Anyone that REALLY knows me, knows that I cannot keep my mouth shut (maybe thats why I wanted to be a lawyer… a few years ago) and after debating with myself for 5 min, I responded. For those of you who want the brief summary – these bloggers had some strong opinions on the Consortium (CGSM) and Underrepresented Minorities (URMs) that I strongly disagreed with. Below is my response…feel free to make this a (healthy) debate
I understand some of the points that you are making but wanted to address a few of your points. For some transparency I am also a URM, I applied to one Consortium school and the rest of my applications were non-Consortium.
To address your comment that “URM’s expect everything on a silver platter with the Consortium”, I recognize that both you and I probably know several URMs not only with the Consortium fellowship but other fellowships as well. On the flipside, I know several URMS, one in particular from an ivy and another few from Top 25 UG’s who were rejected/waitlisted from CGSM schools. I don’t think that most URM’s consider the fellowship as something OWED to them. Rather it is treated as an HONOR. This is why 2nd year CGSM’s mentor first years, they are leaders in their respective schools and why companies go after them.
I like to think that the Consortium provides an opportunity. If we look at the schools that are a part of the membership, bottomline they want to increase their diversity. Therefore, they provide a means to apply at a reduced cost and take on the ‘risk’ of joining the CGSM and evaluating the entire package. These schools see the upside of adding diversity to their class. But by no means are they lowering their standards for admission. Although people like you and I may be go-getters, I’ve encountered MANY URM’s stating that they would not dream of applying to top MBA programs and self-select themselves out of the process with sentiments like “I’m totally not going to get in” or “Applying would be a waste of money”….so in many ways I see the CGSM as an opportunity to take the gamble and (hopefully) increase odds. Also, if you have encountered arrogant URMs what’s the problem? I think this confidence/arrogance is the same across the board in every community. I remember sitting at info sessions and waiting for interviews with very pompous people (maybe I was one of them? Lolol). Sorry to break it to you…but that’s what Top Bschools attract!!!
Furthermore, I’m not naive, I’m sure all MBA programs (not just CGSM schools) are comparing URMS to other URMS rather than our white/Asian counterparts but please believe they are taking the crème de la crème of the URMS. I have also spoken to a girl with a 630 GMAT getting the Consortium fellowship, but once again, that’s ALL I knew about that person. I have no idea what her recommenders said, her essays, her interview style etc. and although most applicants are skeptical…we are ALL more than a number.
In addition, applying to CSGM schools is also an option for EVERYONE (I’ve met both Asian and white CGSM fellows). This past weekend at an admit weekend, the financial aid session was PACKED with all races/creeds/nationalities so EVERYONE cares equally about the cost of getting an MBA. Perhaps URMS are more risk averse and decide to apply only to CGSM schools? Perhaps our other counterparts are more prepared financially? That is up for debate. However, the CGSM mission is one I support regardless of what school I end up matriculating at and I’m happy for anyone that decides to go that route URM or non-URM.
Finally, to address a comment I read. MLT and the CGSM provide a network and although its easy to compare them, they are two completely different organizations (which is another debate we can have at another time…this post is getting long). Nonetheless I wouldn’t say that either is a legup but just another means to navigate this process. They both present opportunities to meet other ambitious URMS that frankly I probably would never meet otherwise. Coming from an area with few URM’s and a professional background where no one goes to b-school, every time I went to an MLT conference I felt energized and realized I wasn’t alone in the process. Maybe this is different for people in major cities but for me that was one of best things about MLT.
Okay thanks for reading.
Let the debates begin. – Motown
P.S These are JUST my views and do not reflect other writers on this blog