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‘Each One, Teach One’: Retiring Emerson Exec Teesha Hernandez on What   [#permalink]

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New post 31 Oct 2019, 10:01
FROM The Consortium Admissions Blog: ‘Each One, Teach One’: Retiring Emerson Exec Teesha Hernandez on What Drives Her Desire to Pay it Forward
If Teesha Hernandez has learned nothing else in her 25-plus years in corporate America, it is the importance of getting a solid start for achieving professional success. For this Consortium alumna of the University of Wisconsin School of Business and director of organization development at Emerson, The Consortium provided this springboard.

“I’m one of the few people I know who came out of school debt-free, which was a tremendous help in giving [me] the ability to start saving early,” says Hernandez. However, she credits more than the financial component of a fellowship with The Consortium with helping her get where she is today. It’s about the support and life-long relationships you gain, Hernandez notes.

“It gives you a home base, if you will, a place you can always go home to,” she says. “I think that you do build a little family, so to speak, with the universities, with The Consortium and with your class.”

As the beneficiary of such gifts, Hernandez has been intentional about both supporting The Consortium and its mission and giving back to the organization to ensure that future generations also benefit; she is currently a Corporate Advisory Board member for the organization. Even though she’ll be retiring from Emerson at the end of this year to spend time with her family and travel, she says she will always be there for the organization that has always been there for her.

“It’s been important for me, personally, to stay involved because they helped me get where I am today by allowing me to go to school, by giving me the education, by giving me contacts, networks and a support system that’s been there for me over the last 25 years,” says Hernandez, who also credits The Consortium with her ability to retire early.

“I want to enjoy this time rather than waiting till I’m 65,” Hernandez says, “and I’m blessed financially that I can.”

Reciprocity at Work

Far from where she ended up, Hernandez began her career majoring in managerial accounting and quantitative analysis. After working for five or six years for insurance company ISO in New York City, she decided to go back to school to get her MBA. In researching ways to finance her education, she stumbled upon The Consortium. 

“I had no intention of leaving New York, but I ran across The Consortium, applied for it and was fortunate to get the fellowship. I packed my bags and my little uHaul and moved to Wisconsin — the coldest place on earth,” says Hernandez. “It was one of the few schools in the country at that time … that had a risk-management insurance MBA focus, and that’s what I wanted specifically.”

A risk analyst position she accepted with Marsh & McLennan following the completion of her MBA led her to St. Louis, Mo. “I went on to become a manager, to running the department and then became a broker, followed by a system vice president,” says Hernandez. Attempts by Emerson to recruit her during this time eventually paid off when she joined them as manager of corporate insurance. Within only three years, she had moved up into her current position, leading organization development.

“I am actively engaged with trying to support talent within the organization to help identify individuals [on] campuses — MBA programs — for leadership roles as well as supporting people internally in any way I can; [this] is everything from mentoring, to coaching to giving guidance or referrals and the whole 9 yards,” says Hernandez. “Succession planning is a big part of the role as well, and the greatest value I add is 25 years of knowledge of the people I’ve brought in over that time.”

Her role has aligned with her desire to support The Consortium as she has been able to encourage Emerson to become a corporate partner and work to attract Consortium graduates. Although the company hasn’t hired as many alumni as she would have liked — which she says is not for a lack of trying, but the fact that “Consortium students have a multitude of opportunities available [to them]” — she thinks hiring shouldn’t be the company’s primary focus.

“I think it’s more about supporting the mission of The Consortium than actually getting the talent for the pipeline, and making sure that by supporting The Consortium, we — Emerson as a company — help the organization be successful and help those students be successful out in the world,” says Hernandez.

Sharing Wisdom

For companies thinking about becoming a partner, Hernandez urges them to first consider their intentions and objectives. “They need to ask themselves why they want to do it and what is it that they’re looking to do,” she says. “Know how you’re going in so that you do it in the right way and so that The Consortium can help you.”

When it comes to prospective students, Hernandez encourages them to consider the long-term benefits they will gain from becoming part of The Consortium family. “If you can get the fellowship, you definitely shouldn’t pass up free money,” she says. “You shouldn’t pass up the future benefits that are going to come with the relationships, with the networking, with the opportunities from the companies that are going to approach you and the bond that you’re going to have with your class.”

For all of this and more, Hernandez has become an outspoken advocate for The Consortium, touting not only its benefits but also the importance of alumni showing their appreciation.

“It’s about ‘each one teach one.’ It’s about paying it forward. It’s about making a difference,” she says. “If you have been blessed, you owe it to yourself to help someone else and pull them along and pay it forward.”

