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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.
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Envista Focuses on Belonging to Build a Diverse Talent Pipeline  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Dec 2019, 12:00
FROM The Consortium Admissions Blog: Envista Focuses on Belonging to Build a Diverse Talent Pipeline
As a new entity, having separated from Danaher Corporation in 2019, global dental products company Envista has both a long and short history. Part of an industry that has historically lacked both a diverse workforce and a focus on diversity and inclusion, Envista is seizing this opportunity to shift its focus.

“It hadn’t been an area of focus; it hadn’t been a priority. For so long, GP and orthodontists have been men, Caucasian men, but we’re seeing that landscape starting to shift,” says Meisha Sherman, chief diversity officer at Envista and vice president of HR at Ormco, a company under the Envista umbrella.

To Envista, prioritizing diversity and inclusion means building a diverse pipeline of talent, fostering a culture of inclusion and ensuring opportunities for the advancement of employees from underrepresented groups. One way the company is working toward this is by partnering with The Consortium, says Sherman.

“When you look at early-career, diverse talent, we know that The Consortium is definitely the place to go,” she says. “The way that talent is developed and the investment The Consortium makes in the talent and preparing them for incredible opportunities with great organizations like ours fits into our talent development strategy.”

For Consortium students and alums, Envista strives to provide not only quality career opportunities but also mentorship and resources — meaning people, money, time and knowledge, Sherman notes. Making sure they are giving back to the students via thought leadership and opportunities to understand the corporate world generally and Envista specifically is also important, says Sean Strachan, global university talent and programs manager.

A Culture of Belonging

More than just a diverse and inclusive workplace, Sherman, Strachan and their colleagues are working to build a culture of belonging, one where employees can be their “true, authentic selves,” Sherman says. “A diverse and inclusive culture also speaks to a place where we can be unapologetic about who we are.”

Adding to that, Strachan says that Envista wants to be a place where diverse perspectives and experiences are celebrated as well as utilized to achieve goals.

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Envista employees, including Sherman, ring the New York Stock Exchange bell

Through its employee resource groups (ERGs), Envista strives to create an inclusive culture and a safe space for employees to share experiences, discuss challenges and concerns and celebrate different cultures.

These groups — of which there are currently two, for women and multicultural employees — meet regularly, in alignment with Envista’s Diversity and Inclusion Council. They are currently working to plan a Martin Luther King Jr. Day event as well as events in recognition of Black History Month in February and Women’s History Month in March. In addition, in connection with some of the company’s national sales meetings, the women’s ERG is developing sessions focused specifically on women.

“Our women’s ERG is bringing our female customers, orthodontists, dentists and NGPs together to talk about their success in this space as a woman [and provide] panels for learning,” says Sherman.

These groups also serve another function by helping the company develop and advance its diverse talent.

“The purpose is to partner and align with the leadership teams to build a culture of respect, authenticity and belonging, to create a safe space for those groups that are underrepresented to grow and learn, to be a sounding board, to [help us] retain talent, acquire talent, promote talent — to drive business,” says Sherman.

The ERGS — of which Sherman says the company will eventually have more — are a resource to be tapped, especially when it comes to succession planning and ensuring diverse representation in those plans. These internal channels can serve as an invaluable resource, Strachan says.

“I think a lot of times, people forget about the networks in their own company with these resource groups,” he says, “and they forget to reach out to ask ‘Do you know of anyone who might have a great skill set or great background that matches or aligns with this position?’”

Through this approach, Envista is making an effort to focus not just on its external pipeline but also its internal one to help build diverse candidate slates for when openings arise. As a young company, however, Sherman admits they are still learning and growing in this area. But with a commitment from the top, a passion for this work and active engagement, she is confident in Envista’s ability to achieve the culture it’s so fully committed to building.

“We want to create the kind of culture, the kind of environment where we belong, where we can be authentic, where we value diversity,” says Sherman. “It’s a work in progress and we’re really building that foundation. Are we there yet? The short answer is ‘no.’ But we are certainly on our path, and I know that my voice is heard.”

