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!

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