The post ‘Each One, Teach One’: Retiring Emerson Exec Teesha Hernandez on What Drives Her Desire to Pay it Forward appeared first on The Consortium.
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Courageous Leaders to Diversity Champions, 2019 Consortium Award Recip  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Nov 2019, 12:01
FROM The Consortium Admissions Blog: Courageous Leaders to Diversity Champions, 2019 Consortium Award Recipients Strive to Advance Equal Opportunity
Every year, The Consortium recognizes individuals and organizations that embody The Consortium’s mission, with several awards. In 2019, the organization honored eight individuals and one company for their work to advance its vision for the future.

The following honorees have set themselves apart by demonstrating courageous leadership, championing corporate diversity, giving back to their communities and advancing the goal of equal opportunity in management.

Kellee Scott

The Sterling H. Schoen Achievement Award

Established in honor of The Consortium’s founder, Dr. Sterling H. Schoen, this award recognizes individuals for their courageous leadership and commitment to advancing the goal of equal opportunity for underrepresented minorities in American business. In 2019, The Consortium bestowed this award on Kellee Scott, an alumna of the University of Southern California (USC) Marshall School of Business.

Since graduating in 1997, Scott has remained involved with The Consortium in both direct and indirect ways, advocating for the organization among her colleagues during her post-MBA consulting career — ultimately prompting some to apply. In her current role as senior associate director of MBA admissions at USC Marshall, she presents business education as an option to USC undergraduates and consistently emphasizes to school leadership the importance of maximizing underrepresented student enrollment in the MBA program. “I am a firm believer in growing the pipeline,” Scott says.

She makes an effort to support The Consortium financially as well, challenging herself to increase the amount she gives every year, with the goal of one day becoming an Eagle Club member.

Lance LaVergne

The Wallace L. Jones Lifetime Achievement Award

Named for the man who contributed many years of service to The Consortium and touched the lives of thousands of students, the Wallace L. Jones Lifetime Achievement Award honors an alumnus who, among other things, has demonstrated a commitment to community involvement, mentoring, giving back and inspiring future leaders. Lance LaVergne, a 1991 alumnus of New York University (NYU) Stern School of Business, was recognized as the 2019 recipient of this award.

Now senior vice president of talent acquisition strategy and targeted programs at Wells Fargo, LaVergne says supporting the mission of The Consortium, as well as its students and alumni, has long been a part of both his personal and professional life. Initially giving back of his time by volunteering at alumni events on NYU Stern’s campus, he has since served on The Consortium’s Corporate Advisory Board and has used his influence to encourage his employers to also support the organization. “I very much appreciate the opportunity The Consortium represented for me, so I [have been] committed to helping other MBA students through the process the way prior Consortium alumni did for me,” says LaVergne.

Courtney Schroeder and Jolawn Victor

Phyllis Scott Buford Young Visionary Award

The Consortium’s third leader, Dr. Phyllis Scott Buford, is known for modernizing the organization’s annual Orientation Program (OP), expanding collaboration with corporate partners and exposing diverse young leaders to more opportunities through OP. This award recognizes young alumni who are leaders in action — who demonstrate vision, collaboration and creativity in driving diversity and inclusion in their professional lives. The 2019 honorees are Courtney Schroeder and Jolawn Victor.

Schroeder, a 2013 alumnus of the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, serves as diversity and inclusion manager at General Mills, where he leads diversity recruiting efforts. In addition to serving as a guest lecturer at Ross, writing recommendations for current Consortium students and donating to support The Consortium scholarship pool at Ross, he helps advance the organization’s mission through his career.

“I drive the Consortium’s mission in my professional life through recruiting and mentorship and by helping to create a culture of belonging at General Mills,” says Schroeder. “By empowering our Employee Networks, creating opportunities for empathy and exhibiting the behaviors of an inclusive leader, my day-to-day job entails creating a workplace where we can attract, retain and advance diverse talent.”

A 2009 graduate of NYU Stern School of Business, Victor is currently head of emerging markets at Intuit and remains actively involved at her alma mater. “She encompasses Stern’s IQ + EQ value as a results-driven, passionate leader who inspires the people around her,” says Erica Hartsfield, associate director of MBA admissions and diversity recruiting at Stern. “Jolawn continues to be a voice for diversity in the tech industry.”

CVS Health

Consortium Corporate Pacesetter Award 

Established in June 2017, the Corporate Pacesetter Award recognizes a Consortium corporate partner that demonstrates dedication to the organization’s mission through extraordinary collaboration with Consortium constituents. Through communication, innovation and focus, the recipient of the Pacesetter award sets the standard for effective leadership in promoting diversity in corporate leadership. In 2019, The Consortium recognized CVS Health with this award.