The post Envista Focuses on Belonging to Build a Diverse Talent Pipeline appeared first on The Consortium.
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Unique Mission Helps Yale School of Management Cultivate Diverse, Well  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Dec 2019, 10:00
FROM The Consortium Admissions Blog: Unique Mission Helps Yale School of Management Cultivate Diverse, Well-Rounded Leaders
At Yale School of Management (SOM), a focus on educating leaders for both business and society sets the institution apart. In its effort to produce well-rounded business leaders, The Consortium member school has built a community and culture centered around this mission.

“The mission really dictates everything at this school in terms of how the curriculum is run, the faculty who are teaching it, the students we attract and the careers that our students and alums end up going into,” says Kristen Beyers, director of Community & Inclusion at Yale SOM. “It’s this really nice blend of building strong leaders who want to not only do well in business but also care about doing good and leaving the planet a little bit better than they found it.”

An important aspect of the school’s approach to cultivating these leaders is its commitment to ensuring their diverse representation. As a Consortium member school for the full-time MBA program, Yale SOM actively supports the organization’s mission to enhance diversity and inclusion in global business education and leadership and, every year, welcomes a diverse cohort of Consortium students to its campus — many of whom, Beyers says, are drawn to the school’s unique mission.

In addition to the 25 to 30 Consortium members who join the program every year, she says Yale SOM also welcomes many international students as well as individuals who represent a variety of experiences, backgrounds and perspectives. “I think our mission attracts this diversity,” says Beyers. “It creates this really rich learning environment.” The resulting culture is what she describes as “intellectually curious” and “collaborative.”

Although Yale SOM’s community is tight knit, Beyers says the school acknowledges the value in providing intentional support for underrepresented students broadly and Consortium students specifically to ensure they feel at home.

“We want all of our students to feel that they’re welcome — not only welcome but that they actually feel they belong here — and we know when you’re part of an underrepresented group, it may not feel like that at times without intention,” she says. “For diverse students such as our Consortium cohort, many of them form a tight-knit group, which is wonderful. We recognize there can be a tendency to stay within their comfort zone and those safe spaces, but I think seeing the signals from the rest of the community … makes them feel included and that they’re not alone.”

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Members of the Yale SOM Consortium cohort pose with the school’s mascot, “Handsome Dan” bulldog.

One way in which Yale SOM tries to increase this sense of belonging is by providing resources to help the Consortium cohort both academically and socially. With a budget provided by Beyers’ office, the cohort of approximately 60 students — which includes both first and second years — is able to plan and run programming centered on four pillars: academic support to succeed in the classroom, career support for internships and post-MBA positions, admissions support and engagement with diverse prospective students and the promotion of Community & Inclusion within their cohort and in the broader campus community.

“We provide loose guidelines in terms of aligning with our Community & Inclusion goals and objectives,” says Beyers, “and the students drive initiatives based on our collective priorities.”

The Yale Consortium cohort hosts a range of programming, from mock interviews for prospective students to fun, informal potlucks for the entire group. “They’re really passionate and act as brand ambassadors for the school,” Beyers says.

Recognizing the important role these students play at Yale SOM, a few years ago, outgoing Dean Ted Snyder initiated a recurring lunch with the school’s three Consortium liaisons. Beyers says that has since become a structured Dean’s Advisory Group that meets on a regular basis and includes her team, one or two deputy deans, the dean of admissions and the dean of student life.

“We all gather monthly and the liaisons share what’s on their priority list,” she says. “They are able to talk about the culture and the community, and we’re able to ask them questions to understand how we can better engage. So it’s this really reciprocal relationship.”

Learning Across Difference

In addition to Consortium-specific resources, Yale SOM offers resources for underrepresented MBA students in general. Its six affinity clubs — which represent African American, Hispanic, female, veteran, LGBTQ+ and “older than average” students — provide both social and career support as well as foster members’ sense of belonging on campus. They often partner with Beyers’ office on their initiatives; one such initiative recently launched to connect Yale SOM alumni with select affinity clubs to provide further professional support and advice.

“Around 80 percent of students belong to an affinity club,” says Beyers, adding that not all of these individuals identify with those groups. “There’s a strong active allyship.”

