Category: Programs and Opportunities

Get to Know Simon Vision Consultants

The following blog post was written by Albert Chatigny, MBA 2015. Albert is now working as a senior business operations analyst at Home Depot.

The Simon Business School experience is characterized by a myriad of opportunities, including access to top-tier faculty, exposure to trends and shifts in a variety of industries, and various clubs that allow students to develop a customized approach to personal and professional growth. When our first classes started two years ago, I had a minimal amount of project management experience and aimed to address that deficiency immediately. The advisors in our Career Management Center suggested I look into the Simon Vision Consultants (otherwise referred to as Vision) as a potential avenue for improving my profile, so I decided to look into the club.

Albert Chatigny, MBA 2015

Albert Chatigny, MBA 2015

Vision provides a few different ways students can gain additional real-world experience while at Simon. The primary mission of the club is to connect local businesses and entrepreneurs with talented Simon students who can help them understand and address business problems. A Simon student project manager meets with a client each quarter to brainstorm a rough project plan, then recruits a team of three to five Simon classmates to work on the project to completion (usually a two month process). Our students have provided high-value deliverables in marketing research, pricing policies, social media initiatives, sales strategies, and company valuations.

One aspect of Vision that students find very refreshing is that they serve as the majority of the organization’s guidance. The student leadership team is free to implement new policies in order to foster higher levels of client satisfaction and student engagement each year. This year, we partnered with Simon’s Net Impact club, which opened opportunities to work with more socially-focused businesses and to engage a more diverse set of students. The partnership helped with an initiative to double the number of projects Vision took on compared to the previous academic year.

My experience with Vision has been incredibly valuable and eye-opening. As a past project manager, I was able to work with a team that took a deep look into the problems that a not-for-profit business faced, and to explore well thought-out strategies for addressing those issues. As former president of the organization, I had to recruit the right students to help take the club to the next level. Along the way, I was able to improve my communication, time management, delegation, networking, conflict management, and business development skills far beyond what I had initially hoped. Vision gave me the platform I needed to effectively supplement my MBA training, and ultimately, become a more marketable asset, which is exactly what I needed to accomplish while at Simon.

My Experience with The Consortium and OP

The following blog post was written by Alonso Moreno, 2017 MBA Candidate

It’s hard not to feel some level of intimidation when going into an MBA program – especially if you’re a member of The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, where my peers are about half of the country’s top minority MBA talent! If you’re not familiar, The Consortium is an organization whose mission is to reduce the underrepresentation of African Americans, Native Americans and Hispanic Americans in education and business. The University of Rochester is one of 18 member schools that make up The Consortium – in fact, I’m proud to say that the University of Rochester is one of the organization’s founding members.

The Consortium kicks-off each year with an Orientation Program (also called OP) where first-year students attend a series of seminars and workshops to jumpstart their career development. Students also have the opportunity to network with various corporations and interview for internships. As you can imagine, OP is one of the greatest perks of The Consortium and students have to be prepared!

facebookBeginning my preparation for OP, I had all the confidence in the world because the Simon staff involved were nothing short of encouraging and helpful. My prep included: fine-tuning my resume, practicing my pitch, and conducting company research. I was fortunate enough to work one-on-one with Kelly Gibbon, Director of Career Management at Simon’s Career Management Center (CMC). Although there were many more individuals who ultimately played a role in my experience at OP, Kelly was my first point of contact for OP preparation. She was always available to answer questions via e-mail, schedule times to talk or even just review some of my materials. Without her help, my time leading up to OP would have been a lot more stressful and wouldn’t have been as enjoyable.

Upon joining Simon through The Consortium, I heard of the great network and support I’d gain by joining the school. I don’t think I came to fully appreciate what this meant until OP. The staff, student liaisons, alumni, and fellow classmates from Simon were all there to help each other. With their guidance and recommendations, I was able to further build my confidence. If there’s one piece of advice I have for an incoming MBA candidate: work on your personal pitch. It’s important to be able to articulate your professional experiences and accomplishments into concise points. This is what made networking with recruiters and having interviews at OP so much easier, and the reason why I can truly call OP a success.

While The Consortium program at Simon may not be the biggest compared to other schools, the level of support from staff, alumni and student liaisons was unmatched at OP. All the individuals I had the privilege to meet and work with, including my fellow classmates, helped create a close-knit atmosphere. The relationships created at OP made it that much easier to be successful during my time at Simon. I gained all of this even before sitting for my first class at Simon! I can only look forward to what the next two years have in store.

Are you interested in applying to graduate business school through The Consortium? If so, the process is simple. Especially if you plan to apply to multiple members schools because it will save you both time and money!

The first things to keep in mind are the deadlines: Round 1 is October 15, 2015 and Round 2 is January 5, 2016. No matter which deadline you target, you are encouraged to start the application early so you know what materials are needed to successfully complete your application. The Consortium does a great job on their website of detailing the application process, but there are some “common” pieces to the application that will be used by all schools: GMAT or GRE scores, transcript(s), resume, core essay #1, the optional essay, along with your general application information. There is also a school-specific essay that you will need to complete that only Simon will receive, as well as a core essay on your commitment to the mission of The Consortium that the schools will not see. The “ranking” of schools on The Consortium application can sometimes be confusing so it is recommended that you speak with a Consortium staff member or Simon Admissions to fully understand what implications the rankings might have.

If you have questions, contact the Simon Admissions Office at admissions@simon.rochester.edu or (585) 275-3533. You can also read more about The Consortium at cgsm.org or on Simon’s website.

MBA Internship Reflections

The following blog post was written by Jay Gillespie, 2016 MBA Candidate

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Jay Gillespie, 2016 MBA Candidate

I didn’t understand how well Simon prepared me for a management position until I began my summer internship in the marketing department of Bigelow Tea. I have an arts background (worked as a full-time actor prior to Simon), and I would like to transition into brand management and marketing.

Bigelow Tea treats their MBA interns like full-time staff so I was completely involved with the entire marketing team – everything from traditional brand management and market research, to social media planning and analytics. I was well prepared for all of it. And when it came to analytics I felt like I was on the cutting edge.

What I liked most about my internship was that I worked with an extremely talented and hard-working team that provided a lot of support (very similar to the Simon community!).

As I reflect on my internship, one interesting story comes to mind. After only one month on the internship, I was asked to attend the national marketing and sales conference and give a twenty-minute presentation to the national sales team. I was a little nervous, but it went smoothly and the senior brand manager complemented me afterwards.

My internship was a lot of work, but the experience was rewarding and I feel highly valued. In fact, the team has mentioned how it would be great to have me around full time, very exciting.

#SimonOrientation 2015

It’s hard to believe it was only last week that we welcomed Simon’s incoming full-time MBA and MS students for Orientation. It feels like it’s been much longer – and in a good way! Students have settled into the Simon and Rochester communities, made what will be lifelong friendships with their peers, and started Fall Mini Quarter.

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Highlights from Simon students during Orientation

Before students continue to take the next steps in their B-school journey, Simon Admissions would like to highlight all the fun from #SimonOrientation. Dean Andrew Ainslie kicked-off the first day with a welcome, alongside Rebekah Lewin, Assistant Dean of Admissions and Student Engagement. And over the course of both days, there were keynotes addresses, Career Management Center workshops, student leadership presentations, team-building activities and more. To top it off, there were social hours at the Rochester Museum & Science Center and Seneca Park Zoo where the newest members of the Rochester community could see a few of the popular landmarks in their new city.

Students were encouraged to document their first few days as a Simon student using #SimonOrientation on social media. Thank you to our students who shared their #SimonOrientation experiences!