Me, Myself & I

Now before I chart down this treacherous path let me make my disclaimers early! I am not in MLT nor did I apply to MLT.  But I know you guys are in the process of considering or drafting applications to MLT Career Prep, which is all fine and dandy. Remember, I’m the biggest ambassador of a plan, so even your consideration of the program symbolizes an interest in b-school enrollment within the next 24 months. I applaud your pluck.

So Me, Myself, and I is two fold. Firstly, I only write to share my opinions, so I’ll give you my assessment, which is largely a hybrid of my beliefs and third-party anecdotes. But as always, we should be informed and I’m going to do my best to extract any bias from my assessment. Secondly, before we submit any MLT applications, let’s see if we can do this process solo with me, myself and I. Recall, I’m talking about, in my opinion, and I repeat this is D’Andre Pierre Carr’s perspective on the programmatic strengths and areas of development of MLT’s MBA Prep program.

And before we start, I guess it would be good to educate the masses who may be reading and don’t know, but MLT is an organization that “equips high potential minorities with the winning playbook and personalized coaching that allows them to reach their full leadership potential and maximize their community impact.” MBA Prep is a MLT program geared towards “helping minority MBA candidates obtain and be successful in fast-track post-MBA jobs.”

MLT Strengths, in my opinion:

  1. Accountability: the structured nature of the program keeps you responsible for every dimension of the application process from establishing GMAT score minimums prior to applying to rigid essay review along with detailed research of every program. Y’all know I support being informed.
  2. Network: You get a head start in cultivating your Black MBA Network. This matters especially for people interested in non-Consortium schools, who won’t have a central program to introduce you to your peers. It’s awkward to go to Jumpstart and not know nobody.
  3. Resources: It offers you a way to become exposed to the schools and current students enrolled at your schools of interest.

Some “Meh” MLT aspects

  1. Agenda: There’s definitely a pressure towards applying and enrolling at top-5 (really top 3) business’ schools. From what I hear, MLT is definitely not discouraging applying to other schools, but it’s clear there’s a preference. And you can’t be mad! Institutionally, they have their own metrics of success and have a higher power to respond to.
  2. Delay: I always thought it delayed you a year from the end goal. And the actual MBA application process looks very similar to MLT’s. Why duplicate an effort?
  3. Did you really upgrade me?: So the point is to enhance the candidacy of minorities applying to top-MBA programs. But a significant percentage of people enrolled in MBA Prep, or significant people who get admitted, have top-MBA program credentials, so I’m still perplexed as to what the tangible value add is?

The aforementioned highlights in my opinion what doesn’t come across on the website.

Now, why I didn’t do it?

Well, not to gas myself, but one thing I know how to do, besides work a choreography like nobody’s business, is career and application planning. I didn’t need the babysitting MLT provides because I was intimately familiar with the graduate school application process. Also, I feel MLT helps people get on track to a particular GMAT score, which is critical. But for most people taking the GMAT, the last standardized test they took was the SAT, which could be between 8 and 10+ years ago. So, it could take some time reacclimating to standardized test taking. I had taken the GRE two years ago in conjunction with being in an academic mind frame from just completing my MPA, so I was mentally ready to quickly and efficiently prep for the GMAT. That’s definitely not the case for most applicants. Lastly, having gone to an undergrad business program, I knew EXACTLY what I wanted in my next rendezvous with a management education at the graduate level and thus didn’t need the burden of additional school researching MLT requires.

Now, do I regret not doing it?

Nah, not really. One thing is MBA Prep is a pipeline to PD (MLT Professional Development), which helps minority MBA candidates obtain and be successful in fast-track post-MBA jobs.” Think of PD as what MLT MBA Prep members graduate to after you gain admission to a school. It’s very difficult to gain admission to PD without having done MBA prep. I didn’t get into PD and I really wanted to get to know people before Consortium or any Pre-MBA diversity program. Because everyone gets to know everyone quickly, so I wanted to get in the mix as early as possible.

Now, should you do it?

Well, me, myself, and I is all I had in the end. But MLT is offering to be your best friend? You have to decide what’s best for you. It’s all about contextualizing your situation. Now, going back to my “No Harvard or Goldman” ideology. If just tuning in, please read. But the “No Harvard or Goldman” people should do it. And the intention is to not shade this group’s preparedness, but there’s a lot to gain from the network and the resources. Exposure is key. Once you’re exposed, you become more informed, and I’m all about being informed in the process. My intention is to not insinuate “Harvard or Goldman” folk shouldn’t do MLT. But let’s objectify a bit. According to the website, MBA Prep is offering “personal clarity, understanding the bar, personalized roadmap, one-on-one coaching, unparalleled business school exposure, skill-building workshops, and high leverage networks.” Now, just playing devils advocate but if “Harvard” and or “Goldman” didn’t provide you all that or facilitate an opportunity for you to utilize those resources, you may want to get a refund from that education (And I consider Goldman education as well).

