Class of 2019 MS Spotlight: Minjia Zhan, MS in Business Analytics

Next up in our Class of 2019 Spotlight series is Minjia Zhan, one of our MS in Business Analytics graduates: 

Minjia Zhan PhotoWhere are you headed after graduation?
I’m joining Conde Nast as an analyst.

What was your favorite class and why?
My favorite class was Marketing Analytics with R. Professor Haviv taught the class in a way that made it interesting and practical. The course content and cases encouraged me to dig deeper to understand the meaning of the numbers generated by quantitative methods and to learn to apply analytical techniques in real-world scenarios.

If you could use three words to describe your MS experience, what would they be?
Challenging, thought-provoking, intriguing.

What have you learned that will help you most in your new role?
I’ve learned to generate insights using analytical skills and utilize those insights to develop solutions or recommendations. I find this skill handy in all projects and experiences.

What is your favorite Simon memory?
My favorite Simon memories are all tied to Simon Master’s Association—a club that focuses on creating initiatives to support MS students. I got the chance to connect with students from different programs and work with amazing people for event planning. In addition, it was very rewarding to find out that students enjoyed our events.

What advice do you have for prospective Simon students?
MS programs are very short, so you want to be prepared. You need to plan in advance what you want to achieve through the program and start to work towards that goal. If you hope to make friends, there are lots of opportunities at Simon to meet new people; if you aim to job hunt, you can start reaching out to people, work on your résumé, and participate in projects. Make sure you enjoy your time here and use your time wisely.

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.

New on the Pod: Clubs at Simon

SimonBizcast_podcast_logo_MR1_LightStudent-led clubs and organizations are an integral part of the MBA and MS student experience, allowing students to follow their passions outside of the classroom, develop leadership skills, and build their professional networks. Learn more about the various club offerings at Simon from Nate Kadar, director of student life in our Office of Student Engagement, and a panel of current and former club leaders:

David Pearlroth ’20 (MBA) – president, Simon Marketing Association; vice president of marketing, Simon Volunteers

Sam Drexler ’20 (MBA) – president, Simon Data Analytics; vice president of finance, Outdoor Adventure Club

Ben Johnson ’20 (MBA) – president, UNCorked; vice president of case competitions, Simon Marketing Association

Quentin Schneider ’20 (MBA) – president, Simon Finance & Investment Club; vice president of marketing, Simon School Venture Fund; vice president of finance, Club Europe

Arjun Arora ’19 (MBA) – outgoing president, Simon Pricing Club

Gavin Hall ’19 (MBA) – outgoing president, Simon Consulting Club; managing director, Simon VISION Consulting

Sanjan Panchal ’20 (MBA) – president, Simon Consulting Club

Aisha Yusuf ’19 (MBA) – outgoing president, Simon Volunteers; outgoing vice president of marketing, Simon National Black

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Happy listening!

Three Simon Students Named “MBAs to Watch” by Poet & Quants

Congratulations to Mike Alcazaren, Yonnas Terefe, and Victoria (Tori) Vossler, who were named to Poets & Quants’ list of 100 MBAs to Watch in the Class of 2019! After graduation, Mike is headed to Amazon as a senior product manager, Yonnas will join Morgan Stanley as an investment banking associate, and Tori is headed to PwC Advisory as a senior associate in management consulting for consumer markets.

Here are excerpts from their longer bios:

Mike Alcazaren '19 (MBA) will join Amazon as a senior product manager after graduation.

Mike Alcazaren ’19 (MBA) will join Amazon as a senior product manager after graduation.

Why did you choose this business school?
Simon’s culture felt like the best fit among all the business schools where I applied. Being an engineer, I wanted an MBA program that approached business challenges with an analytical approach. This was evident in the curriculum and experiential learning offerings at Simon. I knew Simon was the right fit for me after I attended an in-person recruiting event called “Experience Simon Weekend,” where you really get a feel for the school’s commitment to diversity, community, and academics.

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program?
It’s cliché, but be yourself. The community is vital to Simon and a part of what makes our student experience wonderful. Tactically, I would highly recommend chatting with current students, alumni, and staff to get a feel for what makes Simon special. Lastly, don’t miss the Experience Simon Weekend events! They’re the best way to meet your future classmates and see Simon in person.

 

Yonnas Terefe '19 (MBA) is headed to Morgan Stanley as an investment banking associate after graduation.

Yonnas Terefe ’19 (MBA) is headed to Morgan Stanley as an investment banking associate after graduation.

Why did you choose this business school?
Simon has felt like a community to me since the very beginning. I interacted with Julie Sadwick and Andrew Brayda from the admissions team in 2014. Although I decided to push off business school for two more years, they embraced me with arms wide open when I returned. The fact that they remembered who I was and built that bond with me made it clear that this was truly a community and not just a slogan that admissions teams use to recruit students.

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program?
Prior to applying, do some self-reflection and truly understand if this is the best school for you in terms of fit. The only way to determine the answer to that question is to visit the school and really get to know the current students and staff. Connecting with students and staff will also give you an edge in terms of your application because people will know you and can put a face and personality to your application.

 

After graduation, Tori Vossler '19 (MBA) is headed to PwC Advisory as a senior associate, management consulting.

After graduation, Tori Vossler ’19 (MBA) is headed to PwC Advisory as a senior associate in management consulting.

Why did you choose this business school?
My decision to join the Simon community came naturally. Simon’s culture of encouraging classmates, supportive faculty and staff, and inclusive learning environment—all in a beautiful space—provided the best opportunity to challenge my mind. Simon’s community-centricity drew me in, as I sought to grow myself both professionally and personally. The team-based coursework and 100 students per MBA class were major assets. I felt confident that this intimate setting would create strong lifelong connections, which has more than exceeded my expectations.

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program?
Simon welcomes students from diverse cultures and backgrounds. My top three pieces of advice for admittance are:

  • Focus on your intentions. What makes you tick and drives your passion? Have the answer ready to go because at Simon, and beyond business school, passion will lead you.
  • Showcase your interest in being a leader. Simon’s small and mighty class presents a great opportunity to step up and lead organizations.
  • Express curiosity for a deeper understanding. Simon’s focus on analytics and the power behind comprehending data is a wonderful foundation for growth. You do not need to be an expert to be accepted. That is what our fantastic professors here teach us.