Consortium 2014 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

The Consortium

Consortium Students at Tepper

The following essay questions provide us with an opportunity to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, experiences, and any other traits and abilities that are considered relevant to your educational goals and long-term career objectives. Please include your full name and essay number or subject on each page. Type your essays in a standard size 8 1/2″ x 11″ MS Word document. Please limit each essay to no more than two double -spaced pages.

Essays:

Core Essay 1. Please describe your short and long term goals post-MBA. How has your professional experience shaped these goals and influenced your decision to pursue an MBA degree?

This is a straightforward MBA goals question. Connect the dots between your past and your dreamed of future; show how the MBA is the bridge between the two. In discussing your professional experience, don’t regurgitate your resume. Highlight specific, influential, and impressive events or projects in your career to bring out both what you like and are good at.

Core Essay 2. Is there any other information you would like to share that is not presented elsewhere in the application? You may also use this essay to provide further explanation of employment gaps, test scores, etc. (Optional)

This is a question with a split personality. On one hand, it is open-ended. On the other, the Consortium says that this is the place to provide context for anything that might need explaining. Use it for that purpose. If you are one of the lucky ones who doesn’t need to “provide explanation,” then you can use this optional essay to provide a different perspective on your candidacy by revealing something new, something not present in the required MBA essays.

If you would like professional guidance with your Consortium MBA application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our  MBA Application Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the Consortium application. 

Consortium 2014 MBA Application Deadlines:

Early Application Deadline October 15, 2013
Traditional Application Deadline January 5, 2014
GMAT and/or GRE Early Deadline September 25, 2013
GMAT and/or GRE Traditional Deadline December 15, 2013
Admission Decision Varies








Linda Abraham By , president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

2013 Consortium MBA Admissions Committee Interview Available Online

Do you want to learn about what makes the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management such a special program? We learned all about program perks and benefits when we heard directly from current Consortium fellows. Here’s an excerpt from the recent 2013 Consortium MBA from the Perspective of the Fellows Q and A:

Question: What kind of support did you get from the Consortium, either the Consortium the organization or from other Consortium members?

Current Consortium FellowKhalif Oliver: It starts with orientation program before you go to school allowing you access to meet other people in the same situation as you, preparing to go to school so that builds your network. So that gives you opportunity to access people outside of just the Consortium program itself. Those people were very supportive throughout the entire process….So a lot of just small things like that, leveraging the network was very supportive….The other part of the orientation program was that you were able to access companies prior to anyone else. Companies were coming specifically to get the best and brightest students before any other companies got their hands on them. So you were able to not only interact in the job fair aspect, but any of you could get a leg up on pretty much everyone else in business school. So those things speak specifically to the Consortium for allowing you access to a company and also to how the rest of the network was leveraged throughout school and a lot of them became just friends that I keep in contact with to this day.

Consortium Fellow
Puja Kalra: …I feel like the Consortium network lives on post-business school. And in my current job, I have this vast network of people that have run into and am able to lean on at work. I have friends now that are Consortium graduates as well at work which is another amazing network that I can leverage that none of my colleagues can. So just another testament to how the network lives on, not only during school but post-school.

Consortium Fellow Brace Clement: Yes, one thing that I would also stress about the program is here at Wisconsin we prep people before the OP prep. So I think that that was really beneficial for me, just because it gave me a sense to know what I needed to know before I actually went to the orientation program when I was in there. And like my fellow Consortium members have just said, it is pretty competitive. I think Peter Aranda had mentioned at my OP that one-third of minority students that are in the MBA programs come out of the Consortium. It’s a who’s who in that kind of arena, and you want to be prepared and you also want to be able to put your best foot forward….So that’s the way to be prepared, so you’re prepared before the first day of class in September or August.

To learn more about the how the Consortium benefits its fellows and how the fellows benefit from the Consortium, read the full Q&A transcript or listen to the MP3 audio file and visit the Consortium B-School Zone. And don’t forget – the Consortium application deadline is in just a few days!

