Women in Business and Diversity at the Kellogg MBA Program

Here at Menlo Coaching, we appreciate the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University for its commitment to facilitating a collaborative environment and inspiring brave leaders.

Our Founding Partner, David White sat down with Kate Smith, Assistant Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, to discuss the admissions process and learn how the Kellogg MBA class profile is built.

This part of the interview focuses on Kellogg’s commitment to diversity and its particular focus on providing opportunities for female students.

Skip around to the topics that interest you most using the chapter selector, , at the bottom right of the player.

Diversity in Kellogg’s MBA Class Profile

Kellogg prides itself on the diversity of its applicants. That refers to a diversity of background, national origin, work experience, interest, and, key to Kellogg’s vision, education. It boasts a representation of 250 different undergraduate institutions among an MBA class of about 450 students.[AD1]  Kellogg’s interest in diversity is driven by a conviction that having many different approaches will lead to a more creative, thoughtful, and ambitious community.

In order to achieve this, Kellogg goes to great lengths to curate a diverse MBA class profile. This includes pointed questions about meaningful encounters with diversity on the application as well as a video interview that helps them get a thorough, three-dimensional feel for a candidate.

As a result of this screening process, it is not unlikely to end up in a six-person study group where each member comes from both a different country and a different industry. This is also evident from the fact that 32% of Kellogg’s class of 2021 is international.

The Benefits of Diversity in a Top MBA Program

This diverse student body helps to create well-rounded students who can take on a variety of challenges. Companies want to hire individuals who have a broader perspective and who can understand the needs of a variety of customer types. For example, top employers—including Google—are searching for employees who understand developing markets, like Africa, as US growth slows for Google properties like Google Play.

Kellogg believes that MBA students learn from their classmates as well as their courses. Hearing and understanding people from various cultures, careers, and philosophies helps to make students more comfortable when engaging with unfamiliar business environments.

This means that you can be admitted to the Kellogg School of Management even if you don’t fit a “perfect profile” with accolades such as attending an Ivy League school, having an elite GMAT score, and then working for a well-known firm like Goldman Sachs. Kellogg does NOT simply stack rank the applicant pool according to a numerical formula. The deliberate curation of a diverse MBA class each year means that you won’t be competing with the mythical “perfect applicant” at all, and should focus on explaining what you can add to Kellogg. One place to demonstrate how you can contribute to the Kellogg community is through the Kellogg values essay.

Women at Kellogg

Kellogg is committed to gender parity in its student body, and its MBA class of 2021 has 43% women. In 2019, Kellogg School of Management welcomed its third consecutive female Dean, Dean Francesca Cornelli. Moreover, it continues to work to promote women in business with a number of methods and partnerships.

Kellogg’s commitment to diversity and its achievements in providing opportunities for women continue to make it stand out. These aspects of the business school continue to make it an attractive place for women to get their MBA. In turn, Kellogg’s values and initiatives to foster diversity make it an excellent place for any student looking to gain a holistic perspective during the two years of the program.

(See more from this interview: Kellogg’s Global Hub and International Study Programs)