Consortium Chat with Jackie Olden

Consortium Chat with Jackie Olden

Please feel free to let us know if you would like to be informed of future chats by sending e-mail to We would also be interested in knowing if you would prefer a different format or different topics.

Linda Abraham (Oct 25, 2006 5:47:25 PM)
First I want to welcome you all to’s Consortium Chat. I also want to welcome our special guests for this evening. Please hold your applause until I introduce all panelists. ;-) Jackie M. Olden
Director of Recruiting
Consortium for Graduate Study in Management;
Rebecca Smith
Recruiting Coordinator
Consortium for Graduate Study in Management;
Colleen M. Smith
Director, Diversity Strategies and Programs
Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon;
Isser Gallogly
Executive Director, MBA Admissions
NYU Stern School of Business;
Gwyneth Slocum Bailey
Associate Director of Admissions
Stephen M. Ross School of Business
University of Michigan;
Rebekah Lewin
Director of Admissions
University of Rochester, Simon School;
Wendy Huber
Associate Director of Admissions
Darden School of Business, University of Virginia;
Stephanie Bartelt
Assistant Director of MBA Admissions
Washington University in St. Louis- Olin MBA;
Betsy Kacizak
Director of MBA Admissions and Financial Aid
University of Wisconsin-Madison;
Kellee Scott
Senior Associate Director
MBA Admissions
USC Marshall School of Business

Linda Abraham (Oct 25, 2006 5:48:55 PM)
I am Linda Abraham, president of and moderator for tonight's event.

Linda Abraham (Oct 25, 2006 5:49:01 PM)
Thanks to everyone for joining                                     ..

Linda Abraham (Oct 25, 2006 5:50:11 PM)
To each of the admissions directors, what criteria should applicants use in choosing which schools to apply to?

KelleeScottUSC (Oct 25, 2006 5:51:00 PM)
Linda, criteria should be concentration or interest, location, teaching style,...

BetsyKacizakCGSMWisc (Oct 25, 2006 5:51:31 PM)
I would suggest when selecting programs to focus on your career goals and fit with the MBA and school. Visiting programs will help you determine fit.

RebekahLewinCGSMSimon (Oct 25, 2006 5:52:01 PM)
Students should look at "fit" with a program when prioritizing schools - size of program, career interests, or other metrics that are important to their search.

ColleenSmithCGSMCMU (Oct 25, 2006 5:52:41 PM)
When choosing a program, visiting the school of interest is definitely a must. You need to get a sense of the culture.

chris (Oct 25, 2006 5:53:02 PM)
Hello all. This question is for all panelists but especially Wendy at Darden. How do the schools plan on increasing diversity and specifically me as a Hispanic would the schools be more lenient with the fact that I had a less than average for these schools but still respectable GMAT of 650

StephanieBarteltCGSMWUSTL (Oct 25, 2006 5:53:10 PM)
A great idea for visits is to check out a school's Diversity themed weekend!

Casandra (Oct 25, 2006 5:53:16 PM)
My question is " I am thinking about applying to the Consortium early decision. Should I still apply early decision if I need to retake the GMAT for a 2nd time? If my essays and the other components of the application are in line, does it benefit me to go ahead and submit my application early decision and then post my scores when they come out or should I wait for my scores to post and then submit my application by the January deadline?

WendyHuberCGSMUVA (Oct 25, 2006 5:53:42 PM)
After awhile, all of us are going to sound the same. In choosing a school, look for great faculty, wonderful community - it's all about where you feel comfortable - do you like the size of the school, the pedagogy etc.

KelleeScottUSC (Oct 25, 2006 5:54:01 PM)
Casandra, it could be different for each school. USC does not do early decision, so it's not an issue for us

JackieOldenConsortium (Oct 25, 2006 5:54:52 PM)
Casandra-you application is incomplete with out the GMAT score

BetsyKacizakCGSMWisc (Oct 25, 2006 5:54:57 PM)
Casandra, your application is complete only when you have your application and supporting materials in. If you goal is to retake the GMAT but it is after December 1, you will want to mention that in your application or wait and submit once you feel your application is competitive.

StephanieBarteltCGSMWUSTL (Oct 25, 2006 5:55:12 PM)
Casandra- Olin does not offer early decision either. We have slots available for 1st and 2nd round CGSM applications. I think most school's have the same policy

Linda Abraham (Oct 25, 2006 5:55:24 PM)
Is it possible for her application to be evaluated only on the basis of the first GMAT?

WendyHuberCGSMUVA (Oct 25, 2006 5:55:44 PM)
Chris - diversity is important and Darden has always been committed to admitting a diverse class. Remember we are looking at more than your GMAT score we are also looking at your letters of recommendation, your professional experience etc. I'm happy to talk with you off line if you want to discuss your situation specifically.

MarkPerez (Oct 25, 2006 5:56:01 PM)
Jackie and school reps: Could you comment on how the "Please list all other graduate business schools to which you are applying" portion of the application is viewed and what effect it may have? Thank you.

IsserGalloglyNYU (Oct 25, 2006 5:56:09 PM)
I agree that selecting a business school is an involved process. There are many factors to consider, including what school has the best business connections to your desired field and academic strength. Overall, the determining factor is "fit." To get a feel for that you need to really visit the schools and spend time with the students.

BetsyKacizakCGSMWisc (Oct 25, 2006 5:56:34 PM)
Linda, yes, it can be evaluated based on the first GMAT, but if she feels like she would be more competitive with her second score she should wait. Submitting materials that you do not feel competitive with might yield a decision you do not want.

Linda Abraham (Oct 25, 2006 5:56:48 PM)
Thanks Betsy.

Guest (Oct 25, 2006 5:57:06 PM)
What kind of things are you looking for in Core question #4?

