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Kellogg Interview tips by an alumnus

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interviewbay22 Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
19 Aug 2014
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Kellogg Interview tips by an alumnus

Post Sat Nov 22, 2014 4:42 pm
Here is the interview of one of our Kellogg interviewers (Robbie Isenberg):

A brief background about yourself.

I am a Senior Case Team Leader with the Monitor Group in New York City. I oversee multiple case teams as engagement manager - creating the workplan for each case, generating recommendations, reporting directly to Partners, and selecting each case team. I manage on average eight consultants at a time and have extensive executive-level client interaction.

Previously I was an Investment Banking Analyst with Credit Suisse in Los Angeles. I have my MBA from Kellogg, which I graduated from with the Dean’s Award for the Top Academic Achievement, ranking first out of the 650 graduating students. I also have my Honors of Business Administration from the Richard Ivey School of Business, which I graduated from as an Ivey Scholar. In my past I have also worked for a Canadian Cabinet Minister and the current Premier of Ontario.

How has been your experience at Kellogg? Has Kellogg met all your career and personal aspirations? What do you like the most at Kellogg?

I very much enjoyed my Kellogg experience. I was seeking to gain exposure to extremely knowledgeable professors and students and I achieved just that. In my section of 78 students, 13 came from BCG, 6 from McKinsey, and many others from the top investment banks, consulting firms, Fortune 100’s and private equity firms. Kellogg’s team orientation enabled me to meaningfully learn from my exposures to these individuals. My professors were exceptional. I took a class with the former CEO and Chairman of Baxter (now Executive Partner at Madison Dearborn), another with a Senior Partner at McKinsey, two classes with the past Head of Equity Derivatives at Goldman Sachs and the past head of mid-west Investment Banking for JP Morgan. Another class was with the head of a private equity fund. Learning and getting close with these professors was a once in a lifetime learning opportunity. The guest speakers in my classes (some speaking in front of just 20 of us) were incredible. The included the CEO of Abbott, past co-CEO of Kraft, CEO of the Chicago Blackhawks, a Texas Pacific Group Partner, CEO of DaVita, Eddie George (past NFL star), and the Vice Chairman of Morgan Stanley Investment Banking.

What is the importance of interviews in the overall selection process at Kellogg? Is it a make or break after the interview? Or, does it form a parameter in the applicant's candidature?

There are a few overarching goals in the Kellogg interview process:

Do I want this person on my team?Kellogg is an extremely teamwork oriented school, far more than any other top business school.Almost every class has a material graded component that is based on a team generated component (i.e. presentation, paper, etc.).Accordingly, the interviewer wants to determine if the candidate demonstrates the requisite skill set and personality that will be conducive to providing a positive teamwork environment.Illustrating either a deep bench of knowledge in certain domains or a broad understanding of business concepts (either through previous academic or professional experience) is advisable.If the conversation with the interviewer is fluid/easy, that will be a good gauge as to whether the personality consideration is achieved.Can you hold their interest?Can you discuss numerous areas of interest and knowledge, so they perceive you as rounded and interesting?If you can pass all the above considerations you will easily satisfy this foremost question of the interview of if they would want you on their team.

Is the candidate passionate about his/her career aspirations?The interviewer is not concerned with what career you hope to pursue.Instead he/she is interested in why you want to pursue it, what you will bring to that industry and how you see your career evolving.Solid answers and indications to these points will enable the interviewer to report back to Kellogg that the interviewee appears well-able to secure employment in their industry of choice and that they will ultimately become respected, valuable members of the alumni community.

Does the candidate have a clear understanding of why and how Kellogg will enable them to achieve their career and life objectives?To be clear, limiting your Kellogg learning aspirations to just your career is not advisable.Illustrating how you hope it to improve other areas of you life as well is valuable (i.e. non-profit interests, hobbies, social considerations, etc.).In addition, have a very clear set of examples of what you hope to learn at Kellogg and how what you learn will improve your career success and/or enable you to enter your career of choice.

What should a candidate emphasize during the interview?

Things to Do and Communicate in the Interview:

Have one of your reasons for wanting to come to Kellogg involve your aspiration to learn from your fellow classmates, and how you expect to be able to do this better at Kellogg than any other school due to its emphasis on team work.
Discuss the classes, professors and clubs you hope to be involved with and exposed to and give reasons for why.
Experiential learning (i.e. the venture and buyout lab classes where student intern for credit at venture capital and private equity firms) is a major initiative at Kellogg.Note there are experiential lab classes in many other industries (review class listing on Kellogg website).If you have interest in this, and believe the experience will help you get into and prepare for your career of choice, explain this to the interviewer.
Make an effort to create links to Kellogg.This can be achieved by a visit to campus, speaking with alumni/current students/professors or having deep reasons why Kellogg uniquely appeals to you.This will show the interviewer your genuine enthusiasm for the school.

For more tips visit http://www.interviewbay.com/interview_tips/Kellogg-MBA-Interview-tips.php

Application Reviews & Mock Interviews by Alumni of Your Target School

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