2012 Consortium Application Strategies Q&A with Travis McAllister
2012 Consortium Application Strategies Q&A with Travis McAllister
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Audio for Q&A (Click to listen now, or right click and choose “Save As” to download and listen later.)Linda Abraham: Hello, my name is Linda Abraham. I am the founder of Accepted.com and the moderator of today’s chat. First, I want to welcome all applicants to the Consortium Application Strategies Q&A. I want to congratulate you for taking the time to learn more about the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, and to hear about its program in respect with participating schools. You need to know as much as you can to make a sound application decision and gain acceptance to the schools of your choice. Being here today allows you to ask Consortium experts and school representatives about this outstanding program and about how you can both participate in Consortium in acceptance to these schools and hopefully get a Consortium fellowship.
I want to introduce our special guest for this evening. First is Travis McAllister, the Consortium’s Recruiting Manager, and also joining us on the phone are representatives from Consortium schools:
- Jolene Ashcraft, Associate Director of MBA Admissions and Diversity at The University of Texas at Austin
- Erin Nickelsburg, Director of Admissions and Recruitment at University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Cindy Jennings Millette, Associate Director of Admissions at the University of California, Berkeley
- Chris Grey, Associate Director of Diversity, Admissions and Student Services at Yale University.
Erin Nickelsburg: Certainly. My name is Erin Nickelsburg. I’m the Director of Admissions and Recruitment at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I want to welcome all of you and thank you for joining us this evening. Wisconsin is probably one of the most unique MBA programs in that we have ten areas of specialization. Our students have to apply directly to one of those areas of specialization. There’s a wide range of applicability. We are very excited to be here. We’re also excited to be a founding member of the Consortium’s back in 1966. We have a strong commitment to the mission. You’ll see that tonight throughout our webinar.
Linda Abraham: Great, thank you. Chris, do you want to talk about what’s new at Yale?
Chris Grey: Good evening, everyone. My name is Chris Grey. I’m one of the Associate Directors in the Admissions office. My formal title is actually Associate Director of Diversity, which is a hybrid position between admission and student services.
What’s very unique and interesting at Yale specifically is we’re a relatively new member to the Consortium. We’re going into our fourth year I believe into the Consortium now. We’re rather unique in the MBA program in the sense that when you look at the curriculum, it’s quite different than what you’re going to find at other programs, specifically the heart of our core curriculum that we call Order Vision Perspective. These are essentially the varying external and internal audiences to a business and the varying constituents that we feel that managers must know how to engage and lead. Even core components of that is, I believe we’re one of the few programs to actually require an international experience component to our core curriculum.
So every student actually is required to go on a ten day field trip with faculty essentially so that they witness raw cases. The raw cases differ from what we consider to be more cooked cases. Essentially we’re given an abundance of information which you must sift through. Our students actually call this the CEO approach. Essentially, it prepares our students for the C level executive suite, that they have the opportunity to sift through a wide array of information and have to then frame and solve the problem both at the same time versus just working on the solution only.
Those are a couple of the key components that are going on. We’re very happy to have our new dean with us beginning on July 1st. We’re also in the process of building our new building. The steel beams and everything are up. That will be completed at the end of 2013.
Linda Abraham: Great, thank you very much, Chris. Cindy, what’s new?
Cindy Jennings Millette: Well, let’s talk a little bit about what’s new. We just had our diversity workshop last weekend, which was fantastic. We saw a lot of students from across the country who came to visit and learn more about the program.
Talking a little bit about the program, it is a general management degree program. This is our second year back in the Consortium. We were in the Consortium about eight years ago and are really excited to be a member again for our second cycle again. Our travel season is winding down now, starting to read applications. We’re also making some fresh investments into our curriculum, including adding some new electives, including social media marketing, brand manager boot camp, and driving sustainability through business. We’re also expanding our list of experiential course options.
Linda Abraham: Great, thank you very much, Cindy. Jolene, what’s new at UT?
Jolene Ashcraft: Hi, everybody, this is Jolene Ashcraft. I’m the associate director of Admissions at the University of Texas, McCombs School of Business. We’ve been a member of the Consortium since 1984, have a great partnership, and I’m happy to be chatting with all of you on the call tonight.
