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To be effective and believable, your ups and downs must be woven intrinsically into your narrative, rather than simply acknowledged at the end.Clearly explaining how you approached and prevailed over the challenge at hand is crucial, so go beyond simply describing the roadblock itself and ensure that you detail your response and the inner workings of your decision making at that point.
Leadership does not need to have an official title attached to it, and it can be expressed in a community service or even family life setting just as much as in a workplace, so explore all the different areas of your life for possible stories.
This season, Kellogg has added the qualifier “recent” to the prompt, so avoid reaching too far into your past for options here, and focus on situations that best illustrate your current capabilities and values.
Believe us when we say that Kellogg does not have a set list of values that it expects applicants to demonstrate and that by not choosing the “right” ones, you will not be accepted to the school.
As always, focus on simply being authentic and sincere and letting your true character show through.
That said, the school acknowledges within the prompt that even endeavors that have a positive result are rarely smooth sailing from beginning to end—hence the question about challenges faced.
A mistake applicants often make in writing this kind of essay is presenting a strong narrative in which they are incredible leaders, and then near the end, making a brief (and typically disjointed) reference to a hardship or conflict encountered along the way, meant to fulfill the “challenges” element of the essay query.
That said, we would encourage you to learn what you can about the values Kellogg students tend to display or that would likely be compatible with the Kellogg community.
Contact students and alumni to get a sense of what these might be, and if you identify one or two that match some of your own, those might prove strong fodder for your essay.
Simply stating that you embrace certain values is easy, so the admissions committee is understandably asking for illustrations of this phenomenon to better gauge this for itself.
Having an idea of how you tend to incorporate your core beliefs into your life will help the school better envision how you might fit into its classrooms and the business world after you graduate.