What is “The Consortium?”


Each year about this time I travel to several universities and speak to undergraduates about B-School and the GMAT, and each year I’m surprised by how much people don’t know about existing graduate school opportunities. So today’s blog is dedicated to shedding some light on an organization that every aspiring B-School applicant should investigate: The Consortium.

The Word on the Street

First, let’s look at the word on the street about the Consortium. This is what a few of my GMAT students had to say about it:

“An organization that gives money to minorities for business school.”

“A group that provides scholarships to blacks and Hispanics for top 10 b-schools”

“A group of 13 business schools that allow minorities to submit one application and awards scholarships.”

While all of these statements contain at least a modicum of truth, they vastly undersell (and sort of oversell) the goals of the Consortium and the role the organization plays. So let’s clarify:

What The Consortium Says

Here is what The Consortium’s website says:

The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management is the country’s preeminent organization for promoting diversity and inclusion in American business. Through an annual competition, The Consortium awards merit-based, full-tuition fellowships to America’s best and brightest candidates.

A notable absence from that statement is any mention of race, and while many of us view ‘diversity’ as synonymous with race, this simply is not the case. CGSM revised their mission statement and application criteria to allow for a more inclusive approach. Consequently, anyone may apply to the Consortium as long as they can “demonstrate a commitment” to the Consortium’s mission of increasing diversity in American business.

Also note that the mission is not “diversity in business school” but rather in “business.” One of the major facets people overlook about the Consortium (I think folks get blinded by the almighty dollar) is that the program is not merely a scholarship opportunity, but also an entrance into a network of professional resources designed to enhance your career opportunities and advancement. If you are serious about business school and committed to building your network with a group of diverse and talented individuals, then you’d do well to check out the Consortium.

Who is The Consortium?

As the name implies, the Consortium is “an association or a combination, as of businesses, financial institutions, or investors,” with a shared mission [The American Heritage Dictionary]. The schools in this particular consortium are:

How Do You Find out More?

To find out more visit The Consortium online or attend an informational session near you. If you twitter follow them at twitter.com/cgsm_mba

At the end of the day, success in business depends as much on who you know as on what you know. In examining your graduate school options and opportunities, it pays to have a better understanding of both. Investigate your options. Go beyond just what you hear “on the street” when considering organizations and groups that may help you achieve your B-School and business goals.

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