As part of its Enterprise Diversity Strategy, CVS Health established Diversity Leadership Teams that implement action plans in accordance with the company’s Strategic Diversity Management objectives; these include workplace representation, inclusion and belonging, talent systems and diverse marketplace. This effort is overseen by the Diversity Management Leadership Committee, which reports directly to the CEO. To ensure support for diverse affinities and cultures while driving growth and innovation, CVS Health also created 15 Colleague Resource Groups that educate, equip and empower colleagues to effectively navigate differences and similarities.

“Addressing the country’s most pressing healthcare challenges requires the very best our company has to offer,” says Andréa Juliano, program manager of corporate university relations at CVS Health. “Leveraging the diverse talents of our colleagues is critical to meeting the unique needs of our customers and communities and delivering on our purpose of helping people on their path to better health. [This award] is a testament to our partnership with The Consortium and reflects our organization’s commitment to recruiting top diverse MBA talent.”

James Fripp

The Peter C. Thorp Corporate Leadership Award

In honor of The Consortium’s longest-serving Corporate Advisory Board chairman and board member, the Peter C. Thorp Corporate Leadership Award was established in 2001. Thorp was a staunch supporter and long-time champion for the organization as it has worked to fulfill its mission to provide the best education possible to underrepresented minorities pursuing an MBA. In 2019, The Consortium recognized James Fripp with this award.

Recipients must demonstrate generous financial support of MBA fellowships, leadership as a corporate champion of ethnic diversity, support of innovative approaches to solving problems related to equal employment opportunity and a recognition by their peers as a leader and champion of diversity. Individuals must also show evidence of leadership and achievement in their industry, long-term corporate partnership with The Consortium, the largest number of Consortium hires, respect for diversity and the active pursuit of educational growth to advance diversity

Wiley Price

Circle & Flame Honorary Fellow Award

The Circle & Flame Honorary Fellow Award recognizes an individual — living or deceased — who through his or her work, actions and personal principles has exemplified a commitment to the mission of The Consortium, regardless of whether they have any formal connection to the organization. In 2019, The Consortium recognized St. Louis American photojournalist Wiley Price with the award. As the long-time resident photographer for The Consortium’s OP, he has demonstrated extraordinary support, mentorship, friendship and dedication to the cause of increasing diversity in corporate leadership.

Price was recently inducted into the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame for his significant contributions to St. Louis media — specifically, photojournalism. For more than 30 years, his work has been seen in the St. Louis American and The Suburban Journals. He is known for capturing the riveting stories of St. Louis, including the unrest that occurred in Ferguson, Mo., following the death of Michael Brown. Price is also a member of the Missouri Photojournalism Hall of Fame and a well-respected member of the St. Louis community

“As a photojournalist, it’s an extremely big deal to receive an award from an educational institution. For me, it means I’ve documented education in action,” says Price. “It’s been even more meaningful to have been around long enough to see things evolve. I think about the students I photographed when I began my journey with The Consortium several years ago — they have now gone on to do great work and are now serving as mentors to others. I love The Consortium and what it stands for. The founder, Sterling Schoen, was truly a visionary.”

Erika H. James

Earl Hill Award

Established in May 2019 in honor of past Consortium board member and faculty member at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, the Earl Hill Jr. Faculty Achievement and Diversity Leadership Award recognizes outstanding academic and professional leadership on campus and to the community beyond the boundaries of the university. In the award’s inaugural year, The Consortium recognized Erika H. James, the John H. Harland Dean at Goizueta.

An award-winning educator, accomplished consultant and published researcher, James was the first African American woman to be appointed dean of a top-25 business school — a position she has held since 2014. “It’s a great honor to receive the very first Earl Hill Jr. Faculty Achievement Award,” she says. “Earl was a crucial member of the Goizueta community and an inspiration to many, including me. Valuing diversity and ensuring inclusion are crucial to the work we do here at the Goizueta Business School and ideals that we live every day.”

An advocate for and a believer in the value that diversity brings, James has demonstrated a commitment to The Consortium’s mission, fostering an inclusive environment both on and off campus.

“History has proven that the best decisions are arrived at through a diversity of opinions, ideas and experiences. Through this diversity, we arrive at the right solutions,” she says. “That’s why I have worked to increase the number of underrepresented minority and women tenure-track faculty, conducted workshops on unconscious bias and committed myself and our faculty to continually eliciting and embracing a diversity of thoughts and perspectives.”

