Just twenty minutes drive from downtown Chicago lies the cute student town of Evanston proudly featuring Northwestern University with one of the best management schools in the world! We arrived on the same weekend as the freshmen college students and the entire city was wearing purple to celebrate – every shop was filled with excited new students and locals welcoming us to the Northwestern experience.
This was five weeks ago, which we have spent thoroughly exploring Chicago during day (the Art Institute & shopping around the Magnificent Mile) as well as night (Logan square and Old Town are definitely worth the drive!). We also spend our time at the Global Hub Kellogg’s ridiculously modern and amazing home in Evanston or it’s Chicago campus, experiencing the very different business school teaching style. Here all courses are combined seminars and lectures, which means there is a constant fast paced discussion among students and the professors.
The professors have high expectations (preparation, participation and no use of technological devices) but the teaching experience is very much worth it! You take something away from every class, discussing current issues and cases. The reading, especially after the first year at LSE, will seem light but it is essential as the readings are actually used in the discussions. The professors pointed out early in the semester that they are here to educate and entertain, making even evening classes go by easy with humour and dedication. The students are a mix of first and second year MBAs of the, part-time students and exchange students. This really gives you a chance to work together with people from all industries, age groups, backgrounds and nationalities. Many of the courses feature group projects and you’ll be positively surprised by the efficient and motivated collaboration you’ll experience.
Besides the academics, Kellogg has been a fantastic experience because of the people and the atmosphere. In contrast to many other business schools Kellogg prides itself with having an active social community. The school promotes and funds it with many events taking place at the Global hub as well as retreats and events of the social clubs taking place all over the US throughout the year.
The best decision I have made so far is to just jump right into joining a club and going away for a retreat – this way you meet students from all MBA years and degree options. They are all extremely friendly and excited to share their tips for the semester with you. Apps like Slack and CampusGroups are your best friend to keep up to date and worthwhile downloading the second you arrive!
Another experience not to miss out on is the sport-mania in the US. American football on professional and college level is an amazing experience especially if you get the chance to tailgate before the Northwestern Wildcats match with all the MBAs and other exchange students! The Wildcats are definitely not having a good season but that is not important if you’re just enjoying the whole atmosphere of 43,000 fans cheering.
We also went to see the professional teams in Chicago which is an unique experience in itself, different from any sporting event in Europe and absolutely worth the money. You should also be on the lookout for concerts in the city as all major bands and artists stop by on their tours and the tickets are less than half of what you’d pay in London!
Kellogg’s biggest advantage is that you can have the best of both worlds with fun small town student life AND the big city just a short drive away! You’ll always find someone to hang out with and some social event to join at university, organised by student housing. Overall Kellogg is the best choice and don’t let anyone tell you any different 😉
-Barbara Dirrheimer, GMiM 2020