Category: Posts by Rebekah

Advice from the Assistant Dean: Building a Strong Application for Fall 2020

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

Rebekah.LewinEach year around this time, we begin to hear from applicants wondering if it’s “too late” to apply or worrying about submitting their application after several rounds of applications are already under review. This year in particular, there may be even more uncertainty around your plans and questions you may have about specific elements of the application, such as transcripts and test scores.

Feeling like so many things are up in the air can be intimidating, but here’s my advice: Don’t wait on business school. If this is a goal you’ve set for yourself, now is a great time to refine existing skills and develop new tools that will empower you to make an immediate impact in your next professional role.

Now more than ever, it’s important to choose a business school that will deliver strong ROI. After a bold move to lower our MBA tuition in 2015, Simon tuition has risen just over 2% since that time.  Additionally, more than 85% of MBA students receive scholarship support from the school. The MBA Class of 2019 earned an average base salary plus sign-on bonus of $142,166—up 17% from the previous year—and 91% of graduates were hired within three months of graduation. It’s easy to see why The Economist ranked us No. 3 among private US business schools for ROI, based on percentage increase on pre-MBA salary (2019).

Prospective Simon MS students should consider that our specialized master’s programs offer shorter programs of study, so there is lower opportunity cost and a quicker re-entry to the workforce. Pair that with the fact that all four programs boast employment rates of over 90% within four months of graduation, and it’s clear that a Simon MS degree is a great way to invest in your future career in analytics/STEM-related fields that are in high demand.

We know these are unprecedented times, and we at Simon have continued to monitor the evolution of COVID-19 carefully. As you know from a previous post, the University of Rochester is taking social distancing seriously—our current students have been taking online courses since mid-March and Simon faculty and staff are working remotely. In addition, we’ve made a few adjustments to simplify the application process for our prospective students:

  • Flexing the methods of assessment for some of our application requirements (learn more on our MBA and MS FAQ pages)
  • Waiving our $90 application fee for those applying for Fall 2020
  • Adding a June 15 application deadline for Fall 2020 entry
  • Canceling our Pre-Fall orientation and academic coursework so that the fall semester will begin on Wednesday, August 26

If you’re working through your application to begin business school this fall, I want to offer a few tips that will help you stand out to the Admissions Committee as a competitive candidate:

Be confident. Regardless of your reason(s) for applying in the spring, you should be confident in your talent and work diligently on all aspects of the application. Show the Admissions Committee how you will be an asset to the school not only as a student, but as a member of its alumni community as well.

Do your research. Be thorough in researching your target B-schools so you understand the culture of the schools and can clearly express why you are a “good fit” for the program. Typically, the essay and interview components are good opportunities to express this to the Admissions Committee.

Be ready to interview. The interview timeline will likely be compressed given the time of year, so be prepared to quickly respond if/when an offer is extended.

Here’s one more tip if you’re admitted: Don’t wait to secure your spot in the class. This time of year the deadline to respond to our offer will likely be roughly one or two weeks. Our goal is to give you the opportunity to start career on-boarding activities as soon as possible—make sure you ask critical questions up front so that you are prepared to commit and enroll if you are admitted.

Each year we admit—and award merit-based scholarships to—great students in the spring, and this year we hope you will be among them! Our remaining application deadlines for 2020 entry are as follows (rolling admission occurs in between the deadlines):

  • May 1, 2020
  • June 15, 2020 (deadline added in response to COVID-19)

Most importantly, please accept my best wishes for health and safety for you and your loved ones. The well-being of our Simon community is paramount, so we’ll continue to monitor over the coming weeks and months to ensure we provide an excellent learning experience in a healthy and stable environment. 

In the meantime, we are here to support you as you put the finishing touches on your Simon application and through the entire application process, so please reach out to us if you have any questions.

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!