Admissions, diversity

Darden Consortium Cohort Provides Application Tips in Advance of Deadline

By Maggie Dodson-

The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management is well-known for connecting students, institutions, alumni and companies with the mission of “enhancing diversity and inclusion in global business education and leadership.” Students who apply to business school through the Consortium benefit from a streamlined process for test scores, transcripts, recommendation letters — and can reduce the application fees for students applying to multiple schools.

Darden is proud to be home to one of the largest Consortium cohorts in the country, and we caught up with several current students to get their advice on making the most of the Consortium and a few application tips in advance of the 15 October Consortium Round 1 application deadline. For specifics on the Consortium application process, check out their FAQ page.

What are a few favorite application tips for Consortium applicants?

Henrique Lopes (Class of 2021): Don’t try to fit a mold that you believe each school looks for. Truly share who you are and the process itself will take care of getting you to the school that is the best fit for you. Also, don’t stress about having to rank the schools for the Consortium application — rank the schools in the order of your preference, don’t try to “game the system.”

Henrique Lopes (Class of 2021)

How has being part of the Consortium enhanced your Darden experience?

Morolake Thompson (Class of 2020): Transitioning to Darden from both an academic and social perspective can be challenging. After the Consortium Orientation Program (OP), I confirmed I had made the right choice to go to Darden. The people I met were supportive and this theme has followed through to Second Year. My Consortium family is full of people who have pushed my thinking, encouraged me to make change where I desire, and lifted me up and out of challenging circumstances.

Emily Kelly (Class of 2021): Because of the Consortium, I was fortunate to arrive at school with a built-in family and support system. OP provided such a wonderful opportunity for us to bond over the summer. On days when I’m overwhelmed and feeling inadequate, it’s affirming to know there’s a group of people who are rooting for me that I can always rely on. We meet up to study and prepare cases for class, grab food together or have a potluck, etc. Because of the Consortium, I also have very strong friendships with students at other schools. We all share resources with one another, and it’s really quite amazing.

What sort of opportunities do Consortium students have at Darden?

Morolake Thompson (Class of 2020)

Morolake: Everyone in the Consortium has an opportunity to land an internship opportunity before starting Darden through the summer OP. You receive support from the Career Development Center and the Consortium Liaisons, which helps you prep before you have coffee chats, interviews or meet different representatives from companies who attend OP. I was able to land an early internship offer from Google through my Consortium affiliation, which definitely helped ease some of the stress that comes with First Year.

Emily: Professionally, participating in the Consortium has offered me early exposure and exclusive recruiting opportunities with companies of interest. Beyond that, we have the full support of dedicated staff, Second Year students and alumni to help us navigate every aspect of business school. Everything from tips on courses, self-care, resume review, interview prep, the best barbers and hair salons in town, restaurants to try out. Applying through the Consortium is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Why did you decide to apply through the Consortium?

Emily: As I contemplated pursuing an MBA, it was really important for be to at a school that values diversity and inclusion. Black women are grossly underrepresented in leadership roles across sectors and in MBA programs so I was really drawn to the mission of Consortium.

Looking for even more tips and advice about the Consortium community and application process?

Check out these additional resources:

If you are applying to Darden and wish to be considered for one of our scholarships for students interested in entrepreneurship, technology and innovation, please email us directly. You will need to submit an additional essay with your application, and this essay is not currently included with our Consortium supplemental application.


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