KelleeScottUSC (Oct 25, 2006 5:57:10 PM)
MarkPerez, it is no secret that you will be applying to multiple schools. It is not viewed negatively if that's your concern. It is more for CGSM information and does not play into the admissions decision

jf82 (Oct 25, 2006 5:57:16 PM)
Does the ranking system in the Consortium application affect admission? In other words, if I rank school A 1st and school B 2nd, will school B be turned off. I have heard very different things from admissions people so I'm curious to hear what this panel has to say. If I am specifically looking at NYU and UVA.

JackieOldenConsortium (Oct 25, 2006 5:57:18 PM)
Mark--the other schools listed is for Consortium Statistics

StephanieBarteltCGSMWUSTL (Oct 25, 2006 5:57:47 PM)
Linda- most school's will take the higher of the two scores and it is not uncommon to take the GMAT again to improve the score

BetsyKacizakCGSMWisc (Oct 25, 2006 5:57:49 PM)
Mark, the schools you list will only be used when making the fellowship decisions.

Linda Abraham (Oct 25, 2006 5:58:21 PM)
Do schools know how we ranked them in our Consortium application? Does that ranking influence admissions decisions?

WendyHuberCGSMUVA (Oct 25, 2006 5:58:40 PM)
jf82 - We see the ranking but we do not use it for admissions purposes, we strictly use it when it comes to fellowship awards.

chris (Oct 25, 2006 5:58:50 PM)
yes Wendy I would like to discuss it with you, how could I e-mail you?

BetsyKacizakCGSMWisc (Oct 25, 2006 5:59:22 PM)
However, to Stephanie's point, if we only see one score the school may not know your plans to retake the GMAT. So if you submit early and don't have the second GMAT score in please be sure to let the schools know or wait to submit your application until you have all the materials you want reviewed.

StephanieBarteltCGSMWUSTL (Oct 25, 2006 5:59:23 PM)
Linda- we do see the ranking but it does not have any bearing on the actual admission decision itself. It is possible to be admitted by every school

WendyHuberCGSMUVA (Oct 25, 2006 5:59:43 PM)
Chris - you can reach me at

KelleeScottUSC (Oct 25, 2006 5:59:45 PM)
Linda, the admissions decision is completely independent of the ranking

JackieOldenConsortium (Oct 25, 2006 5:59:58 PM)
Linda--Yes the schools will know how you rank them. It should not influence admission decisions

Linda Abraham (Oct 25, 2006 6:00:20 PM)
How can an applicant differentiate him or herself from other candidates?

Jane (Oct 25, 2006 6:01:04 PM)
What is the advantage, if any, of applying to the Consortium for the December deadline instead of the January deadline?

BetsyKacizakCGSMWisc (Oct 25, 2006 6:01:17 PM)
Linda, candidates can differentiate themselves through their experiences, both professional work and other/volunteer experiences. Essays and career focus can also have an impact.

ColleenSmithCGSMCMU (Oct 25, 2006 6:01:40 PM)
Linda, you can differentiate yourself by telling your story. the unique experiences that you have had and how those exp. have impacted your career/life

WendyHuberCGSMUVA (Oct 25, 2006 6:01:46 PM)
While differentiating may seem difficult in a pool of MBAs - thing about who you are and what you bring to the table - professionally and personally.

StephanieBarteltCGSMWUSTL (Oct 25, 2006 6:01:59 PM)
Linda-there are many ways to differentiate yourself based on positive aspects in your academic background, maybe something you have been involved in or lead in your professional career. Another way to differentiate is to carefully select your recommenders- be sure they can really speak to your abilities and I recommend giving them a lot of lead time

IsserGalloglyNYU (Oct 25, 2006 6:02:10 PM)
jf82- The Consortium is a group of schools all committed to the same purpose. We have chosen to be part of this organization and use a common application so that we all maximize people going to b-school. As such we expect that people will apply to multiple schools and are not offended or turned off by rankings of schools in the least. Feel free to rank us as you like. The schools admit plenty of people who do not rank them #1 and fellowships are often given out to people who did not rank that school #1 too.

RebekahLewinCGSMSimon (Oct 25, 2006 6:02:19 PM)
Linda- also, volunteer work or activities/involvement outside the workplace differentiate a candidate. It shows balance and a commitment to give back to the community, usually translates into involvement during the MBA experience

KelleeScottUSC (Oct 25, 2006 6:02:40 PM)
Jane, for USC, there is no difference between the December and January deadlines, however, some schools will give you an earlier decision in round 1. You are still assessed in relation to the pool of students in the round you apply in, which may or may not be as competitive as other rounds. your best decision is to apply when your application is at it's best

Linda Abraham (Oct 25, 2006 6:03:05 PM)
How do you evaluate fellowship applicants?

KelleeScottUSC (Oct 25, 2006 6:04:03 PM)
After you are accepted as a member, fellowships are offered based on the merit of your application

Linda Abraham (Oct 25, 2006 6:04:41 PM)
What is the process for being accepted as a member?

StephanieBarteltCGSMWUSTL (Oct 25, 2006 6:04:52 PM)
Linda, the third essay is a very important component in determining membership- in addition to experiences on your resume

RebeccaSmithConsortium (Oct 25, 2006 6:05:11 PM)
Linda, The process of becoming a member occurs in three steps. The first step is admission to the school. The second step is membership (more detail in a second). The third step is fellowship.

WendyHuberCGSMUVA (Oct 25, 2006 6:05:51 PM)
You guys are awfully quiet...I'm sure you have more questions. We are ready!

Linda Abraham (Oct 25, 2006 6:05:59 PM)
This is a question from Jon: Is the perceived strength of an undergraduate institution weighted when comparing GPAs?

