In recent years, business schools have increased their commitment to improving diversity, equity, and inclusion across their programs. While we all work toward empowering diversity and inclusion in our workplaces, The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management partners with business school programs to help grow the number of African American, Hispanic, and Native American business leaders. Consortium applicants must be able to demonstrate a commitment to promoting the inclusion of members of these groups in boardrooms and empowering their communities.
Having worked with many Consortium applicants, I have seen the benefits students gain by attending the 22 top MBA programs (soon to be 23, with Northwestern Kellogg joining in 2023) in The Consortium.
Here are seven reasons why you should apply through The Consortium:
1. Streamlined Application Process
Amid the hectic business school application process—which includes taking (and retaking!) the GMAT or GRE, writing essays, and getting recommendation letters—The Consortium’s streamlined approach can take away a bit of the stress. Although the application requirements for those who apply through The Consortium are exactly the same as for those who apply directly to schools, the ability to press “Submit” once versus multiple times can minimize the chances of making mistakes—not to mention the time saved by only filling out one application!
2. Lower Application Costs
The Consortium application includes a tiered fee depending on the number of schools to which you apply, which significantly lowers the cost versus applying to the same schools individually. There is one fee for applying to up to six schools, and the cost is $25 for each additional school after that. As you either already know or will soon discover, applying to business school can be an investment, so you will appreciate any savings that you can find.
3. Opportunity for a Merit-Based Fellowship
Are you interested in free tuition to a top business school program? The opportunity to be awarded a full-tuition Consortium fellowship is only available to applicants who apply through The Consortium. Even if you are accepted by a member school, you will not be considered for the fellowship unless you apply through The Consortium.
4. The OP!
One of the best advantages of applying through The Consortium has to be the “OP”—otherwise known as the Orientation Program. Hosted by a different member company in a different city every year, this is your first opportunity to meet your Consortium family. The five-day event, which typically takes place in June, is filled with outstanding speakers, alumni panels focused on a variety of career paths, workshops, social activities, and fun networking events. In addition, Consortium students receive career development advice from member institutions and corporate partners. The OP generally ends with a huge career fair, at which you can begin cultivating strong connections for your dream job or even land a great internship offer before you even begin your MBA program.
Although the OP is the start of networking and Consortium-specific recruiting opportunities, these opportunities are also available throughout the year. A recent Consortium fellow shared with Stratus that she received her first internship offer at the OP and then received another through Consortium recruiting events in the fall. So, two internship offers before the end of the first semester—not bad!
6. Additional Professional Development
Business schools are very, very competitive! When it comes to recruiting for top internships, you must be prepared pretty early in your MBA journey. Although you have access to your school’s career center, a great benefit of being a Consortium member is having a ton of additional access to professional development opportunities, second-year Consortium students, and the OP. Starting in the summer before your first year of school, The Consortium will help you polish your resume and perfect your 30-second elevator pitch. This plays a huge role in building your confidence to pursue those top internship opportunities.
7. Access to the Consortium Network
Building relationships is the key to any business school experience. Another benefit of attending a Consortium program is the bond you build with other Consortium members at both your own school and other schools around the world. This cross-school connection can expand the network you build during business school. For instance, Consortium Special Interest Groups (SIGs) connect students and graduates by function, while corporate partners provide company information and updates. Whether you are a Consortium student or graduate, the benefits of having an additional network can be invaluable throughout your career!
Would you like our advice on applying to business school through The Consortium? Sign up for a free consultation!