Myths about Rochester…

City of Rochester SkylineNow that the recruiting season is beginning for us in Admissions, we get to meet and converse with prospective students from across the county and abroad who are just starting their search for the perfect MBA program.  These interactions are what help us shape the incoming MBA and MS classes, but also give us insight into marketplace perceptions.  In recent travel, I have had to assure students that, one, we do not live in an ice and snow laden tundra; two, that the city has great culture and lifestyle; and three, that one studying in Rochester can find employment opportunities post-graduation beyond upstate New York.

Let me begin by dispelling the climate myth.  Occasionally someone will come up to speak with me and say, “I was considering the Simon MBA because of its great programs, but I just can’t force myself to live in snow nine months of the year…”  or perhaps instead they say, “I can’t force myself to survive in subzero temperatures…”  This is not true.  While we do get snow (definitely more than any school in Florida), it’s usually only from late November until March.  Since we know we will be getting snow each year, the City of Rochester is very good at plowing roads in the wee hours of the morning before any traffic really begins, and the university maintenance staff is equally prepared and effective to clear sidewalks and passageways on campus.  There are also underground tunnels for students to use so they never have to leave the warmth of a building.  The plus side to the weather in winter is that there are dozens of sports and activities that students get involved in ranging from downhill and cross country skiing to simply sledding.  This also means that we are a four season city, with autumn (my personal favorite for hiking and biking around town), spring and summer each having their own unique festivals, events and activities in which to participate.

On to the next myth: that there is nothing to do in Rochester.  While we are not as big as New York City in either population size or cost of living (thankfully), we still have plenty to keep you busy.  As of the year 2000, the metro area of Rochester had a population of more than 1 million, with social and athletic activities, restaurants and cultural venues catering to each person.  Restaurants from a wide variety of ethnic designations, dozens of bars, theatre, museums (for young and old as Rochester is home to the Strong Museum of Play), music conservatories, and parks are everywhere.  The geography of the region allows for easy access to the Finger Lake region where there are dozens of vineyards to explore or numerous state and national parks where one can walk, hike, bike or camp.  Rochester is fortunate that the location is accessible to the 14 northeastern states in the U.S. as well as two major Canadian cities, Montreal and Toronto.  This means the majority of large cities in the Northeast and Midwest can be reached in less than a day’s drive, usually in only a few hours.  For those who want to move a little faster to get to their intended destinations, the Rochester International Airport also services more than 200 flights daily across the U.S. and abroad.

Now, let’s address the last myth about job placement.  While it is true that students attending a graduate program can expect more job placement opportunity in the region where their program is located, (for us that would mean the northeast region of the U.S.) that does not preclude students from placing elsewhere.   Our most populated alumni networks for the University of Rochester are in Rochester and New York City, however, we have strong alumni networks in Chicago, Boston, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles and in most major cities abroad on each continent.  If students are looking for placement based on geography rather than job function, there are at least a few well-connected alumni in almost every city on the map for the Simon School.

Hopefully this blog has opened your eyes a bit to the possibilities available here in Rochester for a fun, intense and rewarding education that isn’t underneath 20 feet of snow in the winter quarter.  Even so…I still recommend you buy a winter jacket before winter quarter arrives.

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  1. Andrew says:

    Thanks for the post. It’s refreshing to see a MBA program actively addressing prospective students’ concerns (instead of ignoring them).

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