RebeccaSmithConsortium (Oct 25, 2006 6:06:06 PM)
Membership is determined by the third core essay, which asks what it is that you do to support the mission of the Consortium. This is your chance to make your case for becoming a member. You can also submit a third recommendation to support that essay and show us why you deserve membership.

KelleeScottUSC (Oct 25, 2006 6:06:48 PM)
Jon, when comparing GPAs, schools look at the strength and challenge of the curriculum you chose.  For example, 2.9 in engineering may be considered stronger than 4.0 in basket weaving...

StephanieBarteltCGSMWUSTL (Oct 25, 2006 6:06:51 PM)
Have all of the candidates already taken the GMAT or started the application yet? Any specific questions about the app or interview?

Jane (Oct 25, 2006 6:07:04 PM)
What are the interview requirements at individual schools, particularly Darden and Ross? I know Stern requires a school interview as part of the application process in addition to the Consortium interview.

IsserGalloglyNYU (Oct 25, 2006 6:07:43 PM)
Is anyone on the chat considering applying a year from now? There are some great resources you may want to consider between now and then. We are all happy to tell you more about that...

BetsyKacizakCGSMWisc (Oct 25, 2006 6:08:06 PM)
Jane, you only need one consortium interview and any school can do the interview. However, you will want to check with each school because schools do have specific requires for their program.

Diaz (Oct 25, 2006 6:08:24 PM)
I am looking to apply a year from now

Casandra (Oct 25, 2006 6:08:37 PM)
I have already had my interview at Stern. I am now in the process of drafting my essays and studying to take the GMAT a 2nd time

GwynethBaileyCGSMRoss (Oct 25, 2006 6:08:43 PM)
Jane, You'll need to complete the CGSM interview in order for your application to be complete. It is not necessary to interview with an admissions staff member at the Ross School of Business if you complete the Consortium interview with another Consortium representative. After reviewing your Consortium application, the Ross School of Business may invite you to interview with a Ross Admissions representative. This is a separate interview from your required Consortium interview. Ross interview invitations may be extended at any time after you submit your application, up until the date that your admission decision is released. If you are invited for an interview, you may arrange an on-campus, off-campus or telephone interview with a member of our admissions staff.

StephanieBarteltCGSMWUSTL (Oct 25, 2006 6:08:48 PM)
The nice thing about applying through the CGSM is that you can interview with any member school for the actual Consortium application

KelleeScottUSC (Oct 25, 2006 6:08:54 PM)
Diaz, please check out for a year of MBA application prep

WendyHuberCGSMUVA (Oct 25, 2006 6:08:55 PM)
As a Consortium applicant you can interview at Darden or with a member school or alum. We would love for you to come and visit but we can't make you come for an interview.

KelleeScottUSC (Oct 25, 2006 6:09:36 PM)
Diaz, the application is open right now. The formal name is Management Leadership for tomorrow

Linda Abraham (Oct 25, 2006 6:09:40 PM)
May Consortium applicants submit the school's application as opposed to the Consortium application or in addition to the Consortium application, if applying to schools other than UNC?

IsserGalloglyNYU (Oct 25, 2006 6:09:44 PM)
Jane- You got it exactly right. There is a consortium interview first. Then there can be a Stern specific interview after that (our interviews are by invitation only). We encourage you to interview with any Consortium interviewer that is convenient to you - if you are in LA feel free to meet with Kellee Scott for example! The Stern interview focuses much more specifically on how you fit at Stern. It gives you the chance to make your case directly to our admissions committee.

J.B. (Oct 25, 2006 6:09:56 PM)
When discussing the issue of "Why [school X]", what would the school reps recommend as a way to really get a good feel for the specific aspects of various schools' programs that "fit" with the applicants' career, personal, and educational goals?

KelleeScottUSC (Oct 25, 2006 6:10:10 PM)
Linda, applicants should submit the CGSM only. UNC is the only exception

WendyHuberCGSMUVA (Oct 25, 2006 6:10:56 PM)
JB - To get a good feel for the school, I would try to talk with alums and current students - I would also make a visit - seeing is believing!

RebekahLewinCGSMSimon (Oct 25, 2006 6:11:06 PM)
JB - visiting the school can help make your case, but if you haven't had the opportunity to do so, I would recommend making outreach to each school to request conversations and connections with current students and/or alumni to learn more.

futureMBA (Oct 25, 2006 6:11:08 PM)
Hello! I have question that is directed to the individual schools-- and I apologize if someone has already asked it. Does the rankings that the applicants give affect your chances of acceptance? That is, am I more likely to get into the school if I rank it first?

BetsyKacizakCGSMWisc (Oct 25, 2006 6:11:25 PM)
J.B., visiting the school will help you with this question. If you can't visit, schools may offer on-line chats (like tonight's) or could offer you the chance to talk with students or alumni.

StephanieBarteltCGSMWUSTL (Oct 25, 2006 6:11:27 PM)
J.B- the website is always a great place to start but you should try to visit each program of interest. Many school's will offer special visit weekends where you can meet staff, faculty and current students

chris (Oct 25, 2006 6:11:34 PM)
As a follow up to Jon's question, I wasn't entirely clear on the answer. Would it be possible to be more specific. Most of the top schools (all the ones here apply) have an average undergrad GPA of 3.3. Many of those students had that 3.3 from "top undergrads". I received a 3.6 from a "lower ranked school" specifically VCU, finance major. Would my GPA be considered higher or lower than average at your schools?

GwynethBaileyCGSMRoss (Oct 25, 2006 6:12:05 PM)
J.B. Ross - and probably other schools - have Student Ambassadors - profiles online that you can check out and connect directly to that current MBA.

KelleeScottUSC (Oct 25, 2006 6:12:07 PM)
FutureMBA, the admissions decision is completely independent of other decisions. Applying to many schools is not viewed negatively and does not affect the admissions decision

BetsyKacizakCGSMWisc (Oct 25, 2006 6:12:11 PM)
futureMBA, the school rankings are not a part of the admissions decisions. The rankings are only used in the fellowship process.