To automatically receive notices about these MBA admissions chats and other MBA admissions events, please subscribe to our MBA events list. To listen to the Q&A recordings on-the-go, please subscribe to the Accepted Admissions Podcast.


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Consortium MBA Admissions Committee Interview #2 Available Online

The Consortium

“…there’s definitely a great community just among all of us.”

Thank you to Consortium representatives for another outstanding Q&A! As always, the Consortium team and partnering school reps offered loads of insight into the Consortium admissions process and the ways in which the individual programs support the Consortium mission. See the below excerpt for more on this:

Linda Abraham: Elva asks, “What percentage of your students in each of your programs are Consortium students? How does your program help candidates live up to the mission of the Consortium?”

Allison Jesse: Okay, I’d like to start with the mission part because I think in terms of the Consortium’s mission, we have core values at our particular school, UNC Kenan-Flagler, and I’m sure many of my colleagues can also speak to something similar at their business school. Leadership, integrity, teamwork, excellence, all of these things mirror what the Consortium is all about….in terms of Consortium members, it’s about 7%.

Cindy Jennings Millette: Well, I certainly agree with what Allison said. The culture in business school, definitely being able to kind of give back in that leadership experience and team skills and all that, definitely melds really well with what the Consortium has. And we also have a culture at Berkeley, we have four defining principles, one being, “Beyond Yourself” and “Student Always,” and I think both of those really do mirror what the Consortium mission is. Right now, we have 20 students in each class that are Consortium members, and I do think that what’s really great is we see a lot of these people in different roles throughout the leadership on campus, including in our MBA association, so that’s someone who’s a Vice President of, Admissions, and Student Services, and all of that. And then also in the different clubs, the industry-focused clubs, you just see students being very involved, as we see a lot of our students being involved, and that kind of drive to give back you definitely see throughout the community.

Jon Fuller: So, our MBA class each year is about 500 students, give or take. And this year, we have about 45 Consortium students….So not quite 10%, 8 — 9%…So it’s a very healthy number, and it’s definitely a presence that’s well-known and well-regarded on campus, and very similar to what Cindy was saying. Instead of…”How does your program help candidates?” It’s really how do our students help candidates live up to the mission? Because they really hold one another accountable. We have a really strong and connected culture between MBA 1s and MBA 2s, which I won’t go so far as to say is unique to Ross, but it always surprises me as to just how well-enmeshed they are with one another.
And so the MBA 2s really take the role, in saying, “Hey, you know, we have this fine tradition here at Ross of not being passive individuals in our MBA experience, and taking on those leadership roles, and really stepping up to the opportunity.” And sort of demonstrate the mission by living it, and demonstrating it to others by their actions and the ways that they’re involved and the ways that they try to educate their classmates who come from, not just other U.S. backgrounds where they may have had more or less engagement, or opportunity to experience a diverse environment, but also with our international students where you really might have a monolithic culture, which is really kind of the antithesis of what you find here in the United States. So they’re not just engaged with the U.S. students, but also, it’s a great opportunity to demonstrate that activity or that perspective to our international students as well.

Rabia Ahmed: Sure, so I think one of the really nice things about the Consortium, in general, is that during OP, as Rebecca mentioned, the entire Consortium family gets to come together, and so you meet not only the students that are going to be in your class, but also in all of the other Consortium schools, and you spend the whole week together. And I think through that, and just being part of that, and knowing that all of these students are agreeing to meet the mission of the Consortium, as a requisite to become a member of the organization, there really is such a strong sense of community among that group and population, and I know a number of our students, the students at Stern always talk about how they met with Consortium students at other schools, and went on ski trips with them or vacations, or met them at case competitions. So as a student in any of the Consortium schools, there’s definitely a great community just among all of us. And that’s why we enjoy doing these chats together, and recruiting together on the road….But at Stern part of our core values really is the idea of a collaborative community, and then also this idea of IQ plus EQ that really enables students to hold each other accountable to what the mission of our school is as it relates to their own personal mission. And the clubs we have on campus, not only do they help build the community, but also bring in other members of the broader Stern community – the second-year students, alumni, undergraduate students – to work on a number of different projects, whether they’re service projects, giving back to the community, just broadening the mission of business education across New York City. There really is just a very strong culture of that within our program. And our alumni are a really big part of that, we have an association of Hispanic and Black business students, which most, if not all, Consortium students are very actively involved in. The alumni group also helps support the community while they’re prospective students, current students, and then when they join the broader alumni community. And the last question about the percentage of students, or the number of students on our campus that are part of the Consortium, for Stern, I believe this year, it was 12%.

