Category: MS Programs

Reflections from the Assistant Dean: The Value of a Graduate Business Degree

As we “zoom” into 2021 (literally and figuratively), I wanted to take a few minutes to reflect on the past few months and also illuminate the road ahead for candidates who are preparing for graduate business school. Although the global pandemic has changed so many aspects of our lives (some temporarily and others permanently), the value and ROI of a Simon graduate business degree remains unchanged. 

  • Throughout the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters, we have operated in a hybrid learning model with a combination of on-campus and virtual classes and have hosted programming that prioritizes the health and safety of everyone at Simon while creating connections within the community.

  • Despite some challenges in the economy, the hiring outlook for many corporate partners is stable (and in some cases even growing) with 2020 MBA salaries higher than in 2019 and employment rates comparable to the prior year. It’s clear that companies desire candidates with a STEM-designated degree who possess an analytical mindset, along with the management and leadership skills to add immediate value to their organizations.

  • Our commitment to the importance of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) remains unwavering—beginning with joining The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management more than 50 years ago—through present day, where we hold the No. 1 spot for the diversity of our student body among the top-50 business schools as ranked by U.S. News & World Report.

  • The Economist ranked Simon No. 25 overall and No. 16 in the US among the world’s top full-time MBA programs. Simon was also ranked No. 3 for percentage increase on pre-MBA salary, which is an excellent indicator of the return on investment your degree from Simon will provide. In addition, our faculty teach and our staff support across all programs, so MBA rankings are a strong signal of the value you can expect while studying at Simon—no matter which degree you pursue.

I can personally attest to the ROI a graduate business degree from Simon offers. My time at Simon spans more than twenty years of my career and also includes pursuing my MBA along the way. In two weeks I will transition to an expanded role, where I will oversee admissions for all full-time and part-time programs, along with the Office of Student Engagement, the Benet Career Management Center, and our school’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion efforts. I look forward to working to further build on our existing strengths as we invest in the student experience (international immersions, experiential learning, student clubs and organizations, leadership, and more) and partner with our students to achieve their career goals. 

My Simon degree has given me the tools I’ve needed to be successful at every stage in my career, and I’m confident it will do the same for you. Now is an amazing time to apply to Simon Business School. In fact, if you apply by our Round 3 deadline on February 15 at 11:59 p.m. EST, your application fee will be reduced to $50 (originally $90)!

We look forward to supporting you throughout the admissions process—don’t hesitate to reach out to the Admissions team with any questions you have.

A Glimpse of My Life as an MSBA Student – Nodi Bui ’21

The following post was written by Ngoc Diep “Nodi” Bui, a current MS in Business Analytics in the Class of 2021

After finishing my undergraduate degree in Missouri, I moved to Rochester to attend the MS in Business Analytics program at Simon. COVID has made everything abnormal this year, yet my life at Simon has been very productive and exciting. Despite the whirlwind of activities and deliverables, I manage to keep it under control by always planning ahead and checking my online calendar regularly.

Here is a snapshot of what a typical Tuesday looked like during the Fall B term:

7:00 a.m.: My typical morning starts at 7 a.m. I wake up, shower, and have breakfast. I often go for a quick smoothie as I don’t often have big breakfast, yet I do need to give myself energy to start a busy day!

8:00 a.m.: Take the bus to Simon. I live in Southside Living Area, an undergraduate apartment. I work part-time for the University of Rochester Residential Life Office as a graduate assistant. As I supervise the resident advisors at Southside, I am assigned to live in the area. It’s about 20 minutes by foot from Simon; during the winter, I often take the bus, which typically takes 10–15 minutes.

8:15 a.m.: Stop by Starbucks on my way to Simon to get a cup of coffee.

8:30 a.m.: Attend my Analytics Design and Application class.

10:00 a.m.: Have a 20-minute break between classes. I often use this time to talk to my classmates.

10:20 a.m.: Attend my Predictive and Causal Analytics in R class.

12:00 p.m: Weekly meeting with the Simon Admissions Committee. My second part-time job is as a Simon Admissions Committee ambassador. The Committee meets up weekly for updates on admission rounds, application reading, and interviews.

1:00 p.m.: Meet with the Pricing Club Executive Board. I am the MS representative in the Pricing Club, and we meet up every week to discuss plans for upcoming plans.

2:00 p.m.: Lunch Break! I typically have lunch at noon, yet Tuesday is busier than usual, so I have lunch quite late. I often get food at the Pit, one of the University of Rochester’s dining halls.

3:00 p.m.: Meet up with my teammates (pictured), to work on our current case for Analytics Design and Application focusing on conjoint analysis. In between our meeting, we often take a 15-minute break for coffee and a snack.

5:30 p.m.: Work out at the campus fitness center.

