The Decision is Made…

And I have decided that I will be attending Kellogg School of Management. I’ve been accepted to the Kellogg MMM program, and I truly believe this program is a great fit for my future goals. There were a lot of factors that weighed in my decision, some of which I’ve listed out in an earlier post. I will do a longer follow-up post soon.

I am finally at peace about my decision and can get excited about preparing for business school. I will be flying out to Chicago this June. Wheeeeeee! 😀

I can’t wait to hear my fellow bloggers decisions. Out with it! 🙂

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 😉 ). 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! 🙂 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. 🙂
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 🙂
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 – Courses and 2Y Plan

Kellogg Interview Invite! Yay!

Wheeeeeeeeeeee!!! 😀 😀

I know, I know – Kellogg interviews everyone. Or at least they try to. (wait, is it right to end a sentence with a preposition? Huh.)

Nevertheless, I’m super happy and all over the place. I honestly thought I’d screwed up the video essay so badly that I’d receive an interview waiver and a subsequent ding. I’m glad to be getting a second chance at my dream school for the program that’s perfect for me!

I just spoke to a very nice lady at the admissions office and scheduled my interview for Nov.7th, 2014. I had a slight panic attack when she checked and told me I could do the interview on Oct. 23rd (*gasp* – too soon! TOO SOON!) at 3.30pm CST, but I kept my cool and asked her if I could do the interview during their AM. The next slot available at that time was in November, but oh well. It gives me time to prepare for the interview. And to finish my Anderson app without freaking out. Speaking of – I should be freaking out about my Anderson app coz it’s nowhere close to done. My essay is in no shape to be reviewed, much less submitted. Time to roll up my sleeves and really get to it.

Whew. 2 school apps submitted, 2 interview invites. Admit or ding – I’m happy enough for now. 🙂