Some things that are going on at McCombs right now, we just hosted our diversity forum a couple of weeks ago and our women’s forum is taking place later this week. We were recently ranked number one by Princeton Review for having the top business school professors out of 294 different business schools, so we’re very proud of that.
Also, a couple of months ago, Hispanic Business Magazine ranked McCombs as the number two best business school for Hispanic MBA students. We’ve been ranked in the top five of that publication for the last 13 years, so we’re very proud of that.
A couple of other new things going on at McCombs, we have several different dual degree programs but we have a new one this year with our Jackson School of Geosciences here at the University of Texas. If you’re interested in the energy sector, we’re now offering a joint MBA and Masters in energy and earth resources. McCombs energy management and innovation center, which is a research center here at the business school, just published its inaugural version of what they’re calling their energy poll. This will be a biannual public opinion poll on consumer attitudes towards things like energy consumption, pricing, and regulation. It will really inform national discussion, business planning, and policy development within the energy sector, so a lot of really interesting things going on with our energy research center here at the University of Texas.
Linda Abraham: Great, thank you very, much. Travis, you mentioned to me that you had some questions from our last Q&A that you wanted to address in this Q&A so take it away.
Travis McAllister: Welcome everyone to the chat. Thank you for joining us this evening. I want to touch on three questions that I’m sure some of you are going to ask anyway tonight, so I want to make sure that we touch on them first and foremost.
As you know, the Consortium’s first application deadline is next Tuesday, November 15th. It’s coming up on us. The first question talks about both of those deadlines. We have the November 15th deadline and January 5th deadline. One of the questions that we get all the time is, "Is there an advantage to applying earlier, as in for the one next Tuesday, or are applications submitted by both dates equally considered?" Of course, I welcome my member school representatives to jump in on this as well.
Sometimes, it varies by school but all the schools will consider Consortium applications with their general pool. In some cases, the schools will also correspond your application when they receive it to whichever deadline they have at the individual schools, but they are still equally considered. We get 80% of our applications before the January 5th deadline, if that. In essence, it may not matter when you apply. Just keep in mind that your application will be forwarded to the schools and in many cases, they will consider them with whatever deadline they have at the individual schools.
Also keep in mind that you may also be competing and being considered for other fellowships and scholarships at the individual schools. You want to keep that in mind when you’re applying.
Member schools, am I missing anything?
Linda Abraham: No, I think you covered it very well. Thank you very much. Let’s turn to the questions that have been posed by our guest tonight. Karika asks, "What is the policy for submitting an official score reports for the GRE? Should applicants send one report to the Consortium or individual reports to each school?"
Travis McAllister: You will send score reports for the GRE and the GMAT to the Consortium. We have our codes on our Web site. If you give me a second after I’m done answering the question, I will send them out to all of you in the chat bubble as well.
If you send your score reports to the Consortium using our codes, that’s the beauty of the common application. You send it to the Consortium. We will attach it to your application and send it to all the schools. You are basically sending it one time to the Consortium, but we will do the rest for you.
Linda Abraham: Okay, great. Charles asks, "Do the Consortium member schools treat applications submitted to the Consortium group any differently than their "normal" applications?"
Jolene Ashcraft: I think I speak for all the Consortium schools in saying that from an evaluation standpoint, we are not treating the Consortium applications any differently from the applications we receive directly to the schools. We are evaluating those applications with the same criteria, with the same process as the rest of our pool and looking for the merits of those applications just as we would if you applied directly to our program.
If you are a good candidate for Consortium membership, we do highly recommend that you apply through the Consortium just because there are so many benefits in terms of networking and other great benefits of being a member of the Consortium. When we’re looking at those applications, we are treating them just as if you applied directly to the school.
Linda Abraham: Great. Is there any disagreement from the other panelists on Jolene’s answer? No, all agree. Ok great. Juan asks, "Will Consortium look at the rest of the application in addition to the mission essay and mission recommender to make the membership decision?" In other words, will the Consortium also evaluate the school’s specific supplemental essays?
Travis McAllister: The Consortium will only review your membership essay and your membership recommendation. The member schools will evaluate everything else, but the Consortium will only look at the membership essay and the recommendations.
