Are you committed to increasing diversity and the inclusion of underrepresented populations in education and business? If so, applying to MBA programs through The Consortium of Graduate Study in Management (CGSM) might be for you. In addition to having the opportunity to receive a full-tuition scholarship to a top MBA program, Consortium fellows enjoy the benefits of a strong network with other Consortium students and alumni from 23 leading MBA programs. Other benefits include having to pay only one application fee and submitting all applications by one convenient deadline, reducing considerably the cost and anxiety that comes with applying to business school. Although you have to write a few more essays, The CGSM’s essay questions are short and straightforward. I focus on these essay prompts in this post.
Ready to get to work on your application for The Consortium? Read on.
The Consortium application essay tips
The Consortium 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? (2,000 characters)
This is a standard goals essay. In 2,000 characters max, or roughly 400 words, you need to state clearly what your short-term and long-term goals are and how your career to date has influenced those goals. Although you can briefly discuss how you got here, it’s important that you avoid going into excessive detail about your past experience and instead focus on your post-MBA plans. Additionally, you need to write about why you think an MBA is the right degree for you, given your goals. You must be specific and realistic, stating goals that are aligned with your career thus far and that an MBA will help you achieve.
The Consortium core essay #2 (optional)
Is there any other information you would like to share with us that is not presented elsewhere in your application? (1,000 characters)
Although this is an optional essay, I always recommend answering it. You can use this essay to share anything that you believe needs to be explained: a gap in your work experience, a , a sudden drop in your grades. In fact, The Consortium notes that if you answered “yes” to any of the questions in the Personal Certification/Signature section, you must provide an explanation, and this is the perfect place to do so. If there is nothing in particular that you need to explain, you can use this essay to write about something you think is important and have not already shared in the required essays, such as an experience from an extracurricular activity, a special hobby, or a unique story that would help you stand out. Given the tight word limit for all the essays, this is a great opportunity for you to share a part of you that the admissions committees would not otherwise see.
The Consortium mission essay
Our mission, through the strength of our growing alliance and extended network, is to enhance diversity and inclusion in global business education and leadership by striving to reduce the significant underrepresentation of African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Native Americans in both our Member Schools’ enrollments and the ranks of global management across the following sectors: for-profit corporations, nonprofit corporations, government agencies and contractors, and entrepreneurial ventures in both for-profit and nonprofit environments.
*Please address the three questions noted below. Please use specific examples pertaining to our target populations and clearly articulate your involvement, actions and results.
1. What have you done pre-MBA in your business, personal or academic life to demonstrate commitment to this mission? (2,000 characters)
The most important of the three questions, this is your chance to show evidence that what you have done in the past aligns well with the Consortium’s mission.
Maybe you were part of the diversity group at your company and spearheaded an initiative that increased the number of underrepresented minorities in your firm. Or maybe you mentored inner-city kids and helped them improve their grades. Whatever that activity was, this is the place to offer details on it, sharing not only what you did but also what motivated you to get involved. It is also important that you explain the impact your actions had on the group(s) involved.
2. What will you do while enrolled in your MBA program to demonstrate your commitment to the mission? (2,000 characters)
As The Consortium clearly states, its mission is to enhance the diversity and inclusion of underrepresented populations in business. Focus your essay on showing your devotion to this goal by providing specific examples of how you plan to advance it during your MBA experience. Examine what your target schools already do to enhance diversity, and share how you anticipate contributing to existent initiatives or introducing new ones. Rather than writing a laundry list of activities or clubs, think about your talents and experience thus far and how these can be placed at the service of the school, particularly in its diversity efforts.
3. What will you do post-MBA with respect to community service and leadership involvement to demonstrate your continued commitment to The Consortium’s missions of diversity and inclusion? (1,000 characters)
The Consortium would like to see not only that its members are committed to diversity and inclusion during the MBA program, but also that they have a vision for the future. How will you contribute to increasing the number of underrepresented minorities in business education? What are some of the initiatives you envision that you believe would have the greatest impact? Once again, more than simply offering a list of activities or organizations, it’s important that you write about how you expect to support these groups, both professionally and personally.
You will be required to write at least one school-specific essay for each school to which you plan to apply. Programs see only their individual essays, not any that you write for other schools. To complete these essays, navigate to each program’s supplemental page within your core application. Text boxes with specified word limits will be provided for the membership essay and all school-specific essays.
Make sure that you “study” each of your target schools well before writing their essays, just as you would if you weren’t applying through The Consortium. You need to pay just as much attention to these essays as you will to The Consortium ones, because the individual schools – not The Consortium – ultimately make the admissions decisions. You will need to do your research on each program so you can demonstrate fit in your school-specific essays.
Every MBA applicant should consider applying through The Consortium. First, as we noted earlier, you are eligible for a full-tuition scholarship for a two-year MBA program, which is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Second, even if you are not awarded a full ride, if you are accepted to be a member of The Consortium, you become part of a valuable network, one that will benefit you throughout your career. If you have actively worked to increase diversity of underrepresented minorities in business, applying to business school through The Consortium is likely the right step for you.
As a former associate director of minority affairs at the Yale School of Management, with ample experience recruiting and ultimately increasing diversity in business schools, I am happy to offer you my help in applying to The Consortium. I have assisted many candidates with their applications, and they were successfully admitted to The Consortium and its member schools. It will be my pleasure to help you do the same.
The Consortium application deadlines
|Early Application Deadline
|October 15, 2023
|Traditional Application Deadline
|January 5, 2024
|Admissions Decision and Fellowship Notification
|Varies by school
Source: The Consortium website
Former associate director of admissions at the Yale School of Management, director of MBA admissions at MSU Broad, and consultant at Cardiff Business School in the United Kingdom, Esmeralda Cardenal has guided Accepted clients to acceptance in various graduate programs since 2014, including MBA and master’s in finance, business analytics, data science, sustainability, and public policy. Want Esmeralda to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!