For the full Q&A, please view the “Ask Consortium Adcom” MBA transcript or listen to the audio file. You can also learn more about the Consortium program by visiting our Consortium B-School Zone.

To automatically receive notices about these MBA admissions chats and other MBA admissions events, please subscribe to our MBA events list. To listen to the Q&A recordings on-the-go, please subscribe to the Accepted Admissions Podcast.

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The Consortium MBA from the Perspective of the Fellows Q&A

  • Rebecca DockeryGuest: Rebecca Dockery, Recruiting Manager, and current students and alumni
  • Date: Wed., Dec. 5, 2012
  • Time: 5:00 PM PT / 8:00 PM ET/ 12:00 AM GMT (the next day)
  • Register Now!

The Consortium MBA from the Perspective of the Fellows Q&A

The best way to learn about the ins and outs of a program is to hear first-hand experiences from people who’ve been there. That’s why we recommend that you attend our upcoming Q&A with current and past Consortium MBA fellows who will be able to answer your specific questions about the Consortium experience—from application tips, to program benefits, to life as a Consortium Fellow. Rebecca Dockery, Recruiting Manager at The Consortium, will also be available to answer your questions.The interactive Q&A will take place on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 5:00 PM PT / 8:00 PM ET/ 12:00 AM GMT (the next day). Looking forward to “seeing” you there!

Register now to reserve your spot for the Consortium Perspectives Q&A!

What time is that for me? Click on the link to find out the exact time for your location.

For more information, please e-mail your questions to webinar@accepted.com.
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Consortium 2013 MBA Application Questions, Deadlines, Tips

The ConsortiumThe 2014 Consortium tips are now available. Click here to check them out!

Applying to the Consortium will save you time when it comes to applying to individual MBA programs—but that’s not to say you’re not going to have to put in the time to get this application exactly right. The Consortium application essays require that you prove your leadership skills, your passion to enhancing diversity in the business world, and your drive for academic excellence.

There are two required essays for all candidates, one optional essay for any additional information, and required school specific essays for each school you have ranked on your application. When responding to essay questions, please provide specific examples of your involvement, actions and results.The essay questions are listed below:

1. Please describe your short and long term goals post-MBA. How has your professional experience shaped these goals and influenced your decision to pursue an MBA degree?

This is a straightforward MBA goals question. Connect the dots between your past and your dreamed of future; show how the MBA is the bridge between the two.

In discussing your professional experience, don’t regurgitate your resume. Highlight specific, influential, and impressive events or projects in your career to bring out both what you like and are good at.

2. Optional additional essay: Is there any other information you would like to share with us that is not presented elsewhere in your application?

You can use this optional essay to address a weakness in your profile or qualifications, but in my mind, this question is also open-ended enough to allow you to discuss a unique area of interest, an obstacle overcome, a distinctive aspect of your background, or an achievement that you haven’t discussed elsewhere. 

3. The mission of The Consortium is to enhance diversity in business education and leadership by helping the serious underrepresentation of African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Native Americans in both our member schools’ enrollments and the ranks of management.

a) What have you done pre-MBA in your business, academic or personal life to demonstrate commitment to this mission?

b) What will you do while enrolled in your MBA program to demonstrate your commitment to the mission?

c) What will you do post-MBA with respect to community service and leadership involvement to demonstrate your continued commitment to The Consortium’s mission of diversity and inclusion?

