Why Kellogg MBA is Awesome for Tech (2024)

Why Kellogg MBA is Awesome for Tech (3)

When discussing Kellogg’s MBA program, many people immediately think of it as a breeding ground for consultants or a leader in the marketing domain. However, in the past decade, Kellogg has been transforming and strengthening its resources and planning in the technology sector. Nowadays, about 25–30% of Kellogg graduates choose to enter the tech industry, making it the second most popular career path after management consulting.

People often ask me if Kellogg is a good place to pursue a tech career. After studying there for a year and a half, I’d like to share why Kellogg is a great choice for those aspiring to work in the US tech industry, especially large tech companies. Here are five key observations and resources Kellogg provides for tech job seekers:

  1. Incubator for Product Managers: Tailor-Made MMM and MBAi Degrees for the Tech Industry
  2. A Strong Alumni Network in North American Tech Companies
  3. Establishing a Strong Connection Between Chicago and Silicon Valley’s Tech Industry — San Francisco Campus, Career Trek, and Remote Internships
  4. Rich and Practical Job-Hunting Resources in the Tech Industry — Tech Club, Career Peers, Interview Preparation Group (IPG), Career Management Center (CMC)
  5. Embrace Teamwork! The Collaborative Culture of Kellogg!

Apart from the standard two-year MBA program, Kellogg offers two highly tech-oriented MBA courses: MMM and MBAi.

MBA + MS Design Innovation (MMM Program)

The MMM program is a dual degree course where students earn both an MBA and a Master’s in Design Innovation. This program integrates design thinking and hands-on courses, focusing on smaller class sizes to enhance student cohesion.

Kellogg & McCormick MBAi Program:

Established in 2020 through a collaboration between Kellogg’s business school and McCormick’s engineering school, the MBAi program is a dual-degree course focused on developing exceptional business leaders in AI and other tech fields. This 1.5-year program includes core business courses along with additional tech-related subjects such as Data Intensive Systems, Applied AI for Business, and Tech Product Management.

In the MMM and MBAi programs, a high proportion of students choose careers in tech, particularly as product managers. For example, nearly 40% of MMM’s 2022 graduates and a remarkable 55% of MBAi graduates became product managers, a higher proportion than any other M7 MBA school.

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Even for those choosing the standard 2-year MBA, the MMM and MBAi programs contribute to a more diverse student body and a more vibrant tech culture at Kellogg. The MBAi program attracts students with technical backgrounds, like data scientists and software engineers, thereby strengthening the school’s Tech Club and AI Club. Furthermore, the Innovation and Design Association (IDEA) benefits from the MMM resources, organizing the largest design thinking business competition in the US — the Kellogg Design Challenge (KDC).

For MBA students aspiring to build a career in major U.S. tech companies, Kellogg offers an excellent starting point. According to data published by Fortune in 2022, Kellogg has the highest number of graduates among all U.S. MBA programs entering FAANG companies (i.e., Meta, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google).

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While this data might not be comprehensive, for instance, not accounting for the size of each school or the number of students joining early-stage tech startups, it aligns with my experience at Kellogg. Many classmates are eager to find opportunities in large tech firms.

A LinkedIn search reveals an extensive Kellogg alumni network across major tech companies, especially in tech giants like Amazon and Microsoft headquartered in Seattle. From my personal experience, I could find alumni in all the major tech companies I was interested in and connect with them on LinkedIn for insights into company culture or internal referral opportunities.

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Kellogg’s alumni in the tech industry are not only numerous but also occupy many key positions. This includes CEOs of two of America’s top twenty tech companies: Sasan Goodarzi ’02 of Intuit and Bill McDermott of ServiceNow. In the field of marketing, notable alumni include the current CMO of the famous note-taking startup Notion, Rachel Hepworth ’02, and former CMO of Facebook, Gary Briggs ’89. Moreover, renowned entrepreneurs like Steve Hafner ’97, founder of the famous North American travel search engine KAYAK; Maximilian Bittner ’07, founder of Southeast Asian e-commerce Lazada; and Cristina Junqueira ’08, co-founder of Brazil’s largest digital bank Nubank, are all Kellogg graduates.

These alumni are often willing to return and share their experiences. For example, last quarter, KAYAK founder Steve Hafner came back to Kellogg for a talk with Dean Francesca Cornelli, sharing insights and thoughts on entrepreneurship in the tech industry.

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Kellogg has formed a close relationship with the heart of the tech industry — Silicon Valley and San Francisco. Every Thanksgiving break, the school organizes a Career Trek where students visit tech companies in San Francisco. This allows them to deeply understand the culture of various tech companies and offers the opportunity to network with alumni working in these companies.

In the heart of San Francisco, Northwestern University has a small campus. Each winter, Kellogg offers a one-quarter exchange program, the San Francisco Winter Immersion, tailored specifically for students aiming to develop careers in entrepreneurship, technology, or venture capital and wishing to work in the Bay Area after graduation. This program not only provides a semester-long internship at Bay Area venture capital firms or startups but also includes two practical courses: Launching and Leading Startups and Venture Investing. Besides internships and learning, the program arranges numerous networking events with local entrepreneurs and venture capital alumni.

