My Experience with The Consortium and OP

The following blog post was written by Alonso Moreno, 2017 MBA Candidate

It’s hard not to feel some level of intimidation when going into an MBA program – especially if you’re a member of The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, where my peers are about half of the country’s top minority MBA talent! If you’re not familiar, The Consortium is an organization whose mission is to reduce the underrepresentation of African Americans, Native Americans and Hispanic Americans in education and business. The University of Rochester is one of 18 member schools that make up The Consortium – in fact, I’m proud to say that the University of Rochester is one of the organization’s founding members.

The Consortium kicks-off each year with an Orientation Program (also called OP) where first-year students attend a series of seminars and workshops to jumpstart their career development. Students also have the opportunity to network with various corporations and interview for internships. As you can imagine, OP is one of the greatest perks of The Consortium and students have to be prepared!

facebookBeginning my preparation for OP, I had all the confidence in the world because the Simon staff involved were nothing short of encouraging and helpful. My prep included: fine-tuning my resume, practicing my pitch, and conducting company research. I was fortunate enough to work one-on-one with Kelly Gibbon, Director of Career Management at Simon’s Career Management Center (CMC). Although there were many more individuals who ultimately played a role in my experience at OP, Kelly was my first point of contact for OP preparation. She was always available to answer questions via e-mail, schedule times to talk or even just review some of my materials. Without her help, my time leading up to OP would have been a lot more stressful and wouldn’t have been as enjoyable.

Upon joining Simon through The Consortium, I heard of the great network and support I’d gain by joining the school. I don’t think I came to fully appreciate what this meant until OP. The staff, student liaisons, alumni, and fellow classmates from Simon were all there to help each other. With their guidance and recommendations, I was able to further build my confidence. If there’s one piece of advice I have for an incoming MBA candidate: work on your personal pitch. It’s important to be able to articulate your professional experiences and accomplishments into concise points. This is what made networking with recruiters and having interviews at OP so much easier, and the reason why I can truly call OP a success.

While The Consortium program at Simon may not be the biggest compared to other schools, the level of support from staff, alumni and student liaisons was unmatched at OP. All the individuals I had the privilege to meet and work with, including my fellow classmates, helped create a close-knit atmosphere. The relationships created at OP made it that much easier to be successful during my time at Simon. I gained all of this even before sitting for my first class at Simon! I can only look forward to what the next two years have in store.

Are you interested in applying to graduate business school through The Consortium? If so, the process is simple. Especially if you plan to apply to multiple members schools because it will save you both time and money!

The first things to keep in mind are the deadlines: Round 1 is October 15, 2015 and Round 2 is January 5, 2016. No matter which deadline you target, you are encouraged to start the application early so you know what materials are needed to successfully complete your application. The Consortium does a great job on their website of detailing the application process, but there are some “common” pieces to the application that will be used by all schools: GMAT or GRE scores, transcript(s), resume, core essay #1, the optional essay, along with your general application information. There is also a school-specific essay that you will need to complete that only Simon will receive, as well as a core essay on your commitment to the mission of The Consortium that the schools will not see. The “ranking” of schools on The Consortium application can sometimes be confusing so it is recommended that you speak with a Consortium staff member or Simon Admissions to fully understand what implications the rankings might have.

If you have questions, contact the Simon Admissions Office at admissions@simon.rochester.edu or (585) 275-3533. You can also read more about The Consortium at cgsm.org or on Simon’s website.

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