Wow! It's been really long. Sorry about that - I was busy regaining normalcy after the gruel of the MBA application process.
So to summarize I was admitted to Kellogg in R1 and did not really make it to the rest which I think was for the better. To be frank, I was not too pumped about Kellogg when I got the admit. Therefore, I decided to go for the admit weekend (Day at Kellogg) to check out the school and make sure it's the right place for me. The time and effort to make the journey between Bangalore and Chicago just for 4 days was well worth it.
My good friend Cheetarah has already given an excellent account of the madness that was DAK here. I will attempt to add to this - my observations and experience.
Dean Sally Blount
She gave the opening speech and it was absolutely rocking. She is very dynamic lady and the "Think Bravely" campaign could not have but come from her. She has a strong vision about the future of Kellogg and is determined to raise the profile of Kellogg again.
One could attend Kellogg just for her visionary zeal.
I found the student body to be super friendly and very down to earth. Of course, I am sure that due to DAK this was up a notch, but I can safely say that this is the usual at Kellogg. Everyone was eager to help out and to answer any questions that we may have had to help us make our decision. I was amazed by the all pervasive "pay it forward" attitude right from the professors to the administration to the students.
One other thing which I found amazing (and a bit suspicious) was that nobody had anything negative to say about Kellogg. I met several current students and when I asked them, "What are the negatives about Kellogg?", they would look at me blankly and muster up (at best), "The fact that there are soooo many things to do at Kellogg and one cannot find enough time to do it." Now, this could be self-delusion or a fact - and one cannot find out till matriculation! So for now I would like to believe that there is really no negative about Kellogg.
The admin is also super supportive. I came away from DAK with contact details of several relevant admin members and each one of them was eager to help out. Over the past couple of weeks I have been in touch with them and their responses are always timely and without a hint of irritation at questions which are probably being asked for the zillionth time. Kudos to those folks.
I was able to attend only 1 mini class and the professor was pretty good. Although to be fair, one cannot conclude too much in such a short time. I did speak to a current student who is also a fellow wolverine and he said the professors are top notch without doubt.
I also had the good fortune of listening to the closing remarks of a professor in the Management & Strategy department. I was extremely impressed by his talk and decided to follow up with questions. To my surprise not only did he respond but also asked me to call to discuss. Now, how many professors do that ?!
This is definitely the hidden gem at Kellogg. Since my short-long term focus has been Entrepreneurship, I was very concerned whether Kellogg had the resources to back up my goals. The answer was a resounding YES. Kellogg has several courses, initiatives, and professors which/who support you to the hilt in starting up. Courses like NUVenture, initiatives like Entrepreneur Trek, and professors like Sawhney are there just to support you in this journey. Sure, it may not compare to a Stanford in that it does not have an environment which will inspire you to startup, but it sure has the resources and zeal to back you up if you want to.
Incidentally, Chicago is coming up really fast in terms of Entrepreneurship.
- Kellogg is definitely a student-led and student-run school. It seems like a place where, if you have an idea or initiative the entire school will support you and cheer you while you make it a reality. Impressed.
- The big negative about Kellogg is the facility. It's just one building and not very impressive. However, the student body and professors more than make up for it. And I pity the fool who rejects Kellogg just because of its facilities.
- Housing options are pretty good although on the steep side.
- Evanston downtown is quite vibrant and most houses are located in/near the downtown.
- Chicago is a good 40-60 minutes away by train.
In the end I was happy that I went to DAK because I got all my questions answered and came away satisfied on all the important fronts. Deposit was put down as soon as I landed in Bangalore.
Now, to mull the course of action for the next 5 months and wait for the exciting journey that is Kellogg.