Another asset for underrepresented students is the Community & Inclusion Committee of the student government, a diverse group elected by their peers. The focus of the committee is on helping ensure students are able to bring their full selves to campus, according to Beyers. “It is thinking about the full student experience and creating that sense of belonging [as well as providing] opportunities to learn across difference and get to know their classmates better,” she notes. The committee accomplishes this through a variety of programming throughout the year.

One event that Beyers says has been “wildly successful” is AMAs — which stands for “ask me anything.” Held five or six times a semester, AMAs feature a panel of students who have volunteered to field questions from their peers to share their unique identity and perspective. Questions are submitted anonymously by students via the Slido app, and those that receive the most votes are asked by the event’s moderator.

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The Consortium cohort attends a “Friendsgiving” event hosted by their Faculty Advisor Heidi Brooks.

“There is that nice protection to be able to work through the technology to ask questions you might not otherwise be comfortable asking in order to learn across difference,” Beyers says.

Past topics have included “being black in America,” “the Me Too movement,” “imposter syndrome” and “gun violence,” among others. AMAs have been so popular — with 50 to 75 students at each event — that the Community & Inclusion Committee launched a spin-off this year called AMA Coffee Chats.

“If I heard something from a panelist that I really was intrigued by or wanted to learn more about, I could go up and ask that person for a coffee chat,” explains Beyers. “They have free vouchers that the student government pays for that allow them to have a coffee to continue that courageous conversation.”

A similar concept, a weekly peer discussion called “&Society” — a play off the school’s mission — dives deep into a timely diversity- and inclusion-related topic that came up in the classroom during the previous week.

Part of an effort to appeal to diverse students, Yale SOM’s intentional support for Consortium students — and all underrepresented students in general — is not, however, just another component of a diverse recruitment strategy.

“Diverse representation leads to stronger performance, so of course there’s a business case here,” say Beyers. “However, I’m most proud [of the fact] that SOM is focused not only on increasing student diversity to build a diverse pipeline but also on teaching students inclusive management skills, aligning with our goal to develop leaders for business and society.”

The post Unique Mission Helps Yale School of Management Cultivate Diverse, Well-Rounded Leaders appeared first on The Consortium.
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Google Event Offered Inside Look at Analyst Opportunities for Consorti  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Dec 2019, 11:00
FROM The Consortium Admissions Blog: Google Event Offered Inside Look at Analyst Opportunities for Consortium Alums
At a recent event, alumni of The Consortium were able to envision themselves performing a variety of analytical roles in Google’s unique and innovative work environment. How We Work: Inside Analyst Roles at Google — held at the tech company’s office in San Francisco on December 10 — introduced attendees to internal leaders at Google who discussed their roles within the company and the path they took to get there.

The event was exclusively for Consortium alumni and included some who now work at the premiere-level partner. Jonathan Beauford, student development program manager at Google and a 2012 alumnus of Yale School of Management, led the event with opening remarks, and Alyssa Apolonio, talent engagement program manager at YouTube/Google and a 2017 alumna of the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, led a discussion with some of the company’s senior leaders.

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Consortium alumni network at a Google event.

A total of 23 Google employees — in departments ranging from People Operations and Global Partnerships to Marketing and Product Strategy — shared insight with the 20-plus Consortium alums in attendance. Panelists described their unconventional path to Google and how their varied backgrounds have aided their success within the corporation. Alumni also enjoyed food and drink and were able to mingle and connect one on one with these Google representatives to get their questions answered.

The event is part of a partnership between The Consortium and Google to identify potential experienced hires from its alumni pool through sponsored events. How We Work: Inside Analyst Roles at Google provided a unique opportunity for attendees seeking new professional opportunities to speak with internal members of the Google team and get an inside look at what it’s like to work at the tech corporation.

Feedback from the event was positive, with alumni indicating an interest in working for the company and Google expressing interest in recruiting attendees. The Consortium is working with Google to plan additional events and welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with other corporate partners.

