Tag: "Simon Alumni"

Japan Trip 2012 by Simon Asian Club

By: Bonnie (He) Liu

Hi everyone! Hope you all had a wonderful start to the New Year and that everything is going well.

As promised, I would like to introduce our Japan Trip during the past winter break. Our nine days trip to Japan was amazing and this was the most wonderful trip that I have ever had! The trip had two major parts, one was corporate visits to companies, and the other one was sightseeing.

The opportunities of visiting top companies are very precious and unique for us business school students. During the trip we visited eight companies including: UBS, Toyota, Hitachi, Microsoft, Nomura, Societe Generale, Citi Bank and Rakuten. All the companies are leading players both in Japan and around the world in their own industry. What impressed me most was their hospitality. Although our visit was during the holiday season, which was also the busiest season for companies to do year-end balances, almost all the companies had their senior managers even CEO welcome us and present to us.

For the content of presentation, each company covered different areas of topics and shared their own insight with us. In summary, each company covered one or some of the following topics: 1) overview of the world financial market and Japanese market; 2) estimation of Japanese Economy under a new government leader; 3) company’s history and current status; 4) new product strategy, future business development strategy and people strategy etc.; 5) corporate social responsibility and partnership with other parties. At the same time all our participants had very active interactions with companies raising many insightful questions. We greatly appreciated what those eight companies shared with us and we did learn a lot as well. Not only did we have a deeper understanding of the market and the companies, we also got many networking opportunities with professionals from various areas.

The other important part of this trip was of course sightseeing and culture experience! Thanks to our Japanese classmates who helped organized the trip, we were able to visit those landmarks in Tokyo and at the same time enjoy life in Tokyo as real Japanese people.

We had our crazy Christmas party in Ginza singing Karaoke while enjoying delicious food. We had a whole day bus tour to 1) Tokyo Tower with the view of the whole Tokyo city and even Mt. Fuji; 2) one of the most famous gardens in Tokyo to watch a tea ceremony; 3) DIY Monjayaki on the boat with a great view of the sea; and 4) visit to Sensoji Temple. We had our alumni party in a great restaurant with 17 alumni who came to join us and shared their experience with us. We watched a Geisha performance and learned Japanese traditional art culture.  We went to Yokohama and Kamakura to explore Japanese Ramen culture and enjoyed a seaside hot spring house along with a visit to the famous Kamakura Great Buddha, and great snacks and food were a key part for sure. We also went to many other Tokyo’s landmarks including Omotesendo, Shibuya, Tsukiji fish market and Tokyo SkyTree. And for the last day of the year 2012 we had a wonderful hot spring tour and had our New Year countdown on the cruise with a fantastic night view of Tokyo Bay Area and fireworks! There can’t be a better way to finish an old year like this and start a new year by making a wish at a Japanese Shrine in the early morning.

Does this trip sound great to you? I can keep talking about our trip with a lot more fun we had there if there is not a word limit. Interested in the trip? Why not come and join us! I am curious of where is our next destination now.

At the very end, I would like to thank all our board members of the Simon Asian Club who made great efforts to make this wonderful trip real. And many thanks to all the eight companies who hosted us, thanks to all our alumni who joined our party, and thanks to all the support we received from different offices of the Simon School. We cannot make it without all of this help.

Thank you all who read this blog, and hope to see you soon at Simon.

Meliora.

 

Scholarship Weekend is More than Earning Increased Scholarship Support!

By: Jonathan Markowicz

Scholarship weekend at Simon goes by very quickly. A lot is packed into a short amount of time. However, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. The opportunity to earn a full scholarship meant the difference between launching my own company while at Simon and not. Therefore, I came to scholarship weekend with a strategy, which was to make an impression.

For me this meant more than just schmoozing with classmates and alumni. My professional background was directing a community rowing program and serving in the United States Air Force- far from Wall Street. I never did a case study before, let alone participate in a competition. When I was handed our case on Ikea, I read it through and thought, “Now what do I do?” Furthermore, I was nervous that people would converse using business jargon and I would have no idea what they were talking about. I couldn’t fake what I didn’t know. Therefore, I needed to highlight my strengths: my communication skills, my creativity, and my energy.

That weekend, we turned my hotel room into base ops where we worked diligently on our Ikea presentation. I worry that I don’t take things seriously sometimes because we framed our presentation as a travel itinerary, in fact my role in the presentation was the travel agent/emcee, and handed out little soaps and shampoos to the judges as a gimmick. In hindsight, it worked; however, on the day we presented, we had no idea how it would go over and just committed to doing something that no other group would. Not only was this the impression I wanted to leave with Simon, it was my way of giving Simon an idea of what I could bring to the class environment.