The post Courageous Leaders to Diversity Champions, 2019 Consortium Award Recipients Strive to Advance Equal Opportunity appeared first on The Consortium.
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Building the Best MBA Application: Improving Your Chances of Admission  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Nov 2019, 07:36
FROM The Consortium Admissions Blog: Building the Best MBA Application: Improving Your Chances of Admission to The Consortium
It’s fall — and that means MBA application season! But what should be an exciting time is often stress-ridden and anxiety-inducing. Applying to multiple schools, completing and submitting all necessary documents, writing a stellar essay and figuring out how to pay for your MBA can be overwhelming.

That’s where The Consortium comes in. With a common application and recruiting staff ready and willing to answer your questions, The Consortium works to provide a seamless, straightforward MBA application process and experience.

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Kaylan Gaines

Applications are now open for fall 2020, with round two applications due January 5. With the deadline fast approaching, we spoke with Manager of Recruiting Kaylan Gaines, who provided insight into the application process and tips on how to build the best possible application.

[b]First, the Benefits[/b]

In addition to the common application, the benefits of applying to MBA programs through The Consortium are many. Students selected for fellowships receive a full-ride scholarship to cover the cost of their MBA as well as the many other perks that come with membership in The Consortium. Members — both those who receive a fellowship and those who don’t — gain access to a network of more than 1,000 current students, 10,000 alumni (many of whom are working at top companies) and corporate partner companies seeking diverse talent.

Members also attend The Consortium’s annual Orientation Program & Career Forum (OP), where they have the opportunity to engage with this network, make professional connections and attend business-focused workshops.

“Consortium members also have access to CGSM Online, which is our online career portal, with roles exclusive to Consortium members,” says Gaines. “Lastly, Consortium members receive life-long career prep and help as alumni.”

[b]Building the Best Application[/b]

For students interested in learning more about The Consortium and how to build a stellar application, Gaines recommends attending one of the organization’s events, like its MBA Application Preparation Seminars (MAPS), which are hosted across the country.

“The goal of these MAPS events is for prospective students to learn best practices for building their strongest application possible,” says Gaines. “In addition, prospective students have the opportunity to engage with admissions staff from our member schools, Consortium alumni and Consortium staff to [ask questions and] get advice on going through the application process.”

Webinars are another way to get information about the application process and next steps, and The Consortium hosts these online throughout the year.

[b]Avoid These Mistakes[/b]

According to Gaines, the most common mistake prospective students make on the application is not following directions. This, he says, is often caused by candidates rushing to finish — the result of waiting till the last minute to apply.

To avoid this pitfall, Gaines recommends getting an early start as well as reading questions and instructions carefully and multiple times to ensure a thorough and complete application.

“We recommend starting an application early so you can create a plan of action for finishing it and reviewing it before submitting,” says Gaines.

[b]How to Stand Out[/b]

One of the most important aspects of any application to The Consortium is a demonstrated commitment to the organization’s mission “to enhance diversity and inclusion in global business education and leadership.”

“The Consortium looks at an applicant’s demonstrated commitment toward including, cultivating, enhancing or serving African American, Hispanic American or Native American communities,” says Gaines.

The extent to which you are able to demonstrate this commitment through your membership recommendation, essay and resume will determine whether or not you are offered membership to The Consortium.

“Applicants can show a demonstrated commitment to our mission by proving their passion for diversity in community or professional settings or with personal life experiences,” Gaines says. “An applicant’s affiliation with college, professional or community organizations that align with our mission will help prove [this] commitment as well.”   

Furthermore, candidates who are authentic, take initiative and clearly articulate their goals, motivations and what they hope to get out of their MBA experience often stand out in a crowded applicant pool, notes Gaines.

“Admission offices ultimately want to know why you want an MBA, how the school can help you achieve your ‘why’ and how you can contribute positively to the school’s community as a current student and alumni,” he says.

Overall, Gaines encourages applicants not to underestimate the power of a positive impression and the reverberating effects it can have.

“Understand that every interaction with Consortium staff, a school’s admissions staff, alumni or current Consortium students is an opportunity to leave [them with] a positive impression of who you are,” he says.

[b]Most Asked Questions[/b]

In his role, Gaines says there are several questions he hears time and time again from applicants. The following are the most-asked questions and how the recruiting team responds to them:

[b]1. Do I apply to The Consortium and member schools separately?[/b]

The Consortium provides a common application that allows applicants to apply with one application for admission to one or more of our member schools, Consortium membership and Consortium fellowship consideration.

