Simon MBA Follows His Principles as a Leader Who Benefits Society

The following article was written by Peter Iglinski, media relations specialist at the University of Rochester, and originally appeared in the UR Newscenter.

When looking for a business school, Keenan Heyward was certain of one thing; he wanted a big institution with a lot of people. That was until he paid a visit to the Simon Business School at the University of Rochester.

“When I came for my campus visit, I met a tight-knit community where the staff knows everybody,” says Heyward. “I realized this was actually what I wanted.”

Photo courtesy of Keenan Heyward.

Two years after starting on his MBA, as he prepares to receive his during commencement ceremonies in May, Heyward can say that the reality of Simon lived up to his expectations.

“I’m coming out of Simon much more confident in academic areas where I felt good and in academic areas where I needed work,” says Heyward. “But most importantly, I learned how to lead.”

The course that had the greatest influence on Heyward was advanced marketing strategies, taught by Mitchell Lovett, who recently became Simon’s senior associate dean of education and innovation. Working in groups of six, the students competed against each other while running simulated companies, with real-life challenges and crises thrown their way throughout the course. Heyward says the experience taught him to use his entire skill set.

And Heyward will get to put those skills to work immediately as senior specialist on Merck Pharmaceuticals’ global vaccine strategy team. In that role, Heyward will help Merck identify and develop solutions to some of the illnesses that will affect the world in the coming five or 10 years.

His new job will give Heyward the opportunity to fulfill one of his principles. “I came to business school with the belief that I would find a position that allowed me to get up in the morning and, in some small way, benefit society.”

Heyward didn’t simply learn about leadership in his classes at Simon; he learned about it in his many activities at Rochester, which included being vice president of events for the Black Student Alliance at Simon and chief operating officer for the Simon School Venture Fund, as well as doing volunteer work in the community, where he taught sixth grade students about entrepreneurship—all of which put additional demands on his time.

“One of the things I learned at Simon is how to be efficient and disciplined,” says Heyward. “If you hire an MBA, you expect that person to be the next leader of your company. It’s important that leaders understand how to effectively apply their talents.”

Heyward already knows what he’ll miss most when he leaves Rochester with his MBA in hand—it will be the family he developed at Simon. “There’s no doubt that my classmates will be lifelong friends. When looking around a room—even a Zoom room—I think these are some of the most incredible individuals I’ve ever met. This is a once-in-a-lifetime group of people to be around.”

It’s Never Been Easier to Apply to Simon!

Did you know there is still time to apply and begin your full-time MBA or MS degree in 2021? Check out this video to hear Trista Kukucka, assistant director of admissions, talk about Simon’s flexible application requirements, including the potential to waive a standardized test if you meet certain criteria, the ability to apply without an application fee, and more!

Our Round 5 application deadline is Saturday, May 1, but we will continue to accept applications after that date on a space-available basis. In fact, if you’re interested in one of our four full-time MS programs—Accountancy, Business Analytics, Finance, and Marketing Analytics—you can apply through June 15. It’s not too late to begin your graduate business degree this year. Don’t wait—apply now!

Seven Spring Things to Do in Rochester, NY

One of the nice things about Rochester is being able to enjoy all four seasons. Each year as winter fades into spring, we are ready for the flowers and fresh (warmer!) air that come with it. Here are a few things we look forward to doing as soon as spring has sprung in Rochester—we think you’ll love them, too.

1.) Get outside! There is nothing like a walk around a local neighborhood or park on one of the first warm, sunny days of spring. The perfect occasion to grab your sunglasses and get some steps in.

2.) Enjoy the Rochester Lilac Festival. Nothing says spring in Rochester like the Lilac Festival. This year’s festival will be held over three weekends in May and will feature food, drinks, vendors, and—of course, the city’s signature flower—while adhering to all county and state social distancing guidelines.

3.) Pick up some essentials (or treats!) at the Public Market. The Rochester Public Market is open year round on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays and no matter what you’re looking for, you can find it at the market. Mask wearing and social distancing are required, and some vendors even offer delivery, pre-orders, and curbside pickup options to reduce contact as you’re collecting your must-haves for the week.

4.) Visit the Seneca Park Zoo. Rochester’s local zoo is open all year (except for a few holidays), but spring is an especially nice time to explore and learn about furry, scaled, and feathered friends. Tickets are limited each day to ensure safe conditions for all visitors.

5.) Head to a food truck rodeo. You’ll find several of our Rochester-area food trucks at events like the Lilac Festival, but you can also discover your new favorite treat at the monthly food truck rodeos held at the Rochester Public Market. The 2021 schedule is currently tentative, but we are hoping the trucks will be back in action this spring and summer.

6.) Take in some baseball at Frontier Field. Rochester is home to the Red Wings—the Triple A affiliate of the Washington Nationals. The home opener is slated for May 18, and we are all eager to get back to cheering on our home team!

7.) Feel the ‘Seabreeze.’  Seabreeze Amusement Park sits on the shores of Lake Ontario and the Irondequoit Bay and first opened in 1879. It’s home to the country’s oldest, continuously running wooden rollercoaster—The Jack Rabbit—which turned 100 in 2020. The ride’s centennial will be celebrated this summer, as the park is slated to reopen in late May after last year’s closure due to Covid-19. (Don’t worry, The Jack Rabbit ran periodically even while the park was closed!)

Update from the Senior Assistant Dean: Plans for Fall 2021

The following blog post was written by Rebekah Lewin, senior assistant dean of admissions and programs

I wanted to share an update on our plans for Fall 2021 based upon information available to us today. We expect to continue offering in-person instruction and co-curricular and social activities, with a hope to expand these opportunities to the extent that it remains feasible and safe to do so. We have learned a lot about how to offer these activities this past year, and this information will guide our decisions and plans. This will likely include mandatory mask wearing on campus and using larger classrooms where we can continue to spread out students to ensure lower density in classrooms.

Because the timing for global vaccinations and travel remains a bit uncertain, we also expect to offer a hybrid learning option with online classes that allows students (regardless of location) to study online if needed. Although the hybrid format will accommodate students with health concerns, we strongly encourage physical class attendance both to enable the advantages of in-person learning and to help build our community through the informal interactions that naturally arise before and after classes. We, of course, expect those interactions to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Similar to this year, we will continue to proactively collaborate with the International Services Office to understand the impact of our policies and practices so our international students remain “in status” and fully understand the impact of their decisions and options. We are committed to helping each student complete their Simon degree, and we realize in some cases that there are circumstances outside of a student’s control that impact location or study format preferences.

Please keep in mind that the CDC, New York State, and the University have made a number of updates in their guidance and requirements over the past year, and we will continue to adjust our plans if required.

If you have additional questions about our plans for the fall semester—or about your candidacy or the admissions process in general—please feel free to reach out to the Admissions Office. We are here to support you every step of the way!

There is still time to apply to begin your full-time MBA or MS degree in 2021! We have two remaining application deadlines for 2021 entry (March 31 and May 1), and merit-based scholarship is always available for qualified candidates. Don’t wait—apply today!