This is not a place for an ode to equality. The Consortium wants to see action and commitment to its mission, and the schools reviewing your application will also want your response to reflect your knowledge of their program. 

Start with A. When have you led a project, team, or community service event dedicated to improving the representation of under-represented minorities in business school and management? When you have taken any initiative that could possibly improve URM representation?

For B, what would you do at your target programs to enhance diversity. If you are applying to only one CGSM school, this should be relatively easy. You will just focus on that program. If you are applying to several Consortium schools, you will need to be more general.

Finally, for C, the questions doesn’t need much elaboration. It is clear. Just keep in mind that in the entire questions the  Consortium wants to say a pattern of commitment from the past that will credibly carry through to your days as a student and beyond.

Deadlines:

Application Deadline November 15 January 5

Applications and all supporting materials (résumé, essays, GMAT® and/or GRE, transcript, recommendations and fee) must be submitted no later than 11:59 PM (PST) on the deadline date.

While late applications will be accepted, this may significantly reduce your chances of being awarded a fellowship.

When responding to essay questions, please provide specific examples of your involvement, actions and results.

Linda Abraham By , president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.






Ask The Consortium & Member School Admissions Officers Q&A

  • Rebecca DockeryGuest: Rebecca Dockery, Recruiting Manager, and Consortium School Adcom Members
  • Date: Thurs., Nov. 8, 2012
  • Time: 5:00 PM PT/8:00 PM ET/12:00 AM GMT (the next day)
  • Register Now!

Ask The Consortium & Member School Admissions Officers Q&A

Applying to b-school using the Consortium’s application has many benefits, including convenience and membership perks. But with all of your focus on a single application, you’re going to have to make sure that you get it exactly right. Learn how to create an effective Consortium application strategy and hear more about membership advantages when you join Rebecca Dockery, Consortium Recruiting Manager, and school reps from participating Consortium b-schools in an interactive admissions Q&A on Thursday, November 8, 2012 at 5:00 PM PT / 8:00 PM ET / 12:00 AM GMT (the next day). If you are applying through the Consortium, then you won’t want to miss this chance to learn insider tips and advice on creating a compelling Consortium application, and in turn, enhancing the mission of creating diversity in the business world.

Register now to reserve your spot for the Ask The Consortium Q&A!

What time is that for me? Click on the link to find out the exact time for your location.

For more information, please e-mail your questions to webinar@accepted.com.

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Consortium MBA Admissions Committee Interview Available Online

The ConsortiumThank you to the Consortium MBA panelists (including reps from CMU Tepper, Rochester Simon, Cornell Johnson, and others) for an insightful Q&A. The following excerpt offers important tips into what NOT to do when completing your Consortium MBA application:

Linda Abraham: Kurt asked, “Could the member schools talk about a few common mistakes they see applicants make during the application process?”

Evan Bouffides: Well, there are certainly a lot of pitfalls and mistakes that could be made. As far as the most common ones, I would say, going back to a point I made earlier, we really, as business schools, want to know that you, the applicant, have given careful thought to the notion of going back to school, getting your graduate degree in business, that it’s the right moment in time, that you’ve really thought about what you would like your life and your career to look like afterwards. I think sometimes students don’t present with as much focus…and maybe the reason for that is they’re trying to second-guess what admissions officers want to hear. We really want you to craft a good argument for yourself that goes something like this, “Here’s who I’ve been so far in my life professionally, and maybe even personally speaking. This is where I want to go, and this is how the MBA is going to get me there.”

Monique Moreland:I think one of the biggest pitfalls is that people need to take this process as seriously as if they were applying for a job. This is a serious process. From the application to the interview to the interactions with the staff, it’s just as important as if you were looking for a job. As was mentioned before, we all talk with each other and so does our staff. If someone comes in and is rude to our receptionist or things like that, that doesn’t look very good for you as an applicant, a Consortium applicant or an applicant in general. So my best piece of advice, take this process very seriously. It’s just as important as it will be when you’re applying for a job.