[b]2. How is membership to The Consortium decided? [/b]

Membership is decided by an applicant’s demonstrated commitment to the mission of the Consortium. Three documents are reviewed by Consortium staff to determine the applicant’s demonstrated commitment to the mission; a membership essay, a membership recommendation and resume.

[b]3. How is The Consortium fellowship decided? [/b]

Fellowship selections are merit-based awards determined individually by our member schools. Applicants who are admitted into at least one member school and approved for Consortium membership are considered for a Consortium fellowship.

[b]4. Are executive, part-time or online MBA programs part of The Consortium? [/b]

No, they are not. All of our member schools’ two-year full-time MBA programs are part of The Consortium. The only difference is at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, where both the two-year full-time program and one-year full-time program are part of The Consortium.

The post Building the Best MBA Application: Improving Your Chances of Admission to The Consortium appeared first on The Consortium.
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#GivingTuesday: Consortium Encourages Schools, Students and Alumni to   [#permalink]

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New post 22 Nov 2019, 07:36
FROM The Consortium Admissions Blog: #GivingTuesday: Consortium Encourages Schools, Students and Alumni to Give Back on International Day of Giving
It’s almost Thanksgiving, and that means #GivingTuesday is just around the corner. Beyond giving thanks, however, The Consortium is encouraging people to also give back this year by committing their time, energy or resources to help others.

An international day of charitable giving, #GivingTuesday also inspires people to donate their time and to support causes that are close to them. For the fourth year in a row, The Consortium has committed to participating and is asking member schools to do the same.

“We ask Consortium students at partnering schools to plan a service project day, we ask alumni to advocate for The Consortium — to tell someone about the program or to perform a random act of kindness in their community — and we ask members and friends to donate to The Consortium on Tuesday, Dec. 3 to kick off our Year End Appeal,” says Karen Green, manager of individual giving for The Consortium. “The idea is to collectively, on one day, make your community a better place in whatever way you can — a day for good.”

Service Projects & Charitable Giving

Students can select any nonprofit organization they want to assist for their service project; however, The Consortium does provide a list of organizations in each school’s geographic area, mostly related to education, that they can choose from. The goal is for the projects to be completed in one day. “The entire campaign is about the good that can be done in 24 hours,” Green says, adding that the actual hours of each service project can vary.

In the past, students’ projects have run the gamut, from clothing drives, gardening or working at food banks to tutoring or cataloging books for libraries.

The Consortium will partner with Washington University in St. Louis (WashU) and Junior Achievement to work with children in the Woodland School in Jennings School District. Green notes that Junior Achievement’s focus on education and providing “practical business projects for students” aligns with The Consortium’s mission. “The students will be educators and actually go into the classrooms to make presentations, [performing] the role of educators,” she says.

In addition to WashU, other participating schools this year include Cornell University, Carnegie Mellon University, Indiana University-Bloomington, Rice University, the University of Rochester, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and the University of California, Berkeley.

Since 2016, The Consortium’s involvement in #GivingTuesday has helped raise money for the organization and its largest financial campaign, the Year End Appeal, which concludes January 1. Through charitable donations — all contributed in just 24 hours each year — The Consortium has raised $30,000 over the last few years, which Green says has provided more than 12 fellows the experience of attending the annual Orientation Program & Career Forum (OP). This year’s fundraising goal for #GivingTuesday is $15,000.

Other Ways to Get Involved

Even if students, schools or alumni aren’t able to do a service project or donate to The Consortium, Green says there are still ways to get involved.

“They can be an advocate — tell your friends about The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management and encourage them to give,” she says. “They can show support on social media — post a picture on our Facebook page — … or they can perform a random act of kindness in their community.”

A Strengthening Effort

When The Consortium began its involvement in #GivingTuesday four years ago, the number of participating member schools was just two. This year, however, Green says they expect at least 10 to participate, indicating that the effort is gaining momentum.

“The movement is growing,” she says. “Can you imagine 100 percent participation? Now that would be impactful!”

For Green and others at The Consortium, #GivingTuesday provides an ideal opportunity to engage students and encourage them to give back.

We feel it is the perfect introduction to philanthropy for our students,” Green says. “Involvement … is beneficial to the individual, the organization, the community and society as a whole, and we encourage them to give of their time or treasures for the good of our community. This movement is helping to shape the future of philanthropy.”

#GivingTuesday has also demonstrated to the organization the true strength that lies in numbers and the impact that can be had when those numbers are used for good.

“The #GivingTuesday movement has helped The Consortium demonstrate and realize its collective power,” Green says. “This campaign is an example to our [students and] alumni [that they] can create change and impact the communities in which they live.”

