Category: MBA

Simon Introduces STEM MBA Option

We are thrilled to share very exciting news with you: Simon Business School has received a STEM designation for its full-time MBA program and is the first MBA program in the country where a STEM option is available for every specialization.

“Since our curriculum is heavily weighted toward quantitative analysis, we felt like this made a lot of sense for our students,” said Andrew Ainslie, dean of Simon Business School. “Data analysis has been at the cornerstone of what Simon has been doing for decades, and we like to think that this designation is recognition of a ‘job well done.’”

STEM_Social_Image_1080x1080We have seen a trend of increased demand for a STEM-focused program from domestic and international students because of the career opportunities the designation opens. It signals to corporate recruiters that students will arrive on the job with analytic tools and leadership skills that impact a company’s bottom line.

In addition, a STEM designation helps international students transition to employment in the United States. Students receive an additional 24 months optional practical training (for a total of 36 months), which helps to bridge the gap between a student visa and a work visa if they secure a STEM-eligible role.

We invite you to learn more about this exciting opportunity during our upcoming webinar, Introduction to Simon’s STEM MBA Option, on Thursday, August 23, at 12 p.m. EDT. Rebekah Lewin, our assistant dean of admissions and financial aid, will be hosting the interactive session, and she looks forward to answering your questions!

The STEM MBA option will be available for all full-time MBA students starting this fall. Be among the first to benefit from this unique designation among US MBA programs—earn an MBA that’s more than a credential: apply now.

Visit Simon: Experience Simon Weekend with Diversity Conference Programming

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

Travel season is well underway, and our counselors are visiting cities throughout the US and the world over the coming months. In addition to meeting in a city near you, we also hope you will visit us on campus to get a taste of what life as an MBA student is like at Experience Simon Weekend with Diversity Conference Programming on October 12–13.

The event kicks off on Friday at 12:30 p.m. with our Diversity Conference Programming, which includes a professional development session, a Diversity Leadership Panel, and an opportunity to network with Leadership Panelists, current students, and alumni.

Diversity Leadership Panelists include:

  • Kenyatta Andrews ’06 (MBA), Fiscal Director of Federal Programs, Achievement School District
  • Ken Burkeen ’02 (MBA), Founder & CEO, Heutiful and Heutiful Salons
  • Salim Holder ’07 (MBA), CEO, Find Your Plug, LLC
  • Lydia Perez Poole ’06 (MBA), Shopper Insights & Analytics Manager, Rite Aid Customer Service, Procter & Gamble

Experience Simon Weekend programming kicks off at dinner on Friday, where you will have the opportunity to network with Simon alumni, faculty, staff, and current students. The highlight of the evening will be a keynote presentation by Ronald Homer ’71 (MBA), president of access capital strategies for RBC Global Asset Management. Ron leads RBC GAM’s impact investing effort and is responsible for servicing the firm’s impact investing clients and ensuring that investment solutions are implemented based on each client’s customized impact requirements. His background and extensive experience in community investing enables him to identify a broad range of impact investment solutions for clients.

On Saturday, October 12, you and other prospective MBA students will fill your day at Simon with the following activities:

  • Alumni and student panels
  • Admissions interview (if you’ve started your application)
  • Campus tour
  • Sample MBA class
  • Networking with faculty, alumni, and students

After our formal event programming concludes late Saturday afternoon, you will have the option of attending our annual Fall Ball, where you can meet and mingle with current Simon students and get a taste of student life.

Visiting campus is a great way to assess fit, and at Simon we make it easy with generous travel stipends, complimentary hotel accommodations for Friday and Saturday nights, and meals during scheduled events. For more information email events@simon.rochester.edu.

We encourage you to register by Friday, September 21, to take the first step toward immersing yourself in the Simon community, and we look forward to seeing you in October!

How I Chose My MBA “Village”

The following blog post was written by Gavin Hall, a rising second-year MBA student interning at Cognizant as a summer associate for CDB Digital Strategy. He is an MLT Professional Development Fellow and is president of Simon Consulting Club and managing director of Simon Vision Consultants. This post originally appeared on the MLT Blog.

Gavin_diversity conference“It takes a village to raise a child.” That is a traditional proverb about how one’s community aids in their development and readiness for success. While the sentiment pertains to children, it has proved to hold true throughout my early career. I like to think that the community around me created a nurturing environment that guided me to the place I am now.

Thus, the main criteria I used to assess MBA programs during the application process was the culture of the community and my fit into it. It was important to me not only because you engage with your classmates six to seven days a week for up to 10–12 hours some days, but these individuals will be forever connected to you through the name of the institution on your résumé, for better or worse. I wanted to ensure that I surrounded myself with people I could forge meaningful, lasting, and diverse relationships with in an environment that allowed me to be the best version of myself.