Linda Abraham: I assume the member schools will look at the Consortium essays and their specific supplemental essays. Is that correct? They won’t look at the other supplemental essay questions. Am I correct?
Travis McAllister: Using a school as an example, if you’re applying to the University of Texas, along with some other schools, University of Texas will see the core Consortium essay, which goes into your short term, long term goals. If you decide to complete the optional essay, they will see that as well. Then they will also see the other questions, but then they will see the questions for the University of Texas. They will not see any supplemental questions from any other school.
Linda Abraham: Okay, great, thank you. Angie asks, "I was once told that UC Berkeley was very tough in regards to GMAT scores. If the GMAT score is low, is it frivolous to apply? What other aspects may outweigh a lower GMAT score?"
Cindy Jennings Millette: We do have that reputation, but I think that’s true that a lot of people worry very much about the GMAT score being the only thing that we look at in an application. And another type we assess in terms of academic proficiency, we look at many different things. We look at academic performance in your undergraduate experience, including the rigor of institution you attended, the classes you took, whether or not you worked while you were going to school.
Were you involved in a lot of extracurricular activities? There are many different things that we look at. A way you can offset your GMAT scores is maybe performing better in your academics. It can also be in other areas of the application. I would definitely say that in looking at statistics, look at the 80% percentile. Then also know that you don’t have to get average or above in everything in order to be considered for admissions.
There are so many other things that we look at. It’s such a holistic process that we never make a decision based just on GMAT scores. There are certainly many other ways to strengthen your application in other areas.
Linda Abraham: Great, thank you very much for the question and answer. Lawrence asked, "Is there a way to verify that Consortium has received an official score report?"
Travis McAllister: Probably the best way would be to email us at email@example.com. I will send that again via chat so you can have that. Each of you also has a VIP page where we actually have an application checklist where you can see, particularly for things like your recommendation, if we have received recommendations or if they’ve been completed.
There are certain things you can check on your VIP page. I can’t remember right now if the GMAT is one of those things because it’s sent to us on the outside system. We have to attach that to your application. If you would like to email us, feel free to do that.
Linda Abraham: Great, thank you very much. We have a question from Menov, who asked, "Do member schools group Consortium round one and round two together? Are they notified at the same time?" There was another question asking, "How do you review Consortium applications, vis-à-vis your own school deadlines which are usually different?"
Erin Nickelsburg: It depends on the Consortium member school. Some of the schools will group the two deadlines of applications through the Consortium together when they do their review. Some of the schools will lump them into current rounds that they have going on. Some of the schools will just go through those applications as if they are their own separate round.
Each school is different. We would encourage you to reach out to the schools to which you applied to better understand when you can expect your admission decision from them. All this contact information is on the Consortium pages as well as our own individual Web sites. We would be happy to answer those kinds of questions, but it depends on the schools.
Linda Abraham: David asks, "Will the member schools that we applied to see that we attended Accepted.com webinars?" They will only see it if you gave permission to us when you registered to share your contact information with the Consortium. I don’t think the member schools will see it at all. The Consortium will. Travis, that’s correct, right?
Travis McAllister: That is correct. It may not show up on your application that you’ve attended which exact event. In some cases, when we have certain parts of different Consortium communications, we do ask where you’ve heard about the Consortium, but it may not accurately reflect that in your application.
Linda Abraham: We’re also getting a lot of questions about uploading the transcript. Marcus asks for example, "Other than uploading a copy of undergraduate transcript Consortium on my application, is there a requirement to send in an official transcript directly from my undergraduate institution to the Consortium?" Somebody else asked, "Is it good to send only one?" Somebody else is having trouble getting it scanned in. Do you have any suggestions on that? Is it only one? Are there any other requirements regarding the transcript?
Travis McAllister: While I take that, let me also refer you all to a document on our Web site. If you go to CGSM.org and go to the prospective students section, and from there, click on application instructions, you can download a document that will go into more of what we’re looking for with transcripts, but I can answer that question.