The post #GivingTuesday: Consortium Encourages Schools, Students and Alumni to Give Back on International Day of Giving appeared first on The Consortium.
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Shaping a Better Future for Businesses and Employees through Technolog  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Nov 2019, 12:00
FROM The Consortium Admissions Blog: Shaping a Better Future for Businesses and Employees through Technology and Culture Change
Dekonti “Dek” Sayeh is driven by a desire to shape a better future for employees and companies. As a consultant at Slalom Consulting, a fast-growing consulting firm focused on IT, data/analytics and tech enablement, Sayeh works to achieve this vision with an emphasis on culture change and technology.

Through his involvement in Slalom’s Gender Equality Masters employee resource group (ERG), he strives to positively affect the work environment of colleagues as well as clients.

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Dekonti “Dek” Sayeh

This Consortium alum began his journey as a psychology and economics major and went on to earn an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business in 2018. He recently shared his story with us, including the most important thing he gained from getting his MBA, how he’s helping improve business outcomes and his predictions for the future of business.

What made you decide to double major in psychology and economics?

I think it was my passion and my pragmatic side. One of my first classes in undergrad was a psych 101 class, and I loved the content. I had that first good experience and felt like I wanted to stick with it because it was a science that I could apply to my everyday life. Economics, on the other hand, was pretty straightforward. My mom — an economist — said, “You’re not going to get a job unless you major in something that’s more marketable.” So I gave econ 101 a try, had another good professor and decided to stick with it. When I looked at the two, I felt like that was the closest I could get to doing a business major in a sense, and we didn’t really have that at my school.

So how did you go from there to an MBA to a career in data analytics?

Well, to be fair, I don’t know that I would say my career is in data analytics, but I’m working with a consulting firm whose competitive advantage is in tech enablement, so [looking at how] we make technology work better for businesses. Some of that is data analytics, but there are obviously other things that come with that, and I’m more focused on business analysis, strategy and project/product management.

I’ve had a pretty interesting career path. After college, I worked as an accounting clerk for about six months and quickly realized that it wasn’t for me. I applied to teach English in France and ended up doing that for the following year. My time there was an amazing opportunity that opened my eyes to so many different cultures and experiences. When I came back, through a friend, I found a job at a biotechnology trade association, essentially an organization that collects membership fees from biotech companies and creates programming for the betterment of medical patients and the industry overall. I worked on the international affairs team, and that was really my first corporate job.

A year and a half into that job, I decided I wanted to give myself some options. I didn’t want to be beholden to anyone at the company in terms of getting a promotion or even restrict myself to whatever my next job happened to be. So it was at that first job that I really decided I wanted to go to business school because I felt like that would provide me the widest range of opportunities in a couple years. I had that on the backburner as I was transitioning out of the job at the biotech firm to a nonprofit called Internews.

Internews is an organization that tries to get citizens better access to fact-checked media and information, specifically in post-conflict areas where people are vulnerable to being taken advantage of. As a program coordinator, a lot of my work was business operations to support getting funding out to people who were on the ground, for example, in Nepal after they had the earthquake and in Liberia after the Ebola crisis.

When I started my job at Internews, I had already started the application process for business school so I guess, in a way, it was only a matter of time and a matter of where I decided to go.

How did you make your decision about where to apply and ultimately what school to attend?

I applied to schools all across the country. I applied to the University of Michigan, Emory, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), NYU and then I also applied to a school in Paris, France (HEC Paris). My decision came down to Carnegie Mellon and HEC Paris; it was a difficult one because the two schools represented a completely different approach to b-school.

On one hand, CMU is one of the best MBA programs in the country, especially if you’re interested in tech firms or technology at all. On the other hand, going to school in France would have been another amazing, eye-opening opportunity to meet people from different cultures and learn about how business is done in other countries. So it was a tough decision, but ultimately, I went with CMU because I thought that it would give me the best chance at success post-MBA and the most career opportunities.

What was your experience like at CMU, and did it offer you all the things you thought it would?

In many ways, yes. … I went to school with really bright people, many of whom had very nontraditional paths to business school. It was an amazing, eye-opening experience to hear about all the things that people had done prior to Tepper. I think there are many interesting stories that came out of my class. That’s definitely one very positive aspect of the program. I think another very positive aspect is the close relationships the school and alumni have with tech companies.

If anyone ever says they’re thinking about an MBA and are interested in tech, I’m like “CMU should be at the top of your list.” You can look at the rankings and everything, but if you want to know where you’ll have the most connections — controlling for our small class sizes — and have great opportunities to meet companies face to face and professors who have experience working with Fortune 500 companies and who bring all of that experience back into the classroom, I think CMU’s one of the best schools you could ask for.

