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Consortium tests new format for MBA prep workshop

In the midst of our recruiting season, we travel the country for our series of MBA Application Preparation Seminars (MAPS). The one in Houston, however, is unique. Here’s why.

For the second year running, The Consortium has tested a new format for its popular MBA Application Preparation Seminars in Houston. The verdict: It’s a winner with MBA prospects.

The new format allows time for group discussions and breakout sessions in which MBA prospects interact directly with admissions specialists from our member schools.

“The relevance of the information presented gave me a very clear picture on how to successfully apply to The Consortium,” one attendee wrote in an evaluation. Another appreciated that the session allowed attendees “to interact face to face with admissions recruiters and get a better perspective of what they look for in a student.”

MBA prospects in Houston gather for a lunch and table discussions about their application for business school at our MAPS session on Sept. 12, 2015.
MBA prospects in Houston gather for a lunch and table discussions about their application for business school at our MAPS session on Sept. 12, 2015.

We hosted the Houston MAPS session on Sept. 12 at the KIPP Connect Houston Primary School. While our MAPS sessions in New York, San Francisco, Chicago and Los Angeles are in large auditoriums that can accommodate several hundred prospects, the Houston session was more intimate, with a substantial, but smaller audience.

The format contrasts others, which include a Consortium presentation on the benefits of membership and the application process; a panel discussion with admissions officers focusing on the MBA application process; and a school fair.

In Houston, 16 admissions officers from nearly all our member schools led table discussions in which students reviewed three sample application packages and answered questions about whether the applicant adequately presented the case for MBA admission, where he or she could have improved, and how he or she could have better highlighted strengths and mitigated challenges.

The prospects also considered their own application in the context of what they learned from the case studies.

In a second breakout, admissions officers counseled students on developing an application timeline, honing their personal elevator pitch and preparing for an interview. Students practiced skills with each other.

The format presents some challenges for MAPS workshops in other locations, where The Consortium can attract 200 to 300 prospective students.

  • The format requires lots of room for table discussions and breakouts.
  • It runs four hours, instead of the three hours for our standard format.
  • It happens on a Saturday, rather than after hours on a weekday.

“We’re going to have a discussion about replicating this format elsewhere,” said Danni Young, director of recruiting at The Consortium.

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