Category: Alumni Spotlight

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Alumni Chat with James Cuthbert ’09S (MBA), Sr. VP of Brand and Marketing Strategy at BET

Black and white portrait of James Cuthbert.Join us at noon on Friday, October 2, for a virtual chat with James Cuthbert, a 2009 MBA graduate of Simon Business School. Whether you are interested in pursuing a career in marketing or strategy or you’re curious about how you can support diversity, equity, and inclusion, this alumni chat will inspire and prepare you for your future career.

James Cuthbert is an award-winning marketing professional and youth advocate with over 15 years of experience, including four global CPG companies (Red Bull North America, The Coca-Cola Company, Kellogg’s, and General Mills), two non-profit organizations (KIPP Philadelphia Charter Schools and The Center for Youth Services), and currently the Senior Vice President of Brand and Marketing Strategy at BET.

He graduated with a B.S. degree in Business Management from Pennsylvania State University and went on to earn an MBA from the University of Rochester’s Simon Business School. In 2017 and 2018, he was named a “40 Under 40 Brand Marketer” by Brand Innovators (the largest network of brand marketers in the United States).

We hope you’ll be able to join us! If you have questions, please reach out to us at events@simon.rochester.edu.

Class of 2020 MBA Spotlight: Ashley Brown and Raul Carvalho

In the final installment of the Class of 2020 Spotlight series, meet Ashley Brown and Raul Carvalho, recent MBA graduates:

Ashley Brown ’20S (MBA)

ashley.brownWhere are you headed after graduation?
After graduation, I started working for 3M as a financial analyst in their Safety and Industrials Business Group.

What was your favorite class and why?
I had three favorite classes at Simon. First, I LOVED Negotiation Theory & Practice with Erica Dawson. In her class, I learned how to ask for what I want and to not be afraid to hear no. I also really enjoyed Urs Waelchli’s classes, Corporate Finance and Entrepreneurial Finance. He broke the concepts down so that they were easy to understand but still highlighted the complexity for those with more background knowledge.

If you could use three words to describe your MBA experience, what would they be?
Whirlwind, fun, and enlightening.


What have you learned that will help you most in your new role?

So far, Ravi Mantena’s Business Modeling class has helped me the most. Understanding how to look at different scenarios and how to model potential outcomes has been immensely helpful.

What is your favorite Simon memory?
My favorite Simon memory has to be when I met my fellow June starts! They were my rock throughout my journey, and I don’t know what I would have done without them!

What advice do you have for prospective Simon students?
Don’t be scared to try new things. I was a former middle school teacher who transitioned into finance. If I can do that, you can do whatever you put your mind to. Be on the leadership board of a club. It will help you gain a better understanding of who you are as a leader AND how you can make an impact on your future organization. Don’t forget to have fun! Yes, grades are important, but so are the friendships you build with your classmates. I was in a meeting recently at 3M where one of the senior leaders said, “Sometimes you carry, and sometimes you get carried.” That will be the truth of your time at Simon. Make sure that you are helping as much as you are receiving help.

 

Raul Carvalho ’20S (MBA)

Raul Carvalho '20 (MBA)Where are you headed after graduation?
I moved to Boston to work at Holden Advisors as a consultant. 

What was your favorite class and why?
My favorite class was Game Theory for Managers with Jeanine Miklos-Thal. In my opinion, she is one of the top three professors that I had the chance to interact with. Her class had just the perfect balance of theory, cases, and simulations. In that class, I also had the opportunity to analyze current market situations through the Game Theory perspective and gain a deeper understanding of the strategy companies have used and are using in the global marketplace. 

If you could use three words to describe your MBA experience, what would they be?
Intense, collaborative, and rewarding. 

What have you learned that will help you most in your new role?
As I started working part time even before graduation, I can already see how business school impacts my performance at work. The plurality of case studies, industries, and companies we analyzed in the classroom gave me a broader toolkit to approach different business problems that I’m facing and will face in the future. Our pricing classes cover a great range of topics that I currently use, as I specialize in this field. The constant group work prepared me to be efficient in business meetings. I will also add that, as a graduate in these unprecedented times because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the online classes also helped with remote work and group coordination.  

What is your favorite Simon memory?
There are many! Can I say two? Playing the MBA Soccer World Cup with my friends from school and going to Oktoberfest in Munich with a group of friends from my class. 

What advice do you have for prospective Simon students?
1.) Be humble and respectful.
2.) Do your work, put in the hours, and let the results come.  
3.) Understand the value of networking. Reach out to alumni—they walked this path before and were incredible advisors on my career search. And when reaching out, always keep in mind numbers one and two.

Class of 2020 MBA Spotlight: Vibhor Mishra and David Schryver

Next up in our Class of 2020 Spotlight series are Vibhor Mishra and David Schryver, recent MBA graduates:

Vibhor Mishra ’20 (MBA)

Vibhor.Mishra'20 (MBA)Where are you headed after graduation?
I’m joining Amazon’s Pathways Operations Leadership Development Program.

What was your favorite class and why?
Competitive Strategy with Professor Guy Arie. The course focuses on important strategic and tactical frameworks to tackle business issues and develop economic decision making processes. The cases covered in the course are highly relevant to the modern business environment and provides you the firsthand experience of learning from real life situations. Professor Arie did an incredible job with the Q&A discussion forum, where the entire class can post recent news articles and discuss them in a comprehensive manner.

If you could use three words to describe your MBA experience, what would they be?
Stressful, rewarding, and enlightening.

What have you learned that will help you most in your new role?
Time management, multi-tasking capabilities, solid business foundations, handling ambiguity, and leadership skills.