Ultimately, it’s about having a mature conversation with yourself. Introspectively reflecting, ask “am I hot mess?” “Am I going to leave things to the last minute?” If so, you should drop an application. In addition, if your work schedule is demanding, it’s a good mechanism to keep you on track as well. Work sometimes causes us to delay things we want to achieve so MLT can help caveat that. The process is too costly to proceed through it haphazardly.

In addition, ask yourself is it worth the $750? There’s also pressure to enroll in a GMAT prep class in MLT, so the MBA admissions price sticker gets higher.

IF YOU REALLY BOUT THAT LIFE, and I’ve seen people do this, apply to MLT and b-school concurrently. You need a GMAT score and all the b-school application components to be offered admission to MBA Prep anyway. If you are unsuccessful, MLT can perform an autopsy on your application. If you are successful, you’ve jump started your black-MBA network and have removed a year from your process. But remember, do this only if you about that life. It’s a lot of work!

And of course, I can’t forget this….

-Dre

2 thoughts on “Me, Myself & I

  1. As a current fellow, I would only out rightly disagree with one point and that is your first dissenting point that MLT pressures candidates to apply or matriculate into Top 3-5 programs. We were consistently asked to make sure to consider all top 20 schools especially as many of these are sponsors of the program. Their major message has been to go where the program and culture are best for you and not to be starstruck by the top schools, because if you go there and hate it, you’ve wasted everybody’s time and money. As such, I would put that point in MLT’s favor, as it had many fellows re-think the way they considered their schools. The additional required research added evidence to the fact that some of the lower ranked schools (or higher ranked schools for those who were selling themselves short) could provide everything a fellow needed and make them happier which is a thought often ignored when applying alone.

    Otherwise, I do think this was a good assessment, but I think that additional thoughts I’d like to see to make it better are inputs from people in the program who have positive and negative viewpoints, which would be helpful for those considering it now. This article can start that conversation. Additionally, for those in MBA Prep specifically who you spoke with prior to writing this, it’s helpful to know which years they were a part of and whether the program adapted to reflect their complaints (something that maybe happened with the pressure to apply to Top programs).

    As far as GMAT, it’s important to note that the class requirement is only for people still waiting to hit a standard (was 650 when I applied). I did self-study and hit the metric before applying and so never had to pay for a class even though I decided to retake the test. If you don’t want to take the class, make sure to hit the standard on your own. Otherwise, maybe the [discounted] class will be of benefit.

    Bottom line; No one applying with MLT will be denied from somewhere that they would have gotten in without MLT. That’s not how it works. If you want the structure and like the idea of forcing yourself to do research that you definitely otherwise would not. Bet, do it. If not, and you know you’ll be fine without MLT, that’s cool too.

    When MLT started, many people applying to MBA programs with the credentials were not getting in, that phenomenon that has largely changed. I think there is an additional level of credibility and confidence in one’s own application that MLT provides which tangibly enhances the portfolio of equally qualified candidates, Harvard, Goldman, or otherwise; BUT Black/Latino folk as a whole are killing the game so its whatever.

    That’s just me though so hopefully other MLT students reply to this as well and weigh in.

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    1. Hello Nony! Firstly, thank you for posting and offering the insightful commentary to the blog. Secondly, its wonderful to hear from someone enrolled in MBA Prep. So, I did preface with this being Dre’s assessment of MLT which is a combination of third-party anecdotes and my limited engagement with the program. I wrote this post completely accepting it would be susceptible to criticism because people experience programs, which often aspire to offer a homogenous experience, very differently. So I don’t want to completely devalue the experiences of people I’ve spoken to rather informally. But it seems what I offered in my dissenting point is what you would characterize as a misconception of MLT—the pressure to matriculate at trinity schools. I do believe however at the origins of a misconception is a partial truth. Now, from my own conversations with some current and former students of MLT, they did feel a pressure towards the top 3. Now maybe, it’s not an institutional pressure, but it could be a result of the natural competitive atmosphere of the types of candidates MLT attracts, which are high achievers. It’s wonderful to hear that they are helping students develop a comprehensive list of schools that reflects true diligence and consideration of a variety of different factors. Now, if this pressure does exist, whether institutionally or just a general unspoken pressure generating in the ethos, then I believe MLT should be facilitating conversations where that pressure should be mitigated. I do believe mental health management is key to being successful in the process, so the more we can extract unsavory psychological forces, the better for everyone. And I agree with you wholeheartedly, I would love to see inputs from people with varying experiences from MLT—as their reflections would help us come to the most informed decision as to whether to apply to MLT or not. But I simply write with the aim to push the boundaries on how we think about these processes and the aspiration to catalyze dialogue among prospects, degree candidates, and alum. In addition, I think the latter points you made about MLT not transforming candidates is spot on and complementary to what I was implicitly offering in the post. I think the primary benefits are definitely around the themes of accountability and network. Thank you for reading!

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