Category: Posts by Rebekah

Our #SimonStrong Community Responds to COVID-19

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

First and foremost, I hope this finds you well. 

Over the past two months, we have been planning and responding to the impact of COVID-19 within our business school community as it has evolved into a worldwide issue. Though times are uncertain and unprecedented, we are adjusting and innovating in relentless support of the educational, professional, and personal goals of our prospective, incoming, and current students.

Here are a few examples:

  • After receiving feedback from many admitted and confirmed students, we are eliminating our Pre-Fall orientation and academic coursework and shifting our entering date to August 2020 to allow entering students more time to arrive in Rochester. This additional time will also ensure that more students can enjoy a face to face learning experience in a healthy and stable environment.
  • Staff members from every department continue to virtually strategize and reimagine programming that will keep current students on track toward graduation and success in the career search and that will provide a cohesive onboarding experience for our incoming students.
  • On March 11 the University of Rochester announced a move to distance learning for the remainder of the academic year. Our faculty and Simon Technology Services team pivoted in a matter of days to launch our Spring B mini semester courses online last week, and we’ve heard great things so far! We are grateful for the hard work from so many that allows us to provide an excellent virtual educational experience for our students.
  • The entire Simon—and University of Rochester—community is taking social distancing seriously, but thankfully that doesn’t mean we are disconnected from one other. Students immediately found ways to pull together while staying apart, and our Simon Slack channels have been a great resource for sharing Netflix recommendations, offering tutorials on new hobbies, launching fitness challenges, and more! In fact, recently students held the first virtual “Keeping Simon Social” event, during which roughly 35 students connected via Zoom to get a little face time with their Simon family.

We’ve always known our tight-knit community was special, but over the past few weeks it has shone brightly in a new way. We will continue to support one another and work through challenges together—we are #SimonStrong, after all. 

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve around the world, please know the Simon Admissions Team has care and concern for you and your family, friends, and all those affected. We’re aware many people targeting 2020 enrollment have questions about application requirements, so we developed COVID-19 related application MBA and MS FAQs to help answer questions that are top of mind for so many.

We wish and your family health and safety, and as always, we encourage you to reach out to us if you have additional questions so we can continue to support you and your graduate business goals.

Learn more about the University of Rochester’s COVID-19 latest resources and updates.

Advice from the Assistant Dean: Now Is a Great Time to Be at Simon!

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

Rebekah.LewinProspective students and current students agree that now is a great time to pursue the Simon MBA or MS degree. According to a recent Poets&Quants article, MBA applications to Simon have remained steady over the past few years, when many programs around the United States have seen declines in interest. Even more impressive, in a period when many schools have also experienced lower yield of admitted students, at Simon a higher percentage of our admitted students enrolled compared to the MBA Class of 2020. 

This outside validation confirmed what I had already observed on an anecdotal basis—and signals the value of our #SimonStrong culture which emphasizes diversity and inclusion and translated into enrolling a very diverse MBA Class of 2021:

  • 42% women
  • 24% historically under-represented US groups
  • 18 national origins

Additionally, students are pursuing Simon due to our curriculum redesign and the option to gain STEM designation in any MBA specialization, which resulted in outstanding career outcomes for the class of 2019:

  • 91% employed within 3 months of graduation
  • Record-breaking post-MBA average salary package of $142,166 (up 17% compared to prior year)

And we have seen similarly strong demand and interest in our specialized master’s programs over the past several years, with all four programs boasting STEM designation and post-MS employment results above 90% within four months of graduation! 

Although the MBA and MS application process is selective, the Simon Admissions team provides resources and assistance to help position you for success.  We strongly encourage you to contact our office. Here are a few suggested next steps:

  • Check Your Eligibility – Email with your résumé and test scores (if you have them; we accept both the GMAT and GRE, so you can take the test that works for you), and desired program of study (please indicate only one program) to get feedback about your qualifications for admission. 
  • Attend our Application Tips Webinar on March 11 – Engage with our Admissions committee to learn helpful tips as you prepare an application for 2020 or 2021 entry—register today!

Learn more about why Poets&Quants named Simon the 2018 MBA Program of the Year and one of 10 MBA programs to watch in 2019! 

