Scholarship Weekend Reflections: Benjamin Moskoff ’20 (MBA)

This post was written by Benjamin Moskoff ’20 (MBA) about his experience at Scholarship Weekend, an invitation-only annual event for admitted MBA and MS students to compete for scholarship support beyond what was awarded at the time of admission. Scholarship awards range from partial to full tuition and include named scholarships, such as the full-tuition Meliora Scholarship and the Fielding Leadership Fellowship, which is a full-tuition award with a $10,000 stipend. If you’re an admitted MBA or MS student who has been invited to Scholarship Weekend, we highly recommend you attend!

Benjamin MoskoffAttending Scholarship Weekend was one of those decisions in my life that I look back on and think: “Wow, that was awesome!”

After receiving the offer to join the full-time MBA program, there was still a significant cost required to fund my tuition and living expenses at Simon. It would have made moving from Johannesburg to study at Simon almost impossible. I knew coming to Scholarship Weekend was a great opportunity, but even the flight from South Africa was expensive. On top of that, I wasn’t sure whether I could get leave from work—and how would I explain taking leave at an awkward time of the year?

Fortunately, things fell into place. The school was incredibly generous and gave me a travel stipend that paid part of my airfare, my boss happily gave me leave without asking why I needed it, and ultimately, I was unbelievably fortunate to be selected for the prized Fielding Leadership Fellowship. As we MBA students often do, I looked back and tried to figure out the return on investment of coming to Scholarship Weekend: a whopping 6,700%.

However, it would be foolish to only view the weekend through this lens. While Simon is indeed known for its analytical approach (the only school in the US where all MBA specializations are STEM designated), it has other strengths of equal weighting. One is the MBA community and the people at Simon. The experience during Scholarship Weekend certainly prepared me for what to expect from my MBA experience, and I was given the opportunity to network with other potential students, first-year MBA students who would become our seniors, and second-year MBAs who currently have fantastic jobs.

I arrived in Rochester a day early, which gave me the time to tag along with a first-year MBA and experience a typical day at Simon, from the classroom to Starbucks. The first official day of the event got off to a great start listening to a panel of second-year MBAs reflecting on their time at Simon over the two years. After networking with them, we were put into our teams and started working on our case! Within 14 hours (and with little sleep) we did our presentation on Saturday morning. With the stress of presenting behind us, we all let our hair down and neworked with some impressive people during campus events, dinner, and the happy hour.

Scholarship Weekend was an unforgettable experience. I made lasting friendships, figured out my housing situation, got an on-the-ground feel for what my life would look like for the next two years, and then the big one: I received the scholarship that made coming to Simon possible. As an added bonus, I networked with second-year MBAs who have now graduated and are working in investment banking who helped prime me for the interview process. It’s largely thanks to them that I can now look forward to a summer internship at Credit Suisse investment banking in New York City.

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