Guest Post from Enyi, consultant for The Art of Applying and Consortium Fellow
Tips for Writing The Consortium Membership Essay
The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management application features three types of essays: two core application essays, one or more member school essays, and the membership essay. This post focuses on the membership essay. (See all of The Consortium essay prompts here.)
The Membership Essay prompt is as follows:
The mission of The Consortium is to enhance diversity in business education and leadership by helping the serious underrepresentation of African American, Hispanic Americans and Native Americans in both our member schools’ enrollments and the ranks of management. What have you done pre-MBA in your business, academic or personal life to demonstrate commitment to this mission? What will you do while enrolled in your MBA program to demonstrate your commitment to the mission? What will you do post-MBA with respect to community service and leadership involvement to demonstrate your continued commitment to The Consortium’s mission of diversity and inclusion? Please provide specific examples of your involvement, actions and results. (4,000 characters) The above prompt appears pretty dense, with multiple facets. We have broken the prompt down into four key elements that you should address:
Address the Consortium’s Mission
The Consortium places emphasis on two areas:
- Enhancing diversity in the business education and leadership spaces, and
- Helping underrepresented students of African American, Hispanic American, and Native American background.
Hence, you want to maintain a strong connection to this mission throughout your essay. Your experiences should highlight a focus on serving African American, Hispanic, and Native Americans—whether you are a member of one of those groups or not.
Discuss the Progression of Your Commitment
This essay prompt asks you to shed light on how you have demonstrated commitment to the Consortium mission pre-MBA, and explain how you will continue to show commitment during and after business school. Your essay should mirror this natural progression by highlighting professional, academic, and/or personal examples of such commitment through your pre-MBA experiences before you illustrate how you will maintain commitment going forward. Although it may be fairly easy to pinpoint how your current experiences show pre-MBA commitment, forecasting commitment during business school can sometimes be more difficult. Talking to current Consortium students and alums can serve you well, as they can provide you with the potential actions and roles you could take on as an MBA student. In addition, once you are a client of The Art of Applying, you can speak with the consultants here at The Art of Applying who are Consortium Fellows. Speaking with Consortium alumni that have deep insight to the Consortium experience and commitment will help you provide concrete details in your essays. Actions that you will take post-MBA to show commitment are more speculative, so you may need to do some brainstorming on how you will stay connected to the Consortium and its mission after graduating from business school.
Provide Specific Examples of your Work & Efforts
The Consortium wants you to delve deep into the specific roles, actions, and results that demonstrate commitment to their mission. You can achieve this throughout the essay by incorporating quantitative descriptions in addition to qualitative ones. Providing more details gives color to your essay so that any reader can clearly follow the impact of your commitment. You can also reference The Art of Applying’s Juicy Story Framework for some guidance on how to vividly tell your story.
Set the Right Tone
The overall perspective of your essay absolutely needs to highlight how YOU have demonstrated commitment to the mission and what YOU will do to maintain that commitment in the future. The Consortium wants to ensure that its members are self-starters, and will take the initiative to promote its mission. As a result, in your membership essay, you want to focus on your role and actions. In this vein, you want to primarily highlight your actions not as “we” actions you completed in a team setting, but rather as “I” actions to demonstrate your specific contributions within a team. You want to be the hero of your essay with the beneficiaries of your good deeds to be the Consortium and those they seek to serve through their mission. We here at The Art of Applying are always available to help you craft your best essay, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us for help with editing your Consortium membership essay! Good luck.