How did you find out about The Consortium, and what attracted you to it when you were applying to MBA programs?

I had two close friends at the time who were applying to schools and learned about The Consortium through them. They told me about the organization and the benefits of using one common application. The idea that Consortium member schools, by definition, are those that place a high [value] on diversity — that was one way to filter schools that would be a good fit for me without really having to do much work. I also liked the idea that you had the Orientation Program before school started, which was a great experience, a great way to meet people who you could stay in touch with throughout your MBA career and beyond.

Is the emphasis on diversity also a driver for you and an area in which you would like to make a difference?

Definitely. I guess I’ve been blessed to have been able to work with people of color who were very successful in business. So I think it’s really important to do everything you can to show people younger than you … that they can be successful, too, and that they can be drivers of change in the business world and outside of it. So, to that end, I’ve worked a lot with after-school programs to try to create that dialogue.

Another way of still striving toward that mission is working with Slalom’s ERGs. I’m involved with the Gender Equality Group. It’s still quite new, but we’ve done a lot of interesting work with our Women Leadership Network, and we’re thinking of ways we can partner with our Black Affinity Group called REACH.

So what is the purpose of the Gender Equality Masters (GEM) ERG, and how do you work toward that?

We try to give our employees a forum where they can openly talk about positive or negative experiences they’ve had on the job, at the client site or even outside of work. GEM provides a safe space where we can talk about those things and equip people to educate others. When people come to our events, they learn things they can apply to their lives as soon as they leave.

Our focus is really to provide educational resources on ways that Slalom colleagues — and even Slalom clients — can create more gender equal work environments, and we’ve done that by leveraging a publication called Lean In, which was started by Cheryl Sandburg, the COO of Facebook. [In it,] she calls out specific situations that might happen at an office or in a workplace in which someone is being discriminated against in some way, shape or form; unfortunately, [this is] mostly women. Sometimes it’s more conspicuous and sometimes it’s less so.

We have read and discussed a bunch of those scenarios and allowed people to share if they have encountered similar situations. People also shared ideas about how they might navigate those situations if they encountered them or how they might be able to coach a client through some type of situation if that happened on a client project.

Why did you want to get involved in this way?

I think I wanted to get involved selfishly because I thought it was a good leadership opportunity but also because I felt like it was a really impactful group to be a part of. You’re actually shaping the behaviors of your colleagues and potentially even positively impacting behaviors at client sites, even after you leave. So I like the idea that together we can create a better future for Slalom — but also for our clients.

In your current role, how do you use data analysis to help companies improve and make better decisions?

I’d say we use data to kind of shape a better future for our clients in a couple of ways. From my perspective, I’m really focused on “how does a business invest in technology that will lead to better outcomes for the business in the future?”

One way I’ve used data to help support those types of decisions is by creating business cases for different strategic approaches to business problems. One example is one of my clients wants to leverage natural language processing to “crawl” scientific journals and the web to find situations where there are product complaints. Whatever they can do to make this analysis more efficient is a huge value driver for the company, so I work with my client to try to figure out if it’s more effective to build these technology solutions themselves or if it’s better to work with a vendor who has some experience doing this already. So there’s a lot of business analysis and crunching of numbers to determine what’s the best approach from a financial perspective and an intellectual property perspective.

What is the No. 1 thing you feel you gained from getting an MBA?

I would say the overarching lesson I learned in getting my MBA is that no matter what you decide to do, you as a person and your career are constantly evolving and changing. You can’t just take the perspective that you’re going to get on a train and ride down the tracks and everything’s going to be straightforward and happen on one path. A lot of your career success depends on your resourcefulness, your curiosity and your drive to constantly evolve as a person.

But it’s also [about] the network you build when you go to school — it’s really special and something you can’t find everywhere — and the confidence that comes with knowing that you got into a good school and were able to succeed.

How do you stay up to date on changes or trends happening in the industry?

Obviously, reading your newspaper of choice is one way to do this. I’ve got a couple podcasts I’ve been listening to, like Planet Money and How I Built This. [The latter] features tech leaders or a tech company that’s on the rise and how it came to be. It’s a really personal look into the people who are leading the companies that [run] our everyday lives basically.

Then, honestly, just getting out there and networking, putting yourself out there. Sometimes you have to put yourself in positions that aren’t necessarily comfortable or that you’re not used to, but I’ve found that the majority of the time, it pays off and you’re surprised by what comes out of it — whether it’s new connections, ideas, things happening in your city professionally or even culturally that you weren’t aware of, or an opportunity.