StephanieBarteltCGSMWUSTL (Oct 25, 2006 6:12:12 PM)
J.B- admissions reps can always connect you with a current student or even better- an alum in your city

IsserGalloglyNYU (Oct 25, 2006 6:12:13 PM)
Diaz - MLT is definitely a great opportunity for you to investigate. In addition, this is a great time to visit the schools and find out about their Diversity weekends that typically happen in the Fall. Also, you probably want to go to a Consortium reception in the Fall and maybe an MBA fair too. In addition, its a great time to hone those career goals - you may want to go to and use their career finder tool.

Linda Abraham (Oct 25, 2006 6:12:21 PM)
JB, you may also want to read school's online newspapers, blogs of current students, or participate in school-sponsored forums.

WendyHuberCGSMUVA (Oct 25, 2006 6:12:46 PM)
Chris - give yourself some worked hard and did well. Let your transcript speak for itself - focus your energy on your essays and your interview -

futureMBA (Oct 25, 2006 6:13:22 PM)
What types of things can offset a low GPA from a very long (~10 yrs) time ago?

StephanieBarteltCGSMWUSTL (Oct 25, 2006 6:13:52 PM)
Chris- remember that we are also looking at professional accomplishments, extra-curricular activities and recommendations

KelleeScottUSC (Oct 25, 2006 6:14:15 PM)
futureMBA, since you can't change the GPA, focus on work experience and getting a good GMAT score. there are more elements to the application. Your GPA is only one part of your story

IsserGalloglyNYU (Oct 25, 2006 6:14:27 PM)
Chris - We see a very broad range of undergrads, at Stern a 3.6 is a 3.6. That would be at the high end of our 80% admitted range. You should feel good about that accomplishment.

BetsyKacizakCGSMWisc (Oct 25, 2006 6:14:36 PM)
futureMBA, GMAT score and undergraduate record help a school to see your academic ability. Doing well on the GMAT will help. Other aspects of your application can also help like essays, strong recommendations and a good interview.

Diaz (Oct 25, 2006 6:14:50 PM)
IsserGallognyu-what is your MBA focus

futureMBA (Oct 25, 2006 6:15:05 PM)

chris (Oct 25, 2006 6:15:09 PM)
Thanks for the reply Isser

J.B. (Oct 25, 2006 6:15:12 PM)
Are the liaisons listed on the CGSM website the "ambassadors" to which you refer?

BetsyKacizakCGSMWisc (Oct 25, 2006 6:15:32 PM)
futureMBA, you can also use the optional essay if there is anything you might need to explain, e.g. having a bad semester because of adjusting to school.

JackieOldenConsortium (Oct 25, 2006 6:15:57 PM)
JB--yes our liaisons are ambassadors

futureMBA (Oct 25, 2006 6:16:04 PM)
Are the GPAs recalculated (like LSAC does for law school apps)? In order to standardize GPAs, etc..

BetsyKacizakCGSMWisc (Oct 25, 2006 6:16:44 PM)
futureMBA, most school don't recalculate the GPA. We will look at all your transcripts and grades.

RebeccaSmithConsortium (Oct 25, 2006 6:16:45 PM)
JB, The liaisons are current second year students. You can contact them with questions about the individual programs, or about the Consortium.

Linda Abraham (Oct 25, 2006 6:16:58 PM)
What are the benefits of Consortium membership, other than the fellowships?

RebekahLewinCGSMSimon (Oct 25, 2006 6:17:00 PM)
futureMBA - if you feel that a more recent business-related class would also help to better demonstrate your academic skills, you might consider enrolling in such a class at a local undergraduate school.

IsserGalloglyNYU (Oct 25, 2006 6:17:07 PM)
Diaz-NYU Stern is strong in all academic areas. So, we are great for the big three careers: finance, marketing and consulting. In addition, NYU Stern does a great job with some specialized paths as well. For example, we have a great entertainment & media program, we have a nice focus on real estate, luxury retail, entrepreneurship and pharma. Just like the diversity of business in NYC, we reflect that with our offerings. What do you want to do?

KelleeScottUSC (Oct 25, 2006 6:17:26 PM)
The benefits of the Consortium if that many employers sponsor Consortium and are keen on hiring CGSM graduates

StephanieBarteltCGSMWUSTL (Oct 25, 2006 6:17:31 PM)
You can usually find ambassadors on a particular school website by checking out student organizations such as the school Business Minority Council

chris (Oct 25, 2006 6:17:32 PM)
One final question: I went into the GMAT being told the AWA was inconsequential and ended up with a 4, which is on the low side. Now I am being told that adcoms looks at AWA's to determine if the applicant really wrote their essays (if the essay is "too good"). I am working hard on my essays and think they will be top notch, should I worry that my low AWA would be held against me. I scored high on the verbal of the GMAT if that mitigates it some...

jon1 (Oct 25, 2006 6:17:36 PM)
Gwyneth, How does Ross determine who is granted an interview?

GwynethBaileyCGSMRoss (Oct 25, 2006 6:17:39 PM)
J.B. - Ross has Ambassadors listed on our Full time Admissions website. They may or may not be CGSM.

RebeccaSmithConsortium (Oct 25, 2006 6:17:55 PM)
Linda, The other benefits of the Consortium include an invitation the Consortium's Orientation Program (at the Consortium's expense), access to the Consortium's online database, and access to the Consortium's corporate sponsors and alumni network for the rest of your life

ColleenSmithCGSMCMU (Oct 25, 2006 6:18:01 PM)
A network of 13 school alumni base is another benefit of the Consortium

IsserGalloglyNYU (Oct 25, 2006 6:18:09 PM)
chris- my pleasure! How's the GMAT coming along? any specific questions on your application?

