Kellogg MBA Video Essays

The video essays provide 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 your application and payment, you will be able to access the video essay through your application status page. You will be asked to answer three questions:
      • 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: 2020 has been a year of seismic disruption — fighting the global COVID-19 pandemic, tragic deaths that have brought systemic racism and social justice issues to the forefront of long overdue conversations, and economic and political divides that are growing deeper and deeper. How has this unprecedented year challenged you and how have you faced that challenge?
  • 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. You will not have 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 video essays?
A: Student culture is hugely important at Kellogg, so we want to meet 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. 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!

Q: Are there right or wrong answers?

A: No. This isn’t a test. We use the video essays 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: 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: 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 96 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.

Possible Kellogg Video Essay Questions 2018:

• 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.
• Talk about a team disagreement and how you handled 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 do you define success?
• 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?
• Describe a leadership style you admire?
• 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?

Video Essay Advice

Director of Admissions Melissa Rapp provided to Clearadmit some insight into the 2019 MBA application along with some great advice on how to prepare.

Rapp recommends using your video essay as your chance to tell your story in your voice. In the video portion, you’ll answer three questions:

  1. What path are you interested in pursuing? How will you get there?
  2. Why is this program right for you?
  3. Randomly generated question about overcoming obstacles.

When answering these questions, Rapp encourages applicants to speak from the heart and to avoid repeating phrases from their written essay. You’ll have a few practice questions to help you get comfortable; then, they’ll dive straight into the official questions. Think of the video portion like an interview more than an essay.

As for the technology, the Kellogg technical team is available 24/7 with questions or concerns, though Rapp says few if any candidates struggle.


Kellogg asks each applicant to complete video essay questions after submitting the application. The admissions committee is looking for your unscripted answers, which convey a sense of your personality and character. “Be yourself,” advises the school in its video essay Q&A, which also stresses that you prepare some fresh material and avoid regurgitating examples from your essays.

You can expect a “getting to know you” type of question. There’s no right answer to this one, so let your personality and poise shine through. Everyone will also get this Kellogg-specific question, “What path are you interested in pursuing, how will you get there, and why is this program right for you?” This means know your 30 second career path pitch cold — how does your current experience tie into your desire to obtain an MBA, and how does that relate to what you plan to do longer term after you graduate?

The rest of the questions will be randomly generated of the interview variety. You’ll have 10 practice questions to warm up, which you can complete as many times as you want to get comfortable with the format and technology. That said, you won’t be able to re-do answers to the official video essay questions.

  • Plan your answers: you’ll have 20 seconds to think about the question before you answer.  Jot down a few bullets or talking points. It might be helpful to outline a quick structure, e.g., main answer, and supporting examples.
  • Stand for more energy.
  • Prepare for this question that Kellogg has revealed they will ask — “What path are you interested in pursuing, how will you get there, and why is this program right for you?”
    The question that’s not asked here, that I recommend including in your response, is “Why are you interested in pursuing this path?”
  • Be prepared for a behavioral question on a conflict you’ve faced at work.
  • Record yourself when you practice. What type of impression are you giving off? Are you friendly? Would others feel comfortable working with you?
  • Don’t forget to smile — you’re on camera after all.
  • Think through — if the person reviewing my video essay takes nothing else, what is the number one thing I want them to remember about me?