Tips for Completing the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management Application [2019 – 2020]

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Tips for Completing the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management Application [2019 – 2020]

The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management opened its 2019-2020 application last month, with its three essays being the same as in past years: two core essays (one of them optional) and its mission essay, divided into three questions. In addition to answering the Consortium’s essays, applicants need to write anywhere from one to six essays for each of the member schools they are interested in. I will focus on the Consortium essays in this post.

My tips are in italics.

The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management 2019-2020 application essays

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?

This is a standard goals essay. In 300 words or less, you need to state clearly what your short-term and long-term goals are, and how your experience to-date has shaped those goals. Additionally, you need to write about how you came to the decision of applying to an MBA program. It is intended for you to be specific and realistic, stating goals that are aligned with your career thus far and that an MBA will help you achieve.

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?

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 low GPA or GMAT, a sudden drop in your grades. If there is not anything in particular that you need to explain, you can use this essay to write about something not already shared on the required essays. For example, an experience from an extracurricular activity, a special or unique hobby, or something else that would help you stand out.

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 will you do while enrolled in your MBA program to demonstrate your commitment to the mission? (1,000 characters)
  2. 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)
  3. What have you done pre-MBA in your business, personal or academic life to demonstrate commitment to this mission? (2,000 characters)

As the Consortium clearly states, its mission is to enhance diversity and inclusion of underrepresented populations in business. Focus your essay in demonstrating your commitment to this mission whether you are part of these groups or not. It is important that you provide evidence of what you have done in the past that supports 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 worked for Teach for America and helped underrepresented students score higher on their tests or improve their grades. Or maybe you mentored inner-city kids and started a sport league in their neighborhood. Whatever that is, this is the right place to give details, sharing not only what you did, but also what you accomplished or the impact that your actions had on these groups.

Additionally, the mission essay asks for a future commitment. State what you plan to do to help these groups during and after your MBA, and how, your talent and experience can help them.

School-specific essays

You will be required to write at least one school-specific essay for each school to which you plan to apply. Schools only see their individual essays. To complete these essays, navigate to each school’s supplemental page within your core applications. Text boxes with specified word limitations will be provided for the membership essay and all school-specific essays.

Just as you would if you weren’t applying through the Consortium, make sure that you “study” the schools well before writing their essays. You will need to pay just as much attention to these essays as you would to the Consortium ones, since the schools – and not the Consortium –ultimately make the admissions decisions. A great advantage of applying through the Consortium is only paying one application fee for all the schools that you are applying to via CGSM as opposed to one fee per school. However, you still need to do your research about each school so that you can show fit in the school-specific essays.

<< Click here for school-specific MBA application essay tips >>

The benefits of applying through the Consortium are many. First, you have the possibility of a full-tuition scholarship for the two-year MBA program, a once-in-a-life time opportunity. Second, even if you do not get a full ride but are accepted to be a member of the Consortium, you become part of a valuable network, one that you will benefit for your entire career. If you have actively supported the mission of the Consortium of increasing diversity of underrepresented minorities in business, applying to business school through the Consortium is 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 can offer you my help to apply to the Consortium. We’ve helped hundreds of applicants get accepted to top MBA programs and secure millions of dollars in scholarship funding. We look forward to helping you too!

The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management (CGSM) 2019-2020 application deadlines

Early Application Deadline: October 15, 2019

Traditional Application Deadline: January 5, 2020

Admissions Decision: Varies by school

Fellowship Notification: March 2020

Get your guide!
admissions expert

Esmeralda Cardenal is a Former Associate Director of Admissions at Yale SOM, Director of MBA Admissions at MSU Broad, and consultant at Cardiff Business School in the UK. Since 2014, she has guided Accepted clients to acceptance in various graduate programs 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!

Related Resources:

• Why MBA?, a guide to writing the goals essay
• Applying for Your MBA Through The Consortium: Best Deal in Town
• Approaching the Diversity Essay Question

This article originally appeared on

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