Author Archive

Graduation is right around the corner

My position before arriving at Simon was working as an Admissions Counselor for an undergraduate institution, with the majority of my time spent conversing with high school students. I found this to be a unique group, specifically because they were facing some major life decisions, and as their counselor, I was able to work alongside them in realizing the steps to take towards achieving their future goals.

I was reminded of my previous position last week when I participated in an Undergraduate Information Session here at Simon. The Session was open to any undergraduate student to attend – and we had a great response!

Many of you reading this blog are current juniors and seniors in college who are wondering what the next step after graduation might be. Have you ever considered heading right to business school? Many business schools will not consider applicants unless they have two or three years of work experience. Here at Simon, we take a different approach. We call it our Early Leader Initiative. You can learn more about the Early Leader Initiative online at:

If you are not sure which direction you will be heading in two and a half months, I encourage you to consider applying for a Simon MS or MBA. It’s not too late to apply!

Saturday @ Simon

by: Andrew Brayda

Happy Holidays everyone! My last blog was in response to one of the most common questions I hear from prospective students: How do I get a feel for the culture of a specific business school? My recommencation to best experience the culture of a business school is to make a campus visit. My colleague, Dana Eagle, also touched on this topic in her latest blog: “Making The Most of Your Campus Visit.”

Our most recent on-campus event was Saturday @ Simon. The full-day Saturday event allowed prospective students to meet with Admissions officers, conduct their official admissions interview (if scheduled in advance), and meet other prospective students.  Additionally, students attend discussion panels with faculty, current student, sand alumni, receive a personal tour of the Simon School and also have the opportunity to hear news and information from the Career Management Center.

By completing their official admission interview, a large portion of the attendees took one step closer to receiving an admissions decision. Interviews are staggered throughout the day, which allowed students to arrive later or leave earlier depending on their interview time. The panel sessions were helpful and informative, while the lunch hour provided prospective students the opportunity to enjoy a delicious meal and engage with other prospective students, admissions staff, alumni, and current Simon students.

One of the most beneficial sessions was presented by Bob Park, Director of Corporate Relations and Recruitment for the Career Management Center. Bob highlighted the revitalized effort the Career Management Center is placing on helping students find jobs post their Simon MS or MBA program. He stressed the need and desire to personalize the career placement process through engaging with each student in honest dialogue to find the right “fit” in terms of career placement.

Overall, the day was a huge success. So that you might benefit from a similar experience, here are a few of the upcoming campus visit opportunities for you to discover what Simon has to offer:

  • Monday, January 24, 2011: Simon Interview Day
  • Tuesday, January 25, 2011: Information Reception
  • Monday, February 28, 2011: Simon Interview Day

You can view and register for any of our Simon events online at:

We hope to see you on campus very soon!

You have applied for one of the first two deadlines…now what?

By Andrew Brayda

Happy Thanksgiving! As most US business schools reopen after the Thanksgiving holiday, many of you reading this blog have submitted an application for either the round #1 or round #2 deadline and may be asking yourself, now what? As you await a decision from the Admissions Committee (no matter where you have applied), I thought it would be helpful to respond to one of the most common questions I was asked while traveling this fall. That being, “how do I experience the culture of a business school?”

Although it is difficult to quantify the “culture” of a business school, I must admit that I love getting this question. This shows that an individual is concerned not only about the academic rigors and benefits of an MBA program, but also about the campus experience and their respective fit within the community. One of the most effective ways to discern the culture of a school, and ultimately if you feel comfortable there as a student, is to spend time on campus. Most campus visits will provide you the opportunity to meet with Admissions staff, tour the campus, visit a class, meet faculty, and meet current students. Others will even allow you to conduct your official admissions interview. Take the time to evaluate each school and the events offered. Spend time having conversations with not only the Admissions staff (though we love to talk), but also with current students, the Career Management Center, and most importantly, some of the amazing faculty that you will be learning from.

Here are two major events we have coming up on the Simon calendar:

  • Saturday @ Simon Saturday, December 11th
    • Saturday @ Simon allows prospective students to conduct their official admissions interview (pre-registration is required), receive a campus tour, hear from our Career Management Center, and attend faculty, current student, and alumni panels.


  • Simon Open Interview Day – Monday, January 24th
    • Simon Open Interview Day allows students to conduct their official admissions interview (pre-registration is required) as well as providing the opportunity to: interact with other prospective students, attend a class, receive a campus tour, and eat lunch while participating in round-table discussions with representatives from the Career Management Center.

Either of these events would be a great opportunity to experience the unique culture of the Simon School and how you might fit here as a student. Keep in mind that we have a number of other on-campus events throughout the year that are available as well as Admissions events in a city near you.

Note: Many international students may also be wondering how they can experience the culture at Simon if they are unable to visit. One of the most beneficial conversations any student will have in evaluating the culture of a business school is with the Admissions staff and current students. Feel free to contact an Admissions representative or a current student and ask them about the culture of Simon!

Finding Your Place: New to Simon

by: Andrew Brayda

Who doesn’t love a good story? I find myself telling stories all the time. Even more so, I like to listen to, or read a good story. I think for most of us, a good story captures our attention.  This is why I love working in higher education, and what brings me to Simon – the opportunity to be a part of each other’s story.

This is the first blog I have ever written for Simon Admissions. In fact, this is the first blog I have EVER written. As an introduction, here is a bit of my story…I am the Associate Director of Admissions here at the Simon School at the University of Rochester. I have been in higher education admissions for over 5 years and this is my first experience working with graduate students. One of the things I am passionate about, that translates across any level of education, is helping students realize their goals.

As I was thinking about blog ideas, I kept coming back to how this new experience for me at Simon fits in with my story. Along those lines, I thought it would be helpful to those new to Simon, or considering being new, if I shared a few of the things that were evident within my first week of working here:

  • You will never be left wondering “is anyone available to answer my questions?” The reality is, from your first email or interaction with a Simon employee, the amount of effort the staff and faculty put into personalizing the process is unmatched.
  • Being one of the smallest top tier business schools in the country, our students are a part of a tight knit community. Ultimately, it is your decision how much you will be involved in the community; but with the small size, you will have every opportunity to take advantage of all that the school has to offer.
  • Faculty and the curriculum are world renowned. Many of the faculty I have met emphasized their desire to see students succeed, not only in the classroom, but also in their career. With a first class faculty and curriculum, the opportunities to succeed are endless.
  • Alumni love this place! The vast majority of alumni that I have met either around campus or while traveling are passionate about their experience at Simon and more than willing to share that experience with others.
  • If you are looking for some extracurricular activities, whether it is related to your career or for pure socialization, you can find a club that fits your interests. It’s even possible to create and implement your own club (with the direction of Student Services of course).
  • The diversity of the Simon School sets us apart from the competition. Experience, Age, Gender, Ethnicity, people from all walks of life that come to Simon and find common ground.  I have already read applications and interviewed students from all around the world (I’m keeping track; I have interviewed or read applications for students from 15 countries…wow)!

For me, these are factors that add to the joys of working at Simon. To be in a dynamic environment, with people from all walks of life that are coming together for the same goal, to pursue a Simon MBA.

Where does Simon fit in your story?