The post Google Event Offered Inside Look at Analyst Opportunities for Consortium Alums appeared first on The Consortium.
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Stop Stressing: Consortium MBAs Share Their Top Time-Management Tips  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jan 2020, 10:00
FROM The Consortium Admissions Blog: Stop Stressing: Consortium MBAs Share Their Top Time-Management Tips
It’s that time of year when, after a long semester, MBA students are finally able to enjoy a respite. With finals behind them and a new semester on the horizon, they’re able to reflect on the semester now past and make adjustments for the one ahead.

With hopes of sharing what they’ve learned so that others may also benefit, we decided to survey current Consortium MBAs. We asked them to share some insight on the best ways they’ve learned to manage their time and, thus, their stress levels. Although varied in their responses, the following nine students emphasized the overall importance of being true to who you are and using that as a guide for how to prioritize your time.

What Tips Do You Have for Managing Time and Stress as an MBA Student?

Be very clear about what your priorities are so you know what you should say yes to and where to draw boundaries. Take time to reflect on where you are periodically. We are plagued by the self-imposed pressure that we have to get this right because XYZ is on the line; we forget that what we are doing today is what we dreamed of yesterday. Be proud of and thankful for how far you have come, and rest assured that you will make it through.

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

Block time in your calendar for everything. I block time for classes, club meetings and team projects, but I also block time to do homework and to go to the gym. If you don’t plan ahead and block these spaces out, you will be bombarded with last minute requests for your time, and you need to make sure you don’t overwhelm yourself — so make sure you book time for you.

— Baron Munoz, Class of 2021, Cornell University’s S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management

Some days will be harder than others. The key is to be consistent and stay focused without burning out. Balancing recruiting, studying and social activities can take a toll, so you will have to be very intentional with your time. Don’t forget you also have to sleep! When I first started the program, I was averaging four hours of sleep a night and quickly realized that wasn’t sustainable. It’s all about time management. Allocating time to studying and being social will help keep you accountable as well as help you keep track of your time, so assign time to each on your calendar and honor it.

Also, get to know second years as much as possible. I don’t know where I’d be without them. They have helped guide me throughout the process and remind me that I don’t have to do it alone.

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

Prior to coming into business school, identify what your top priorities are. What experiences are most important to you? Is it landing that dream consulting internship? Being top of your class? Serving as class president? There are so many amazing opportunities in business school, and you definitely want to be open to what may come your way; however, it will be easier to prioritize your time if you have an idea of how you want to spend it and know what is important to you.

Also, don’t compare yourself to others. You are going to be surrounded by incredibly inspiring people, but everyone comes into the MBA with a different story and with different goals. Don’t listen to the noise or [experience] self-doubt. Do what you came here to do. You’ve got this.

— Tory Paez, Class of 2020, Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business

Find a workout buddy. I have a friend who keeps me accountable for taking care of my body. Usually, if I start my morning with a workout, I am able to sleep more deeply, eat better, stay healthy and focus more.

— Stefy Smith, Class of 2021, Cornell University’s S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management

Utilize online tools and applications that help with time management; make sure to master Google calendar early, and Trello is a fantastic way of keeping track of your to-do’s. Make sure to step out every now and then and enjoy time with your classmates.

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

It’s really important to value sleep and [understand] the power of saying “no.” You do not have to attend every social or professional event. Do not be a victim of FOMO (fear of missing out). Stick to your morals, goals and true self. Grow and challenge yourself, but never compromise yourself.

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

You have more control of your time than you realize. It’s a choice to be intentional with your time and prioritize what matters most to you for a given day.

— Mojisola O. Jimoh, Class of 2021, University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business

Two things: Remember what makes you happy, and disconnect when needed from your peers. I love playing basketball but noticed I wasn’t playing my first few months of school. With the stress of classes, consulting, recruiting and the social components of an MBA, at times, I was pretty down and overwhelmed with the MBA lifestyle. I wish I went to go play basketball earlier, because as soon as I got back into that gym, it gave me an outlet on a weekly basis to get through the craziness of the [first] year.

Don’t be afraid to disconnect from everyone. With the advance of social media and the constant group-up mentality of the MBA program, it is easy for even the most active extroverts to feel overwhelmed and drained from seeing other people. I had to learn to flip over my phone, turn on “Do Not Disturb” and have “turn-down Fridays,” as I called them, by going to the library at night or just watching Netflix and getting some me time to recharge. Don’t feel guilty about doing this; it was integral to my eventual success with finding a job as well as feeling happier and more present in my MBA experience.

