Kicking off The 2020 Consortium Conference

The 54th Consortium Orientation Program (OP) kicks-off their first virtual conference today with 523 students — the largest incoming class in the organization’s history.

Founded in 1966, The Consortium’s mission is to “through the strength of our growing alliance and extended network…enhance diversity and inclusion in global business education and leadership by striving to reduce the significant underrepresentation of African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans in both our Member Schools’ enrollments, and the ranks of global management across the following sectors.”

In 2019, the Foster School of Business was the latest member school to join this vital organization, the “nation’s largest diversity network, working to link top-tier students, MBA programs and corporate partners.”

The inaugural Foster class of Consortium students (Class of 2020).

Peter Aranda, Executive Director & CEO of the CGSM (The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management) began the event with a thought provoking, inspirational message to welcome the new class of future leaders. In the midst of the international Black Lives Matter movement, Peter encouraged the new class to rise up to the challenge and uphold the mantra of The Consortium: “Be Proud, Be Gracious, Be Humble and Be Ready!”

Peter Aranda, Executive Director & CEO, The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management (CGSM), addresses the 2020 conference.


The conference was originally scheduled to take place in Seattle this year. But due to the Covid-19 pandemic and ongoing stay-at-home directives, the Consortium team successfully transformed the four day conference into a virtual environment, offering robust programming, networking opportunities, and a Corporate Open House career fair.

The Consortium Conference’s virtual hall.

Bronica Sam and Leslie Meagley, Career Management Team members provided training and communications for Consortium students before and during the conference via Canvas. MBA Career Management staff have held a series of conference and interview prep sessions and webinars. Assistant Dean Naomi Sanchez moderated a panel on Data Analytics attended by nearly 200 students on the first day of the conference.

To kick off the day, Dean Frank Hodge addressed Consortium students as a whole, welcoming them (albeit digitally!) to the Foster-hosted conference and sharing our three fundamental principles: fostering community through engagement and inclusion, fostering connections to each other and the world, and fostering innovation through different mindset of problem solving.

Dean Frank Hodge shared a favorite quote from the Cool Runnings, “Peace Be the Journey,” calling on Consortium Conference attendees to find “peace in the process,” and that “it’s not all about the destination.”


Foster welcomed seven new Consortium students to the family this year. They join seven current Consortium students in the Class of 2021. Students have been participating career prep webinars over the past six weeks, hosted by the MBA Career Management team’s career coaches. Career Management webinars, zoom meetings, and flyers covered resume building, LinkedIn skills, mock interviews, how to approach networking, and preparation for attending conferences. Community building for the students was in partnership with Melissa Uyesugi, Associate Director, Diversity & Inclusion and Megan Lewis, Senior Associate Director, MBA Admissions.

Stay tuned for updates on this year’s conference from The Consortium!

Leave a Reply