Kellogg Video Essay Questions 2016 Holidays
Instead of thinking of the video essay as a chore, think about how it can personalize your application, says Brittney Moraski, a 27-year-old D.C. native who will graduate from Kellogg in 2016. She says she appreciated having the opportunity to present herself beyond her test scores, essays and recommendations.
"You want your personality—not your panic—to come through in the video, so prepare in advance," says Ms. Moraski, who compiled a list of possible questions, then propped up her smartphone and recorded herself answering them before she signed on to complete the process online. In interviews, Ms. Moraski, MBA consultants and Kate Smith, assistant dean of admissions at Kellogg, offered the following advice:
1"BE AUTHENTIC AND BE TRUTHFUL TO WHO YOU ARE," Ms. Smith says. But fight those instincts to get too creative. "Do answer the question that's posed to you," she cautions. "We're asking a question because we want to know what you think about the answer."
2PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. Ms. Moraski says practicing on her smartphone "forced me to verbalize my answers." Just as important, it gave her a sense of the response time window. Use practice rounds to watch the "ums" and "uhs" (MBA coach Dan Bauer of MBA Exchange Ltd. keeps count of those in his video and interview coaching) and to be mindful of facial expressions and body language. "Practice gives you a sense for length, tone and demeanor in how you present yourself," says Jon Fuller, an MBA coach at Clear Admit LLC.
3DRESS BUSINESS-CASUAL AT THE MINIMUM. There's no need to Rent the Runway, but treat the video essay as seriously as an interview. "Wear something professional, but you don't have to wear a suit and tie," Ms. Smith says. "We only see you from shoulders up, so you can wear sweat pants if you want, but wear something professional on top." The bottom line: Go middle of the road. No tuxedos, no T-shirts.
4MINIMIZE DISTRACTIONS. "Find an environment where you won't be interrupted," Ms. Smith says. Make sure the dog isn't going to bark and that the neighbor isn't practicing his tuba. Cellphones should be silenced. Since the recording will be taking place over a computer, make sure that all email prompts and Twitter feeds that could pop up mid-recording are shut down.
5CREATE A NEUTRAL BACKGROUND. The conference room at work? Appropriate. Laundry room or your dirty kitchen? Not so much. Resist the urge to dress the background in school colors. "The admissions officer is going to look at many of these (videos)," Mr. Fuller says. "You want to make sure that if you're the 10th one that day, they're able to focus."
6PAY ATTENTION TO LIGHTING. Daylight is better than artificial light, but don't sit too near a brightly lit window. Too much light can wash out a person.
7WATCH THE BODY LANGUAGE. "Leaning forward, rocking in a chair, slouching—those are all almost subconscious things that should be corrected," Mr. Bauer says. "It's not just what you say but how you look when you're saying it."
8MAKE EYE CONTACT WITH THE CAMERA. "Look directly at the camera and not the monitor that is below to give the impression that you are making eye contact with the person who is viewing the video," Mr. Fuller says.
9DON'T OVERPREPARE. This may sound counterintuitive, but it is possible to come off as too practiced, which defeats the purpose of the video essay. "Coming off as too rote and not approachable is a mistake, especially for a school like Kellogg, where the culture is very much about being collegial," Mr. Bauer says. Ultimately, the video essay is just one component in the campaign to gain acceptance and should be consistent in effort and message with the written essays, recommendations, resume and application.
Rohan Rajiv, a 25-year-old native of India who is also a member of the 2016 class, suggests "focusing on your 'why' and communicating it," he says. "The rest will follow."
The video essay question he landed was, "What has been the most important invention in your lifetime?"
His answer: "The Internet."
Kellogg School of ManagementAdvertising and MarketingEducationLabor and WorkforceManagement and HR IssuesDigital and Social MediaInternet
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