The Video Essay
How does it work? Once you submit your written application, you’ll receive an e-mail with instructions and a link for the video essay. You’ll need a computer with a webcam and microphone. You may prepare with the 10 provided practice questions. The format and questions are meant to mimic the actual questions you will be asked. However, once you start the official questions, you’ll have just 20 seconds to gather your thoughts for each question and up to one minute to respond.
What are they looking for? Kellogg isn’t holding tryouts for the next YouTube sensation, so you don’t have to be an expert webcam performer. They are trying to get to know you a little bit better to assess your fit with the culture of the school. They’re looking for candidates who are eager and enthusiastic about getting involved, and who are genuinely passionate about Kellogg. For non-native English speakers, they also assess your language abilities to ensure that you’ll be able to handle the rigor of a top-tier graduate-level program taught exclusively in English.
What will I be asked? The questions aren’t intended to be difficult. One question will ask about why you are interested in Kellogg. With just one minute, you may want to pick one or two aspects of the school and offer some specific examples of what excites you about those things. The second question may be a bit off the wall just to get a sense of your personality, such as “Tell us about your first childhood job” or “If you could have lunch with anyone alive or dead, who would it be and why?” You may not think of a brilliant answer to these questions, and you might even stumble a little bit. That’s actually fine. Simply do your best and let them see a glimmer of your personality.
What are some tips for success? We recommend that in addition to the 10 practice questions offered by Kellogg, you practice recording yourself with your webcam in the place where you’re going to record the real thing. Are there distracting things in the background? Can they hear you? Do you use lots of filler words (um, er, ya know, etc.)? Again, Kellogg doesn’t expect this to be a professional production, but reducing distractions will be helpful. Practice answering questions similar to those we’ve described. You want to be natural and conversational in the actual recording, so we don’t recommend memorizing your answers, or you may come off as stilted. Dress in business attire, as you would in your admissions interview. Lastly, relax! This is meant to be a fun conversation between you and the admissions committee member.
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?