For those of you who don’t speak English as a first language and/or don’t feel comfortable in front of a camera, the video essay questions that Kellogg are asking are probably causing a bit of undue stress. Below I’ll offer some tips on how to prepare, including a chance to practice using the same software that Kellogg uses.
As you know, you will be required to record answers to two video essay questions: one about your interest in Kellogg, and another about something of a more personal nature. Applicants last year were asked such questions as “What possession or memento do you treasure most and why?”, “If you could teach a class on any topic, what would it be and why?”, etc. The purpose in asking this question is to get to know you better, to see more of your personality and character beyond your resume.
For these more casual and personal questions, the key is to answer the question directly, and then offer a reason and some brief examples.
Take this question for instance:
If you could meet anyone, living or dead, whom would you choose and why?
Whom you choose will reveal something about you, although there is no right or wrong answer here. If you choose a historical figure, say, one who advocated for civil rights, the admissions committee will have learned something more about you. Perhaps you have been working intensely in your business career but in fact, on the side, you have a very activist nature and you also care a good deal about civic issues and have been active in this area. This adds a bit more depth and diversity to your candidacy.
Or, let’s say that you wish to meet your grandmother who had passed away not long ago. In your response you might reveal something about your family, or about qualities that you admired in your grandmother which in turn says something about your own values. This, too, will reveal more about you as a person.
In structuring your response, you should
1) Answer the question (e.g., “I would choose to meet xxx”)
2) Explain briefly why you have chosen this person
3) Provide some brief anecdote(s) or example(s).
In most cases, there are no “wrong” answers unless you reveal something inappropriate or (more likely) fail to provide valuable reasons or details.
I recommend spending some time going through these types of questions since they are not things we normally think about.
SIMULATED PRACTICE AVAILABLE
We have recorded questions using the same software that Kellogg uses. Our simulated practice will consist of the opportunity to record your responses to 5 questions* and detailed written feedback on both your responses and any visual issues surrounding your recording (e.g., lighting, body language).
*Our questions are based on past applicants’ experiences, though there is no guarantee that you will get the same questions in your actual video essay experience since Kellogg has a large database of questions from which they randomly generate their questions.
If you would like to experience a simulated practice and get some feedback before you record yourself on Kellogg’s application, please write to us at info[at]revecounseling[dot]com for information on how to get started.