We’re looking for your unofficial transcripts in the application. You do not have to upload a copy. In many cases, if you’re uploading a copy of an official transcript, it is considered unofficial because they usually come in sealed envelopes so if you’re opening it, it’s unofficial. That’s fine. All we need is a copy of your transcript. If you scan it, make it a PDF, and make it a part of your application, that’s fine. The schools will require an official transcript upon matriculations. If you’re admitted to a school, you’re a part of the Consortium, and you’re getting ready to start your MBA program next fall, your school is going to want an official transcript.
Your schools will communicate that to you as well. That’s later on. As far as uploading it, there are limits. There are size limits when uploading your transcript to your application. You must be able to fit it within that size limit or it will not let you upload it. There are different tricks. The tricks also depend on whether or not your year of your program for Adobe. If you have a higher program, you have access to different tricks like an option to reduce the file size, that works.
Sending it to the Consortium may not help you because we have the same upload issues that you would have. If it didn’t work for you, it’s not going to work for us. Another tip that I can give you is that if you’ve only gone to one school and your transcript is three pages, you may need to create three different documents. Have one page for each PDF instead of one PDF with three pages, three PDFs with one page. You can use those different upload spots in your application. I know it says undergrad institutes and one will say graduate institutes, and it will say other, but in essence, you have four slots to upload transcripts. I encourage you to use all of them, especially if you have only one school.
There are different tricks. Again, I definitely encourage you to contact us by email if you have any of these issues that we can help you individually get your transcript uploaded.
Chris Grey: Can I just add one thing to that? I know a few schools do require the official transcript a little bit earlier than just matriculation, in fairness to those schools. We’re not one of those, but some of the schools do require an official transcript at the time that they’re interviewing you. If a student gets a call for an interview, they will be required to bring the official transcript to that interview.
Linda Abraham: Alright, so there really is quite a bit of variability actually between the schools on the whole issue of official transcript and when it goes up, and that type of thing. You really have to know what the individual schools want.
Travis McAllister: But you will not need it when you’re submitting your application.
Linda Abraham: Got it. That’s the common element. Thank you for clarifying. Wendy asks, "How do I go about scheduling an interview with a Consortium representative before the December 20th deadline?"
Travis McAllister: That is a great question. In fact, all the communication that we have on our Web site right now should eliminate that question because the Consortium does not have an interview portion any more.
We used to. There is no more Consortium interview. The schools will require you to have an interview with them individually. That varies by school. Some schools will allow you to interview. If you visit the school, they can do interviews there. A lot of schools will contact you once they receive your application. They invite you to do the interview so that varies by school, but the interview is now a school specific thing. It is no longer part of the Consortium application.
Linda Abraham: Thank you. That makes that clear. Hassan asks, "How many Consortium applicants are accepted at each of the schools represented here last year?"
Chris Grey: We received over 300 applications. We actually admitted roughly about 65 of those individuals that applied to us. I think the question is trying to hint at acceptance rates. What we’ve noticed is that our acceptance rate for the Consortium is on par with the acceptance rate for the overall general pool.
Linda Abraham: You said there were 65 Consortium members at Yale right now?
Chris Grey: No, not currently at Yale. We admitted 65.
Jolene Ashcraft: Last year, we received about 200 applications through the Consortium. We admitted about 40 to 50 of those applicants. We typically have about 20 to 30 Consortium members who enroll here each year.
Cindy Jennings Millette: I don’t have the exact numbers, but we had around 300 applications and admitted somewhere between 25 and 30. This was our first year back into the Consortium, so it’s hard to really say what will happen in the future.
Erin Nickelsburg: Overall, at Wisconsin, we admit about one in five applicants, but 73% of them decide to actually come to Wisconsin, so we have a very strong yield. That holds true for our Consortium applicants as well.
Jolene Ashcraft: Travis, correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe overall from a Consortium application standpoint last year, the Consortium received around 1000 applications. I believe about 500 of those received admission and a little over 300 received fellowship.
Travis McAllister: That is on point. We had 1000 submitted applications, 534 were admitted to at least one of the schools on their application. Of that number, the Consortium offered 334 fellowships.
Linda Abraham: Those are impressive numbers. Thank you for following up with that question. Let’s move on. We have a lot of questions the applicants have posed. Freddy asked, and this question I think is asked at every single Consortium chat, but I think it’s an important. "Do schools have access to our rankings? Do schools take this into consideration when deciding whether or not to accept a candidate?"
