How would joining Competitive Advantage benefit me?

As a college undergraduate, you’ll gain the skills to focus your interests and craft your career path. What’s the best way to launch your career? Is graduate school an option? How do you find internships? Is my resume the best it can be? We give you the tools to answer these questions, while introducing you to a valuable network of corporate partners and Consortium alumni who can help you succeed. Plus, corporate partners seeking to fill internships will interview students.

How does it work?

You’ll start with a 2.5-day program of workshops, simulation events, team-building exercises and networking. Students will have the opportunity to interview with corporate partners seeking to fill positions. From there, you carry those skills back to school, working with career advisors, and tap into the Competitive Advantage network whenever you need to.

How do I apply?

Submit your application, transcripts and resume through our online application page. The deadline is 11:59 p.m., central time, August 1, 2018.

When will I find out if I was accepted?

We’ll notify you by August 3, 2018.

Will I be interviewed as part of the application process?

Interviews will not be required.

Why does Competitive Advantage exist?

We’re here to drive college and career success among members of historically underrepresented minority groups—African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Native Americans. The Competitive Advantage is a product of The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, which has worked for more than a half-century to increase diversity in business education and corporate leadership.

Does that mean I need to be a business major?

No. Competitive Advantage is open to any college undergraduate from our participating pilot schools on any career path.

So, who is eligible?

To join Competitive Advantage, you must be a college sophomore, junior or senior who is part of a historically underrepresented minority group, a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and can demonstrate leadership in your extracurricular activities and community involvement. You must also have good academic standing at your university.

What does the program cost?

The program is free. If you are chosen from among those who go through our competitive selection process, you pay nothing to join. Corporate partners and universities are investing in your future to underwrite your participation.

You mentioned corporate partners. What do you mean?

Support for Competitive Advantage comes from a number of top U.S. companies, including Google, Facebook, Amazon, Nike and General Mills. These companies support diversity and recognize the importance of an inclusive workforce that represents the customers they serve. They provide funding so they can have a chance to meet you and provide tools for your success.

You also talked about universities. Which schools are involved?

If you apply now, you may be part of the inaugural class of Competitive Advantage, featuring students from our four pilot schools: Indiana University-Bloomington; the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor; Washington University in St. Louis; and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. We’ll add more schools in subsequent classes.

What’s the conference going to be like?

You’ll be busy, starting with an early Friday morning bus ride from your school to the conference hotel. After a busy afternoon, Saturday will also be packed with activities. We finish after lunch on Sunday when the buses take you back to campus. We’ll have a mini-career fair, career simulations, time to get up and move—and a variety of activities targeted specifically to your year in school.

Where and when is the conference?

The conference will be Sept. 7-9, 2018, at the Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center, Oak Brook, IL.

If I’m chosen, where do I stay? What do I wear? What about meals?

You’ll be paired with another Competitive Advantage scholar and you’ll room together at the conference hotel. The dress code for the conference is casual, but bring a business casual outfit, too. You’ll eat well! We’ll provide lunch and dinner the first day, three meals on the second day and breakfast and lunch before you leave the third day. Have special dietary needs? We’ll make sure you’re covered.

Can a faculty member or campus administrator nominate me?

Yes! Have them visit our website at gainyouradvantage.org and look for the “Refer a Prospect” link in the main menu. They can submit your information there.

Can I recommend someone who might be a good candidate?

Sure! You can use the same referral link we mentioned above.

Can campus administrators nominate candidates?

Certainly! Same process as above.

Where can I learn more?

Visit our website for more details at gainyouradvantage.com. Learn more about our parent organization, The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, at cgsm.org.

Why this program versus others?

We have a longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion and an admirable track record for fulfilling our mission. Our deep connections with our member universities and to our corporate partners also set us apart.