Simon: More Than a ‘Finance’ School

By: Ryan Teague, M.B.A. Candidate 2010

A lot of you have probably heard about the Simon School’s great reputation in the field of finance.  Many of the students who come to Simon choose to take advantage of the great professors, curriculum, and alumni base associated with finance and continue to build on this well-deserved reputation.  While I think all of that is wonderful, I’m writing today to let you in on a little secret: It’s okay to attend the Simon School even if you don’t want to do finance.

I will openly confess that I don’t like finance.  That’s right, I said it right here on the blog.  It’s not that the classes or professors aren’t good, or that I’m dumb (I hope), it’s really that I just plain don’t enjoy doing finance.  It doesn’t interest me.  My undergraduate work was in psychology and communications theory, and I’m more interested in understanding marketing and consumer behavior than I am in investment strategy or financial statements.  The good news is that Simon provides great coursework and opportunities in other fields, too.  If you’re like me, you shouldn’t rule the school out just because it is partially known for being great at something you’re not interested in.  If you take the time to explore the program, you’ll find that it has a lot to offer in all areas of business.

Marketing is currently the second-largest concentration at Simon, and many students make use of the school’s recruiting relationships and alumni network to land internships and jobs with big-name consumer products companies.  I was able to secure my internship with Kraft Foods last year through an on-campus interview, and it led to a full-time offer upon graduation.  Other companies with a Simon alumni base in marketing include Unilever, Novartis, Reckitt Benckiser, Fisher-Price and P&G.  Simon’s quantitative expertise, which is part of what makes the finance program great, is applied to all areas of the curriculum.  This perspective in framing business problems gives Simon students of all concentrations a unique skill set that helps us stand out.  Special tracks in brand management and pricing are also offered within the marketing concentration to help students hone their skills for more specific career paths.  And Simon’s small class size allows for more interaction with faculty and alumni networks.

So, if you are interested in marketing or another area of concentration outside of finance, I encourage you to look past the finance reputation and further explore the value Simon has to offer in the area you are passionate about.  I’m glad I did, and I hope students and alumni can work to better inform potential students of the great opportunities that the Simon School has to offer.

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