5 questions with Professor Blake McShane

Capture.JPGBlake McShane is an associate professor of marketing at Kellogg, where he teaches courses in customer analytics, marketing research and data analysis. As a statistical methodologist, McShane has developed statistical models for a variety of fields, including online advertising, neuroscience, paleoclimatology, law and even baseball.  His research primarily focuses on developing new methodologies that accommodate the rich and varied data structures found in business problems.

Read on as Professor McShane discusses his marketing research course, his research on p-values and what he loves most about teaching at Kellogg.

How I’m using my Kellogg MBA to lead a fish farming nonprofit


By Linnette Lam 

I first visited Haiti in 2014. At the time, I was a management consultant based out of Los Angeles, California working with Fortune 100 executives from some of the most well-known companies in the world. While I really enjoyed the novelty of my work, I believed that my business knowledge could serve an even higher purpose beyond entertainment, high-tech and consumer goods.

When I traveled to Haiti — a land of beautiful, grassy vistas that is home to some of the most welcoming people I have ever met — I witnessed extreme poverty. Haiti was one of the most gorgeous places I’d ever seen, but it was also the most destitute place I have ever been.  While many charities supplied food and clothing to help the poor in Haiti, I wondered if there was a way that I could help the poor in a realm that I had more expertise in: business, change management and people management.

Tips for applying to Kellogg – Part 1

At Kellogg we recognize applying to business school is a time and labor-intensive process requiring a lot of care and consideration, as well as hours of test prep, interviewing and essay writing. We get lots of questions about how applicants can make their application stand out, so this week we are offering a few suggestions on how you can help us best understand who you are and why you want Kellogg to become a part of your future.


Kellogg accepts both the GMAT and GRE, and if you are worried about your score, know that multiple attempts are not discouraged. Taking the tests several times demonstrates your commitment to submitting the best possible application. We like to see people work hard for a goal and achieve it.

Applicants have asked in the past whether we favor one test versus the other. The answer is no. Ultimately what we are looking for is a balanced score set. We place just as much weight on the GRE as the GMAT. We want you to take whichever test is best for you.

The one exception to that is for our JD-MBA applicants. If you are applying to our dual-degree program with the Northwestern School of Law, you are required to take the GMAT.

How Kellogg applicants are assessed – Part 1

When Kellogg admissions officers review an application, they evaluate potential students based on six categories. Here, Melissa Rapp, director of admissions for Kellogg’s Full-Time MBA Programs, demystifies what happens once you submit your materials and helps you think about how to formulate the story that will help the Admissions team learn more about you. 



Our goal is to be sure you can handle the rigor in the Kellogg classroom. Your undergraduate GPA, course selection and GMAT score help us assess your readiness. But we’re also invested in finding creative thinkers who can solve problems. Qualitative evidence of intellectual ability is going to come out in your essays, your interview and your recommendations. We truly take a holistic look at our applicants rather than only relying on a number.

Hard numbers like GPA and GMAT scores may seem like make-or-break factors, but one great test score doesn’t tell us nearly as much as seeing that you’ve taken challenging classes or broadened your knowledge base. And because each applicant is an individual, we recognize that someone with a liberal arts background may have different results than someone from an engineering background, but both could be competitive candidates.

Building and scaling a nonprofit at Kellogg


By Joe Verde

It took just a few days in Evanston to realize my path to Kellogg was unique, and so were those of each of my 491 classmates. Everyone has a story, and at Kellogg, I’ve learned to embrace mine and welcome others.

My single mother always instilled the merits of discipline in me and my brother Ralph and routinely preached the importance of education as our “saving grace.” She never juggled fewer than three jobs at a time to support our home, which meant that whenever I needed guidance, I turned to Ralph, who ultimately became the father figure I never had.Joe_Verde

Tragedy struck my family when Ralph was diagnosed with, and later passed away from brain cancer while I was in college — all within the span of 10 months. He was only 23. An aspiring lawyer at Yale, my brother had a mission to serve the public’s interest. It was a dream that simply vanished. Inspired by Ralph’s unfulfilled aspirations and support from the community, I decided to turn negative thoughts into positive action by starting a nonprofit in Ralph’s honor. 

A letter to graduating students

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By Dean Betsy Ziegler

Good morning, graduates!ziegler_elizabeth_11rgb

Looks like it is going to be a beautiful one. Today is a big/important day and I hope you feel very proud. My Kellogg journey has been shared with many of you, so I am sure you know this day is particularly meaningful to me as well. You are my last class, it was an honor to serve as your Dean of Students. Your graduation, the convocation events this week, and the exit conversations I’ve had with many members of this class have inspired a bit of personal reflection.

Over the last 15 + years, I’ve developed five “life mottos” that I wanted to pass along to you to consider as you take the next step in your life journey.

Branding advice for graduates


By Professor Tim Calkins

Tomorrow more than 1,000 students will graduate from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. I’ve taught almost half of them. They will soon start at new jobs, branch out in different industries and begin careers in cities around the world.

It is an exciting moment, transitioning from one thing to the next. It is a time of endings and beginnings, and it is scary, too.

For the past two years, I’ve posted financial advice for graduates. You can read last year’s recommendations here.

This year I’m focusing on brand building. This is an important topic for new graduates. Your personal brand will have a huge impact on your career. If your brand stands for reliability, cooperation, analytical thinking and leadership, you will get good assignments. Senior managers will give you the benefit of the doubt when things don’t go perfectly. If people think you make mistakes and can’t be counted on, things won’t go well.

Here are four pieces of advice to build a strong brand.

Kellogg celebrates second annual LGBT Ally Week


From May 2-6, Pride@Kellogg (P@K) hosted the second annual LGBT Ally Week with the aim of celebrating diversity and raising awareness of LGBT issues and rights. The week featured 10 different social and speaker events targeting different members of the Kellogg audience, with topics ranging from LGBT individuals in sports to tips for being a better Ally in the workplace.

Throughout the course of the week, more than 230 people attended six speaker events. There was also a solid showing for two social events and a series of small group dinner discussions focused on relevant topics. The week culminated with LGBT Preview Day, which invited prospective students from across the country to experience a day in the life of a Kellogg student.