Class of 2019 MBA Spotlight: Ada Chiu and Magdiel Guardado

It’s hard to believe it’s already time to say goodbye and best wishes to the Class of 2019! In the weeks following commencement, we wanted to highlight a few members of our graduating class so prospective students can “meet” them and get a sense of where some of our recent graduates are heading.

We wish the very best of luck to all our graduates—the newest members of our alumni network. Don’t forget to keep in touch with your Simon family!

Ada Chiu ’19 (MBA)

Ada.Chiu '19 MBA

Where are you headed after graduation?
I am joining Citigroup in New York City as a financial management associate (FMA).

What was your favorite class and why?
My favorite class was the first class I took at Simon: Corporate Financial Accounting. It was my first ever accounting class and it reaffirmed my reason for coming to business school: to pivot into corporate finance. Professor Huels was one of my favorite professors at Simon because he takes the time to explain the concepts in and out of class. Being a career-switcher, I really appreciated the effort he made to ensure that everyone was on the same page and really understood the material.


If you could use three words to describe your MBA experience, what would they be?

Transformative, fun, and life-changing.

What have you learned that will help you most in your new role?
I have learned so many different things, but understanding financial statements, networking, and being able to present with confidence stand out the most. During my internship, I had come to realize that networking and presentations were very important, and I am so glad and grateful that Simon prepared me for both.

What is your favorite Simon memory?
Throughout the past two years, I have made so many memories that it’s hard to just pick one, but one of my favorites is the visit to Bristol Mountain at the very beginning of orientation. I had a lot of fun that day with classmates who were just strangers at the time, but little did I know that some of these people would become my best friends and make my MBA journey amazing.

Another favorite memory of mine is when I went to Seattle for the Forté conference in the beginning of my first year. It was so amazing and inspiring to hear from women who had accomplished so much in their professional careers. I was also meeting some of my classmates for the first time, which was very exciting. It was a whirlwind two days, but I left feeling a sense of belonging, like business school is where I want to be and finance is what I want to do.

What advice do you have for prospective Simon students?
Be strategic and be open to opportunities. Many people use the MBA to pivot into a new career path, and a lot of my classmates came to Simon with the intention of going into one area but then ended up switching to a completely different one. You never know what else is out there and what you might like after taking a few classes and talking to some people. Coming to Simon for my MBA has been one of the best choices I could have made, and I had no idea how much my life would change for the better after just two years.

 

Magdiel Guardado ’19 (MBA)

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Where are you headed after graduation?
I’m joining Analysis Group as an associate.

What was your favorite class and why?
My favorite class was Business Modeling with Professor Mantena. It challenges you to think comprehensively about business problems, apply frameworks to understand them, and use quantitative tools to solve them.

If you could use three words to describe your MBA experience, what would they be?
Transformational, challenging, and gratifying.

What have you learned that will help you most in your new role?
Since I have a strong interest in analytics, I took many of the courses that Simon offers in that field. The main thing in common among all of them is how they use these quantitative tools to produce meaningful business insights. I believe that in this regard, Simon is the leading school, and it is the most helpful skill I have learned.

What is your favorite Simon memory?
My work with Simon VISION Consulting. VISION is a pro-bono, student-led consulting practice, focusing on making an impact in the Rochester community. Not only did it give me the chance to make something meaningful, but I met so many wonderful people from the MBA and MS programs.

What advice do you have for prospective Simon students?
First, Simon will be a transformative experience. When recruiting, be confident in showcasing both the hard skills and soft skills you will acquire when you finish at Simon. Trust me, after your first year you will be a quant. You will see how far you have come when you go to your internship and compare your skill set with colleagues from other MBAs—Simon is (for now) a hidden gem in this regard.

Second, even though the MBA is primarily an academic experience, you have to be disciplined and consistent in your job search. Whenever I was in “recruiting mode,” I would make sure I spent at least four hours a day on it—looking for jobs, networking, improving my résumé, or preparing cover letters. If you put in the effort and are aware of the skills you offer that are in high demand in the labor market, you will get your dream job.

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