Travis McAllister: Schools, correct me if I’m wrong, I believe they can see that you’re applying to other schools. The important thing to know is that the schools are really concerned about where you’re applying for them. I think that’s the key part. The school is not saying, "I’m just going to use the schools on the column." Yale is not looking at, "My goodness, this person applied to Berkeley above us. Let’s forget them. We’re not worried about them."
They’re not looking at it in that sense. They’re looking at if you applied to them. I believe they can see that you’re applying to multiple schools, but they’re not in competition on that end and saying, "We want to keep them from getting into Berkeley." They’re concerned that you’re applying to them.
The rankings come into play, and this is one of our most frequently asked questions, in the fellowship round. There are basically three rounds of decisions that are made in a Consortium application. The first is admissions. Are you offered admissions to that member school? If you offered admissions to the member, then your application is considered for Consortium membership. Then if you’re granted Consortium membership, then you move to the fellowship round. This is where the rankings come into play because the first school that you have ranked gets the first shot at offering you a Consortium membership. You can only get one Consortium fellowship offer at a time. If Yale is your first choice out of the schools that you’ve ranked, then Yale gets the first shot at offering you the Consortium fellowship. If Yale does not offer you the Consortium fellowship, then it moves onto your second school that you rank, and so on and so forth until either you are offered a Consortium fellowship or you run out of schools on your application.
Erin Nickelsburg: When it comes to the purpose of the ranking on the Consortium application, the purpose of the ranking is to give as many people as possible access to the Consortium fellowship. What we tell all of the Consortium applicants is you need to rank the schools in the order of the school that you most wish to go to, that you most wish to attend.
Don’t try to play the rankings or be concerned that we are using them in our admissions as we are not. What we’re doing when we get to those rankings is looking at them in terms of fellowship so rank the schools in the order that you most wish to go. Then when it comes time to fellowship, let’s say you ranked schools and the first four on your list have decided to admit you.
The first school on your list has an opportunity to offer you a fellowship. If they pass, then the second school on your list has that opportunity. Again, the purpose of the rankings is so that the applicants have as many opportunities as possible to have access to those fellowships. It’s not a part of our admissions decisions in any way.
Linda Abraham: Great, thank you very much. Thank you for clarifying. I think there is a lot of anxiety about that. Back to the questions here, I also got a couple emailed in. The first one is about Berkeley’s program. The question is, "How successful is international business development program at Berkeley? I’ve heard wonderful things and am curious as to how many, what percentage of students get foreign placement with this program?"
Cindy Jennings Millette: The international business development, or IBD, is a fantastic program. We’ve been sending students on global consulting projects for about 20 years. It is something that you apply for as a class. Basically, you are using your points in order to sign up for the class.
We had about 100 students enlisted last year and about 100 that went. It happens in the summer between your first and second year. You go on a summer field trip project with a group of five different students who travel internationally for the first three weeks of the summer before your summer internship. Generally, if you’re interested in doing it, you sign up for the course and do the project.
Linda Abraham: Okay, thank you very much. Now, back to the questions from people who are actually here, Melanie asks, "What are some examples of how applicants exemplify supporting the Consortium mission?" I’m sure there are many different ways. If each of you think of one, it might be nice for either people here today or people who are reviewing the transcript or listening to the audio to hear the variety.
Cindy Jennings Millette: I think there are many different ways that people can do that. It can be extracurricular involvement, working with different student clubs, mentoring. It can also be with professional organizations. There are some people who have had work experiences that focused on helping support the mission of their Consortium. There are many different ways that they can do that.
Chris Grey: One of the ways that I’ve seen individuals give back and contribute to the Consortium mission is through fraternity or sorority organizations. Particularly, I think the key here is to make sure that the demographics of the individuals and who they’re working with are completely identified because the Consortium mission is specific, that it’s to address African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans.
Most often, people make the mistake of just using minority as a broad terminology, which do include other individuals who are not a part of those three demographics.
Erin Nickelsburg: I think the most important that we look for in individuals is their ability to pay it forward. We recognize that people haven’t had time to have a really heavy commitment while they were in college. If, for example, they found themselves in the consulting field after college while they’re getting their work experience, it’s hard when you have 159 nights a year on the road, to really hold onto that.
