Category: Student Blogs

Student Perspectives: Where to Live in Rochester

Picking up your life and moving to another city to begin a graduate business program is a big change. One of the things you’ll need to check off your “to-do” list is finding a place to live. But where should you begin?

We have you covered! Current and past Simon students answered a few questions about their Rochester housing to help you figure out what option is best for you.

Kalkidan Tiruneh ’17S (MS in Accountancy):

Where did you live?
Goler House (on-campus housing).

kalHow did you get to campus?
I either walked (approximately 15 minutes to campus) or used the University shuttle services. The Blue Line and College Town Express shuttles stop at Goler every 20 and 15 minutes, respectively. Both of these shuttles make stops at various locations on campus. I usually get off at the Wilmont stop and walk approximately four minutes to Simon, or I’ll get off at Rush Rhees Library if I want to go to the library or the gym.

How did you decide to live in Goler House?
I applied to Goler House because of a Simon alum who reassured me of the convenience of the location and shared her overall experience living there. I decided to live in Goler because it’s the closest student housing to campus and is easily accessible by University shuttles or by walking. It is also located near an area called College Town that is popular for its dining options compared to other campus housing areas, as it offers restaurants, bars, and coffee shops.

What is your favorite thing about living in Goler?
My favorite thing about living in Goler was that the location enabled me to see my friends whenever I wanted without the need to drive anywhere; I either walked or took the shuttle services. I also appreciated the willingness to help and the timely responses from the leasing office when tenants reported issues with the apartments.

What advice do you have for future Simon students who are thinking about living in Goler?
I would advise that you send in your housing application as early as possible because it’s difficult to get into Goler once the lottery has been selected. If you don’t get selected in the lottery, I would advise you to reach out to your incoming classmates and second-year MBAs ahead of time via Simon’s Housing Forum and Admitted Student Facebook groups and express interest to share an apartment with another person who already has a spot in Goler. It will work to your advantage to actively seek housing options as soon as you enroll in your program.


Lucas Nudelman ’18S (MS in Marketing Analytics):

Where do you live?
I live in an off-campus three-bedroom house with two roommates who are also pursuing degrees at Simon.

lucas_nudelmanHow did you get to campus?
We live right next to Goler House (graduate student housing), which is approximately one mile from campus. There is a bus stop right in front of Goler, which is about a 200 meter walk from my house, so some days I choose to take the bus line that drops off pretty close to Simon. I use a phone app (Rider) that tells me when the next bus will arrive to help me plan ahead. Other days, especially when it is nice outside, I will walk to Simon, which takes 12-15 minutes.

How did you decide to live off campus?
I personally much prefer a house to an apartment building, so I didn’t really want to live in Goler House. Whipple Park and University Park (two graduate housing options) are a little farther away than my current location, so I prefer the proximity of my off-campus house to Simon. Also, living off-campus can be slightly cheaper than the graduate housing options—although graduate housing is also very reasonable!

What is your favorite thing about living off campus?
I really like the proximity to Simon and College Town. Although being close to Moe’s Mexican Restaurant has really made my wallet a lot lighter throughout the year!

What advice do you have for future Simon students who are thinking about living off campus?
Decide what you value most and then start your search. Do you want to live downtown (four or five miles from Simon)? Close to the Rochester club scene? Do you prefer an apartment or a house? Do you want to have roommates or live alone? After that, I’d suggest using Google to find some viable options and then perhaps ask a current student like myself what they think of the neighborhood and cost of those options!


Raven Hudson ’18S (MBA):

Where do you live?
University Park Housing.

How did you get to campus?
I either walk (15 minutes) or take the Blue line (from the UPK bus stop) or the Silver line (from the Park Lot bus stop). The Park Lot stop is a five-minute walk from my apartment.

ravenHow did you decide to live in UPK?
Here are a few reasons:

Affordable: It’s roughly $1,000 per month for a two-bedroom apartment (including all utilities and internet). I split costs with my roommate so we each pay $500 per month.

Location: It’s walking distance to campus and the shuttle line.