6:30 p.m.: Take the bus back to my apartment.

7:45 p.m.: Make beef noodle soup for dinner. I often eat dinner while watching Netflix.

8:30 p.m.: Do my homework and prepare for the two classes I have on Wednesdays: Data Management and Professional Communications.

10:30 p.m.: FaceTime with my family in Vietnam. Because of my job as the Residential Life graduate assistant, I do not have any roommates, so talking on the phone with my family or my undergraduate friends in Missouri every night gives me company.

11:00 p.m.: Pack my backpack and get ready for bed.

Ever since I started the MSBA program, my schedule is busier than ever. With four classes, two part-time jobs, club activities, and networking, my weekdays are packed. As much as I like hanging out with my friends during the weekend, I cannot do it this year because of COVID. However, we do get together virtually during the weekend to bond and play board games. Even though the program is intensive, and my schedule is always busy, the learning process—both in and out of class—is fulfilling and worthwhile.

Q&A with MS Alumni Excerpt

Back in the fall, several of our MS alumni sat down for a webinar moderated by Simon Alumni Board Member Tushar Mathur, MSBA ’17 and senior CRM analyst for digital marketing at lululemon. The following is an excerpt from that discussion, which touched on various aspects of life at Simon, including preparation for business school, the MS internship track, where they lived in Rochester, and more.

TM: I’m Tushar, I graduated from Simon Business School in 2017. I was part of the MS in Business Analytics program at Simon. After graduation, I worked for a market research consulting firm in Chicago for about three years, and then earlier this year I relocated to Vancouver to start working with [the] digital marketing team at lululemon. I’m also joined by three other alumni, and I will let them introduce themselves. So with that, I will pass it over to Deepa.

DD: I’m Deepa [Dilip] and I graduated from Simon in 2016 from the Marketing Analytics program. Ever since then, I’ve had the chance to work with great organizations, actually. Soon after graduation I worked for Hertz on their Revenue Management team for about a year and eight months, and then I moved back to India, and post that I’ve been working with WeWork. I’m part of the build operations team, and what I do specifically is basically assess the health or whether or not we have a healthy pipeline for the sales team by measuring the efficacy of the campaigns going on across the organization. Excited to be here.

KT: My name is Kal [Tiruneh], and I graduated from the Accountancy program in 2017. After graduation I moved to New York to work in audit with Deloitte, and I’m still there. Good to be here.

JS: Hi, I’m Jaime Staengel, and I am an MS in Finance Class of 2019 graduate. Since graduation I’ve been in three different positions at Corning Incorporated.  I first started out in our Enterprise Risk and Intelligence group doing quantitative finance in our corporate finance space, and then I moved to the Optical Communications Division as the financial planning and analysis analyst. Just this year my role changed again, and so now I’m in a data analytics lead role within our Optical Division to help bridge the connection between finance and data science. I’m really excited to be here as well.

TM: Perfect, thank you Jamie. With that we can dive into some of the questions. So the first question that we have—which was a question that I also had when I was about to start my journey at Simon Business School—is how does one go about preparing for the Simon education? 

JS: My undergraduate degree was not in finance. It was in economics, which is obviously closely related, but making the jump to business school I wanted to be prepared, so I started to read things like the Wall Street Journal and just be a lot more aware of happenings in the financial industry. It sounds simple, but if you do that ahead of going into your program, the professors do a really great job of bringing in real life examples. So I would recommend whatever program you’re in, whether it’s Accountancy, Marketing, or Business Analytics, kind of know what things are going on in those fields and prepare that way so that way you’re really ready to be engaged once you’re in the classroom. 

TM: How did you leverage the Benet Career Management Center resources that you had at your disposal?

DD: … I think one of the most important things that often gets overlooked is trying to establish the relationship with the Benet Center staff. They’re also able to help identify where you’d be a good fit and what you need additional coaching on. Often times I walked into the Benet Center outside of the sessions that they would have sort of set for the class or networking events, and I just go and have a one-on-one meeting to discuss things even down to little details, like how exactly we should be tracking things on LinkedIn or email because all of these little things really matter when you’re trying to network. First impressions really count, so try to make the most of the resources, and I think it’s best to be as open as you possibly can. They’re there to coach you through and to make sure that you’re not only prepping yourself for the job you’ll eventually have but also for a lot of other jobs you applied for. Sort of get that practice from an interview standpoint, and a lot of these jobs may not necessarily be suited for you, but it really helps you sort of fine tune your elevator pitch or help you maintain a certain posture or decide what exactly your wording needs to be. It’s a lot of little stuff that finally adds up and really matters, so make the most of it.