For some, what we really are looking for is the way that they’re going to pay it forward throughout their MBA and after their MBA. What are they showing us in the past that is telling us, predicting their future that they’re going to be able to do that? That’s another key as well.
Jolene Ashcraft: I think my colleagues really covered that question well, so I don’t have anything to add.
Linda Abraham: Tiffany asks, "How are member schools evaluating GRE scores considering the new, revised GRE," and I’ll add, considering the whole usage of the GRE is still fairly relatively new in MBA admissions, are schools weighing the newer, against the older GRE? How are you using the GRE? Do you prefer the GMAT, but you’ll take the GRE?
Jolene Ashcraft: First and foremost, you’ll just want to make sure you check with all the individual schools that you’re applying to, to make sure that they do accept the GRE. I believe most of the Consortium schools now are accepting the GRE, but not all of them are so make sure you check with the schools first.
From our standpoint at Texas, we don’t have a preference. We take either the GMAT or the GRE. We look at the GRE exactly as we do the GMAT to help us determine how successful you’ll be within an academic setting, how well you perform on both the quant and verbal sections of that exam. A lot of our schools are not publishing ranges or averages on the GRE exam just because most of us have only started taking the GRE within the last year or two and we have such a small sample of applicants who are submitting GRE scores, so it’s not really statistically significant for us to be able to publish an average.
But you’ll just want to make sure that you’re paying attention to percentiles and how you’re scoring. We also publish our GMAT averages and ranges. You can go on the GRE ETS testing site. They do have a GMAT/GRE conversion tool that will give you an estimation of this certain score on the GRE, that approximates to this certain GMAT score. Obviously keep in mind that’s only an estimation, but that can help you also determine whether you’re in that range of GMAT scores for the school that you’re applying to. From an evaluation standpoint, we’re looking at it the same way that we do the GMAT. We don’t have a preference one way or another.
Travis McAllister: One thing I wanted to add is that we have listed the 13 schools that have identified accepting the GRE. We have listed them on our Web site. If you go to CGSM.org, prospective students, we list them under GMAT/GRE. We still definitely encourage you to reach out to the schools as well, but we also list them so that could save you a little bit of time.
Cindy Jennings Millette: We actually don’t take the GRE. We only accept the GMAT.
Linda Abraham: That makes it simple. Nina asks, "Does an applicant with an undergraduate GPA of less than 3.0 have any chance to be accepted at a top tier MBA program at Consortium schools?"
Chris Grey: First and foremost, it’s important for all candidates to know that we look at academics as a whole. There are a couple of categories that fall underneath that, your academic record as well as the test scores that make up the academic component or criteria that we’re all evaluating.
Looking at just the GPA tells me absolutely nothing, but looking at your GPA in the sense of the grade trend, did you have a rocky first semester or first year? Therefore, were you on an upward trend? Did you have a downward trend? Were you kind of steady? Were you sort of up, and then there was maybe one semester somewhere along the way that there was a dip?
Hopefully, if there are reasons for low grades or low semester, or low GPA, my hope is that a candidate actually explained that in the optional essay as opposed to leaving it to our wild imaginations. Then we’re also looking at what were the low grade classes. Were they your quantitative classes? Were they history classes? Were they English classes, etc. ?
Then you also look at your GPA in the context of the major that you’ve chosen. A below 3.0 GPA in an Engineering major is quite different to me than a below 3.0 GPA as an English major. Just looking at a GPA as a standalone is not fair to any of you as applicants, but looking at that in the context of the major, where you attended school, the actual trend itself, the types of classes that you took in addition to your test scores, I think definitely gives us a more holistic picture of your academic performance.
Linda Abraham: Aisha asks, "Fellowship questions: Do the member schools decide whether or not an applicant receives a fellowship or does the Consortium ultimately decide?"
Travis McAllister: The member schools decide the fellowship decision. It is a merit based fellowship. We’ll call it a competition, but it’s not a competition in the traditional sense. It is something that the schools decide. The Consortium only decides the membership.
Linda Abraham: How do you make that decision, with the criteria laid out in the Consortium membership? Are the criteria the same for membership or for actually getting the fellowship?
