Preparing for Kellogg

I haven’t done many blogs lately since I’ve been busy preparing for Kellogg. I thought I should give you guys a quick update on what’s been happening the last few weeks. There is just so much to do! But sometimes, like now,¬†there’s a lull – I feel like I should be doing something productive, but instead I just laze around catching up on TV shows I love and spending time with family. ūüėÄ

These are a few things I’ve checked off my list:

  • Financing my MBA¬†(Apply for a loan & get personal finances in order)
  • i20 application
  • Visa Application
  • Visa Interview: Had my interview on 27-Apr-2015 and got a mail that my visa has been issued on 29-Apr-2015. Yaaayyy! I plan to do a post on Applying for a US Visa for international students.
  • Health Insurance & Health forms: Healthcare in the US is expensive. ūüė¶

What I still have to do:

  • Find an apartment: Since I’m moving to Evanston in the Summer quarter instead of fall, I’m having a hard time finding good deals.¬†I’ll do a follow-up post on how to find housing just as soon as I sign a lease.
  • Tutorials in Microsoft Office, Photoshop and Basic Accounting Principles
  • Complete 2 mandatory pre-enrollment online courses set by Kellogg: I haven’t done this so far¬†because the courses are not up on the website yet!
  • New technology: I’m thinking of buying a new phone/laptop but I might just do this once I get to Evanston.

It helps that Kellogg has a handy To Do list on the Welcome site for admitted students. I’ve just been checking things off one by one from that list.

But I’ve come across some incredibly helpful blogs online, these are some:

108 Tips for new MBA Students (by Matthew Kuo РUCLA Anderson)

A letter to an incoming MBA Student (by Rohan Rajiv РKellogg Class of 2016)

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Why I love Kellogg and the MMM Program

Kellogg MMM Program

I have noticed over the last month or so that quite a few of you in the blogosphere – My Life of Bliss, Pulling that MBA Trigger, ProGMAT¬†and a few others¬†are interested in Kellogg’s MMM Program. Some of you are on the fence about it while others have decided to apply (and I hope I’ve played a part in helping you make that decision ūüėČ ). With that in mind, I thought I should do a (long overdue) post on everything I love about MMM. Irrespective of whether I make it to Kellogg (but I sooo hope I do!), I think this is post could be useful for those of you evaluating the program.

1. Product Management career path: They recently revamped the entire MMM program to make it more Product Management/Innovation focused, and this¬†ties in with my¬†future goals¬†of Product Management and tech entrepreneurship. I hope I was able to sufficiently¬†articulate the¬†“fit”¬†with the program in my application. If you’re looking at similar roles in your career, I would recommend the MMM program.

2. Design Thinking focus:¬†What I’ve noticed as a Product Manager is that:

(a) Finding the right problem to solve is more important than problem-solving itself: You really need to get into the end-user’s head to figure out what feature/design would make the most sense to them/what would they like to see in your product – only then will your product be a successful one. The Design Thinking approach taught in the MMM program teaches you think from the end-user’s perspective and to find the right opportunities from myriad data. I think is an invaluable tool, not just for Product Managers but for entrepreneurs as well (which is my long-term goal).
(b) General Design courses: As a MMM student, you have the opportunity to take specific design courses from the Segal Institute. Not only can you learn about how to create great user experiences, these courses also add to your course credit!
3. Awesome Courses and Experiential Learning : Have you seen the MMM course list? It’s super interesting! There are courses like Research-Design-Build where you form groups and actually get your hands dirty and conceptualize, develop and launch your own product in a group. There’s also an¬†Integration Project in addition to your regular¬†Internship where you get to work in teams to solve a real-life business/design problem for a company – so there’s more focus on experiential learning.
4. Dual Degree: This is just a perk! ūüôā You graduate with a Kellogg MBA as well as an MS in Design Innovation, which is pretty cool – both for future job opportunities and¬†for wow-ing ¬†potential investors.
5. Small Class + Great Networking Opportunities: You get to have the best of both worlds! You take ALL your classes with the rest of your 50-odd classmates and you can form really strong bonds with them, but you also take core¬†classes with regular 2Y Kellogg MBA students, so you’re not missing out on anything! Another perk is that you get to start early on campus. If you are a MMM student, you start classes in June – one full quarter earlier than the other Kellogg students(more time to spend on campus – yay!), but ultimately you graduate together with the Kellogg FT 2Y¬†class.
6. Selectivity:¬†I’m not quite sure whether to put this in this list or the cons list. Yes, they have a class size of only 60. But I found out that they get only about 350-400 applications for the MMM program. (that might change this year as they’ve been making an effort to spread more awareness about MMM) So the selectivity rate is about the same for Kellogg MBA and MMM. They take about 1 in 5 candidates. But I like my chances better in MMM – I’d rather compete against 400-500 applicants than 4000 applicants! You do have to keep in mind though that even though there are only around 350 applicants for MMM, these will likely be people with stellar profiles who really¬†know what they want from the program and their career. It’s ¬†slightly intimidating to compete with a group like that. I’ll leave you to make a decision if this point must be in the pros or cons ¬†list. ūüôā
7. Interviews:¬† This not exactly a MMM-specific point, but is characteristic of Kellogg. Since Kellogg tries to interview everyone, it’s just great to get an opportunity to show the admissions committee a side of you that might not have translated well in the application. You can really let your personality shine ūüôā
Apart from all the above reasons, which are specific to MMM, I love Kellogg for KELLOGG. It’s just such an amazing school – all the people I’ve spoken to in the last few months from Kellogg have been so¬†helpful and friendly (characteristic of Kellogg students) and the wealth of information I’ve gotten from them has only made me more excited to apply and (hopefully!) attend Kellogg. For those of you looking to get in touch with alumni/current students, I’d recommend just reaching out to people on LinkedIn.
To get an idea of the school’s culture, you could take a look at:
  • ¬†#MyKellogg on Instagram. The pictures are endless. Students are most active on Instagram as compared to all other social media!
  • Youtube: There are SO many videos that you could get lost out there. Apart from¬†Kellogg’s Official Youtube Channel¬†which is a great source of Kellogg-related material, you should most definitely check out the LipDub Videos, CIM Showcase videos¬†and other random videos made by students to witness¬†Kellogg’s student¬†camaraderie firsthand. If you’re interested in¬†glimpses of what business school classes at Kellogg are going to be like, you should find¬†those¬†videos as well. An example is¬†Harry Kraemer on Values Based Leadership¬†– it’s something I’ve watched at least 3 times!¬†I¬†also regularly watch videos¬†by¬†Mohanbir Sawhney¬†– I find his insights on technology, innovation and consumer products fascinating!
These are some resources I used to get to know MMM better:

Kellogg MBA Students Blog 

Kellogg MMM Student Perspectives

“This is MMM” Facebook Group

MMM Schedule РCourses and 2Y Plan