35-year-old African-American woman accepted to Northwestern Kellogg EMBA Program
Kudzai was born in Zimbabwe, moved to the United States when she was three, and grew up in Evanston, Illinois, with Northwestern University in her life from an early age. When she was growing up, she would go to the school’s library to study. And even though she did her undergraduate work at DePaul University, she knew that someday, she’d be a Northwestern student.
She was also an entrepreneur from an early age, braiding hair and selling candy while still in elementary school, and upon graduating from DePaul, she made an early foray into brand managing, decided to pursue her love of making art, and then returned to brand management in the beauty industry while keeping her art career going.
When she determined that she wanted to get an MBA to further her professional aims, there was only one place she wanted to go: the Kellogg Executive MBA program at Northwestern. It made sense for a lot of reasons, including its application process, which favored real-life work experience, didn’t require a GMAT score as part of the package, and had a rolling deadline.
But it was still something that she needed to put her mind to, and she knew that she didn’t want to waste her opportunity at getting into Northwestern. She partnered with us at The Art of Applying®. She received valuable guidance from her Mindset Coach, and worked closely with her one-on-one Consultant. She drew upon the support of the Editing Specialists who also provided helpful feedback throughout her essay-writing process. Kudzai especially enjoyed working alongside the community of like-minded applicants inspiring her with their acceptances. At 35, she’s now attending her dream school, and feels so transformed by her experience that she’s hired a personal trainer in her quest to to continue investing in herself!
Start Date: January 2018 | End Date: October 2018
- 35 years old
- Attended DePaul University
- B.S. in Marketing
- GPA: 3.425
- Northwestern Kellogg EMBA Program
Scholarships & Fellowships
- $20,000 per year scholarship from Northwestern Kellogg
- Northwestern Kellogg EMBA Program
Kudzai came to us as a referral from one of our prior clients:
“So, I had started applying to grad school, because I was just hitting a bump in the wall with my career and I knew that I needed to take a next step in getting my MBA … I knew that I wanted to go to Kellogg, that was the only school that I really wanted to go to. And so I reached out to some of my friends from college who I knew were in the MBA program and just had some questions for them about how the application process was, how long it took for them, scholarships, funding and things like that. And one of the young ladies, she did The Art of Applying® … she got accepted to the Booth School at the University of Chicago.”
Kudzai wanted our help completing the application process right the first time:
“I thought about the type of learner that I am, and when I’m doing something new, the type of support that I need, and just knowing that my friend went through the program, and she had a success story, I just felt that this is something that I need to invest in. And time is critical for me. I didn’t want to do this on my own … Some people do this on their own, fail, and then have to come back. I knew that I wanted to apply to Kellogg, and I didn’t want to continue, not to apply … then have to do it again next year. So I was just like, “Let me take the time and invest in myself.” And honestly, it was the best decision I could have made—not only from a professional standpoint, but also from a personal standpoint because I feel there was so many different emotional rollercoasters.”
Kudzai appreciated that our team held her accountable to her goals:
“Two weeks before the application’s final deadline was due, somebody from The Art of Applying® reached out to me and was like, ‘Hey, we noticed that you haven’t been writing on your essays and you haven’t been communicating. We just wanted to follow back up with you.’ And I appreciated that. Because then it just reminded me, I have to finish it. And I applied, and this is not ideal, but I applied the last round … and it was like 10 days of writing and rewriting that essay, and that 10 days, I was clear because I have had months to really reflect on … what is my story, why do I really want this MBA… The Art of Applying® just allowed for me to consolidate my thoughts because I was all over the place … and when you have 450 words, there’s only so much you can say.”
Kudzai appreciated having our entire team working by her side to help her achieve success:
“This is something that I’ve never done before. I didn’t have any close family members who I can talk to. I have friends who applied, but [they were] so busy. I mean, I reached out to them for conversations, and you can ask people about the school and their experiences. You know, maybe somebody will review your essay once, or give you some feedback but they’re not going to spend the time … that is really needed. And so I just felt The Art of Applying® would be really helpful … it really is a real team effort who helps you in this process … multiple people saw and had input in my application … I’m just really grateful to the whole experience because it truly changed me.”
Kudzai was encouraged and motivated by The Art of Applying® applicant community:
“Hearing success stories … just keeps you motivated … That person was able to do it, or … that person had some hurdles. Let me make sure that I can overcome those hurdles as well.”
“I’m a person of faith and it literally took every ounce of faith for me to finish this application process.”