• Coaching and Consulting -- Kathryn Flaschner, MBA Class of 2017

    Coaching and Consulting — Kathryn Flaschner, MBA Class of 2017

    During her MBA journey, Kathryn Flaschner, MBA Class of 2017, learned that a leap of faith can lead somewhere unexpected. Before she accepted her summer internship with Cognizant, she never pictured herself working in IT consulting, but taking a chance helped her realize one of her key strengths: developing trusting relationships with clients that enable her […]

    Feb 03, 2017 | 0 comments | View Post

  • Unlocking Opportunities at Google - Treadwell Singfield, 2018 MBA Candidate

    Unlocking Opportunities at Google – Treadwell Singfield, 2018 MBA Candidate

    “Are you sitting down, or standing up?” When he received the call from Google offering him a summer internship, Treadwell Singfield, 2018 MBA candidate, recalls the moment was exciting, nerve-wracking, and intense. But there was one thing he knew for sure: he made the right choice to pursue a Simon MBA. As someone who had […]

    Dec 15, 2016 | 0 comments | View Post

  • Where Will You Be? Experience Your Simon Acceptance Moment

    Where Will You Be? Experience Your Simon Acceptance Moment

    The decision to apply to business school is a big one. It takes hours of research, preparation, and dedication, but when it all pays off, the feeling is second to none. Several students shared their reactions to the moment they found out they were getting a Simon MBA. Where will you be when you get […]

    Nov 10, 2016 | 0 comments | View Post

The Application Process Part 2: Work Experience, Recommendations, and Essays

The following blog post was written by Rebekah Lewin ’02 MBA, assistant dean of admissions and financial aid

Blog -- Steps to A Simon AdmissionWhen the Admissions Committee reviews your application, a significant component is the review of your personal and professional potential for an MBA or MS degree. This includes evaluation of your communication skills, demonstrated teamwork and leadership, co-curricular or community engagement, and future career plans. There are a variety of ways that we assess these characteristics, and I will discuss how a few areas of the application can impact your chances for admission.

Work Experience:

The Admissions Committee will consider both the quality and quantity of your prior and current work experience in relation to your future career goals and the degree you are targeting.

For MS candidates, we are expecting to see relevant internships or a short period of full-time work experience after your undergraduate degree. For example, if you are pursuing the MS Accountancy degree, we would expect you to have one or more internships in corporate or public accounting.

For MBA candidates, we are seeking several years of full-time work experience with demonstrated accomplishments and transferrable skills that will add value to your future post-MBA employer. Your experience does not need to be the same as your future career goals, but you will need to provide context for your motivation to change careers and share information on how an MBA will help you to achieve this goal.

During the application review, the Admissions Committee will assess your résumé, recommendations, and essays to rate the quality and amount of prior work experience and how relevant it is to your future goals. Your résumé provides an overview of what you have done and how well you did it – think of it as a combination of your job description and your performance evaluation. Your essays and recommendations can add a bit of detail with one or more examples that validate and substantiate your work experience to date. You will also want to address why you are pursuing the MBA or MS degree at this particular stage of your career.

Leadership, Teamwork, and Communication Skills:

Keep in mind that the Admissions Committee will also be trying to assess your “soft” skills during the application review. The essays, résumé, and recommendation letters all provide an opportunity for you to shine in these areas. Leadership and teamwork can be demonstrated in both work and non-work situations, and you will want to have several examples that you can share.

Make sure to carefully proofread your essays and keep within required word limits. You will want to answer the question(s) in a way that puts you in the best possible light, while also being yourself.

Simon Fit:

One of the other significant things that the Admissions Committee will be looking for in the essays, and possibly even the recommendations, is assessing “fit” for Simon. The “fit” factor is a culture and career fit – assessing how we think you will be involved as a student, how your career goals fit with the types of opportunities that are typically available post-MBA or post-MS, and balancing a desire to find candidates with characteristics that make you stand out from other candidates, while also expecting some similar qualities of drive, motivation, and commitment to personal and professional advancement.

If you are invited to interview (after submitting your application), then many of these skills and capabilities will be evaluated. The interview is a great opportunity for you to showcase additional examples of how you can contribute in these areas both during the MBA or MS program and with your employer after business school.

Recommendations:

This is an important opportunity for someone familiar with your work contributions to validate your potential to the Admissions Committee. Recommenders are often supervisors, but we also receive letters from clients, vendors, colleagues, or someone an applicant worked closely with on a project. We do prefer a professional recommendation over an academic one, but we understand this isn’t always possible.