Erin Nickelsburg: When it comes to making a decision on fellowship, when Travis says merit based, merit is a combination of your GMAT score, your undergraduate GPA, and your months of post undergraduate work experience along with any other factors in your application. Those three are the big three quantitative numbers that go into it.
Then there are all the qualitative factors that go into it, what was your undergrad major, how much work experience, what have you been doing in your work experience, progressive leadership, those kinds of things, and the art of the art and science commissions. That’s where the fellowship competition comes in.
All of us as schools will look at the applicant from the Consortium that we have admitted and determine which ones are qualified for a fellowship in the same way that we would determine if any of our other applicants are qualified for a fellowship.
Chris Grey: I think the only thing I would add for candidates to know is that the Consortium fellowship is titled a Consortium fellowship for each of our schools, but those are still dollars that are coming directly from the school itself. I think one of the questions that you mentioned earlier, it sounded as though the candidate may have assumed that the Consortium was giving those fellowship dollars, but at least initially they’re coming directly from the schools themselves.
Linda Abraham: Thank you for clarifying. Angie asks, "Does the Consortium expect fewer submissions this year due to the decline in the economy and overall application rate of regular applications?"
Travis McAllister: No. Our goal last year was 1000 submitted applications. We actually want to get more than that this year.
Linda Abraham: Okay, so you’re expecting more. Chris, Erin, Cindy, Jolene, are you expecting a decline in applications or are you experiencing that based on your first round, your invitations, fairs, and things like that?
Chris Grey: In our first round, we have experienced a little bit of a dip in applications, nothing extremely significant, in itself fairly common among a number of the top tier business programs. I think there may be a few outliers in there that may see an increase in their applications. I’m not sure that we are actually expecting that in the Consortium. I’m with Travis. I’m actually hoping to be at least, or above the number of applications that we received last year.
Cindy Jennings Millette: I would agree with that as well. I think we’re probably going to see, I would hope, an increased number of applications on the Consortium. I don’t feel that I, personally, can respond today, I can’t look at my crystal ball but, that’s what I think.
Erin Nickelsburg: I agree with both Chris and Cindy. All of us will probably experience a flat application year or a slightly decreased application year, but certainly from the Consortium, we’re expecting an increase.
Jolene Ashcraft: The same for us here at Texas.
Linda Abraham: Chuhuang asks, "I’m still unclear about whether or not the Consortium mission essay and mission recommendation can be seen by the school." He wants to know if also effects the contents of the supplemental essay. "Do the schools see the Consortium mission essay and recommendation?"
Travis McAllister: The schools do not see those. Only the Consortium will see the mission essay and mission recommendation.
Linda Abraham: And the schools will only see the supplemental directed specifically to them?
Travis McAllister: Yes, that is correct.
Erin Nickelsburg: I do want to add, at the board meetings, it’s discussed that the schools will have access to the Consortium mission essay and the Consortium mission recommendation after they’ve made the admission decision so it won’t be a part of the admission decision, but for some schools, a lot of the funding that we have tied to the fellowships is based on the Consortium mission work, especially schools that have been in the Consortium for a long time.
Like Wisconsin, we have donors that have given specifically to people that have done that type of mission work. In order to make that evaluation without asking applicants to write yet another essay, we have to be able to see those. They will be seen, but not until after that admission decision is made.
Linda Abraham: Okay, great, thank you very much for clarifying. One question I’d like to ask all the school representatives, we have Jason who has asked a couple of times, "How many of your schools offer an MBA in entrepreneurship?" I assume that would be an MBA with a concentration in entrepreneurship. Maybe you want to address what each of your schools offer in entrepreneurship.
Chris Grey: As far as entrepreneurship is concerned, what’s great about our program is that it allows you in the second year, even though we don’t offer concentrations per se, the elective curriculum in your second year really allows you to take classes across the entire Yale university campus without limitations.
For those that are interested in specific areas, they’re able to take those classes so we do have entrepreneur electives that are offered. What’s a great and fantastic resource that I would encourage individuals to look up on our Web site is the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute, or YEI for short. They have several different partnerships specifically with the School of Management. If you come in with a certain level of expertise, especially the first year, you’re able to work with Yale alumni who will partner with YEI, who are looking for that expertise.