BetsyKacizakCGSMWisc (Oct 25, 2006 6:18:19 PM)
Linda, attending the Orientation Program is one the best benefits. This is a four day program offered in June to all incoming students. It gives you the instance edge on career services and employers. Many of our students leave the OP with internship offers and great contacts.

JackieOldenConsortium (Oct 25, 2006 6:18:31 PM)
Linda--the membership is directly related to the fellowship. ditto Rebecca's comments

Diaz (Oct 25, 2006 6:18:46 PM)
Isser, I would like to do entertainment, media and entrepreneurship

kda (Oct 25, 2006 6:19:01 PM)
If you get accepted to Consortium school, but choose to go to a non Consortium school, can you still join the Consortium?

StephanieBarteltCGSMWUSTL (Oct 25, 2006 6:19:16 PM)
Chris- we look at all aspects of the GMAT. If there is a concern about the AWA we can always take a look at the app essays to compare writing ability

futureMBA (Oct 25, 2006 6:19:22 PM)
To what extent do "external" considerations factor in? e.g., What if I need to be in a city to be near family, a finance, etc...?

KelleeScottUSC (Oct 25, 2006 6:19:23 PM)
kda, you would no longer be eligible for Consortium if you go to a non-Consortium school

RebeccaSmithConsortium (Oct 25, 2006 6:19:31 PM)
Kda, No, you will not be a member of the Consortium if you enroll in a non-member school

ColleenSmithCGSMCMU (Oct 25, 2006 6:19:56 PM)
kda, have to attend a Consortium school to join in the benefits

jon1 (Oct 25, 2006 6:20:03 PM)
Can a 6 on the AWA help an application?

J.B. (Oct 25, 2006 6:20:41 PM)
In general, after acceptance, which we will find out in March/April timeframe (2nd decision), how should we plan to spend the summer leading up to the start of classes?

chris (Oct 25, 2006 6:20:48 PM)
Stephanie - that was specifically my question. Would a low AWA be mitigated by excellent essays or would it raise concern that I didn't write my essays myself?

IsserGalloglyNYU (Oct 25, 2006 6:20:53 PM)
chris- At Stern we really look at the overall score and then the parts in context of the rest of the application. There are many ways to demonstrate writing - good essays, verbal section of the GMAT undergrad and business records.

BetsyKacizakCGSMWisc (Oct 25, 2006 6:20:59 PM)
jon1, the AWA score of 6 is impressive and shows your strong writing skills. However, the AWA is not factored into the total GMAT score.

KelleeScottUSC (Oct 25, 2006 6:21:28 PM)
futuremba, it is a personal choice as to where you go. Personal considerations is something to consider. There are great schools all over that will give you a fantastic MBA. it's nice to know that there is probably an excellent program near you...

BetsyKacizakCGSMWisc (Oct 25, 2006 6:21:51 PM)
J.B. I would suggest you continue to work at your current employer. Many programs value the work experience.

GwynethBaileyCGSMRoss (Oct 25, 2006 6:22:12 PM)
jon1 - This is a new process for us, but our plan is to go through the usual review process of looking at the entire application for strengths and weaknesses, comparison to the pool, etc.

WendyHuberCGSMUVA (Oct 25, 2006 6:22:12 PM)
JB - This is a personal decision. Some people will take a class if they feel like they need to do this to ramp up. Some people will take a little time off to relax before b-school..

ColleenSmithCGSMCMU (Oct 25, 2006 6:22:16 PM)
J.B....If you are intending to explore a different functional/industry area, I would encourage you to begin to network with individuals who can expose you to this new area of interest. It's never to late to begin networking

kda (Oct 25, 2006 6:22:48 PM)
Sorry if this has been asked, I joined late. If you apply by the Dec 1 deadline, when do you find out about fellowships? Not until April?

jon1 (Oct 25, 2006 6:22:53 PM)
Are the admissions statistics at each school higher or lower or the same for re-applicants?

RebekahLewinCGSMSimon (Oct 25, 2006 6:22:56 PM)
JB- During the summer, there may also be the possibility of tapping into the alumni network at the School where you intend to enroll.

RebeccaSmithConsortium (Oct 25, 2006 6:23:26 PM)
Kda, All membership and fellowship decisions are mailed out in late March or early April, regardless of which deadline you applied to

StephanieBarteltCGSMWUSTL (Oct 25, 2006 6:23:35 PM)
Chris- well written essays would help us determine writing ability but we will look at both the AWA score as well. One does not cancel out the other

futureMBA (Oct 25, 2006 6:23:48 PM)
could someone please give some examples of "non-traditional" career paths that have led people to your respective MBA programs? I hear a lot of lip service about diverse careers, but I seem to meet lost of i-bankers and "typical b-school types"

KelleeScottUSC (Oct 25, 2006 6:24:18 PM)
jon1, schools do not keep data on re-applicants. Each re-applicants situation is unique, people reapply for many different reasons.

WendyHuberCGSMUVA (Oct 25, 2006 6:24:30 PM)
futureMBA - we've had doctors, dancers, dentists, Peace Corp, Teach for America etc

Donnidra Sardine (Oct 25, 2006 6:24:30 PM)
In addition to the school specific essays, are all of the mandatory Consortium essays read by each school?

BetsyKacizakCGSMWisc (Oct 25, 2006 6:24:41 PM)
futureMBA, we have had nurses, teachers and even police officers join the MBA program. They are all looking to redirect their career in business.

RebekahLewinCGSMSimon (Oct 25, 2006 6:24:43 PM)
future MBA - Simon has had individuals who have enrolled with diverse past experiences such as professional athletes, teachers, scientists, opera singers, etc.

