Are There Introverts at Kellogg?

introvert leaders

Four weeks ago we had Day At Kellogg II, or DAK II: the weekend-long event that showcases the Kellogg experience to admitted students in order to help them decide if they really want to get their MBA from Kellogg. I was really happy to participate in this event since it provided the opportunity to help admitted students answer lots of questions. One of the questions that I got and strongly resonated with (because I had a similar question during my own DAK) sounded something like this: “the people at Kellogg are really great and personable, but there are so many activities going on and I’m not sure if I can keep up. Do you think I’d fit in here?”

 If I ask most people to come up with a Kellogg persona, or description of a typical Kellogg student, they’d probably conjure up an image of a guy or girl wearing neon colored onesies, and having a pretty good time. 🙂 Nonetheless, my ‘insider-view’ makes me convinced that we actually have three main personas at Kellogg.

1. Outgoing Oscar: This is the quintessential Kellogg persona. Friendly, fun-loving and outgoing, Oscar likes to spend time with his Kellogg ‘besties’, and can be found at pretty much every Kellogg social event. Surprisingly enough, Oscar doesn’t just have fun. He has a leadership role in 10 clubs on campus, and is actually president of 2 of those clubs. What a lot of people don’t realize about Oscar is that he constitutes about 35% of the total student population at Kellogg.

2. Contributing Cathy: When you think about the stereotypical Kellogg student, almost no one thinks of Cathy, despite the fact that she makes up about 60% of the Kellogg student body. Cathy is friendly and cool, but unlike Oscar, she’s not everywhere. She attends a decent number of Kellogg events, is involved with 2 clubs on campus, and holds a leadership position at one of them. She also makes out time for important stuff happening outside Kellogg, such as keeping in touch with her friends and family.

3. Disinterested Deb: Deb is the anomaly at Kellogg. Unfortunately, most people think the same thing about Cathy. Making up only about 5% of Kellogg’s student population, Deb isn’t at Kellogg to frolic and play; she’s here to get her ticket punched. She probably had a high powered career before business school, and was about to hit a glass ceiling so she decided to take a break from work and come grab the credentials necessary to further her career. Deb is hardly seen at any Kellogg event, and she is also unaffiliated with any club on campus. If you want to find her, look in the classes of professors that care about class attendance. You still might not find her there though! 🙂

In the end, I guess my short answer to the question about fitting in at Kellogg would be that, with a strong sense of self and great interpersonal skills, you’ll do well here. Interpersonal skills get you into the game. You won’t go too far without them. On the other hand, your sense of self will enable you to minimize the effects of FOMO. In the end, I really believe that everyone is free to engage and contribute to the Kellogg community as much as they choose to based on their personal and professional goals. One way to get a flavor of this fact is through the video below from Hear My Story, a really cool Kellogg event that allows students to learn from each other’s life experiences. In this clip, some students mention that they also felt like they weren’t going to fit in at Kellogg because they weren’t going to be like everybody else. I think Hear My Story is one of the things that make Kellogg truly unique. Enjoy!

Image by fastcompany

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