Maybe you’re a CPA or come from a corporate law background, so you’re actually able to offer your level of expertise to a Yale entrepreneur. Then the summer between your first and second year, it really gives you a wonderful opportunity when everyone else is going to summer internship, YEI offers scholarships where they will award individuals up to $15,000, additional office space, as well as the ability to hire up to three individuals to work on their team, to actually get their business plan off the ground and running, and hope to spark the entrepreneurship venture that summer between the first and second year that they’re here with us. I think we have a fantastic entrepreneurship program as well as for those who are interested in global entrepreneurship as well.
Linda Abraham: Great, thank you very much.
Jolene Ashcraft: We have a really strong entrepreneurship program here at McCombs. We offer a general management MBA program, but then you can choose to concentrate in entrepreneurship. We also have an innovation leadership concentration.
We have a lot of resources for students who are interested in entrepreneurship. We have the Herb Kelleher Center for entrepreneurship, named after the cofounder of Southwest Airlines. This is our research center for entrepreneurship.
Students do have access to an entrepreneur in residence here at the McCombs School. We have a program called Venture Fellows where students have the opportunity to intern with local venture capital firms. We also have a program called the Texas Venture Lab program where you can actually work on a startup. It brings together graduate students from across the university, students from the business school, law school, engineering, and public policy – a wide range of students across the university to help work with entrepreneurs and work on startups here in Austin.
We also have Venture Lab investment competition where students can compete for venture capital funding for startups that they are working on, so several different resources for entrepreneurs. Austin in general is a very entrepreneurial community, a lot of startups, and especially in the technology sector, a lot of venture capital firms are located here in Austin so it’s a great place for students who are interested in entrepreneurship.
Cindy Jennings Millette: I can talk a little bit about Berkeley. We do have a Lester Center for innovation and leadership. There are lots of different resources within that, including research, and also lab electives that are offered, like continued business plan, that kind of thing.
We have two business plan competitions. One is the Berkeley business plan competition, which similar to UT, you’re working with different students in different programs across the UC Berkeley campus, a lot of technology companies, even some social ventures. We do have a global social venture business plan competition which was started by students over ten years ago. They work on a business plan that not only meets the bottom line, but also has a social component to it. Global and social venture is in the same competition. We do have an executive in residence, Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter. We also do have an incubator which is located kind of off campus where different ventures can get up started.
We have venture capitalists who come on campus to do mentoring hours, so very similar. We do have a huge venture capital population here in the Bay Area, a lot of different resources for students.
Linda Abraham: One more question from Jacqueline, "Can you explain the difference between the membership and fellowship?"
Travis McAllister: Consortium fellowship, you can receive once you have been offered Consortium membership. The fellowship is giving you tuition and required fees for that school for the two years that you are there.
In order to be eligible for the Consortium fellowship, you must be granted Consortium membership. Membership is where, as we’ve talked about before, you’re going to be mentioning in an essay in the application you’re demonstrating your commitment to the Consortium mission. Then you have a recommendation from someone, an objective third party who can also say the same thing about you.
You must first have Consortium membership before you are even considered for the Consortium fellowship.
Chris Grey: The one thing I would add to that, that candidates may or may not know is that once you are considered a member and you’ve been granted admission to one of the Consortium member schools, even though you may not be awarded a fellowship, you may still be awarded a scholarship directly from that school as well to attend. If you choose to turn down a fellowship for one program and accept the scholarship to another program, and admitted through the Consortium and granted membership to that school, you’re still a Consortium member and still have all the rights and privileges that any other Consortium members would have whether or not they accepted the fellowship.
For instance, there are individuals on our campus who have the fellowship, who are awarded scholarships and not the fellowship, and who are just on financial aid, but they’re all Consortium members. They all have access to all the benefits that Travis and the Consortium people speak so passionately about regarding the Consortium.
Linda Abraham: Great. Our hour is almost up. I want to give special thanks to Travis, Erin, Chris, Jolene, and Cindy for joining us today. If you have additional questions for the Consortium team, please e-mail them to recruiting@CGSM.org.
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