Experience Simon Weekend featuring Women’s Conference Programming, Nov. 10-11

The following post was written by Rebekah Lewin, assistant director of admissions and financial aid

It’s hard to believe the fall term is well underway already! In the Admissions Office, we are also excited about our November on-campus recruitment event for prospective MBA students, Experience Simon Weekend featuring Women’s Conference programming.

As in past years, we are running these events concurrently and most of the programming is shared, which creates a cohesive environment where our prospective students can get acquainted with Simon and with each other.

Women’s Conference begins midday on Friday, Nov. 10. First, attendees will participate in “The 5½ Beliefs & Behaviors of Highly Successful Women,” a professional development session presented by Maureen Berkner Boyt, founder of The Moxie Exchange Movement, a training and mentoring organization for companies who want to develop, promote, and retain women and create inclusive workplaces.

The afternoon continues with a Women’s Leadership Panel with impressive alumnae panelists:

  • Ileana Chu ’97S (MBA), Managing Director, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey
  • Leslie Falconio ’92S (MBA), Executive Director, UBS Wealth Management
  • Kelly Stone Geer ’03S (MBA), Chief Marketing Officer, Sphero
  • Stephanie Hogue ’04S (MBA), Managing Director of Corporate Finance, PricewaterhouseCoopers

Forte group shot 2017

Dinner on Friday is where the Experience Simon Weekend registrants join up with Women’s Conference attendees, and participate in the remainder of the weekend’s programming together. Attendees will have the opportunity to network with faculty, alumni, and current students at dinner.

On Saturday, Nov. 11, our prospective students will fill their day at Simon with the following activities:

  • Alumni and student panels
  • Campus tours
  • An overview from Simon’s Career Management Center
  • A sample MBA class
  • Admissions interview (you have this option as long as you have created an application to Simon)

We are very much looking forward to these events, and November will be here before we know it! We encourage you to register for Experience Simon Weekend or Women’s Conference by Friday, October 20 to be considered for complimentary hotel accommodations for both Friday and Saturday nights and a partial travel stipend (note that you must complete the registration process before requesting a stipend). Please send all event-related inquiries to events@simon.rochester.edu.

As always, if you have any questions about Simon or the application process, don’t hesitate to email the Admissions Office. We are always happy to help.

In the meantime, we look forward to seeing you in November!

If you’re interested in applying to Simon Business School, get started now.

The Staircase: Summer Internship Reflections with Alyssa Rinck, MBA Class of 2018

The following blog post was written by Alyssa Rinck, MBA Class of 2018 and former summer associate at Cognizant

Nail the GMAT. Get accepted to a top school. Land your dream internship. Convert that internship into a job offer.

If you’re interested in business school, it’s likely these things are on your radar. They were on mine too when I started my business school journey. These things remain important. There are a lot of resources out there to guide you through this process, and I am certainly not here to tell you what to do. But I am here to give you a piece of advice: how to survive when you have the high expectation to achieve all of these things. Business school is stressful, but if you take a deep breath and take things one step at a time, you will thrive.

While you will be defined by the big decisions you make during your journey, you will be remembered by the combination of small choices you made along the way. Small steps in the right direction lead to great opportunity. People notice the little things.

When I started searching for a summer internship, I was focused on the big picture. I had just been accepted to Simon. Shortly after, I signed on with Cognizant Consulting as a summer associate in their retail practice. For a moment, I felt a huge sense of relief but then was immediately overwhelmed with a rush of anxiety. I landed the internship but getting the job offer seemed like a big feat.

Cognizant is a technology-driven consulting firm, and I was assigned to support an engagement with a top fortune retailer’s innovation lab in Silicon Valley. I knew very little about technology. On top of feeling the pressure to network with executives and showcase my work ethic, I had a lot to learn quickly about the tech world. Instead of taking the mindset that I was at a disadvantage, I took this as a great learning opportunity. I headed in to my first day on the job motivated to make the best of the experience.

When I arrived that day, I met my supervisor. He was a data scientist by trade and consultant by twist of fate. He told me I would be working on a project building machine learning solutions. These solutions would allow our client to add more third party products to their website (in order to compete with Amazon). I had spent several years before business school working for Macys.com/Macy’s Inc. so I was confident in my retail knowledge, but I had no idea where to start with machine learning.

After the meeting, I was stressed. What if I couldn’t add value to the engagement? I was not an expert on the subject by any means. I consciously reminded myself to have confidence, to move forward. I spent my evenings on YouTube researching. I woke up to get into the office early, so I could build a rapport with the main client point of contact. Soon I could speak the language of the software engineers on our floor. Eventually, I felt comfortable asking our client contact for help because we had a standing meeting to grab tea every morning, right after he got settled. By the time I was midway through my internship I had hit a groove.

I used this to accelerate my learning even further. I kept putting myself in positions where I was the least knowledgeable in the room. My perception of consultants before I began my internship was far different than it was at the end. At first, I thought consultants had to know everything and were paid for that expertise. I soon realized that consultants are valued for their ability to continuously ask the right questions and gather the right information.

