Why “Applying While Black”?
Too often within our community, we fail to support and uplift each other. We stand firmly on faith and trailblazers who have helped facilitate our success. However, it seems sometimes we forget the mechanism by which they triumphed over structural and systemic feats—unity. I write in unity to offer counsel in the graduate school application process—with specific emphasis on the MBA and JD admission processes. I struggle determining my definition of success and how I push the boundaries on the limits I subconsciously set for myself. I write hoping to start knocking down the boundaries.
Also, too often, I feel people fail to share their experience on our journey—a Black Journey, in a way that is constructive, transparent, and honest. If White people, Hispanic people, Chinese people or Indian people find value in this, then so be it, and I’m here for that, but I’m writing this for BLACK prospective applicants. I want to be a voice, a candid perspective, and a soundboard to Blacks applying. I will discuss the formal and informal components of the application, deciding which school to attend, and navigating the entire journey.
Although I’m writing with particular emphasis on JD and MBA admissions, I do think anyone (even if you not Black, even though I’m still writing for black) considering any graduate program can find value in what I’ll be sharing. So feel free to pass along to friends considering post-graduate education.
Why Am I Talking Bout A JD?
So I’m not a JD applicant, JD candidate, JD, or a JD with admission to a Bar. I once IMMENSELY considered law school and know the process intimately from studying to the LSAT to competing for a coveted Summer Associateship at one of those big bougie NYC law firms like Skadden and Cravath. Now, I do believe today people straddle between pursuing the JD, MBA, and JD/MBA. Vis-a-vis this blog, I hope to facilitate a dialogue in which people (remember primarily Black—we unapologetically black out here) can come to a decision to best support their career planning efforts. I also feel there’s elements to the MBA process that can be used to enhance a law school application and vice versa. We’ll talk more about it.
What This Ain’t?
Firstly, there is one word I’m going to be avoiding like the plague. That’s “advice”. Advice presupposes expertise and expertise is not what I have. You don’t really have expertise unless you’re an admissions officer and that’s one job I don’t have on my resume. What I can offer is my story and my experiences. As you read, my own journey will unravel and I hope you can learn from my successes and more importantly, my failures. When I say experience, I also consider my peers’ experience. I’ve hitch hiked along many of their journeys and shared in their wins and losses as well. I feel this gives me an informed perspective I hope to share.
Secondly, I’m not hear to shade any institution. There are several amazing business schools and law schools, and I do have my opinions about their various institutional strengths and institutional blemishes. But ultimately, I do want to empower Black choice. And while I may not have enrolled, I do think particular schools are perfect for particular people and if I can give you a perspective that helps get you there, I’m all in.