— Joey Abram, Class of 2020, University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business

The post Stop Stressing: Consortium MBAs Share Their Top Time-Management Tips appeared first on The Consortium.
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Tepper School of Business Works to Enhance MBAs’ Leadership Skills thr  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jan 2020, 09:00
FROM The Consortium Admissions Blog: Tepper School of Business Works to Enhance MBAs’ Leadership Skills through Exposure to the Arts
When it comes to being a leader, competencies like self-awareness, empathy and critical thinking are essential. Yet, these are skills that business schools have traditionally failed to cultivate.

A new initiative at Consortium member school Carnegie Mellon University’s (CMU) Tepper School of Business, however, is attempting to bridge this skills gap in an effort to transform MBA students into well-rounded business leaders. The Accelerate Leadership Center’s SHIFT program goes beyond analytical training to provide students pathways to leadership development through exposure to the arts.

“I think an MBA program really only taps into one part of a person, and I know that a lot of our classes and a lot of the programming is analytically driven,” says Matthew Stewart, operations manager of Tepper’s Accelerate Leadership Center and SHIFT program manager. “[SHIFT] kind of opens up the other half of your brain so that you can give your analytical side a break and let your more creative, artistic side come out.”

SHIFT’s goals are threefold: to enhance students’ empathy, critical thinking and self-awareness — which the programming strives to achieve via three components. The first, Emergence, is an art installation in the MBA Commons area of the Tepper building.

https://cgsm.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Tepper-Reads-Kick-Off-2019.jpg
MBA students attend the 2019 Tepper Reads kick-off party.

Stewart and his colleague and SHIFT program co-manager Michelle Stoner, with whom he co-founded the program, work with the Miller Institute for Contemporary Art at CMU to select artists whose work to feature. The installation’s purpose is to engage students to get them to think more deeply.

“Surrounding yourself with art forces you to think about it. [Students] don’t have to go to a museum; the art is right there,” says Stewart, noting that the program also hosts trips to local art museums. “Art also forces you to ask questions, and it’s through questions that you learn things about other people, so it’s been a great empathy builder in that way.”

With pamphlets created to accompany the artwork — which includes questions about the piece on display — he says that Emergence has promoted “low-stakes” debate among students as well. “A piece of art doesn’t care if you like it or not,” Stewart says, “so it’s been a good getting-to-know-you mechanism.”

The second component of SHIFT is an initiative called Tepper Reads, a community reading project. Participating MBAs read the same novel together and discuss the book and its themes throughout the semester.

Last year, approximately 150 people signed up to read Zinzi Clemmons’ book What We Lose, “a novel about a young woman who’s working through the death of her mother to cancer,” Stewart says. “Her mother was from South Africa, and her father was an African American man from Queens. So it was also about what it’s like to live between two cultures. Around 35 percent of Tepper MBAs are not from the U.S., and so this book … really spoke to them.”

Following the initial kick-off party, where students get a copy of the book, Tepper Reads consists of a combination of online touchpoints and various meet-ups and themed activities, where students have a chance to get to know each other on a different level.

“For one of our meet-ups [last year], we had an ‘African Diaspora Dinner’ hosted by Leanne Meyer, the executive director of the Accelerate Leadership Center, who also hails from South Africa. We had a local restaurant cater the event with South African food,” says Stewart. “Some of our African students got a chance to talk about their lives prior to coming to the U.S. and how this related to the novel.”

“It was a great [way] for students to get to know each other,” he adds, “to learn things about each other that they wouldn’t have had the chance to learn [otherwise] — which is really what empathy is all about.”

The program culminates with a visit from the author. Last year, this included a Q-and-A session and a panel discussion about leadership, literature and empathy with Zinzi Clemmons.

https://cgsm.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Improv-Workshop-1.jpg
MBAs in the SHIFT program participate in an improv activity.

“It was a truly unique experience,” Stewart notes. “Having denizens of the literary world and business world in the same place, talking and sharing ideas together, is something that almost never happens.”