IsserGalloglyNYU (Oct 25, 2006 6:24:53 PM)
diaz-You will love our EMT program! Last year we did this great partnership with the world renown NYU Tisch school for film to make short film/commercials. Our corporate sponsor was Axe/Lynx - the teen body spray. The scripts were reviewed by Spike Lee (an NYU alumni). We also have a trip to the Cannes film festival. For Entrep we have a great case competition - the winner gets $150,000 to start their own business. This is just scratching the surface though...

GwynethBaileyCGSMRoss (Oct 25, 2006 6:24:54 PM)
jon1 - None of the schools represented here keep separate re-applicant data. Previously admitted students who chose not to enroll may be reapplying, since most schools have strict deferral policies, so the re-applicant pool is a mix.

KelleeScottUSC (Oct 25, 2006 6:24:59 PM)
jon1, also, each year the applicant pool is different. what may have been good one year, may not be as good a different year. Competitiveness has steadily increased in most programs...

mba08 (Oct 25, 2006 6:25:04 PM)
Sorry if this was asked before, but what is the consortium interview like?

ColleenSmithCGSMCMU (Oct 25, 2006 6:25:10 PM)
futureMBA...we have engineers that are now engaged in real estate development and i-bankers that are now doing marketing research

StephanieBarteltCGSMWUSTL (Oct 25, 2006 6:25:13 PM)
future MBA- there are many other paths you can take- there are many entrepreneurs, non-profit consulting & doctors. Some people may even do a joint degree- JD/MBA or MHA. Maybe Biomedical engineering dual degree

Mike (Oct 25, 2006 6:25:36 PM)
Hi my question is specifically for the early admissions round at Darden. We are currently discussing this in the business week forum and it appears all applicants already have applications that are "complete" or "pending". Does this mean we should hear from the adcom pretty soon? I know the deadline is Dec.8th but if most apps are already reviewed then perhaps we will hear sooner?

JackieOldenConsortium (Oct 25, 2006 6:25:38 PM)
Donnidra-All of the CGSM essays are read by all schools...

chicago (Oct 25, 2006 6:25:56 PM)
what do you typically look for in the optional core question #4?

KelleeScottUSC (Oct 25, 2006 6:25:57 PM)
mba08, it is a professional interview. be sure to come early, dress properly, and be prepared to tell your story.  Also, be aware that the interview can be as unique as the interviewer. Just be sure you know your story and be ready to answer different types of questions

JackieOldenConsortium (Oct 25, 2006 6:26:24 PM)
Donnidra...ranked on your application. The school specific essays are read only by the school

Diaz (Oct 25, 2006 6:26:51 PM)
StephainbarteltCGSMUSTL- What is AWA?

WendyHuberCGSMUVA (Oct 25, 2006 6:26:57 PM)
Your application is complete when we have all of the elements so it will be put together and sent out to be read. If your status says pending it means that it is out there being read by the committee. All decisions will be released on Dec. 8. We will not release a decision before then.

J.B. (Oct 25, 2006 6:27:09 PM)
I have seen that some students have prior military experience. In fact, a couple of schools have Veterans groups.

BetsyKacizakCGSMWisc (Oct 25, 2006 6:27:34 PM)
chicago, the optional essay can be anything additional you want the admission committees to know about your. For example, if you have received an award that carries a lot of weight, you might want to explain it more, or if there is a negative in your application explaining it might be helpful to the committee to know more details.

StephanieBarteltCGSMWUSTL (Oct 25, 2006 6:27:36 PM)
Diaz- AWA is the Analytical Writing portion of the GMAT exam. The written portion

Linda Abraham (Oct 25, 2006 6:27:39 PM)
JB, did you have a question in connection with the Vet groups?

Diaz (Oct 25, 2006 6:27:48 PM)
IssergalloglyNYU- Thanks for the information. From my research does NYU have a diversity event/weekend that is not invite only?

Mike (Oct 25, 2006 6:27:59 PM)
Thanks for the reply Wendy. I assume this is a change from last year? People on the forum were saying that last year applicants found out starting around Nov. 9

IsserGalloglyNYU (Oct 25, 2006 6:28:14 PM)
The consortium interview? I think it is a bit more general than a school specific interview as it is used for all the consortium schools vs just one. Also, a lot of the interviews are conducted by consortium students and alumni (in addition to admissions officers at consortium schools). As such I think it is a lot easier to connect with your interviewer. Most likely they were in your shoes not too long ago.

StephanieBarteltCGSMWUSTL (Oct 25, 2006 6:28:25 PM)
J.B.- military students bring some unique leadership exp- an MBA is great for that transition into the "business world."

Linda Abraham (Oct 25, 2006 6:28:33 PM)
How do letters of recommendation factor into your decision processes?

Diaz (Oct 25, 2006 6:28:39 PM)
StephanieBarteltCGSMUSTL - Thanks

KelleeScottUSC (Oct 25, 2006 6:28:50 PM)
J.B, many schools are seeing an increase in military vets applying for the MBA. Be sure to ask the schools you are interested in whether or not there are specific financial assistance as far as loans and scholarships for military vets...

jf82 (Oct 25, 2006 6:29:03 PM)
At what point does one have to explain a low GMAT score in the optional essay? If it is below the mean, median, close to the low end of the 80% range, below the 80% range?

J.B. (Oct 25, 2006 6:29:34 PM)
No, that was a response to the "non-traditional career path question".

WendyHuberCGSMUVA (Oct 25, 2006 6:30:03 PM)
Mike - the response time is a change - to be honest we found that staggering the responses just made the applicant more worried and caused more phone calls and emails for us. If someone didn't hear when someone else did they would start to worry and contact us - it got crazy. I know waiting will be difficult but we think it's the better way to go.

