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Fridays from the Frontline: Student Perspectives – The Consortium at UCLA Anderson

This edition of Fridays from the Frontline highlights a valuable organization for diversity in business school: The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management. Current MBA student at UCLA Anderson, Carmen Chávez, shares her story of the support and guidance she received through the Consortium.

Student Perspectives: The Consortium at Anderson

By Carmen Chávez, UCLA Anderson MBA ’21

A year ago, I started working with The Parker Career Management Center to prepare for The Consortium’s Orientation Program, or “OP” as it is commonly referred to, where I’d have the opportunity to interview for 2020 summer internship opportunities. I felt an overwhelming amount of pressure to walk away from OP with an offer. As I reflect upon this experience, I remember how everyone I met at the conference helped to put my mind at ease just like one’s family would do because that’s what The Consortium is – a family.

If you are not familiar with The Consortium, “The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management is the nation’s largest diversity network, linking top tier students, leading MBA programs, and corporate partners, including Fortune 500 companies.” The mission of The Consortium “is to reduce the underrepresentation of African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans in education and the ranks of global management.” A common misconception is that membership is only open to those who identify as one of the aforementioned racial groups, but in actuality, all U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have demonstrated a commitment to The Consortium’s mission are eligible to apply.

The Consortium offers numerous benefits, starting with a streamlined business school application to up to six member schools. This saves time and, of course, money. If you are admitted into The Consortium, you will be considered for a merit-based fellowship that will cover full tuition and mandatory fees for a two-year, full-time program. As I previously mentioned, Consortium fellows also have a unique and exclusive opportunity to attend OP where they network and interview with corporate recruiters as well as connect with other incoming students from 20 top MBA programs.

As a first-generation college student, I can personally attest to how The Consortium community has been a crucial support system, which has made all the difference in shaping my b-school experience. It started with our amazing 2020 Consortium liaisons who traveled with us to OP, engaged with us over the summer, and have continued to make themselves available to answer all of our questions from academics to financial aid. Upon arriving for summer quarter in August, my first-day jitters went away as soon as I saw the familiar faces of my Consortium cohort. While we were split amongst five different sections for our core classes, we scheduled monthly dinners so we could continue to check-in with each other, enjoy some downtime from recruiting, and celebrate our accomplishments. Even during COVID-19, we’ve continued to meet up for virtual happy hours, which has been one of the positive moments during these unprecedented times. It was especially meaningful to connect with my Consortium family when my summer internship was canceled amid the pandemic. They were constantly reaching out to find out how I was doing and how they could help as well as sending me internship listings and career resources. In addition to their support, the Parker team advised me on how to best reach out to recruiters during these times of uncertainty, which positioned me to secure a summer internship with General Mills. I feel fortunate to be a part of The Consortium, and know that I can speak for everyone when I say we are here to help diminish the opportunity gap so that other underrepresented prospective students can find their family at UCLA Anderson and succeed in business school.

About Carmen: Carmen Chávez (’21) is a first-generation MBA candidate at UCLA Anderson, pursuing a specialization in Brand Management. Prior to business school, she worked in publicity at major media conglomerates including NBCUniversal and FOX Sports. She holds a B.A. degree in Sociology and Spanish from UCLA.
Undergrad: UCLA ‘13 (Sociology and Spanish)
Pre-MBA: Brand Communications Manager at Fox
[email protected]: Vice President of Alumni Relations – Marketing Association, Vice President of Partnerships – Alliance for Latinx Management at Anderson, MarCom Project Lead – Embracing Diversity Conference Committee; Interviewer – Admissions Ambassador Corps

Posted in: Fridays from the Frontline, Weekly Columns

Schools: UCLA Anderson

About the Author

Lauren Wakal

Lauren Wakal has been covering the MBA admissions space for more than a decade, from in-depth business school profiles to weekly breaking news and more.

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