With the rise of remote work and video conferencing technologies, many internship and job opportunities are no longer confined to the school’s location. For instance, Kellogg’s Venture Lab is an experiential learning course where students can intern at VCs or their invested startups. Many companies located in Silicon Valley or San Francisco partner with this course, allowing Kellogg students to undertake remote internships even while based in Chicago. In my first year, I interned as a Product Marketing Manager (PMM) at a Bay Area software tech startup, helping to develop go-to-market strategies. Next quarter, I plan to intern at a San Francisco-based VC focusing on seed funding, assisting in evaluating and investing in early-stage tech startups. These remote opportunities have allowed me to feel a strong connection with Silicon Valley, even while in Chicago.

Post-graduation, most graduates choosing the tech industry don’t tend to stay in Chicago or the Midwest but instead flock to tech hubs like Silicon Valley, Seattle, and New York. Therefore, Kellogg boasts a tight-knit and active alumni network in these major tech cities, with numerous alumni gatherings, ensuring a robust network in these locations.

No matter how impressive a school’s employment statistics are, their real value is limited if they can’t help you land your dream job. In this regard, I believe the Kellogg’s Tech Club and Career Management Center (CMC) offer practical assistance to students looking to transition into the tech industry, or roles like product managers and product marketing managers. I’d like to share a few resources that were incredibly helpful to me:

Kellogg Tech Club

The Kellogg Tech (Ktech) Club is the second-largest student club on campus, dedicating substantial resources annually to help students secure tech internships and full-time jobs. Ktech compiles and updates a tech job-hunting guide (Recruiting Playbook) every year, collects interview questions, and gathers internship experiences from alumni. They also organize events like Tech Industry Job-Hunting Bootcamps, Alumni Summer Internship Panels, and Mock Case Interviews, providing invaluable guides and time management advice for those new to seeking tech jobs in the U.S.

Among all the resources from Ktech, the Tech Interview Preparation Group (IPG) stands out as particularly valuable. Tech IPG is a mentorship program designed by Ktech specifically for first-year students, using materials developed by Ktech and engaging second-year students with tech industry internship experience as voluntary IPG mentors. These mentors organize weekly sessions to guide interested first-year students, starting from understanding the tech industry to resume writing, reference letter crafting, and interview preparation. Moreover, Tech IPG establishes a tight-knit learning community, enabling students with shared goals to support each other and prepare for interviews together.

Career Management Center (CMC)

Kellogg’s CMC maintains close partnerships with numerous tech companies in North America. This includes companies like Wayfair, Intuit, , Dell, and more, which regularly conduct on-campus recruitment at Kellogg, often reserving specific slots for Kellogg students. Additionally, CMC offers professional career coach services, allowing students to schedule unlimited consultations to plan their career paths, revise resumes, and conduct mock interviews.

Among all the CMC resources, the Career Peer Program was the most beneficial for me. This program consists of trained second-year students who have just completed their MBA summer internships. They provide specific preparation advice for various companies and job functions, helping you improve your resume and cover letter. They also share insights into different companies’ cultures, interview techniques, and strategies for preparing for interviews.

Beyond short-term job-hunting assistance, CMC also organizes ‘Industry Advisors’ through the alumni network, helping students explore long-term career development in their interested industries and job functions. Furthermore, through the ‘Kellogg Alumni Mentor Program,’ students can engage in in-depth discussions with alumni in the tech industry, exploring how to plan for their long-term career trajectory.

Apart from all the tangible resources mentioned earlier, what truly sets the Kellogg MBA apart is its strong culture of unity and collaboration. Whether it’s Ktech, IPG, Industry Advisors, or other groups, their success hinges on the selfless dedication of students and alumni.

Most Kellogg students have experienced the challenges and setbacks of job hunting, but have also been immensely helped by numerous alumni and senior students. This positive experience fosters a willingness among Kellogg students and alumni to give back to the community. I vividly remember in my first year, almost every senior student and alumnus I reached out to was willing to take time out for a coffee chat, answer my questions, help me revise my resume, and conduct mock interviews with me. Now as a second-year student, not only do I serve as a Tech IPG Leader, participating in countless coffee chats, sharing my internship and job hunting experiences, offering resume advice, and assisting with mock interviews for first-years, but I also wholeheartedly embrace and enjoy this culture of positive feedback and collective contribution. This spirit of unity and cooperation is a unique feature that not every MBA program possesses.

This culture of collaboration and mutual assistance may well be one of the reasons why Kellogg graduates are successful in large tech companies.

If you are longing for such a collaborative school culture, want to be part of a broad tech alumni network, and are keen on contributing and sharing, then I believe Kellogg would be an excellent MBA choice to kickstart your career in technology!

Why Kellogg MBA is Awesome for Tech (2024)
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