What changes or trends do you predict for the future of business?

I don’t know whether this is a prediction or just an observation, but I think it’s a great time to be an entrepreneur. … Someone who’s a freelancer can launch their own business and effectively run their own company because there are so many cloud-enabled tools available “as a service” — whether it’s a data and analytics tool, something like Tableau, or you’re using Salesforce to manage customer interactions or Google Analytics to track web traffic. I feel like there’s so much data in the cloud to leverage, not only an individual’s data but data trends across the world, that I think this is probably one of the best times to not work for a company and to be your own boss.

The post Shaping a Better Future for Businesses and Employees through Technology and Culture Change appeared first on The Consortium.
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How to Craft the Best Possible MBA Application: Current Consortium Stu  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Dec 2019, 11:00
FROM The Consortium Admissions Blog: How to Craft the Best Possible MBA Application: Current Consortium Students Weigh In
With The Consortium’s round two application deadline only a month away, we decided to survey current MBA students and Consortium members to gain some insight into the application process. We asked them to share one piece of advice on how to build the best possible application to improve your chances of gaining both admission to member schools and membership in The Consortium.

While varied, responses from students centered on a couple key themes: being yourself and telling your story. The following advice, which comes from six Consortium members, is meant to serve as a roadmap for prospective students — proof that these genuine approaches to crafting an MBA application can and do work.

As you work toward completing your own application, consider the following recommendations:

[b]How Can Candidates Build the Best Possible Application?[/b]

“Tell your unique story in a way that makes sense from beginning to end. You should be able to clearly draw the connections between experiences, succinctly describing how one experience led to the next and how you made the decisions that led you to where you are now in your professional life. Then you must be able to explain why business school is the logical next step to your short- and, eventually, long-term goals. You should also understand what strengths you will bring to an MBA program and then ensure that your application demonstrates those strengths.”

— Natalia Alvarez, Class of 2020, Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business

“Highlight who you really are, besides school and volunteer work. I have a lot of people emailing me about their essays and telling me how they wrote about all this volunteer work they do. That’s fantastic; I did the same, and then I realized that if we’re interested in The Consortium, it is already second nature to us to give back. While this is important and should be mentioned in the application process, if an essay prompt asks you about the ‘back of your résumé,’ then talk about something that’s very unique to you (e.g., are you a competitive frisbee player? Did you learn a new language because you love music from a foreign country?). Talk about the thing your family would say is unique to you.”

— Baron Munoz, Class of 2021, Cornell University SC Johnson Graduate School of Management

“Be yourself — I mean it. Showcase the impact of your work and connect the dots for the reader. Don’t assume they will know how your work has made a difference. The hardest part is done in the sense that you probably already have a lot of stories that embrace and exhibit The Consortium’s mission; now, just focus on showcasing them. Share a little about the motivations and personal life experiences that have contributed to your experiences and success and how you plan to continue giving back to the community post MBA.”

— Gloria Escobar, Class of 2021, Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University

“My best advice is to craft a strong narrative, which includes … pinpointing your post-MBA plans; albeit, you can change your plans! Post acceptance, however, you must stick to something that works for you and your past. If you are coming from tech, maybe suggest product management or strategy in tech (hence propelling your career forward). If you are coming from a nontraditional background, maybe suggest banking or consulting to showcase linear career, financial and professional progression. Storytelling is most key!”

— Michael Vilardo, Class of 2021, UCLA Anderson School of Management

“Have a good plan and explanation as to why you want to pursue an MBA and how you hope to utilize it. Be able to elaborate on why this plan is important to you, and be enthusiastic when you have the opportunity to talk about it.”

— Jason Hernandez, Class of 2020, Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business

“Each of you has accomplished incredible things throughout your career; [these] can appear to be ‘just part of the job’ to you, but employers want to know about them. During an interview with Apple, I had an honest interviewer provide great advice. He stated, ‘You have accomplished a lot more than you give yourself credit for on your résumé. There is no reason why you should have extra space below the content on your résumé.’ I believe this is true of each of us, so my advice to you is to use your résumé as an opportunity to highlight all you have accomplished. There is no reason to have additional white space … on a one-page résumé.

— Joe L. Williams, Class of 2021, Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University

The post How to Craft the Best Possible MBA Application: Current Consortium Students Weigh In appeared first on The Consortium.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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How to Craft the Best Possible MBA Application: Current Consortium Stu   [#permalink] 05 Dec 2019, 11:00

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