IsserGalloglyNYU (Oct 25, 2006 6:30:15 PM)
Diaz-We do have another diversity event coming up soon. Please email Jennifer Kaplan at she can work with you directly for that event - another great option is to come to the Consortium event in NYC.

futureMBA (Oct 25, 2006 6:30:38 PM)
Do you think rankings (Business week, USNews) should play *any* role in deciding a school?

StephanieBarteltCGSMWUSTL (Oct 25, 2006 6:30:43 PM)
jf82- you are welcome to explain a low GMAT score but it probably depends on the different school's ranges. I would recommend checking out the range and if you feel you can improve your score. It can only help you.

Diaz (Oct 25, 2006 6:30:56 PM)
IssergallogyNYU - Thanks

BetsyKacizakCGSMWisc (Oct 25, 2006 6:31:43 PM)
futureMBA, the media rankings are helpful in learning more about schools, however, you should not let a media source tell you which school is best for you. Do your research and find the program that is a good fit for you professionally and personally.

Mike (Oct 25, 2006 6:31:43 PM)
Thanks Wendy. I'm disappointed to hear that but I understand where you all are coming from. Thanks for the honest reply.

StephanieBarteltCGSMWUSTL (Oct 25, 2006 6:31:45 PM)
jf82- I recommend that if you are very low in the range or below to re-test. The school will typically take the highest score

Diaz (Oct 25, 2006 6:31:54 PM)
Are more schools going to become members of CGSM in the near future?

IsserGalloglyNYU (Oct 25, 2006 6:32:02 PM)
JB- At NYU Stern we actually have a Military Veterans club! The club just had a black tie event that raised about a quarter of a million dollars to help families of soldiers impacted by the war. Oh - Recruiters really seem to love former military people too (especially the bankers and consultants).

WendyHuberCGSMUVA (Oct 25, 2006 6:32:06 PM)
futureMBA - I think rankings are a data point but it should never be the only piece of data someone uses to decide where to apply. Different rankings assess different things so you really have to know what you are reading.

ColleenSmithCGSMCMU (Oct 25, 2006 6:32:08 PM)
The rankings can be a guide to examining schools but I would caution the use of the rankings to determine the schools in which you should apply.

futureMBA (Oct 25, 2006 6:32:24 PM)
How do you treat splitters (specifically mediocre/low GPA, high GMAT)?

Linda Abraham (Oct 25, 2006 6:33:03 PM)
futureMBA, I like to say that the rankings are a good place to start research and a terrible place to end your research.

IsserGalloglyNYU (Oct 25, 2006 6:33:10 PM)
jf82- we only look at your best score. If you get a 590 one day and a 670 the next, you are a 670. There is no downside to re-taking at NYU Stern.

JackieOldenConsortium (Oct 25, 2006 6:33:19 PM)
Diaz- we are not looking to expand CGSM member schools at this time

StephanieBarteltCGSMWUSTL (Oct 25, 2006 6:33:20 PM)
JB- all of our veteran students have been highly sought out by employers

chicago (Oct 25, 2006 6:33:33 PM)
Will great work experience and recommendations compensate for a very low GMAT?

Linda Abraham (Oct 25, 2006 6:34:02 PM)
Chicago, would you mind telling us how low is low. You are anonymous.

BetsyKacizakCGSMWisc (Oct 25, 2006 6:34:13 PM)
futureMBA, the high GMAT will help to show your ability now. If the GPA is low or far below the average, you might want us the optional essay to explain it.

KelleeScottUSC (Oct 25, 2006 6:34:18 PM)
chicago, we review everything, but remember you are being evaluated against a large pool.

JackieOldenConsortium (Oct 25, 2006 6:34:26 PM)
Diaz--we do not plan to add any schools to the CGSM in the immediate future

chicago (Oct 25, 2006 6:34:33 PM)
NYU, how many full tuition fellowships did you sponsor last year?

KelleeScottUSC (Oct 25, 2006 6:35:06 PM)
chicago, check out acceptance rates, and be realistic about how potentially low a school would go.

futureMBA (Oct 25, 2006 6:35:38 PM)
GPA: ~2.6 (very very strong upward trend), GMAT: 650+

spelmanqt (Oct 25, 2006 6:35:41 PM)
how many members are selected each year and how many fellowships are offered?

RebeccaSmithConsortium (Oct 25, 2006 6:35:52 PM)
Chicago, The Consortium as a whole offered 286 fellowships. We do not provide the number offered by any specific school, since we do not want applicants to play an odds game when filling out the rankings.

StephanieBarteltCGSMWUSTL (Oct 25, 2006 6:35:54 PM)
futureMBA- How the difference between them is viewed may depend upon professional experience and what kind of academic background you have- ex: is it highly Quantitative, more communications or non-traditional

jon1 (Oct 25, 2006 6:36:51 PM)
Optional Essay Question: Is it true only a sentence or two should be spent on presenting the problem and the remainder on what you have done about it/since ?

jf82 (Oct 25, 2006 6:37:26 PM)
thank you. For me, I'll just say that I scored in the mid to upper 600s, but that is in the lower half of NYU's range. When adcom members refer to "very low" GMAT scores, does that refer to scores below the range or just under the median?

KelleeScottUSC (Oct 25, 2006 6:37:38 PM)
jon1, spending less time on presenting the problem  is a decent strategy. you don't want to sound like you're making excuses, but overcoming an obstacle. Also consider the optional essay as an opportunity to tell us more about you that may not have been expressed in other parts of the application.  Use it as a time to show your uniqueness and stand out from a crowd

JackieOldenConsortium (Oct 25, 2006 6:37:38 PM)
spelmanqt--the memberships will vary from year to year

Mike (Oct 25, 2006 6:37:40 PM)
Wendy I heard that admissions are up this year at Darden and also some people from last year deferred. Could you expand on that and also would you be able to estimate what percentage of early round applicants you would accept (or is it too early for that?)