I’m reading this over and wondering if it comes across as kind of contrived. Let me conclude, then, by sharing a recent experience. I was down in Brooklyn after Hurricane Sandy helping with the relief efforts. My military unit was stationed at the distribution site at Floyd Bennett Field loading and unloading truckloads of food and supplies. Two men from the Coast Guard pull up to load their vehicle with some water. And, wouldn’t you believe, one of the reservists was a teammate of mine from scholarship weekend. Although he didn’t end up going to Simon, for he resolved to pursue other career opportunities, we quickly reminisced over our over-the-top Ikea presentation, late-night work in the hotel, and the evening reception (which is a story for another time). So, there you have it, an example of making an impression at Simon’s Scholarship Weekend and seeing how far the Simon network can reach when you least expect it. It’s real.

Congratulations to everyone invited and I look forward to meeting you this weekend.

If at First You don’t Succeed, be Persistent!

Fahad Mahmood ‘12 overcame many challenges on the way to obtaining the Simon MSF degree and then landing a job with Ernst & Young, Transaction Advisory Services in their Boston, MA Office.   In his own words, here’s the story of his journey:

“I’m a candidate from Pakistan who got into the Simon School MS Finance program in 2010 but was ultimately denied a student visa to travel to the US. I did not give up and re-applied for admission to the Simon MSF program with a stronger profile in 2011. I was ecstatic to be re-admitted and offered a better scholarship, but that quickly turned to distress when I was denied a student visa again in 2011.

“This was when the Simon School took my case to Senator Chuck Schumer. He contacted the US consulate in Islamabad, Pakistan and pushed my case for approval. I re-applied and got the student visa within a week and ultimately joined the program, graduating with the MSF in 2012.

“It did not end over there. Completing my MS degree and graduating in June 2012 with a good GPA was just one step in the right direction. Landing a valuations job with a firm like E&Y was a big challenge, especially in current market conditions. During the job search, I remained steadfast and optimistic, along with the highest level of preparation and persistence to finally get the offer.

“Although I am early in my career journey, it is my utmost goal to make everyone who helped me or took a chance with me proud. Thank you so much once again – it would not have been possible without the support of the Simon School!”

What an inspiring story – this is a great reminder about why we do what we do here in the Simon MBA/MS Admissions Office!  And a great reminder to each of you as you start 2013 – if at first you don’t succeed, be persistent.  Results don’t always come on the timeline that you want, but success may be right around the corner if you stick with it!

Rebekah Lewin
Executive Director of Admissions & Administration

Introducing Simon CMC from my own experience!

Greetings from Simon! I will start by introducing myself to you, I am a new blogger, Xinrui Yan (Cynthia). I am now a first-year candidate in Simon’s masters degree program, concentrating in Finance. Prior to Simon, I had several internships in the financial services industry and studied both in China and the U.S. I am currently a member of Simon Student Ambassadors, a group of students that are ready to help you here. I am excited to share my experience at Simon with all of you since I went through all the processes that you are now going through for the application and I was delighted by the other Simonites’ blogs when I applied. I think one of all the greatest things about Simon is that our alumni are always helpful, and I absolutely want to be one of them.

Simon offered tons of workshops and social gathering opportunities along with an intense and high quality curriculum. Since every day here is meaningful and so different from the previous, I may not be able to share all my exciting experiences in the past quarter with you, but I will keep you up-to-date with what is happening at Simon in the following days.

What I would like to introduce to you now is the Career Management Center (CMC), which is one of the most helpful groups of people at Simon. They would be the first one to contact you right after you got your admission offer from the admission office and prepare you for the job searching, even before you start school here! I attended the 2012 Boston Career Forum and my experience here becomes the best proof of the excellent job that the CMC has done. I went fully prepared with my company research done at home, was able to easily navigate my target companies, and presented at some company presentations in a timely manner. Talking to many other participants from other top schools as well as company representatives during the Career Fair, I noticed that CMC at Simon did a better job than many other schools in helping first year students to start earlier in their job search. A company “y” told me that he was impressed by Simon students being so motivated and driven, and at the same time confident and prepared. I would say most of this can be attributed to the workshops I joined at CMC: they helped me polish my resume, have instructed me to write emails reaching out to alumni in the company before the Career Fair, and also have given me the framework for potential interviews. As far as I know, CMC also sponsored traveller stipends for MBA students who attended this fair. All in all, I believe Simon is the one that can help you to develop your career to the utmost level.

I have to stop here for today, but the CMC obviously gives us more than what I put down here. Also, let me introduce a Growth Market Program by the CMC which I am getting involved with in the near future. Good luck on your application process!

Meliora !

Xinrui (Cynthia) Yan VP of Simon Student Ambassadors MSF Candidate, Class of 2013 Simon School of Business, University of Rochester