Raise Your Glass to the Best
Last week, a colleague and I penned a controversial post re: The Consortium. As promised I wouldn’t leave our opinions undone and after some superb commentary from responders I want to offer some suggestions that I think would improve an organization that I wholeheartedly support and believe in. Before you read, I’d like to add this is not an exhaustive list — if you have additions comments are a great way to voice your opinion!
- Encourage Consortium Member Schools to share accepted student data with the Consortium (either ranges and/or mean/median) and afford this transparency to the public (particularly future candidates and corporate partners).
- Offer (not enforce) a baseline threshold for Consortium Fellowship candidates in three main categories: GMAT, GPA, CGSM Mission Essay Score and Mission Statement Score. (This would mean implementing a scoring system for essays).
- For students who do not meet a suggested threshold for GMAT and GPA, offer an opportunity for reduced GMAT prep courses through a sanctioned partner OR reduced fee consulting through a partner who can help bolster an applicants candidacy. -I understand this is a cost prohibitive option for many (including myself). However, the benefits of getting a brief consultation prior to applying can only help, not hurt.-
- Reduce the maximum number of schools one can apply to to four and increase application fees accordingly. We all need to learn to prioritize and not just throw darts at the wall — the penalty for being a schizophrenic applicant (like I was) is too low. Increasing fees will help applicants think twice before throwing ‘Hail Marys’ or ‘drop passes’.
- Require ALL Consortium applicants to complete a Skype Interview with a Consortium Alum. I think the CGSM interview is a critical component to the process and the suggestion I pose below is the reason why.
- Add a short answer question to the Common Application that includes: “What is your motivation for applying through the Consortium?” or “Why do you really want to attend a Consortium School?” -I want to underscore this last point because I believe it’s critically important to facilitating the actual mission of the Consortium as well as addressing a primary concern of entitlement that (I feel) is growing amongst applicants.-
- When a student is accepted to the Consortium, just like National Black we should all be responsible for a membership fee. Perhaps this stance is contrary to reducing ‘the barrier to entry’ however we are getting access to resources that are unprecedented in the MBA world. I’m a firm believer in putting skin in the game. Frankly, $300 is the cost many of us paid to apply to Wharton or Stanford — it’s a mere drop in the bucket considering the investment we’ve made and are about to make. Think about it, with those app fees to other schools, we didn’t get a four-day week in a major metro city, an additional career network and a possibility at an internship prior to even starting school. It makes sense, and it also helps pay for a lot of the suggestions I made above.
I want to see the Consortium ditch the focus on MORE applicants and shift the focus to ‘better’ applicants. Let’s leave a legacy of producing the highest quality candidates that support the Consortium Mission, rather than employing a ‘kitchen sink strategy’. If we work together to make sure we are competing at a level that’s at or close to that of our non-CGSM peers I believe Consortium will become a more credible, relevant and performance oriented organization. We’ll be able to attract the not only the best talent but also the best schools AND the best companies that want to recruit that talent.
So raise your glass to making the Consortium Graduate Study for Management the best it can be.