While we work toward empowering diversity and inclusion in our workplaces, the Consortium has worked across business school programs to grow the number of Black, Hispanic, and Native American business leaders over the past 50 years.
Having worked with a number of Consortium for Graduate Study in Management (CGSM) applicants, I have seen the benefits of attending the 18 top MBA programs included in the Consortium.
Here are some of the top reasons why you should apply through the Consortium:
1. 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 fellowship is only open to applicants who apply through the Consortium. Even if you are accepted by a member school, if you don’t apply through the Consortium application process, you will not be considered for the fellowship.
2. Streamlined application process
In all the stress of applying to business school—which includes taking the GMAT, re-taking the GMAT, writing essays, and getting recommendation letters—the streamlined application process for the Consortium takes 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 submitting mistakes.
3. Lower application costs
The Consortium application allows a tiered fee depending on the number of schools to which you are applying (up to six schools), significantly lowering the cost versus applying to the same schools individually. As you either know or will soon discover, applying to business school can be an investment, so you will appreciate any savings that you can find.
4. Access to the Consortium network
The benefit of attending a Consortium program is not only the bond you build with other Consortium members at your school, but also the bonds and friendships that you will develop across schools. This cross-school connection can expand the growth and network you build during business school. Whether you are a student or an alum, the benefits of having an additional network can be invaluable; it is an advantage that adds value forever.
5. Additional professional development
Business schools are very, very competitive! When it comes to recruiting for top internships, you have to be prepared pretty early on in your MBA journey. Although you have access to the career center at your school, a great benefit of being in the Consortium is that you will have a ton of additional access to professional development opportunities, second-year Consortium students, and OP (I’ll talk more about that next). 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 go after those top internship opportunities.
Finally, one of the best advantages of applying through the Consortium has to be 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 is scheduled to take place in New Orleans in 2021, is filled with outstanding speakers, alumni panels focused on a variety of career paths, and fun networking events. Although the state of the pandemic will impact whether the program takes place in person or virtually, it is an amazing opportunity to meet other students, alumni, and corporate representatives. The event generally ends with a huge career fair at which you can either begin cultivating strong connections for your dream job or even land a great internship offer before you start your MBA.
Building relationships is the key to any business school experience. Through the Consortium, you can expand your network across that of your program as well as Consortium alumni around the world.