Gavin_habitat for humanity_cropFor this reason, Simon Business School at the University of Rochester was my first choice, and it has been the most rewarding experience I could have imagined. The diversity at Simon is unmatched: the School is among the top 10 US MBAs for diversity and top 15 US MBAs for women. However, numbers are nothing without context. Business school teaches us to become leaders in the management ranks, which will become increasingly diverse, and Simon has cultivated an environment to experience that paradigm shift now.

The majority of the incoming members of the Simon Graduate Business Council are underrepresented minorities or international students (including the president, who originates from Ethiopia), and half are women. In addition, Simon’s Consortium fellows hold numerous leadership positions throughout the school. This is vital because we are in the conversations that matter and ignite change students want to see in faculty, staff, and alumni. Simon is not a place where you are Student No. 9,156; your voice is heard. And for an African American kid from Brooklyn, the opportunity to engage with people from all walks of life in graduate school has been invaluable.

The minute I stepped on campus in Rochester, something about the program at Simon felt comfortable, like this is where I should be. This was the village that was going to raise me to the next level.


If you’re an MLT Fellow attending Summer Seminar this weekend, Andrew Brayda, senior associate director of admissions, would love to speak with you! He’ll be offering application tips during the “Demystifying the Application Process” panels tomorrow, and you can also find him at Simon’s table during the fair from 9-10 a.m. on Sunday.

Eight Inspiring Soundbites from the Forté MBA Women’s Leadership Conference

The following blog post was written by Wallace Gundy, MBA Class of 2020 and Simon Forté Fellow

Every now and then, I need a good old-fashioned dose of girl power! But attending the annual Forté MBA Women’s Leadership Conference with 14 other Simon Forté Fellows was that and a whole lot more. All of the nerves went away, and the anxious inner-monologue of “Can I really do this? Can I really get my MBA?” was drowned out by great conversation, connection making, laughter, and a pretty incredible #FortéPowerUp Spotify playlist. Being surrounded by 700+ women in my shoes, and embarking on this journey together, made for three incredible days and the perfect kickstart to my two years of business school.

Simon ladies #PowerUp!

Simon women #PowerUp!

The facts are the facts. Only five percent of current Fortune 500 CEOs are women. Women hold just over 20% of board seats in the Fortune 1000 companies. There is a gender wage gap of 20 percent, with women earning only 80 cents for every dollar men earn.

But after hearing from so many talented and successful women leaders in business, I am not only optimistic, I am certain that our generation will make a huge difference. We are smart, we are capable, we are empathetic, and we are ready to #PowerUp. Below are just a few of the comments I took away from the conference that I will carry with me over these next two years and beyond.

“Risk taking is a muscle you need to exercise.”
Julie Sweet, Chief Executive Officer – North America, Accenture
The unknown is tough and risks are scary. But they are so worth it. Julie also shared that she has a placard in her office that reads, “If your dreams don’t scare you, they are not big enough.” Keep dreaming.

“One hand reaching up, one hand reaching back.”
Melissa Arnoldi, President, AT&T Technology & Operations
We are going to need to reach for help from others. But guess what? Women are going to be needing to reach for our help too.

“Find the thing that even senior people want to come to you for.”
Lori Heinel, Executive Vice President & Deputy Global Chief Investment Officer, State Street Global Advisors
Be an expert in something that is invaluable. Even if it’s small, if it’s the thing only you can do, you will be invaluable, too.

“Be a group of women that will create more firsts than this world knows what to do with.”
Noemie Tilghman, Principal Strategy & Operations, Deloitte
We are ready, Noemie!

Several Simon Forté fellows posed with a banner of Lydia Perez Poole '06S (MBA).

Several Simon Forté Fellows posed with a banner of Lydia Perez Poole, a 2006 Simon MBA graduate.

“Focus on what matters, but keep an open mind. Whenever things get hard, go back and think about why you’re doing what you’re doing. Take some chances. You might be surprised by how much you might learn.”
Lydia Perez Poole, Simon MBA ’06, Shopper Insights & Analytics Leader, Procter & Gamble
It’s a big world out there and you never know what opportunities you might encounter. Stay focused but not confined. Otherwise, you could miss out on something great.

“It’s not a career ladder, it’s a career jungle gym.”
Jennifer Bosl, Regional Operations Director, DaVita Kidney Care
If there is one thing I’ve already learned, it’s that careers aren’t linear. That’s part of why I am at Simon! Embrace the non-linear path! You never know where it could lead you.

“Come in every day and earn your chair.”
Kelly Greenauer, Data Quality Manager, M&T Bank
Make every day matter. Give it your all. Leave your job each day better than you found it that morning.

“Exercise your agency. Make your school a place where women can thrive as much as men do. When women around you succeed, celebrate their victories. Cheer loudly for them. Support them.”
Jessica Raasch, 2018 Edie Hunt Inspiration Award Winner
As a recent MBA graduate, Jessica was in our shoes just two years ago. Her words were the perfect conclusion to the conference.

I think I can speak for all of the Simon Forté Fellows when I say we will exercise our agency. We will support and celebrate one another. And we will all make Simon an even better place for women to grow as the next generation of leaders. Together.