Make sure you are giving your recommenders enough time to write a positive and detailed recommendation letter. I suggest that you schedule a meeting with each recommender ahead of time to share your goals for B-school, why you are applying to Simon, how our program fits with your career interests, and the deadlines for getting materials submitted. Hopefully, if you thoughtfully approach the process, your recommenders will have adequate context to help your application shine.

In the meantime, I encourage you to begin or continue working on your application. We look forward to reviewing it soon!

Interested in more advice? Tune in to our “Round 1 Application Tips” webinar Wednesday, Sept. 27 at 12 p.m EDT.

Simon Business School Helps Students Achieve “A New Level of Clarity”

Last week, the Simon community came together to mark the launch of a new branding initiative that centers around the idea of “a new level of clarity” that students attain at Simon.

Dean Ainslie addressed attendees of the brand launch celebration.

Dean Ainslie addressed attendees of the brand launch celebration.

During remarks at the Simon Social, Dean Ainslie pointed out that the brand isn’t a slogan, but rather a distillation of sentiments students and graduates have shared about what they see as the chief benefits of a business degree from Simon. In short, a Simon education helps students achieve a new level of clarity about how analytical frameworks drive success in business; about what it takes to collaborate and manage in the contemporary, global workplace; and about their professional growth and goals.

Those messages resonated with Mike Alcazaren, MBA Class of 2019.

“As a current student, it’s empowering to know that we’re part of this vision and we can directly impact not only Simon, but the University of Rochester and larger Rochester community,” he said.

Last week’s event showcased the look and feel of the new brand both in printed materials and around the school. The new full-time MBA and full-time MS viewbooks (available in the program Admissions section of our website) feature student and alumni testimonials helping prospective students understand the ways in which they could gain a new level of clarity at Simon, and brand look books zero in on how the brand ideas translate among the different Simon programs.

The brand language on OSE's office: Let's be unabashedly analytical.

“Let’s be unabashedly analytical” — the brand language displayed on the Office of Student Engagement. Photo courtesy of Mike Alcazaren.

Visitors will also notice a change to the physical Simon space, not only in prominent branding language displayed in main common spaces in the school, but also in the office spaces themselves. Last summer, the Rotunda and the Office of Student Engagement underwent transformations, the latter incorporates a glass wall to encourage inclusivity and engaging common spaces where students are often seen gathering to do work or just catch up between classes.

In the fall, we will be launching a newly-renovated shared student space that will foster collaboration among the Simon community. In addition, the Admissions Office was renovated this summer and will be completed in early October. We look forward to welcoming prospective students into a space that is a physical representation of the clarity you can achieve at Simon with glass, natural light, and a bright design.

We invite you to “see deeper” and discover how a degree from Simon could bring your professional and personal goals into focus. Our first application deadline is now less than a month away – if you’re ready to find out where a Simon education can take you, apply now.

Experience Simon Weekend featuring Women’s Conference Programming, Nov. 10-11

The following post was written by Rebekah Lewin, assistant director of admissions and financial aid

It’s hard to believe the fall term is well underway already! In the Admissions Office, we are also excited about our November on-campus recruitment event for prospective MBA students, Experience Simon Weekend featuring Women’s Conference programming.

As in past years, we are running these events concurrently and most of the programming is shared, which creates a cohesive environment where our prospective students can get acquainted with Simon and with each other.

Women’s Conference begins midday on Friday, Nov. 10. First, attendees will participate in “The 5½ Beliefs & Behaviors of Highly Successful Women,” a professional development session presented by Maureen Berkner Boyt, founder of The Moxie Exchange Movement, a training and mentoring organization for companies who want to develop, promote, and retain women and create inclusive workplaces.

The afternoon continues with a Women’s Leadership Panel with impressive alumnae panelists:

  • Ileana Chu ’97S (MBA), Managing Director, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey
  • Leslie Falconio ’92S (MBA), Executive Director, UBS Wealth Management
  • Kelly Stone Geer ’03S (MBA), Chief Marketing Officer, Sphero
  • Stephanie Hogue ’04S (MBA), Managing Director of Corporate Finance, PricewaterhouseCoopers

Forte group shot 2017

Dinner on Friday is where the Experience Simon Weekend registrants join up with Women’s Conference attendees, and participate in the remainder of the weekend’s programming together. Attendees will have the opportunity to network with faculty, alumni, and current students at dinner.