This year, students are reading about emigration and the immigrant experience in Pakistani author Moshin Hamid’s fourth novel Exit West — a recommendation from one of last year’s Tepper Reads participants.

SHIFT’s third and final component is the Citrone Leadership Touchpoint Series, a series of what Stewart calls “outside-of-the-box workshops,” so named for the SHIFT program’s funders. The series is designed to help students learn more about empathy, critical thinking and self-awareness, and topics have included poetry and mindfulness as well as the use and importance of metaphors. But by far, Stewart says, the most popular of all the workshops has been the improv one facilitated by local group Steel City Improv.

“Reading a book together, doing improv together, working on design stuff together, it’s all a way for them to understand their fellow student in a way that they hadn’t before,” he says. “That’s what all good art does. It forces you to see the world through someone else’s eyes — and that builds empathy, that builds your own self-awareness, and it will help you think critically.”

The post Tepper School of Business Works to Enhance MBAs’ Leadership Skills through Exposure to the Arts appeared first on The Consortium.
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Considering an MBA? Adam Miller Is Here to Help  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jan 2020, 12:00
FROM The Consortium Admissions Blog: Considering an MBA? Adam Miller Is Here to Help
A second-year MBA candidate at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, Adam Miller has found a way to use his own experience and that of others to help prospective MBA students.

Through his podcast The MBA Candidate, the Consortium fellow explores why so many people quit their jobs to go to business school. His guests are full-time MBA students at the nation’s top 25 MBA programs — Consortium programs and others — and include candidates across every major industry, from tech to finance to consulting.

“The goal of the show is to dispel of the myth that you have to have a 740 GMAT or a 3.8 GPA in order to get into a top-tier business school,” says Miller, who grew up in Milwaukee, Wis., and graduated from Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., with a degree in economics.

Miller recently sat down with us to discuss his journey from MBA applicant to successful podcast founder and shared some unique insights for other MBA hopefuls.

Tell me a little about where your interest in business and your desire to help others stems from. How have the two merged?

After graduating from college, I spent five years at an organization in Minnesota called Thrivent Financial, which is both a Fortune 500 and a nonprofit.

In my first job there, I worked in their innovation group, nudging our customers to give away their own money. When my department went through a reorganization, I had to find a new role. Fortunately, I landed in their internal strategy team — where everyone had an MBA except for me. A lot of those folks became my mentors and encouraged me to think about business school.

During that time, I realized I wanted to be closer to seeing the impact I could have. I accomplished this by moving over to HR in my third — and final — rotation, where I helped the company build out their diversity and inclusion practice. I personally helped start two employee resource groups, facilitated dozens of cultural competency sessions, managed the workforce engagement survey and reshaped their performance management philosophy. So, coming into Darden, I thought I wanted to work in HR because I really liked helping people. But I also began to realize that there were a lot of other ways to do that.

I was lucky enough this past summer to intern at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, and then just last week, I signed an offer to join the American Red Cross full time starting in July.

What will you be doing at the Red Cross?

I’ll be in their leadership development program for three years. The program gives recent graduate students exposure to the amazing work the Red Cross does. I’m super excited that my first rotation will be in their blood donation division because I’ll get the opportunity to apply the knowledge I gained at Darden related to operations, ethics, marketing and finance.

Once you decided you wanted to get an MBA, how did you get connected with The Consortium?

As I was starting to figure out which schools I wanted to apply to, I came up with the idea of reaching out to alumni from undergrad who had gone to or were currently in business school. I also looked at different schools’ websites and reached out to various campus ambassadors. The first person I messaged happened to be a guy at the University of California, Berkeley Haas School of Business. He immediately messaged me back and said he could talk right then if I wanted to hop on the phone.

We talked for what must have been 90 minutes. He answered tons of questions that I didn’t even realize I had. Most importantly, he told me about The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, including the Orientation Program & Career Forum, the scholarship opportunities and the fact that you can apply to several schools at once for a reduced fee. That was extremely helpful because when applications opened the following month, I was ready to hit the ground running.

Now it looks like the tables have turned, and you’re the one who is acting as a resource for others.