JS: If I could add just one other thing—when you spoke it reminded me too, not only will you have the professional staff but they’ll have second year MBAs at the Benet Center who are called student career advisors [now called Benet Career Peers], and they can help you with practice sessions too, and a lot of times they’re coming right out of their summer internship between their first and second year. So again they’re right at the companies that you’re trying to go in to, so definitely make use of them as well.

TM: …Perfect thank you. Kind of switching gears here, what clubs were you involved in while you were at Simon and how do you think these clubs helped you later on in life, like did they add, like were those experiences valuable?

DD: So I was actually part of two clubs, one was academic and then the other wasn’t. So this is how the academic club can benefit you. So I was part of the Pricing Club and as you know, the pricing program in Simon is actually one of the things that attracts a lot of people interested in the quant side of marketing. And so through the Pricing Club I was also able to get on some consulting projects, which I eventually translated into a project for my digital marketing course two [terms] later. So it’s great to build that sort of network with let’s say your guest speakers that come in, or even if you’re taking up something like consulting projects from your club, because if you don’t see something interesting right away it eventually sort of adds on to your resources that you can rely on after graduation. Of course, we all know the benefits that come with the academic clubs, but then I think it’s equally important—especially for lot of you who you know…for a lot of people it’s the first time moving out of hometowns or you’re just getting to a new place altogether—you might find it hard to sort of get a sense of balance. And I think it’s important to have something that distracts you in a positive way, and that was the Outdoor Adventure Club for me. So we’d have runs, we would go on hikes at Letchworth State Park. I know there was this one trip where they went white water rafting, which I couldn’t go to, but it allowed you to balance between coursework and also enjoy the whole Simon experience, which I think is what you take with you at the end of the day. 

KT: Yeah I definitely agree with that, I think the clubs definitely helped me meet a lot of people even from other programs outside of Accountancy. … I was involved in the Master’s Advisory Council with you, Tushar, so you could always speak to this, too. I took on some leadership roles that I would definitely be able to speak to during my interviews and I found to be helpful. I believe I also built on a lot of communication skills while working with Tushar and the rest of the team, so I would definitely say it’s very important to participate in these clubs and really just put yourself out there and meet people and build your skills, you know? You’re helping yourself but also just having fun and enjoying your time there.

TM: I definitely agree—clubs are an essential part of life at Simon. You can learn so much and you can also have so much fun with those clubs. I was personally part of the Data Analytics Club, which was really helpful because they held workshops for Tableau, SQL, and a whole bunch of other workshops. They also organized speaker sessions with alumni—it was a great learning platform but it also was a way for you to improve your skills. And to Kal’s point, some of the leadership positions that are available, which includes the Master’s Advisory Council, that was a great platform to improve communication skills, meet people from other programs, and also a great talking point for interviews and elevator pitches. So thank you all. … So, as students start coming to Simon and start their journey of business school, what would be one piece of advice you would have for these incoming students that could help them and that you feel you should have known this when you started?

KT: I would say set the right expectations and plan ahead of time. Just really ask yourself what you think would be difficult for you in this condition. I didn’t know anyone that lived in Rochester before I moved there, so I know I wanted to make sure that I had the right support and I felt comfortable with everyone I met there, and I knew that if I needed something that I would have people that I could reach out to. I think Simon in general—a lot of people I met there are very friendly, very supportive, but you know, just getting to know people generally ahead of time definitely helped me transition better. So just asking yourself what would be difficult for you in this position, and if you don’t know right now, the best way to do that is to talk to people and understand what they found difficult in their transition and could that apply to you. Just setting yourself up ahead of time so that you can plan well for it and complete the program successfully.

If you’re interested in hearing more from our alumni, check out the Q&A with MS Alumni webinar in its entirety.

Our Gift to You: Apply for Free by January 1

Our Round 2 – January 5 application deadline is just two weeks away and if business school is on your wish list this year, we have the perfect gift for you: if you apply a few days early—by 11:59 p.m. EST on January 1—we will waive your application fee (a $90 value)! When you’re ready to submit, you’ll bypass the payment pageit’s as simple as that.

This time of year is known for its hustle and bustle, so we want to make it as straightforward as possible for you to hit submit. A Simon education will accelerate your career by teaching you to make data-driven business decisions so you can have an immediate impact—what better gift to give yourself?

Here are some additional reasons to apply now:

  • You will be considered for an invitation to our upcoming virtual Scholarship Weekend event, where you will compete for additional scholarship support beyond what is awarded at the time of admission.
  • Applying early in the cycle provides you with the best chance to earn merit-based scholarship awards.
  • You will receive an admission decision notification no later than March 20.

If questions arise as you’re working on your application, we encourage you to contact us. We are open over the holidays, with the exception of December 25 and January 1, and emails sent to admissions@simon.rochester.edu are guaranteed a response within two business days. 

We wish you all the best the season has to offer, and we hope to ring in the New Year by receiving your application!