Stefanie Bascom: Sure. I agree with everything my colleagues have said. I’ll take a pretty easy one: proofread, proofread, proofread. There’s several applications every year–we’ve all experienced it–where someone is taking an essay on why they want to attend a certain business school, and they have another university name in there. This is not the best thing that we want to see. We certainly want you to be excited about coming to our school. This is a chance for you to show how you’ve researched the school, who you may have spoken with at the school, any alumni or current students, if you attended an event. So we really do expect you to know as much as possible about our business school prior to the application, and so that can come through in the essay

Ann Richards: I have to second what Stefanie said about that carelessness because the way that we look at it is if you’re sloppy in your application to us, you’re going to be that way with employers as well, and that’s not how we want you to represent our program. So I really want to second Stefanie’s comments and everybody else’s. The unique piece of advice that I think I have is to really take this MBA application opportunity to think about what it is, why it is you’re going to business school. It’s not just to get a better salary. It’s not just to change a job. We have all created our applications in a manner so that it really forces good candidates to be introspective, to think about what drives them, what motivates them. Take advantage of this opportunity. This is probably the first time in your adult life that you’ve really had the luxury to think about, “What is it that I want to do? What am I good at? What skills do I need to develop?” And if you really think about that, if you use this as an opportunity to really think about what drives you and what you want to do, your application will be so much stronger.

For the full Q&A, please view the Consortium MBA transcript or listen to the audio file. You can also boost your Johnson IQ by visiting our Consortium B-School Zone.

To automatically receive notices about these MBA admissions chats and other MBA admissions events, please subscribe to our MBA events list. To listen to the Q&A recordings on-the-go, please subscribe to the Accepted Admissions Podcast.






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2013 Consortium MBA Q&A

  • Rebecca DockeryGuest: Rebecca Dockery, Recruiting Manager, and Consortium School Adcom Members
  • Date: Thurs., Oct. 18, 2012
  • Time: 5:00 PM PT/8:00 PM ET/12:00 AM GMT (the next day)
  • Register Now!

2013 Consortium MBA Q&A

Considering applying to business school through the Consortium? Join us for an interactive admissions Q&A on Thursday, October 18, 2012 at 5:00 PM PT / 8:00 PM ET/ 12:00 AM GMT (the next day), during which Rebecca Dockery, the Consortium’s Recruiting Manager, and participating Consortium b-school adcom reps will answer your questions on Consortium admissions policies, goals, and benefits. The Consortium prides itself on its mission of inclusivity and diversity in the business world, only accepting applicants who have demonstrated their dedication to this ideal. With constantly expanding benefits for its members, including fellowship and networking resources, the Consortium strives to ensure that under-represented groups are able to excel in leadership and management. If you are applying to the Consortium, then this is an outstanding opportunity to learn all about this unique program and the potential it holds to change your life, as well as the lives of the people around you.

Register now to reserve your spot for the 2013 Consortium MBA Admissions Q&A!

What time is that for me? Click on the link to find out the exact time for your location.

For more information, please e-mail your questions to webinar@accepted.com.

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CMU Tepper MBA Student Interview

Courtney Keene

Courtney Keene at Tepper's International Day celebration

Accepted.com is continuing a blog series featuring interviews with current MBA students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top MBA programs. We hope to offer you a candid picture of student life, and what you should consider as you prepare your MBA application.

Here’s a talk with Courtney Keene, a student at CMU’s Tepper and Heinz who will be working at Deloitte Consulting next year. Thank you Courtney for sharing your thoughts with us!

Accepted: First, can you tell us a little about yourself – where are you from? What and where did you study as an undergraduate and when did you graduate?

