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The Consortium Application: Tips for Your CGSM Essays [2022 – 2023]

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Are you committed to increasing diversity and inclusion of underrepresented populations in education and business? If so, applying to MBA programs through The Consortium of Graduate Study in Management might be for you. Besides the opportunity to receive a full-tuition scholarship to one of the top MBA programs, Consortium fellows get to enjoy the benefits of a strong network with other Consortium students and alumni from not one but 22 top MBA programs. Other benefits include having to pay one application fee and submitting all applications in one convenient deadline, reducing considerably the cost and anxiety that comes with applying to business school. While you have to write a few more essays, CGSM’s essay questions are short and straightforward. I will focus on The Consortium essays in this post.

The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management 2022-2023 application essays

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 experience to date has shaped those goals. While 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 those goals. You need to be specific and realistic, stating goals that are aligned with your career thus far and that an MBA will help you achieve.

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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 low GPA or GMAT, a sudden drop in your grades. In fact, the Consortium asks 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 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 hobby, or a unique story that would help you stand out. Given the tight word limit in all the essays, this is a great opportunity for you to share a part of you that they 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 right place to give details, sharing not only what you did, but also what motivated you to get involved. It is also important that you share the impact that your actions had on these groups.

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 demonstrating your commitment to this mission by providing specific examples of how you plan to advance that mission during your MBA experience. Examine what your target schools already do to enhance diversity, and share how you plan to contribute to their existent initiatives or add new ones. Rather than writing a laundry list of activities or clubs, think about your talents and experience thus far and how that can be placed at the service of the school, particularly in their 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 that its members are not only committed to diversity and inclusion during their MBA program, but that they also have a vision for the future. How will you contribute to increasing the numbers 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 a list of activities or organizations, it’s important that you write about how you envision supporting these groups, both professionally and personally.

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

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-lifetime 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 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 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 to apply to The Consortium. I have helped many applicants apply and get successfully admitted to The Consortium and its member schools. It will be my pleasure to help you do the same.

The Consortium MBA 2022 – 2023 application deadlines

Early Application DeadlineOctober 15, 2022
Traditional Application DeadlineJanuary 5, 2023
Admissions Decision and Fellowship NotificationVaries by school

Source: The Consortium website

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***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***

Esmeralda Cardenal Admissions Expert

Former Associate Director of Admissions at Yale SOM, Director of MBA Admissions at MSU Broad, and consultant at Cardiff Business School in the UK, Esmeralda Cardenal has guided Accepted clients to acceptance in various graduate programs since 2014, including MBA and masters in finance, business analytics, data science, sustainability, and public policy. Want Esmeralda to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!

Check out our School-Specific MBA Application Essay Tips

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This article originally appeared on blog.accepted.com