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Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management

Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Courtesy photo

How To Approach Kellogg’s Video Essays

This year, the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University is requiring applicants to answer three video essay prompts:

Video essay 1: Please introduce yourself to the admissions committee. – Consider this your opportunity to share what you would want your future Kellogg classmates and our admissions committee to know about you. What makes you, you?

Video essay 2: What path are you interested in pursuing, how will you get there, and why is this program right for you? – This is an intentionally broad question so you can answer honestly and meaningfully. We want to know why you’re pursuing an MBA and why you’re choosing a particular Kellogg Full-Time Program

Video essay 3: This question will be based on a challenge you’ve faced and what you’ve learned from it.

William Kotas, MBA admissions consultant at Fortuna Admissions and former Kellogg Director and Kellogg MBA Alum, recently discussed how applicants should approach the video essay prompts.


Kotas recommends that applicants plan their answers prior to recording their video essays. While this may seem obvious, there are ways of planning effectively and ways of planning ineffectively.

“Jot down a few bullets or talking points or outline a quick structure, e.g., main answer and supporting examples,” Kotas writes. “But avoid overly scripting – you want to appear fluid and natural on camera.”


The video essays, in essence, are a medium for applicants to tell their story and demonstrate their personality. Kotas says applicants should be creative in utilizing the video essay medium.

“Among my favorite efforts at a ‘introduce yourself’ video response was from a candidate who gave a brief viola performance, then used an element of the instrument itself as a metaphor to convey his personality and interpersonal style,” Kotas writes.


Similar to the written essays, the video essays are meant to gauge whether an applicant has the potential to succeed at Kellogg. Kotas recommends that applicants visualize success when approaching the video essay.

“Kellogg takes great pride in identifying candidates who have really self-reflected on what they want, how Kellogg will get them there and how their aspirations support a broader vision for having a positive impact,” Kotas writes. “Nearly every aspect of the Kellogg application has some component geared toward discerning if a candidate is the right fit.”

Sources: Fortuna Admissions, Kellogg School of Management

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