Courtney: I’m originally from Washington, D.C., but I can’t really claim it as my ‘hometown’ as I spent most of my childhood and teenage years overseas in West Africa and South East Asia due to my parents’ careers. If anywhere, I’d say my real hometown is Dakar, Senegal, where I’ve spent the most time in any single place and where my husband is from. Although I would go to D.C. and New York during summers to visit family and friends, moving to New York to attend Barnard College in 2003 was my first time actually living in the U.S. since the age of two. At Barnard, which is a small liberal arts college for women at Columbia University, I majored in Political Science and did a minor in Environmental Science. I graduated in 2007.

Accepted: Why did you decide to pursue a combined MBA/MPP? How will these degrees contribute to your career goals?

Courtney: I’m a bit of an atypical MBA candidate, although I think the path I’ve taken is becoming increasingly popular. Before coming back to school I worked in the non-profit world and focused on social innovation and international education. My overarching passion, in line with my upbringing, is the challenge of economic development in emerging markets. I decided to ‘switch sides’ so to speak to address this challenge from the private sector. I figured the best way to obtain the requisite analytical skills and experience would be to pursue an MBA while enriching my knowledge and policy skills with a Master in Public Policy and Management (MSPPM). The two programs complement each other very well and I expect the two perspectives to be useful, especially considering the growing prevalence of public and private sector collaboration in the overlapping fields of economic development and social innovation.

Accepted: Which other programs were you considering in addition to CMU? What tipped the scales to favor Tepper/Heinz?

Courtney: I applied to a short list of schools via the Consortium’s common application. My goal was to either find an MBA program that was very interdisciplinary with strong social entrepreneurship and international development programs and opportunities, or to find a university with a dual degree option with two highly ranked programs featuring these elements. Ultimately I decided on CMU’s Tepper and Heinz schools for several reasons: they are both highly ranked; Tepper has a small and quantitatively-rigorous program, which is what I was looking for; every interaction with admissions staff, students and alumni was positive; their financial aid support is outstanding; and culturally they were the best fit.

Accepted: What are some of your favorite things about living in Pittsburgh? Least favorite?

Courtney: Pittsburgh has a special energy and pride that has pleasantly surprised me since my arrival. It’s a town known for its great decline from the steel empire it once was, but it is in the process of remaking itself, which I’ve found fascinating to witness and be a part of. I’ve enjoyed learning about the economic development efforts here through my Heinz coursework as well as my volunteer internship with a local community development non-profit, GTECH. I’ve also really grown to enjoy the charm of Pittsburgh as an old post-industrial city, home of the Steelers, and a place where most people say hi on the street. Two things I won’t miss: the long waits for the bus and the unpredictable weather.

Accepted: What’s your favorite class so far?

Courtney: Last fall for my Tepper Capstone requirement I took a class called ‘Managing the Enterprises of the Future.’ The course consisted of a series of lectures by very distinguished C-Suite guest speakers and a real-life semester long consulting project with corporate clients. I had the opportunity to work with Walgreens on creating a spin-off non-profit web platform for helping corporate clients, like Walgreens, hire people with disabilities. It was an invaluable learning experience to have an actual client, a real project and an interdisciplinary team of eight to work with over a period of four months to deliver tangible results.

Accepted: Do you have a job lined up for next year? If so, what role did CMU play in helping you secure that position?

Courtney: Next fall I will start at Deloitte Consulting full-time in the Federal Practice in Washington, D.C. I had the great opportunity to intern there last summer, a position I got through CMU’s on-campus recruiting and networking. Both Tepper and Heinz were great resources in the internship search and preparation process.

Accepted: Do you have any advice for some of our applicants who will be applying to CMU’s MBA and/or MPP programs?

Courtney: I found that the application process for graduate school elicited a lot more authentic soul searching than what I remember from college application essays. This time I was sincerely asking myself ‘why do I want to do this?” and trying to answer as honestly as possible both to myself and to the schools to which I was applying. Looking back, I think this helped me a lot not only in terms of the quality of my applications, but also in the quality of my experience in both graduate programs. My words of advice: be flexible, but have some internal compass guiding your decisions.