When it came time to deliver my final recommendation based on the work I had done throughout the course of the summer, I was confident. I knew almost every stakeholder in the room. I was not shy to ask them for help building my final deck. I had their buy in, what could I be worried about? In full disclosure, I was very nervous, but I knew what I had to say was supported by months of hard work. I left that final meeting with several pats on the back and some smiles from the client.

alyssa_rinckThe morning following my final day as a Cognizant summer associate, I packed up for a long awaited trip to Peru. I had plenty of time for personal reflection throughout the trip, but I reached a moment of clarity on a hike along the Inca trail to Machu Picchu. About two thirds of the way through the hike, we reached what felt like the billionth stone staircase. Each set of stairs built by the Incas seemed steeper and longer than the last. My legs were already burning–there was no way I was making it to see the end. I wanted so badly for the guide to leave me right then and there to lay down and rest with the llamas. Somehow I found motivation to take on those stairs, and it was so worth it. This staircase was quite literally a metaphor for my summer with Cognizant.

When it all seems overwhelming, remember to take that deep breath. Take that one small step toward your goal. In the end, those small steps add up to something really incredible.

I came back from Peru with an offer from Cognizant, the aptitude to build my own machine learning models, and the newfound confidence to take on the world.

Simon Goes Abroad – September Admissions Travel

airplane in the skyOur first major international trip to Latin America last month was a great success! (If you missed us, don’t worry – we are heading back Oct. 21-28!)

September is packed with Admissions travel—in fact, we just finished a great recruiting trip in China—and we are headed to Africa, India, and several US cities between now and the end of the month. Here’s a preview:


Africa – Sept. 14-18:

  • Thursday, September 14: Nairobi, Kenya – Sankara Nairobi, 5:00 – 10:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 16: Johannesburg, South Africa – The Michelangelo Hotel, 10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • Monday, September 18: Cape Town, South Africa – One&Only, 5:00 – 10:00 p.m.

India – Sept. 18-23:

  • Monday, September 18: Delhi, India – Leela Kempinski Gurgaon, Delhi Hotel, 1:00 – 10:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, September 20: Bangalore, India – Vivanta by Taj, 1:00 – 10:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 23: Mumbai, India – Taj Lands End, 9:00 a.m. – 5:40 p.m.

US Travel:

  • Wednesday, September 13: Washington, D.C. (The Consortium MBA MAPS event)
  • Wednesday, September 20: Chicago, IL (The Consortium MBA MAPS event)
  • Tuesday, September 26: Atlanta, GA (The Consortium MBA MAPS event)
  • Wednesday, September 27: Denver, CO – The Westin Denver Downtown, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, September 28: Salt Lake City, UT – Hilton SLC Downtown, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 30: Philadelphia, PA (The Consortium MBA MAPS event)

Review our full travel schedule here, and we encourage you to request more information or contact the Admissions Office to receive emails when Simon is coming to a city near you. We look forward to meeting you soon!

Use #SimonTravel on Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date with our travels and to share pictures from events!

Simon Strong: My First Month at B-School

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

This week, I will complete my pre-fall quarter at Simon Business School – a five-week session that included orientation and team building activities, along with my first two classes, managerial economics and professional communications. I’m pleased to share that my experience has been challenging and rigorous, exciting and impactful, and totally worth it!

"My experience at Simon Business School has been challenging and rigorous, exciting and impactful, and totally worth it!"

“My experience at Simon Business School has been challenging and rigorous, exciting and impactful, and totally worth it!”

As I reflect on my first month, I’ve been most impressed by the high degree of collaboration and teamwork the school has emphasized – both in the classroom and in the Rochester community. This mentality is known as Simon Strong, a shared belief that we’re stronger when working together and supporting each other. It’s a defining characteristic of the Simon MBA program and one of the key reasons I chose to pursue my degree at Rochester.

Strong teamwork was displayed during our first week, when the Class of 2019 participated in a case competition focused on customer privacy and Apple (“Building a “Backdoor” to the iPhone: An Ethical Dilemma,” Harvard Business Review). By articulating both sides of the argument and effectively presenting the case, my teammates (Danielle Adamson, Thea Le, Dinesh Rajput, Edward Threlfall) and I were awarded first place. It was an exciting way to kick off our MBA journey, but more importantly, the competition fostered an abundant exchange of diverse ideas across the classroom and challenged us to expand our understanding of the business world.

The following week, Simon Business School partnered with Flower City Habitat for Humanity to build the frames for two houses in the city of Rochester. Spending half a day working together with my classmates, while making a positive and lasting impact in the community I grew up in was especially meaningful and something the entire class took great pride in. (Fun fact: students across the University of Rochester are deeply involved in service and collectively volunteer 30,000 hours a year!)

Habitat Build

An additional highlight from my b-school experience has been the relationships I’ve formed with my classmates. One of the underlying strengths of Simon Business School is its longstanding commitment to creating opportunities for diverse candidates. As one of the Top Ten Most Diverse MBA Programs (U.S. News & World Report, 2016), our class includes students from the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, Forté Foundation, and Management Leadership for Tomorrow. We also have students from 18 countries and several top employers represented by our previous work experience. In short, the student experience at Simon is incredibly rich, and the creativity and innovation that’s coming from our multiple perspectives is helping us become impactful and inclusive leaders.

These past five weeks have been an exciting preview of what will likely become the most transformational two years of my life. I’m extremely proud to be part of this community and I can’t wait to begin the fall quarter. Let’s keep up the momentum!