Category: Programs and Opportunities

NYC Career Day Reflections — Raazgi Haidri MBA Class of 2020

The following blog post was written by Raazgi Haidri, MBA Class of 2020

There is something about boarding a bus at Times Square with suits on hangers!

Recently, 104 of us from Simon’s MBA Class of 2020 traveled from Rochester to New York City for the MBA Career Day. For many of us, this was our first time in NYC, and for most us it would be the first of many, as New York City is known for its finance, real estate, technology, and health care industries.

raazgi.haidriDuring Career Day, the Career Management Center hosted panel discussions with alumni and allies of the school who shared their insights into various MBA roles in different industries. We learned about diverse career experiences in consulting, marketing, product management, pricing, finance, and entrepreneurship roles. Panels also shared valuable advice about recruiting and interviewing for different jobs.

One of the main themes that stood out for me during discussions and Q&A sessions was the concept of “career exploration.” Our class is a vibrant mix of candidates from a variety of backgrounds such as finance, travel, consulting, education, non-profits, media, the military, and more. I realized that exploring various career options before embarking on a pointed career search was great advice, and the career panels were a valuable tool in doing exactly that. I particularly enjoyed learning more about the advantages and challenges of collaborative roles like product management and consulting. During Career Day, our class was also able to make meaningful connections with panelists and alumni. We are honored that they shared their stories and insights with us.

Armed with deeper knowledge of roles and industries, a better network, and great memories of NYC, we begin fall term this week. There surely is something special about walking the streets of Manhattan in business suits—see you again, NYC!

Seven Major Lessons Learned from Working with Simon Vision Consulting

The following blog post was written by Gilbert Bonsu ’18S (MBA)

My tenure on the leadership team of Simon Vision Consulting at Simon Business School ended in mid-May. The journey between beginning as a project manager and ending as the managing director was transformative and significant. Simon Vision Consulting (Vision) is a professionally managed, student-led organization at Simon that provides pro-bono consulting services to businesses and non-profits in the Greater Rochester area. My two years with Vision have been a great opportunity for me to work closely with over 16 organizations across multiple industries addressing critical business challenges. These firms ranged from solopreneur entities to publicly traded companies.

Below are seven business lessons that I learned and were reaffirmed during my time with Vision:

gilbert1.) It’s all about people.
Tactful people skills are foundational to your success in both personal and professional life. Matured interpersonal skills allow you to maneuver in your workplace with ease. You might be the most technically gifted person in the room, but if people hate working with you they will pass on you, even for a less experienced colleague. On the other hand, when people love working with you and you have the capabilities to deliver success, the sky is the limit. The people skills of our Vision team, from the president to consultants, in addition to our technical prowess, help us generate more business through referrals. When our clients talked about their experience with our teams, one of the first things they mentioned is how they loved working with us. People skills are crucial in life and they come in the forms of personality, empathy, verbal and non-verbal cues, and listening. Which leads to the next point:

2.) Actively listen and embrace learning.
Actively listen: We all have heard the saying “hearing someone and listening to them are two different things.” As a consultant, it is critical to actively listen to others. Don’t start formulating a response while the client is still talking. Not only may you need collateral information to truly understand and appreciate the situation, but also, good ideas take time to form. Listen without interruption and take time to formulate a response. You will learn a lot.

Embrace learning: The importance of learning cannot be overstated. Continuous learning is important in your professional life as it makes you more adaptable to change, builds self-esteem, and improves your skills. To embrace learning includes taking the time to experience even the same things multiple times. The same problems in a different environment present renewed and unique learning opportunities. Welcome these opportunities and the ambiguity that comes with them.

3.) Welcome ambiguity.
Ambiguity can be stressful and tiring. When we are faced with uncertainty, we can sometimes feel paralyzed. In these situations it is important to recognize that ambiguity is a path to knowledge. We can expand our horizon when we don’t back down from uncertainty. The unknown comprises many lessons waiting to be learned. Instead of meeting it with fear, recognize that you will come through it transformed. Following that unknown may result in outcomes that were beyond your frame of thinking and planning.

4.) Simplify.
Reality does not happen in a vacuum. There are many actions and reactions occurring simultaneously. Everything in this world is complex; thus, simplicity is sometimes thought of as unrealistic or naïve. Nonetheless, you shouldn’t neglect the power of simplicity. When faced with complex issues, try and strip it apart to simplify it. Then, only when it is completely understood, bring it all together with the nuanced pieces. At times when you simplify a problem and apply due diligence, you are able to understand the core value of the problem and plan accordingly. Indeed, things are not always black or white, but you need a starting palette to create a rainbow.

5.) You don’t need to be the expert.
Clients expect a know-it-all, but no one is truly the expert. It is okay to admit you don’t have all the answers. In fact, everyone has their expertise, and knowing whom to call on is just as valuable as knowing what to do. You may even be the subject matter expert and still not know the answer at the moment. We sometimes miss the process of discovery when we feel pressured to have all the answers right off the bat. Worst case, we end up giving the wrong answer or make up something completely useless.