Accepted: As someone who majored in Political Science and Environmental Studies, rather than something more “business-y” like Economics or Accounting, did you find it hard to adapt or keep up with the quant classes at first? And what about your GMAT — did you find the quant sections much more challenging than the verbal parts?

Courtney: One of the features that tipped the scales in favor of both Tepper and Heinz is their focus on quantitative analysis, a skill-set lacking from my political science liberal arts background. I found the verbal part of the GMAT pretty easy, but was intimidated by the quant section. So yes, the first semester of core classes at Tepper was pretty brutal, but it was a welcomed challenge that I sought out for myself. Fortunately, Tepper has a very supportive and collaborative culture and all of my more experienced peers were willing to help.

Accepted: What attracted you to the Consortium? How have you benefited from the program?

Courtney: I first heard about the Consortium from my aunt, who is a Consortium alumna. Once I knew about it, the value proposition was a no-brainer. It’s an organization with a mission to increase diversity in MBA programs and the business world in general, a mission that aligns well with my own values and goals. I’ve benefited from my affiliation with the Consortium in so many ways: I saved money applying to schools via the common application; I’ve saved a lot of money attending business school due to the Consortium’s financial support; I networked and interviewed with companies at the Consortium’s Orientation Program in June before even beginning my program; I bonded with a network of fellow Consortium students at school; I’ve taken advantage of the extensive alumni network; and I’ve gained on-campus leadership experience as a Tepper Consortium Liaison.

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For help with your Tepper and Consortium application, consider a Tepper School of Business Essay Package or a Consortium Essay Package.

For complete, soup-to-nuts guidance on the MBA admissions process, please purchase Linda Abraham’s new book, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools – now available in paperback and Kindle editions!




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Wisconsin School of Business MBA Student Interview

Jordan Williams

Wisconsin and Consortium student Jordan Williams

Here’s a talk with Jordan Williams, a student at the Wisconsin School of Business and a member of The Consortium with a passion for graffiti art, travel, and, of course, business education. Thank you Jordan for sharing your thoughts with us!

This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with current MBA students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top MBA programs. We hope to offer you a candid picture of student life, and what you should consider as you prepare your MBA application.

Accepted: First, can you tell us a little about yourself – where are you from? What and where did you study as an undergraduate and when did you graduate?

Jordan: I am originally from Chicago, but I’ve been living on the east coast for the better part of a decade. I graduated from Bates College in 2008 with a double major in African American Studies and Women and Gender Studies. I wrote my senior Honors Thesis on the roles race and gender played in Parisian graffiti communities. I’ve had some tremendous opportunities to travel and grow through my adventures overseas, but I am excited to be back in the Midwest and close to Chicago again.

Accepted: Why did you decide to attend the Wisconsin School of Business? Which other programs did you consider?

Jordan: I was a faculty member and website manager at the Middlesex School, and I had the privilege of relaunching their website after the school rebranded. The process introduced me to discipline, and the Tuck Business Bridge Program at Dartmouth solidified my passion for marketing. While attending the Tuck program I was introduced to an employee who was planning to matriculate to the Wisconsin School of Business. Laura mentioned that Wisconsin offered a brand specialization, which was appealing because I wanted my professional studies to be more focused than my liberal arts undergraduate studies.

I also applied to Kellogg and Cornell, but Wisconsin’s community and curriculum set it apart. The size of the program facilitates a “band of brothers” dynamic among students. Students genuinely supported one another and this atmosphere resonated with me. I was also impressed with how the curriculum balanced theoretical and applied business principles. The applied learning series brings in industry leaders every week to share their experiences and current business challenges. The network Wisconsin has was impressive, and it was clear that the supportive ethos existed at the alumni level as well.

Accepted: What are some of your favorite things about living in Madison? Least favorite?