What is your favorite Simon memory?
Orientation week! Coming to your first week at Simon and getting to know your incredible classmates from all different backgrounds through series of events is the most fun experience of Simon. These classmates become your family for the next two years, and the first week of events really helps to solidify that bond.

What advice do you have for prospective Simon students?
When you arrive at Simon, whatever you will go through will prepare you for what you asked for. Just cherish the time, follow the process, and support each other. Meliora always!

 

David Schryver ’20 (MBA)

David.Schryver '20 (MBA)Where are you headed after graduation?
After graduation, I will be living in Hoboken, New Jersey (NJ is home sweet home). I’m joining Guggenheim Partners in August.

What was your favorite class and why?
My favorite class at Simon was Dean Bauer’s Macroeconomics class. It was probably one of the most difficult classes I took at Simon but also the most rewarding. Taking this class gave me a whole new perspective and a whole new tool set for making sense of the times we are living through. I would recommend that every Simon MBA takes this class before they graduate.

If you could use three words to describe your MBA experience, what would they be?
Challenging, collaborative, and rewarding.

What have you learned that will help you most in your new role?
I believe a data-focused mindset that I developed at Simon will help me the most in my new role. Simon’s analytical focus changed the way I perceive and approach challenges or problems that need to be solved.

What is your favorite Simon memory?
My favorite memory at Simon was Black Jack Ball at the end of my first year. It was the perfect way to end our first year at Simon, celebrate our hard work, and blow off some steam before heading off for our summer internships.

What advice do you have for prospective Simon students?
I have two pieces of advice for prospective or incoming Simon students. The first piece is a saying from my college football coach, “find a way to win.” Life at Simon, especially as a new first year student, can be extremely challenging and stressful. It is important to remember that while Simon does an excellent job providing support and all the resources needed, at the end of the day, it is up to each student individually to do what it takes to make their own story work out and recognize that this will not be the same for everyone. 

My second piece of advice is take things one day at a time. The MBA experience can be overwhelming at times and impossible to manage. It is important to take things one day at a time and keep your focus on the present.

Class of 2020 MS Spotlight: Vimel Meng, Lauren Sharpe, and Siddhant Vaidya

Next up in our Class of 2020 Spotlight series are Vimel Meng, Lauren Sharpe, and Siddhant Vaidya, MS graduates in the Class of 2020:

Qinghan (Vimel) Meng ’20 (MS in Business Analytics)

Qinghan Vimel Meng'20 MSBAWhere are you headed over the summer?
This summer, I will be interning as a summer associate on the strategic analytics team at Information Resources, Inc. (IRI), which is my dream company!

What was your favorite class and why?
My favorite class was Analytics Design because in each class we learned a different topic in the analytics field, and we had a consultative business case project to practice where we used data and the codes we learnt at class to solve real-world problems.

If you could use three words to describe your MS experience, what would they be?
Challenging, productive, and resourceful.

What have you learned that will help you most in your career?
I was seeking a career transfer from advertising to data analysis when I came to Simon. The curriculum of Simon is so well planned—it equipped me with analytics skills and tools I need for a career in data analytics. The alumni network definitely helped me clarify my career goal and gain knowledge of the analytics industry. The great career services and different treks gave me the opportunity to get in touch with my dream company and help me all the way from résumé to interview to job offer.

What is your favorite Simon memory?
Being a member of Simon School Venture Fund and working with a wonderful team, the Chicago Trek (where I visited IRI and then got an interview after we came back), networking with wonderful alumni of Simon, and WeWork Fridays in NYC.

What advice do you have for prospective Simon students?
Simon provides very rich resources in both academics and career development—make sure you seek them actively. Take advantage of the projects in each course including the practicum, alumni networking events, and opportunities from the career center. Be open to different people and opportunities. Simon is a wonderful school that could prepare you from having no experience to starting a career in analytics.

 

Lauren Sharpe ’20 (MS in Accountancy)

Lauren.Sharpe'20 (MSA)Where are you headed after graduation?
After graduation, I will be working as an auditor at Deloitte in Washington, DC.

What was your favorite class and why?
My favorite class was Professional Communications because it forced me out of my comfort zone and improved my communication skills immensely.

If you could use three words to describe your MS experience, what would they be?
Transformative, empowering, and hectic.

What have you learned that will help you most in your career?
During my time at Simon, I not only took quality accounting courses that will contribute to my success as an auditor, but I learned how to be a better teammate. The Simon experience emphasizes growing technical and people skills, which I believe are extremely important in any role.

What is your favorite Simon memory?
My favorite memory at Simon was Orientation. It was amazing to listen to guest speakers and meet fellow classmates, faculty, and staff.

What advice do you have for prospective Simon students?
The best piece of advice I have for prospective students is to say yes to the opportunities that will come your way while at Simon or even in your life currently. While it may be uncomfortable to attend an event where you don’t know anyone or take a class that seems challenging, these are typically the experiences that are the most rewarding.

 

Siddhant Vaidya ’20 (MS in Finance)

Siddhant.Vaidya'20 (MSF)Where are you headed over the summer?
I will be a research analyst intern at High Probability Advisors, LLC.

What was your favorite class and why?
Investment Management and Trading Strategies with Professor Daniel Burnside is the best class I have taken! The class has a perfect amalgamation of theory and practice, along with invaluable lessons on life and career.

If you could use three words to describe your MS experience, what would they be?
Solidarity, transformational, and audacious.

What have you learned that will help you most in your career?
You can achieve great things in life on your own, but if you seek the extraordinary, you’ll always need a team!

What is your favorite Simon memory?
Fright Night on Halloween! It was my first one here in the US. Costumes, food, drinks, and tons of fake blood—I couldn’t ask for more.

What advice do you have for prospective Simon students?
Don’t be afraid to take well thought out risks. No risk, no reward.