Co-Curricular and Extra-Curricular Activities

The following blog post was written by Nilukshini Gooneratne, 2015 MS Accountancy Candidate

It’s no secret that Simon Business School has a very intense and demanding academic curriculum. The motto of the school is “Toughen Up” and they mean it in every sense of the word! As an undergrad from the Upstate New York area, I was familiar with the reputation of Simon and I was very excited to become a part of this prestigious institution. I knew I would receive the academic experience that I was seeking – one that was challenging and pushed me beyond my limits, but also gave me the opportunity to learn so much. Being on a quarter academic calendar allows you to learn a lot within a short time span. While you are barely crawling through a quarter, with assignments due one after another and with exams every month, it is hard to appreciate it while you’re at it! But looking back at the end of a quarter, you know you wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Student Services Wall of Posters

Collage of Simon event posters.

To my surprise, what I appreciate most from my Simon experience goes beyond the academics. Simon really treats co-curricular and extra-curricular activities with great importance. It is an integral part of one’s B-school experience to be as involved as possible in activities other than what gives you course credit. This is the professional development one takes with him/her upon graduation. When you are working in the real world, you don’t necessarily use all the course knowledge you gather in every class – it is only a foundation to give you the tools you will need to succeed in your career path. However, the extra activities you engage in shapes the person you are when you finally take flight. Leadership, networking, team building, public speaking and time management are some very important skills that Simon ensures all students gather throughout their B-school journey.

The monthly Simon Socials are something we look forward to as students. This is a themed event hosted by different departments at Simon. These events bring the entire student body together to mingle, away from any sort of academic stress, in a time of fellowship. To name some event themes: September was “Back to School,” October was “Halloween,” November was “Thanksgiving” and January was obviously “Winter!”

Another favorite of mine are the regular happy hours hosted by Simon’s Graduate Business Council. They organize regular events in downtown Rochester where students are given yet another opportunity to mingle with students outside of their cohort. We are predominantly in classes with the students of our specific programs, and what I love about these events is the opportunity to meet the rest of the student body.

The Simon Socials and happy hours are my favorite events, but I am biased as I love to meet new people! There are many other co-curricular and extra-curricular activities at Simon. For instance, the Career Management Center (CMC) organizes various workshops on professional development that prepare students for the real world. Two of my favorite events hosted by CMC were Got Mocked and Spring Training. Got Mocked gave students the opportunity to conduct mock interviews with alumni and get their feedback. I had three mock interviews and received very useful feedback from all three of my interviewers. Spring Training was a baseball themed event where students practiced their pitch about ten times with different alumni, faculty and other staff, and also attended workshops.

Furthermore, many student clubs host guest speakers, organize corporate visits, networking events, case competitions and coordinate trainings on SQL, Bloomberg and more. Being a part of these organizations or clubs is vital to the enhancement and maximization of your B-school experience. It adds a tremendous value to the overall return you get from your educational investment.

I have absolutely loved the past year at Simon and as I graduate this summer, I leave with mixed feelings. I am excited to face the corporate world with the keys to success that Simon has bestowed upon me, but with great sadness to go separate ways from the friendships I have built. I will miss everyone, but I leave with great pride for being part of a great alumni network and I hope to carry the Simon pride with me in my career.

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