Jordan: What’s not to love about Madison? I am such a fan of the city that I am working with the Visitor’s Bureau to develop a new integrated marketing campaign for the city so it can attract more leisure travelers. It is a project for my Brand Communications class.
I love the cheese curds, the micro brews, the bike trails, the UW sports culture, and the flavor of the city. Madison is an affordable city that has a menu of activities. It is a multi-dimensional city, and it has been a delight to explore it.

If it had San Diego’s climate, it would be the greatest city in the U.S. But as is, it is still top 25.

Accepted: What’s your favorite class so far?

Jordan: It is hard to pick favorites, but one class stands apart. The first is the applied learning series that we attend every Friday. Each week we are introduced to marketers from myriad industries, and they share business insights and challenges with us. For example, Nestle brand managers share how they write a creative brief for an agency, and Whitewave brand managers challenge us to think through the rise of private label milk, which is a real issue milk producers face. The applied learning series is an excellent example to take the theoretical lessons learned in Jan’s marketing classes and apply them to living business cases or incorporate the principles of operational management to a marketing case. The applied learning series is an opportunity to apply the frameworks we spend all week exploring.

Accepted: Do you have an internship lined up for next year? If so, what role did Wisconsin play in helping you secure that position?

Jordan: I will be a brand marketing intern at MillerCoors Brewing in Chicago, IL. I do not know which brand I will be working on, but I am very excited to work with such a great company.

Amanda Truppe and Erin Nickelsburg helped me to show my best self during interviews. They not only taught me interview fundamentals and tactics, but they also encouraged me to push harder. They inspired me, and motivated me to find the connections between my background in education and my passion for marketing. However, I would be remised not to mention the roles the Wisconsin alumni network played. A half dozen alumni donated their time so that I could practice interviewing in person and by phone. I look forward to giving back in the same way when I am an alumnus.

Accepted: Can you tell us about your graffiti art research and your related travels? Your LinkedIn profile indicates that you have a strong background in art — have you found a way to connect this passion with your MBA studies?

Jordan: In 2006 I received a Hoffman research grant from Bates College to complete Honors Thesis research on graffiti, gender, and race in Paris, France. Over the course of the next 2 years, I conducted various research projects on the same subject across Europe. Although I am no longer actively studying graffiti, I am still inspired by the medium and its culture. Graffiti is marketing. Writers think about placement and targeting when they decide to paint a piece on a  train, positioning when they choose their name or style, and packaging when they pick their colors. Graffiti and street art introduced me to design, and I have applied my design thinking and mind to many group projects during my MBA studies, particularly my Launching New Products class. Graffiti taught me to be unafraid of rapid prototyping and bold ideas, but most importantly, it instilled a rigorous work ethic. Graffiti writers don’t have coaches. They don’t have anyone telling them to paint, and yet Writers are relentless. I try to apply this ethos to my studies and my professional life.

Accepted: Do you have any advice for some of our applicants who will be applying to Wisconsin?

Jordan: Know yourself. Think deeply about what your brand is. Think deeply about the environments that make you thrive. Think deeply about your goals. I have found success at Wisconsin because the environment, ethos, curriculum, and people harmonize with who I am and my core values. Not every school is the same. Go out and touch and feel a school to understand if it is the right fit. Life can’t be googled. Life has to be lived.

Accepted: I see that you are a member of the Consortium. What attracted you to the Consortium program? Is the program living up to your expectations?

Jordan: When I attended a business school fair in Boston, I had the pleasure of speaking with an admissions counselor from Cornell. I shared my passion for social justice, and he gave me some promotional information. I might have never found the Consortium if it wasn’t for that conversation, and I am grateful I introduced myself and that we spoke. I pursued the Consortium application because I want to dedicate my career in business to more than increasing shareholder value. I have always wanted to give part of myself to something larger, and I believe this commitment is reflected in the Consortium’s mission. The Consortium introduced me to other students and business people who are diversity and inclusion stewards, activists, and advocates. The community empowers me to act, and it never lets me lose sight of my core values and aspirations.  The Consortium has surpassed my expectations, and I look forward to paying the gifts it has presented forward.

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