Kellogg Video Essay Tips For Sat

FROM Kellogg MBA Blog:How I built and scaled my tech startup at Kellogg
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“Jared, are you still alive?”

My classmates often ask me this question in this jest because I am the typical Kellogg School student entrepreneur: an entrepreneur that eats, sleeps and breathes his startup, while still juggling the rigors of Kellogg’s academics and extracurriculars.

Being an entrepreneur at Kellogg is a challenging journey that many people will never truly understand, but at the same time, it is a journey that can be incredibly rewarding if done right.

I am the CEO of eRetirements, a tech startup that provides user-friendly, personalized retirement location information for soon-to-be retirees.

The inspiration for my startup came in March 2015 when my parents called me to complain about their “dream” retirement location. When my friends asked me what resources my parents used to select their location, I explained that they didn’t use any.

When I spoke with other retirees, I learned that a comprehensive resource for retirement location planning did not exist. I knew then that I had to solve this problem by creating eRetirements, an online tool that that offers tailored relocation recommendations for retirees.

When I arrived at Kellogg in Fall 2015, eRetirements was on its way with a prototype website and preliminary market research. In order to officially launch eRetirements, I decided to seek as much advice and assistance as possible from Professors Linda Darragh, Carter Cast, and Troy Henikoff. All of these professors are seasoned entrepreneurs who are genuinely interested in helping students like me launch successful startups.

Besides asking for advice from the incredible Kellogg Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative (KIEI) faculty, I also took advantage of Kellogg’s robust entrepreneurship and marketing courses. As an individual with no coding experience, Introduction to Software Development was an invaluable course for me. It provided me with an overview and general understanding of coding, which helped me effectively manage my development team.

Entrepreneurial Tools for Digital Marketing equipped me with all types of tricks and strategies to improve our website traffic, and the New Venture series did an incredible job of taking me through the entrepreneurship journey step-by-step. (This series lets students “discover, test and launch” their entrepreneurial endeavors through experiential learning coursework and real-life experiences.)

Additionally, I took advantage of The Garage. The Garage is an incubator on Northwestern’s campus that offers a residency program and even a pre-accelerator. It provides a physical space for students to meet, learn and flesh out their ideas, and it is a phenomenal opportunity to integrate with other entrepreneurs from a variety of disciplines.

Like all things in life, balance is key when it comes to being an entrepreneur at Kellogg. Juggling your personal life, classes and startup commitments is admittedly challenging. However, I believe that the Kellogg community offers a support system that makes all of this juggling possible.

I am happy to report that eRetirements continues to grow everyday; we have had nearly 2,000 users sign up thus far, and we recently sold our first advertising contracts. I’m excited to see what’s next for eRetirements – and how we will continue to scale with the help of Kellogg’s professors, academics and other unique offerings.

Jared Scharen is a second-year student in Kellogg’s Full-Time Two-Year Program and CEO/Co-Founder of eRetirements.com. He is VP of alumni relations for the eClub, a member of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee and actively involved with The Garage. Prior to Kellogg, Jared was a consultant at McKinsey & Co. and spent a year volunteering with TechnoServe in Peru. He received his B.S. in Finance and Economics from Villanova University.

 

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This post has been originally posted on the Admissions Blog and re-posted here for convenience.

Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management has double downed on the recent trend of video essays, bringing back their video essay for another year. Kellogg has continued to tweak the questions and format over the years but the general premise and ways to succeed in this aspect of their application have remained consistent.

As far as the operational aspects go, you have a week to complete the video essays after submission of your application – the video essays themselves are pretty straightforward and should be approached as such. I believe that these video essays are genuinely used so that the admissions committee can “get to know” the candidate on a more personal level. Therefore, the applicant should try to be friendly and open about the questions (while still being appropriate, of course) rather than overly stiff and formal.

The video essays can also be used as another way for the Admissions Committee to get a little glimpse into the personality traits of applicants. This is not something that will be really tricky or challenging, such as a mini-case – it is much more personal.

Kellogg is looking to see how you come across in an unscripted, conversational moment. The important thing to remember here is to convey calm confidence and answer the question directly within the time allotted. The good thing about these video essays is that you have a bank of 10 practice questions to prep with, so utilize this to get a feel for the questions and the technology. I would also recommend practicing a few responses for timing purposes to see how long or short a minute really is.

This is the kind of thing where I think over-preparation could potentially backfire, since you don’t know what the questions will be (outside of video prompt #2, which the school has made publicly available to all). Remember, the objective of the exercise is to be yourself and have fun, so be ready to be flexible in your responses to what you are asked. Your personality should be consistent with who you have portrayed yourself to be in the application (which should be in line with who you really are) while factoring how the Admissions Committee perceives you (young candidate, international, brain, etc.).

Prep some responses to common questions under each of the prompt categories, but keep in mind that these questions are not meant to be brain teasers, just personal questions you should have sorted through about yourself and your interest in the school prior to completing your application. One question will be Kellogg-focused, another will be more personal and the last will exploring a challenge you have faced.

Finally, try and have a good structure in your responses to the questions – communication is obviously one of the major elements being tested here, so stay poised and show off that executive presence Kellogg values so much.

For more thoughts on Kellogg, check out our free Essential Guide to Top Business Schools.

Applying to Kellogg or other business schools? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or take our free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation for personalized advice for your unique application situation! As always, be sure to find us on FacebookYouTubeGoogle+and Twitter.

Dozie A.is a Veritas Prep Head Consultant for the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. His specialties include consulting, marketing, and low GPA/GMAT applicants. You can read more articles by him here.

Business School, MBA Admissions, MBA EssaysAdmissions, Admissions Essays, Applying to Business School, Kellogg School of Management, video essay

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