022 is adapting equally well to Kellogg academic rigor and team expectations. Although Mashiwat Mahbub was unable to make it to Evanston for in-person classes, she points to her classmates – operating 12 hours ahead of her – taking great pains to make sure she was included in group meetings and information sessions. Hereford Johnson attributes this to the types of students that Kellogg brings to campus.

“The ‘high impact, low ego’ persona that Kellogg targets in applicants is very apparent,” Johnson writes. “For example, you could be grabbing a drink or be in a study group with an Olympic Gold Medalist or successful entrepreneur and never know it (true story). Or, on the opposite end, through deep conversations with classmates, you will uncover stories of someone overcoming unbelievable hardships, and you will wonder why there has not been a Netflix film made about their journey. No one ever brags or comes across as a know-it-all. They are not afraid to raise their hand and admit that they do have the answer to a question and, at the same time, they are very willing to prioritize their time to support your journey. It is a special community that I feel lucky to be a part of.”


You’ll find 559 students who feel the same way this year. That’s the number of students who joined the Class of 2022 this fall – 85 more students than the year before.  Here’s an equally impressive  number: Kellogg received 5,813 applications  during the 2019-2020 cycle…or 2,034 more applications than the previous year.

“We saw a surge in demand from impressive applicants and more people chose to come to Kellogg than we expected during this uncertain time,” explains Kate Smith, Assistant Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, in a 2020 Kellogg blog post. “As a result, we are thrilled to be welcoming a larger class of 559 students this year. This is a tremendous endorsement of our unique strengths: Kellogg thrives on developing empathetic leaders who can navigate periods of disruption precisely like this one.”

Class size brings additional benefits to the Class of 2022, Smith adds. “With a larger class, this talented group of students benefits from more diverse perspectives in their networks, and also in the classroom and in their careers. A larger class allows us to offer additional specialized electives, and to continue to attract one of the broadest arrays of companies that recruit at any business school.”

Kellogg classroom (Pre-COVID)


Despite the influx of students, the school’s measures remained relatively steady. Average GMATs fell, but only by three points to 727 – still higher than both the Wharton School and Chicago Booth. Average GPA held steady at 3.60, while median GRE came to 163 in both the Verbal and Quant sections. Still, the percentage of women slid three points to 40%. By the same token, international students dropped from 32% to 26% of the class over the past year. That doesn’t necessarily mean the class is any less diverse, Smith contends.

“Building a diverse class remains a top priority at Kellogg. In fact, we’re thrilled to welcome a record number of 224 women, as well as 62 underrepresented minorities and 146 international students with passports from 48 countries. And we’ll continue to partner with current students to make sustained progress in fostering a diverse and inclusive community.”

Academically, 52% of the class holds undergraduate degrees in Business and Economics, STEM and Humanities majors account for 29% and 28% of the class respectively according to the school. Professionally, the class is far more segmented. Consulting is the leading feeder to the Class of 2022, with 26% of the class last working in the field. Financial Services accounts for 22% of the class, followed by Technology (15%), Media and Entertainment (6%), Government, Education, and Nonprofit (6%), Consumer Products (5%).


Applications and students haven’t been the only measures on the rise at Kellogg. In November, the school released its annual employment report for the Class of 2020. Despite the pandemic, the class enjoyed record median bases of $144,000, which were supplemented by $30,000 median bonuses. On top of that, 95% of the class landed job offers within three months of graduation. One reason for this success was an aggressive HireKellogg campaign by the school’s Career Management Center to alumni, explains Liza Kirkpatrick, the school’s Managing Director.

“We called on our global alumni community of more than 65,000 to leverage their networks and uncover employment opportunities for the Kellogg community,” she says. “This led to a total of 251 alumni-sourced job opportunities on our Kellogg Job Board for full-time students.”

The Kellogg MBA program certainly comes with its share of myths. Regaled as the top MBA program for Marketing, the school is actually a Consulting hub. 39% of the 2020 Class ended up in Consulting. At the same time, Technology outpaced Financial Services by a 25%-to14% margin. Another myth is that Kellogg MBAs remain in the Midwest. In 2020, however, just 29% started their careers here. Instead, the highest percentage – 34% — moved out West. Certainly, the school’s foothold in the Bay Area helps with this. The school maintains a Winter Quarter Immersion in the region, a 10-week program that includes coursework and a required internship – not to mention networking with leading entrepreneurs and investors.

The Super Bowl Ad Review takes place at Kellogg during the night of the Super Bowl.

“Kellogg’s San Francisco Immersion Winter Quarter continues to be a key part of the recruiting process for some of the students accepting West Coast roles — allowing students to intern with high-growth ventures, private equity firms and venture capital firms, while earning course credit and networking with prominent Bay Area alumni,” Fitzpatrick adds.


This immersion, with heavy emphasis on networking and hands-on experience, also reflects Kellogg’s foundational approach to learning. “My job is not to get students the next job,” explains Dean Cornelli. “They will get a job and they will shine. But ten years from now that job may not exist anymore or will be completely different. We live in an era of change and disruption. What we need is to teach people to be adaptable, to see change and to embrace opportunity. So when people ask what is the value of an MBA, I say it’s not your next job. We want to impact all your life, the entire trajectory.”

Certainly, students and alumni have seen the difference. In the most recent Economist survey of these segments, Kellogg produced one of the ten-highest scores for Personal Development and Educational Experience. In the same survey, the program ranked 1st for Internationalism of Alumni and 2nd for Potential to Network. Kellogg doesn’t just rank high among stakeholders. In U.S. News’ annual survey of deans and MBA directors, the school ranked 1st and 3rd for Marketing and Management respectively (and among the ten-best for Non-Profit, Operations, and Real Estate). Every February, the school also makes national headlines for its Super Bowl Ad Review, where students apply a scientifically-proven ADPLAN framework to evaluate the effectiveness of Super Bowl ads.

“I’ve come a long way from simply judging a commercial as good “because it made me laugh,” explains 2nd year Enzo Azarcon. “I’m looking forward to future years where I can help not only my friends and family do the same, but also help companies better understand and connect with their audiences. The Super Bowl Ad Review is enjoyable, but also a valuable learning experience that teaches participants how to analyze how companies can effectively connect and market their products.”

Pages 3-4: Interview with Kate Smith, Assistant Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid

Page 5: In-depth profiles of 12 members of the Class of 2022

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.