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Pleasant surprises: My experience as a Consortium Fellow

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A day before Johnson’s leadership classes began in the summer, Consortium Fellows got together for an intimate lunch as a way to lay the foundation of what has become an extension of Jonnathan’s family.

By Jonnathan Navarrete, Two-Year MBA ‘20

On March 2018, I got one of the best news I have ever received: I was invited to join the ranks of The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management as a Class of 2020 fellow at the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management. The experience as a Consortium fellow has been extremely rewarding as not only have I received opportunities to extend my network with corporate partners and students at other business schools, but also made friendships that will no doubt stand the test of time.

As I began my journey with The Consortium, I have only been pleasantly surprised with how impressive the people in this network are. Not only do they come from very impressive backgrounds, but also are very down-to-earth people who are looking to add value to your experience—from both a professional and personal perspective.

The Consortium and its mission

The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management is the premier organization chosen by the country’s leading business schools and corporate partners as a feeder of diverse perspectives. Supported by the strength of its strong and far-reaching alumni network, The Consortium’s mission is simple: to enhance diversity and inclusion by reducing the misrepresentation of African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans in business education and business leadership.

The Consortium Orientation Program & Career Forum

In early June 2018, The Consortium launched its 52nd annual Orientation Program & Career Forum, an event held for all of the new fellows and alumni to meet and network with corporate partners, in Orlando, Florida. From the moment that I stepped foot in the hotel that we stayed at, I knew that this experience was going to be very impactful and powerful.

Soon after meeting with old friends who were at different business schools, I began to meet my new classmates at Johnson. Before we noticed, we were having lunch at a local bar and speaking as if we had been friends for years. This was not an isolated event, as any little free time we had was spent together discussing our experiences and our goals. We spent most of the day socializing and getting to know each other, and what would a Johnson experience be if our fantastic faculty was not involved encouraging us and preparing us for what lay ahead? After preparing for our interviews, the Orientation Program & Career Forum culminated with all of the new fellows interviewing with The Consortium’s fantastic and impressive corporate partners, most of which are Fortune 500 companies. Like most years, many of the students from Johnson and other business schools left with new friends, an extended professional network, and internships for the upcoming summer. I can’t wait to go to the Consortium 53rd annual Orientation Program & Career Forum to support the upcoming Consortium Class of 2021.

The Johnson-Consortium family

When thinking of family, you naturally think of your mother, father, siblings, and the likes. However, when you spend such a large amount of time with other people, to the point that you know everything about them, not to mention how much you’ve grown to love them, does this not also make these people family? In my experience I can answer this question easily: a resounding YES.

My classmates at Johnson have become very close to me and I to them. Johnson’s small community located in the middle of Ithaca, New York, is its main strength. Here, we see our classmates at Sage Hall, the same bars, while grocery shopping or playing sports, you name it—you’ll always see somebody from school. It is very difficult to have a social life here if you don’t get to know your classmates; luckily, the admissions team at Johnson does a great job in admitting people who are very intentional during their application process. They wanted to have the opportunity to not only extend their professional network, but also create long-lasting relationships that will endure the test of time.

This is further compounded when I think of my Consortium classmates. We are always seeing each other at events held for Consortium Fellows, speaking to our great friends at the Office of Diversity and Inclusion who are like mentors and siblings to all of us. I know each of the Consortium Fellows in my class and the second-year MBA class quite well, they’ve been there for me when I needed them, and I’ve been more than happy to reciprocate when needed. The Johnson-Consortium community has given me so much: a world-class education, access to the best jobs in the country, and people who have become an extension of my family.

Learn more about applying to Johnson through The Consortium


About Jonnathan Navarrete, Two-Year MBA ’20                         

Jonnathan NavarreteJonnathan Navarrete is a first-year MBA candidate at Johnson. Before his MBA, Jonnathan worked in the financial services industry at Goldman Sachs. He plans to use his problem solving and people skills he has developed at Johnson to make an impact in the investment banking industry. Jonnathan enjoys playing soccer, hiking, and eating at Oishii Bowl in Ithaca.


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