Credible: I’m from the Midwest, so I did not have time to go to Rochester to look at housing. I trusted the University housing over off-campus housing since I could not visit in person.

What is your favorite thing about living in UPK?
Location, accommodation, and affordability. University housing also has a flexible lease that allows you to sublet in the summer while you are away for your internship and extend your move-out date based on when you graduate and start your full-time job.

What advice do you have for future Simon students who are thinking about living in UPK?
Do your due diligence and ask for advice from Admissions staff or current students on where to live. I would also make sure to keep your eye on the Simon Housing Forum Facebook group (you will be automatically added when you join the Admitted Student Facebook group) because current students post apartments up for lease and furniture for sale.

When You Look at the World Differently, You May Just Change It for Good

The following blog post was written by Brett Welcher, MBA Class of 2019

Last month, I traveled across South Africa to learn more about the largest economy in the second most populous continent in the world. The 12-day trek was part of my Simon MBA program and was organized to help students gain hands-on experiential learning through corporate visits, cultural immersions, and a live case study.

More than two decades after the end of apartheid, South Africa is playing a key economic and political role on the continent, and many of my 300 hours in the country were spent examining the pillars that have contributed to South Africa’s prosperous growth. Here are the most important takeaways I gained while doing business in South Africa:

Successful Urban Revitalization Focuses on the Creative Community

Photo of #makeyourmark graffitied on an outdoor wall

#MakeYourMark encourages street artists around Johannesburg to literally make their mark and help beautify the city. Public art has been central to the success of Johannesburg’s urban revitalization.

Did you know that Johannesburg is home to one of the most successful urban renewal projects in the world? Located within the Central Business District, the Maboneng Precinct has emerged from a state of abandoned disrepair to become a mixed-use creative hub filled with apartments, restaurants, shops, and art studios. For the first time in a generation, a community of creative young professionals have chosen to live and work in downtown Johannesburg, and as a result, South Africa’s largest city is optimistically looking ahead towards the future.

The success of Maboneng has also spurred worldwide interest in urban revitalization, as officials examine whether the project’s model can be sustainably replicated in other cities to help rejuvenate communities, fuel urban growth and drive innovation. In fact, in the coming weeks, our class will be presenting our findings to city officials from Rochester, NY – Simon’s home town.

Global Awareness Is Crucial for All Businesses Today

Shipping containers on a dock in Cape Town.

Cape Town is one of the most important industrial centers and a major seaport in South Africa.

Home to 11 official languages and a rich collection of ethnic backgrounds, it’s no wonder South Africa is known as the Rainbow Nation. This diversity and makeup has been an important factor in furthering my understanding of business, particularly as world markets become more interconnected and interdependent on emerging economies.

This point was further emphasized at Sanlam, a financial services group headquartered in Cape Town. During our company visit, we engaged in an hour-long discussion with the group’s CEO where he articulated the challenges of doing business during the 2008 financial crisis, as well as in the era of apartheid.

The biggest takeaway from our talk were the perspectives we gained on the business landscape in Africa. According to Sanlam, “the opportunity in Africa is characterized by falling trade barriers and greater intra-Africa trade, changing customer demographics, more diversified economies, and major investments from other parts of the world – all drivers of growth on the continent.”

The Future of Africa Is Bright

ALA group photo.

We posed for a photo with members of the ALA. The visit was a highlight of the trip for me.

Imagine meeting the future Nelson Mandela, the next Wangari Maathai, or the African Bill Gates. At the African Leadership Academy (ALA), this prestigious institution seeks to transform Africa by developing a powerful network of over 6,000 leaders who will work together to address Africa’s greatest challenges, achieve extraordinary social impact, and accelerate the continent’s growth trajectory.

Every fall, the academy welcomes young leaders aged 16-19 from across Africa to begin a highly selective, two-year pre-university program. Graduates often continue their education by enrolling in colleges and universities around the world, including the University of Rochester.

Visiting the ALA was a major highlight for me. The opportunity to meet and hear directly from young student leaders was inspiring. It gave me new ideas about business and the world, and underscored the degree to which young people are rising up in every continent to seize the possibilities of tomorrow.