Advice from the Assistant Dean: Prepare to Submit Your Round 2 Application

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

Rebekah.LewinAs of today, we are one month away from our second round application deadline. It’s an exciting time for us on the admissions team, as this deadline typically has a major impact on shaping our enrolling MBA and MS cohorts. Here are some tips to help you as you prepare your application:

Be yourself and use your essays, résumé, and other qualitative components to help us understand why you are a great fit for Simon (and why Simon is a great fit for you)! This can be an important distinguishing factor that will help you stand out among candidates who may have a similar academic or work profile to you. 


Engage with the Admissions Committee. Join a webinar (or two), meet us at an off-campus recruiting event, or signal your interest in coming to Rochester by registering for an Experience Simon Weekend MBA event. This is a fantastic opportunity for face-time with the admissions team, but these events also often include current students, alumni, and other Simon staff who will help you learn more about the program and the student experience to ultimately confirm “fit.”

So, if you are considering graduate business study beginning in 2020, I strongly encourage you to take the necessary steps to prepare your application and put your best foot forward to the Admissions Committee. Now is a great time to be at Simon. Consider the following:

  • We were named the MBA Program of the Year by Poets & Quants for 2018
  • Our MBA and MS programs are STEM designated—sending a signal of quality to potential employers of the academic rigor and analytic skills that you develop during your study
  • Our MBA program is ranked No. 29 overall and No. 4 for learning by Bloomberg Businessweek, and with faculty who teach across all of our master’s programs—and many student activities that are offered to both MBA and MS students—all of our graduate students benefit
  • Our MS in Finance Program is ranked No. 5 in the US by the Financial Times
  • Our curriculum and co-curricular activities all center around enhancing the career outcomes for our graduate students—this includes international immersions, career treks, and experiential learning activities that build your résumé and provide enhanced learning outside the classroom

We look forward to providing advice and assistance as you work through the application process.  Feel free to reach out with your questions to Good luck, and we hope to review your application soon!

From the Assistant Dean: Reflections on Admissions Travels

The following blog post was written by Rebekah Lewin, assistant dean of admissions and financial aid, during her travels to international recruitment events in August 2019

Rebekah.LewinAs I write this post, I am in the air traveling somewhere between Lima, Peru, and Bogotá, Colombia. After nearly twenty years of representing the University of Rochester’s Simon Business School Admissions team at off-campus events, I still get excited to pack my suitcase for recruiting travel. The events we participate in throughout the United States and around the world connect us directly with prospective students as we identify the next cohorts of incoming MBA and MS candidates. We reconnect with candidates who have previously met us and are now preparing to apply, and we also introduce the School to candidates who are just beginning to explore our programs. 

One of my favorite aspects of recruitment travel is connecting with alumni who come to our events to speak with prospective students—it’s great to hear how the Simon degree has helped them reach their career goals, and I also have the opportunity to update them on all the great things that are happening back home in Rochester. We are fortunate to have many successful alumni who are passionate about “paying it forward.” Regardless of if we are near to or far from campus, we almost always have their support in our recruiting efforts.

Prospective students always seem to enjoy meeting and interacting with our alumni at the events. Sometimes we even have current students with us at fairs (depending on the time of year) who are always happy to describe their Simon experience and help potential students get a feel for what it’s like to be a member of the Simon family. 

Beyond speaking with current students or alumni, another benefit of attending an off-campus event is making a connection with a member of our Admissions team so we can provide advice and assistance as you plan for graduate study and your future career. This year we are participating in a variety of recruiting events including The MBA Tour, Access MBA, The Consortium MAPS events, and Forté Forums, as well as hosting Simon Business School networking and interviewing events.

Specific details on our upcoming travels and registration links are available on our website. We hope to connect in a city near you very soon!

If you live in India and are considering a Simon MBA, we invite you to register for one of our upcoming events in Mumbai, Bangalore, or New Delhi by August 28. These events are hosted by Simon and will include dinner and a lecture by Greg Bauer, associate dean of full-time MS & MBA programs and Rajesh Wadhawan professor. Julie Sadwick (Simon Admissions) and Pete Handley (Benet Career Management Center) will also be in attendance to answer any questions you may have about Simon’s STEM-designated MBA option, the MBA experience, life in Rochester, NY, and more.