The Consortium Blazes Paths to Career Success

The Consortium Blazes Paths to Career Success

Photo by Brian Treffeisen.

Pay particular attention to this article if you or someone you care about is operating on a career plateau. There are resources to help you transform your career.

You could benefit from an organization that has been supporting promising young leaders since 1966. The Consortium, along with its powerful network of corporate partners, supports students and business people from all over the United States.

What is The Consortium?


The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management (The Consortium) is an organization comprised of 18 member schools that serve to promote diversity and inclusion in American business schools and corporations. They recognize the effectiveness of diverse teams in business. In addition, the members of The Consortium understand the need to find leaders who know how to conduct business in a marketplace that has become more diverse.

The Mission Serves the Underrepresented


According to The Consortium, “The mission of The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, an alliance of leading American business schools and some of our country’s top corporations, is to enhance diversity in business education and leadership by helping to reduce the serious underrepresentation of African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans in both the member schools’ enrollments and the ranks of management.”

The Consortium is very serious about its mission, and it has delivered on this mission for 50 years.

Why Should You Care?


You should care, because results matter.

Over the past 50 years, more than $300 million dollars in MBA fellowships have benefited outstanding students.  The entering class for 2016 is made up of 474 students, and there are 900 students currently involved with the organization nationwide.

The alumni network has grown over time to more than 8500 graduates that advocate for one another. These graduates come from MBA programs in 18 universities across the United States.

From a corporate perspective, more than 75 partners support The consortium mission. Many successful minority business leaders have benefited from this partnership. In stark contrast, African American leadership in the Fortune 500 sector did not exist, before The Consortium was established in 1966. These results should illustrate the value of this program to anyone that is considering going to school to pursue an MBA.

Appreciate the History


Because 2016 marks The Consortium’s Golden Anniversary, there was a celebration to commemorate the tremendous progress earlier in the year.

In order to appreciate the current success stories, we should understand the past. There is a link between the history of this country and the formulation of the plan. The first director of The Consortium, Dr. Sterling H. Schoen, was said to have “witnessed the burning of Chicago.” Dr. Schoen’s reaction to the unrest motivated him to do what he could to create change in society. Given his profession as a business school professor, he saw education as a catalyst for this change.

“It was there that I first conceived of the notion that our business schools might take a more active and constructive role in promoting equal opportunity employment in our country. I soon realized that Washington University by itself could make little impact on the problem, and so the idea of a consortium of leading universities was conceived,” he said in a letter to Alfred Edwards, who, at the time, was a management professor at the University of Michigan.

To that end, The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management was established in 1966. That year, Washington University in St. Louis, Indiana University-Bloomington, and University of Wisconsin-Madison joined as Consortium member schools, with 21 men in the first Consortium class. The initial mission was “to give African American men the business skills they need to secure positions in American corporations.”

The scope has since grown to serve the academic and professional success of all U.S. citizens and permanent residents, who have demonstrated a commitment to The Consortium’s mission. For the past 50 years, numerous brilliant people have invested their resources to build a structure that can help our generation prosper. The book, Leading the Challenge of Change, documents a thorough history of this progress and provides a deeper understanding of The Consortium’s development, with respect for the hard work that’s been done over the years.

What You Should Do


There are two application deadlines for The Consortium, which always fall on October 15, for the first deadline, and January 5, for the second deadline. These deadlines apply to the upcoming school year. Students are able to apply to six member schools at the same time through The Consortium’s common application.

Peter J. Aranda III, the executive director and CEO of The Consortium, has some sound advice for interested participants. His own path to leadership has provided him with a unique perspective, as Mr. Aranda is the first Consortium alumnus to lead the organization.

Having experienced success at multiple levels, Mr. Aranda offers his expertise to prospective students, below:

  1. Give Yourself at Least a Year to Get Into Business School
    Keep in mind that some programs may not challenge you with admissions standards. A degree from one institution is not the same as another institution. Give yourself time to understand why you really want an MBA.
  2. Look Hard at the Programs
    Understand the types of companies who recruit on campus. Determine if those companies align with your goals. Evaluate each program to see if they are a fit for your individual goals.
  3. Take a Prep Course
    In a competitive environment where 80 percent of scores fall between 620 and 760, understand what you can do to compete. A quality test preparation course could boost your score by 100 points.
  4. Evaluate your Academic History
    Be honest when assessing your history. Take a statistics class and get an “A” to show your commitment to your career. An excellent grade will also highlight your ability to manage the work.
  5. Work on Your Essay Questions Months in Advance
    Make certain you are answering the actual question. Someone should be able to read your essay and know what question you are trying to answer. Bring enough personal uniqueness to make your essay stand out.
  6. Your References are Important
    Think about the people who can really speak to your accomplishments. Find people who have worked closely with you and who can discuss your leadership and ability to influence outcomes and decisions. Don’t try to impress recruiters with titles of those who can’t speak to your strengths.


For those of you with questions about upcoming recruiting events, please email