The Grand Takeaway

Photo of safari animals.

Experiencing South Africa’s robust tourism industry with a visit to the world-renowned Kruger National Park.

After two weeks abroad, I returned from South Africa with a myriad of rich experiences and profound memories that will continue to shape my business perspectives for years to come.

This life changing trip provided a solid foundation for exploring international business possibilities and practices in an emerging nation. It immersed me in a high growth urban regeneration project in Johannesburg. And most importantly, the trek enriched my understanding and appreciation for diverse ideas and innovative ways of doing business.

An interesting moment occurred on my return flight home. As I boarded the plane in Johannesburg, I came across an inspirational billboard nearby. It read: “When you look at the world differently, you may just change it for good.”

My trek to South Africa greatly expanded my aperture of the world. As far as changing it for good, my journey towards making a lasting and meaningful impact continues.

Second-year MBA reflects on her “Simon Bucket List”

The following blog post was written by Raven Hudson, MBA Class of 2018

As a second-year MBA student concentrating in marketing and entrepreneurship, my time at Simon is drawing to a close. The New Year is a good time to evaluate progress and set new goals, so in that spirit, I thought back to the “Simon Bucket List” I created before coming to business school, and I’m proud of how much I’ve accomplished in a year and a half.

My Simon Bucket List

Diversify my portfolio – take advantage of the finance and accounting courses available
Our MBA program is ranked No. 2 in the world for finance by Financial Times of London, and regardless of which of the 15 areas of study you choose to pursue at Simon, I recommend taking a few finance or accounting courses. Finance heavily influences marketing, especially when you own profits and losses and are in charge of launching new products. The courses I took came in handy during my internship at Baxter Inc. in the Commercial Leadership Development Program (CLDP), and will continue to serve me well when I return to Baxter as a CLDP marketing manager after graduation. If you’re interested in marketing like I am, I recommend Entrepreneurial Finance and Financial Statement Analysis.

Students gather with Carla Harris.

Students gathered with Carla Harris at the SFIC event.

“Expect to Win” – meet Carla Harris in person
“Create your own agenda, know who you are and what you want from your career, and don’t spend a lot of time comparing yourself to others.”- Carla Harris, Managing Director at Morgan Stanley

After following her career for the past two years, my dreams of meeting Carla Harris came true at an event sponsored by Simon Finance and Investment Club (SFIC). I also recommend reading her book Expect to Win, in which she outlines key strategies for thriving the workplace.

Make an impact – give back to the community while gaining consulting skills
I came into business school with 2.5 years of work experience. Compared to the Simon MBA class profile, I knew it would benefit me to find a project to enhance my work experience so I could be a competitive candidate to recruiters. Simon Vision Consulting allowed me to gain project management and problem solving skills by managing a team of four of my peers, while giving me the opportunity to give back to the Rochester community at the same time. There are various clubs here at Simon that also allow you to give back, such as Simon Volunteers and Net Impact.

Gain global experience go on an international immersion trip
The Simon EDGE program offers global awareness exposure for MBA students through opportunities to travel abroad for 1-2 weeks. In the fall I took a “Doing Business in South Africa” course led by Dean Ainslie, and we traveled as a group to South Africa in December. I recommend immersion trips to anyone passionate about understanding how business is conducted on a global-level.

raven_photoBecome a student leader on campus – bring my “vision” to Simon
I’ve always had a passion for economic development. Before coming to Simon, I worked as a marketing consultant for a law firm that focused on small business and entrepreneurship. Simon Vision Consulting allowed me to pursue my passion, and I am now the president of the student-led pro bono consulting organization. I highly recommend making the MBA experience your own by getting involved with student-led clubs and organizations. With more than 30 options, there’s something at Simon for everyone.

With two terms left in my MBA, there are still a few things I’d like to accomplish, including more international travel and attending more conferences. I plan to make the most of my final months as an MBA student, and I look forward to taking on my next challenge – my full-time role at Baxter!

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.