The Simon MBA – One Month Down

The following blog post was written by Chris DiGiacomandrea, 2018 MBA candidate

After the first month of the incredibly intense programming at the top-ranked Simon Business School at the University of Rochester, I completely understand why the motto is Meliora.

Meliora is Latin for “ever better;”at Simon, the focus is always on becoming ever better. Here, we hit the ground running. Most business schools start in mid-August with some team-building orientation, a variety of cocktail hours, or maybe a wild trip to kick off the experience. Not here. At Simon, we started on August 1 with a full week of career preparation and activities designed to strengthen teamwork, such as a ropes course at Bristol Mountain, before beginning classes on August 5. Meliora indeed.

Chris DiGiacomandrea is a 2018 MBA candidate and was a senior district executive with the Boy Scouts of America before coming to Simon.

Chris DiGiacomandrea is a 2018 MBA candidate and was a senior district executive with the Boy Scouts of America before coming to Simon.

As August continues, each student completes over 40 hours of concentrated career preparation, including crafting résumés, strengthening communication skills, gaining in-depth knowledge of multiple industries, and absorbing knowledge from dozens of speakers and alumni who know what it takes to not only land a job, but how to excel in that role. One of those skills is superior data analytic capabilities.

Simon has been known for its data analytics focus for decades. As they say, it was “big on data before data got big.” It has always been a premier research institution and a world leader in economics, able to attract and produce world-renowned faculty. As the world continues to demand data analytic capabilities, Simon is poised to deliver the top talent demanded by all industries.

But don’t make the mistake of assuming that all Simon students are exclusively “quants.” In fact, some students come to Simon looking to bolster their quantitative knowledge as a complement to their other skills. Students from many different backgrounds succeed at Simon. The Simon MBA’s strength comes from the rare combination of number-crunching abilities mixed with the creative mindsets, leadership abilities, and strength of character developed throughout the MBA experience. All of this is made possible by the innovative Simon EDGE program.

The Simon EDGE program is the real trademark of the Simon MBA. EDGE is a great example of the intense data analytics and problem solving that Simon is known for. After reviewing data from hundreds of employers, the Simon faculty designed their program around building skills today’s companies demand: problem solving, communication, leadership, global awareness, integrity, and teamwork. Simon’s MBA Class of 2018, at 106 students, is small when compared to many top-ranked peer schools, but has students from 17 countries and 6 continents. Backgrounds range from banking, consulting and engineering to amazing pre-MBA careers in non-profits, medicine, and performing arts. At Simon, you will gain perspectives from just about any angle you can imagine. This mix of students develops the leaders that employers are seeking.

With increased globalization and fierce competition, companies of all types would benefit from adopting that motto of Meliora. Though changing an entire company’s value system can be a challenge, every great task can be accomplished by taking one small step to start. It’s like that classic riddle, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” How can a company benefit from the Simon MBA program? They can start by hiring one Simon MBA at a time.

Class is about to start, so I must go. It’s time for me to live Meliora.

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