On Saturday, Nov. 11, our prospective students will fill their day at Simon with the following activities:

  • Alumni and student panels
  • Campus tours
  • An overview from Simon’s Career Management Center
  • A sample MBA class
  • Admissions interview (you have this option as long as you have created an application to Simon)

We are very much looking forward to these events, and November will be here before we know it! We encourage you to register for Experience Simon Weekend or Women’s Conference by Friday, October 20 to be considered for complimentary hotel accommodations for both Friday and Saturday nights and a partial travel stipend (note that you must complete the registration process before requesting a stipend). Please send all event-related inquiries to events@simon.rochester.edu.

As always, if you have any questions about Simon or the application process, don’t hesitate to email the Admissions Office. We are always happy to help.

In the meantime, we look forward to seeing you in November!

If you’re interested in applying to Simon Business School, get started now.

The Staircase: Summer Internship Reflections with Alyssa Rinck, MBA Class of 2018

The following blog post was written by Alyssa Rinck, MBA Class of 2018 and former summer associate at Cognizant

Nail the GMAT. Get accepted to a top school. Land your dream internship. Convert that internship into a job offer.

If you’re interested in business school, it’s likely these things are on your radar. They were on mine too when I started my business school journey. These things remain important. There are a lot of resources out there to guide you through this process, and I am certainly not here to tell you what to do. But I am here to give you a piece of advice: how to survive when you have the high expectation to achieve all of these things. Business school is stressful, but if you take a deep breath and take things one step at a time, you will thrive.

While you will be defined by the big decisions you make during your journey, you will be remembered by the combination of small choices you made along the way. Small steps in the right direction lead to great opportunity. People notice the little things.

When I started searching for a summer internship, I was focused on the big picture. I had just been accepted to Simon. Shortly after, I signed on with Cognizant Consulting as a summer associate in their retail practice. For a moment, I felt a huge sense of relief but then was immediately overwhelmed with a rush of anxiety. I landed the internship but getting the job offer seemed like a big feat.

Cognizant is a technology-driven consulting firm, and I was assigned to support an engagement with a top fortune retailer’s innovation lab in Silicon Valley. I knew very little about technology. On top of feeling the pressure to network with executives and showcase my work ethic, I had a lot to learn quickly about the tech world. Instead of taking the mindset that I was at a disadvantage, I took this as a great learning opportunity. I headed in to my first day on the job motivated to make the best of the experience.

When I arrived that day, I met my supervisor. He was a data scientist by trade and consultant by twist of fate. He told me I would be working on a project building machine learning solutions. These solutions would allow our client to add more third party products to their website (in order to compete with Amazon). I had spent several years before business school working for Macys.com/Macy’s Inc. so I was confident in my retail knowledge, but I had no idea where to start with machine learning.

After the meeting, I was stressed. What if I couldn’t add value to the engagement? I was not an expert on the subject by any means. I consciously reminded myself to have confidence, to move forward. I spent my evenings on YouTube researching. I woke up to get into the office early, so I could build a rapport with the main client point of contact. Soon I could speak the language of the software engineers on our floor. Eventually, I felt comfortable asking our client contact for help because we had a standing meeting to grab tea every morning, right after he got settled. By the time I was midway through my internship I had hit a groove.

I used this to accelerate my learning even further. I kept putting myself in positions where I was the least knowledgeable in the room. My perception of consultants before I began my internship was far different than it was at the end. At first, I thought consultants had to know everything and were paid for that expertise. I soon realized that consultants are valued for their ability to continuously ask the right questions and gather the right information.

When it came time to deliver my final recommendation based on the work I had done throughout the course of the summer, I was confident. I knew almost every stakeholder in the room. I was not shy to ask them for help building my final deck. I had their buy in, what could I be worried about? In full disclosure, I was very nervous, but I knew what I had to say was supported by months of hard work. I left that final meeting with several pats on the back and some smiles from the client.

alyssa_rinckThe morning following my final day as a Cognizant summer associate, I packed up for a long awaited trip to Peru. I had plenty of time for personal reflection throughout the trip, but I reached a moment of clarity on a hike along the Inca trail to Machu Picchu. About two thirds of the way through the hike, we reached what felt like the billionth stone staircase. Each set of stairs built by the Incas seemed steeper and longer than the last. My legs were already burning–there was no way I was making it to see the end. I wanted so badly for the guide to leave me right then and there to lay down and rest with the llamas. Somehow I found motivation to take on those stairs, and it was so worth it. This staircase was quite literally a metaphor for my summer with Cognizant.

When it all seems overwhelming, remember to take that deep breath. Take that one small step toward your goal. In the end, those small steps add up to something really incredible.

I came back from Peru with an offer from Cognizant, the aptitude to build my own machine learning models, and the newfound confidence to take on the world.