Yeah, I ended up talking to nearly 50 different people at the schools I applied to — more than necessary now that I think about it! At the end of my conversations, I would always say, “Hey, I’m really excited to help you in some way. How can I repay the favor?” Most people would respond with, “All you have to do is pay it forward to the next wave of people coming up behind you.”

That stuck with me and was the main reason I created the podcast. It’s been incredibly cool to see some of the same people who I helped last year walking around Darden now, and other folks updating their LinkedIn profiles to show which school they’re at.

What inspired you to start the podcast when you did?

Going through the circuit of business school diversity weekends allowed me to meet other individuals who were applying, and I realized that a lot of them did not have traditional backgrounds, but they did have fascinating journeys. Sure, they didn’t all have top scores on the GMAT or attend an Ivy League school, but they did have inspiring experiences worth sharing.

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Miller records an episode of The MBA Candidate.

That’s the reason I decided to try telling their stories. Oftentimes, people with [nontraditional] backgrounds doubt themselves.

After I left my job at Thrivent, I had a couple months off before school started, so I began playing around with the idea of doing a podcast. I had just learned a ton about how to get into business school — information that, once you get in, isn’t very useful to you anymore but that plenty of other folks are interested in. I thought to myself, “Well, I know a bunch of people through The Consortium and Management Leadership of Tomorrow; why don’t I reach out to them to share their advice?” 

Who is the target audience? What do you try to provide them through the podcast?

The target audience is anyone who’s applying to business school. If you want to learn more about what it’s like to be an MBA candidate, and you’re currently studying for the GMAT or writing your essays, this is the perfect show for you. The [hope] is that these stories will help you figure out if business school is the right next step in your career and, if so, which programs might be the best fit for you.

What do you talk about with your guests?

The way I structure the show is by starting off with questions like “what were you like as a kid?” and “tell me about your family.” Then, we move on to discussing their journey from childhood to where they are now and why business school is going to help them achieve their dreams.

Most of the interviews get very personal. Mental health comes up a lot, as well as discrimination and general feelings of inadequacy; there’s really no topic that hasn’t surfaced on the show. I think the conversations go so deep because when you put a mic in front of passionate people, they tend to share what’s truly on their minds and in their hearts.

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What have you enjoyed most about doing the podcast?

The reason I’ve continued to do it over the past two years — way beyond the point of insane business at Darden — is because so many people have reached out to say, “Hey, I love the show. I’ve been a listener since the beginning, and I’m wondering when you’re putting out the next episode.” I probably get an average of at least one random LinkedIn message every week.

Have you learned anything about yourself in the process?

I think the biggest thing I’ve learned is just how much energy I get out of mentoring others — whether it’s in a formal leadership position or not. Knowing this now, I want mentoring to be a significant aspect of my future career.

What is one of the most popular episodes or your personal favorite?

Episode No. 5 is about a gentleman at the Tuck School of Business who is Native American. He was 35 years old going into Dartmouth, and both of his parents had recently passed away. He’s suffered from health issues and didn’t graduate from college until he was 28. He ended up managing all of the money for his tribe in Oklahoma, so his goal is to go into wealth management to do a better job of growing their assets in the long run. That’s the episode where a lot of listeners end up crying.

What’s the best advice you would offer people who are considering or are in the process of applying to business school?

The thing I did that made a huge difference was reaching out to current students and recent alumni from the programs I was interested in. Most of the schools look very similar if you only look at their websites or the rankings. However, when I heard anecdotes about these unique communities, that’s what helped me figure out where I wanted to go and why I was putting myself through all of this in the first place.

What are your plans for the podcast going forward?

I think I want to produce a second season. The plan would be to follow up with some of my previous guests to get an update about how their job search has gone, what their favorite classes have been and if they have any regrets now that they’re almost into the second half of their two-year experience.

Long term, I’d love to have someone who listens to the show reach out to me about taking it over. Once I graduate from Darden, I know I’ll soon be too far removed from the application process to give relevant advice anymore.

You can listen to The MBA Candidate podcast on iTunes.

The post Considering an MBA? Adam Miller Is Here to Help appeared first on The Consortium.
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Considering an MBA? Adam Miller Is Here to Help   [#permalink] 16 Jan 2020, 12:00

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