6.) Be prepared and be ready.
Simply, poor preparation promotes poor performance. Whether it is a short meeting or a formal presentation, be prepared and ready to go. Train like it’s game time. Being unprepared is not only disrespectful to your teammates and clients, but also disrespectful to yourself.

7.) Not all clients know what they want.
Sometimes the clients just don’t know what they want. It can be frustrating, especially when the client thinks (s)he knows the answer but can’t readily articulate the problem. However, this is okay. You’re there to help. Here’s some advice when you find yourself in that situation:

  • Try and figure out how the client operates
  • Make them feel comfortable (don’t be intimidating or condescending), and build a rapport and a genuine working relationship
  • Engineer your questions appropriately
  • Guide them towards what they need, not what they want (they will be grateful later)

These seven business lessons are from my unique experience with Simon Vision and I wanted to share them with you; however, the lessons don’t end here. Above all, it is important to remain curious and passionate. Approach every situation as a showcase for your strengths and a test of your resolve.

Get a Global Perspective at Simon

Scenes from the Ojiya Balloon Festival, just a short train ride from GSIM – Minamiuonuma, the partner university.

Scenes from the Ojiya Balloon Festival, just a short train ride from the partner university.

We believe a rigorous MBA program can and should be eye-opening on many levels. At Simon, you will be encouraged to explore and focus as never before – to gain a more profound understanding of what business means in the world, the leader you can be, and the impact you can make.

Part of expanding your understanding of the global business marketplace is to see it up close. To help you do that, in the winter term of the second year of the MBA program you may study abroad in the following locations:

  • Finland: Aalto – Helsinki
  • Germany: WHU – Düsseldorf
  • Japan: GSIM – Minamiuonuma
  • Mexico: IPADE – Mexico City

Prior to pursuing an international exchange program, you will develop strategic academic objectives and a required job search plan to help you maximize your experience on a personal and professional level. You will also have the opportunity to network in a new culture and make lasting connections as you embark on your career.

Aileen Hayman ’17S (MBA) made a point to travel nearly every weekend during her time abroad.

Aileen Hayman ’17S (MBA) traveled nearly every weekend during her time abroad.

Several students from the MBA Class of 2018 are just returning from their time abroad in Germany, and one of our 2017 MBA graduates, Aileen Hayman, business excellence consultant at Nationwide Insurance, reflected on her time in Japan last winter:

“My three months abroad broadened my perspective, enriched my MBA education, and expanded the skill set that I apply in my career today. With so few MBA programs offering international exchange opportunities, Simon Business School leverages it to create a well-rounded and truly valuable curriculum.”

Get a global perspective at Simon. Apply now – we are still accepting applications for Fall 2018 entry, and applications are reviewed as they are received. Scholarship support is always available, but apply as soon as possible to maximize your chances of securing an admission offer and a scholarship award.

Three Most-Asked Questions about Simon’s MS in Business Analytics Program

The following blog post was written by Jen Park, MS in Business Analytics Class of 2018

Choosing a graduate program is as hard a decision as choosing the right b-school. Thus, I want to address the three most-asked questions I receive as an MS in Business Analytics student at Simon.

  1. Do you need programming background? No! In fact, I didn’t have programming experience before coming to Simon. However, as you might have guessed from our admission process, which does not require you to take computer science or tech-related classes, our program is designed to train students from “ground zero” to professional level by the time of graduation. During our first term, we took classes on R programming, stats, economics, and marketing. Once we became more familiar with programming, we were ready to tackle the next introductory classes on business analytics. Essentially, our classes build upon each other, and in winter and spring, we will work on a project with professors and companies to apply the skills we acquired in classes to real-world business situations.
  2. Do you nJen Parkeed an undergraduate degree in business? Some prospective students worry that they are unqualified to apply because they do not have an undergraduate business major, such as economics or marketing. Rest assured that you do not need a business major in order to apply. My classmates come from various academic backgrounds, including physics, biology, mathematics, and engineering. And, similar to my previous answer, there are introductory business classes in the program to help all students get on the same page. The most important thing is not where you are coming from, but your passion for data analytics!
  3. What do you like about your business analytics classes? First off, Simon has always been big on data, even before it became a trend – Simon professors are very knowledgeable and experienced working in this area. Secondly, I like how we are learning the most important skills to become a data analyst: R, Python, SQL, and Tableau. They are not only interesting subjects to learn, but also the most wanted skills in the industry. Lastly, taking business classes is advantageous. Since Simon is a business school, we have the advantage of taking both data analytics classes and business classes! The majority of my classmates will be looking for full-time work after graduation so understanding the business landscape is another crucial asset.

If you’re considering applying to Simon’s MS in Business Analytics program, I hope you found this blog post helpful! Please feel free to contact the Admission Office or a Simon Admissions Ambassador if you have questions.