RebeccaSmithConsortium (Oct 25, 2006 6:37:43 PM)
Spelman, Please see my response to Chicago. The number of memberships and fellowships offered each year varies according to many factors.

IsserGalloglyNYU (Oct 25, 2006 6:38:24 PM)
chicago- The number of tuition fellowships can vary from year to year. Also, we give out a significant number of other scholarships in addition to the fellowship. So, even if you are not awarded the fellowship it is quite possible you may get another award. Each year over 30% of our students receive scholarships - but obviously fellowship numbers will vary from that.

Diaz (Oct 25, 2006 6:39:19 PM)
Can someone work with both CGSM and ML4t?

KelleeScottUSC (Oct 25, 2006 6:39:41 PM)
Diaz, yes you can apply to both the CGSM and the ML4t

Diaz (Oct 25, 2006 6:40:24 PM)
Are there other organizations like CGSM and ML4t? If so what are they?

WendyHuberCGSMUVA (Oct 25, 2006 6:40:39 PM)
Mike - we had an amazing yield last year and we did have to ask some folks to join us next year. We still had the largest class ever . We will be very cognizant of this as we start to read and make decisions. We don't set numbers for each deadline, we base our decisions on the quality of the pool.

IsserGalloglyNYU (Oct 25, 2006 6:40:50 PM)
jf82- 10% of our admitted students had a 630 or below. Mid-600s is a respectable score - you should not be dissuaded from applying. The GMAT is just one small part of a bigger picture. It only gives an indication of your academic potential in your first year - that is it. If you have a solid undergrad GPA and good work exp and clear goals you are probably in good shape.

KelleeScottUSC (Oct 25, 2006 6:41:03 PM)
diaz, other similar organizations are: Forte foundation for women.....

spelmanqt (Oct 25, 2006 6:41:46 PM)
About letters of recommendations, if you can not get a letter of recommendation from your current employer and have to go back to a prior employer, how is that viewed?

ColleenSmithCGSMCMU (Oct 25, 2006 6:42:13 PM)
Diaz...if you are interested in the Finance may want to look into the Toigo Foundation

Diaz (Oct 25, 2006 6:42:17 PM)
KelleeScottUSC - Thanks

J.B. (Oct 25, 2006 6:42:35 PM)
Regarding recommendations from bosses, is it perceived as a negative if you don't request one from your boss? Do most applicants use boss recommendations?

Diaz (Oct 25, 2006 6:42:39 PM)
ColleenSmithCGSMCMU- Thanks

WendyHuberCGSMUVA (Oct 25, 2006 6:42:43 PM)
Diaz - Forte is a great resource for information - MLT offers more than just info - they also have coaching etc...both organizations are worth checking out.

StephanieBarteltCGSMWUSTL (Oct 25, 2006 6:42:49 PM)
spelman- that is acceptable. you may even consider a client or vendor but a current and past employer would be very good

BetsyKacizakCGSMWisc (Oct 25, 2006 6:42:57 PM)
spelmanqt, we understand that you might be able to ask your current supervisor. A former supervisor will still be able to provide good insights.

KelleeScottUSC (Oct 25, 2006 6:43:03 PM)
spelmanqt, it is preferable to be current with your recommendations, however, if circumstances dictated using an older recommendation, be sure this person remembers and can write about your accomplishments and work ethic

Linda Abraham (Oct 25, 2006 6:43:31 PM)
Thank you again all for participating this evening. Special thanks to all the Consortium representatives here this evening.

Linda Abraham (Oct 25, 2006 6:43:40 PM)
We look forward to seeing you at future chats. Here is a list of currently scheduled chats

GwynethBaileyCGSMRoss (Oct 25, 2006 6:43:44 PM)
spelman, sometimes an applicant will use the optional "essay" to give a brief explanation of why the current supervisor is not a recommender

Linda Abraham (Oct 25, 2006 6:43:47 PM)
Consortium 2 Oct. 25 MIT Oct. 31 Columbia Nov. 1 CMU Nov. 9 Michigan Nov. 13

Linda Abraham (Oct 25, 2006 6:43:54 PM)
Please check for exact times and details.

KelleeScottUSC (Oct 25, 2006 6:44:02 PM),

WendyHuberCGSMUVA (Oct 25, 2006 6:44:14 PM)
If you want to contact

RebekahLewinCGSMSimon (Oct 25, 2006 6:44:19 PM) or

IsserGalloglyNYU (Oct 25, 2006 6:44:26 PM)
Another good resource can be NSHMBA and NABMBA - societies of Black and Hispanic MBAs.

BetsyKacizakCGSMWisc (Oct 25, 2006 6:44:29 PM)
Questions regarding Wisconsin, please contact me at

StephanieBarteltCGSMWUSTL (Oct 25, 2006 6:44:29 PM)
feel free to contact me at or

ColleenSmithCGSMCMU (Oct 25, 2006 6:44:39 PM)
Colleen Smith

Linda Abraham (Oct 25, 2006 6:44:40 PM) will also host a 3rd Consortium chat on December 5.

RebeccaSmithConsortium (Oct 25, 2006 6:44:41 PM)
I can be reached at 314-877-5515 or,

GwynethBaileyCGSMRoss (Oct 25, 2006 6:44:44 PM)

Linda Abraham (Oct 25, 2006 6:44:54 PM)
At the December 5 Consortium chat, students will take your questions.

IsserGalloglyNYU (Oct 25, 2006 6:45:09 PM)
Best person at NYU Stern to contact is Jennifer Kaplan: She always makes the time to help!

Diaz (Oct 25, 2006 6:45:14 PM)
Where can I get more information for MIT OCto 31

Linda Abraham (Oct 25, 2006 6:45:29 PM)
Diaz, if you go to, you will see a link to the announcement.

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