What Does it Mean to Be a Simon Partner?

By Caitlin DeClercq

After more than a year as a Simon Partner—the wife of a Simon student—I now have a much better appreciation for how the size and culture of the Simon School has not only shaped my husband’s experiences, but mine as well. 

One of the things that drew my husband to the Simon school was its size: a relatively smaller class size meant better access to faculty, more personal engagement with his peers and team members, and therefore a deeper and more meaningful learning experience.   Indeed, he credits the small class size of Simon with having great benefit to his educational experience and personal growth over the last year and a half. 

What’s surprising to me is how beneficial the relatively small size of Simon has been for me as well. 

Just last week, while giving a tour of Simon to a prospective student (and his wife), I was surprised to see so many familiar faces in the building: students I’ve met through Simon school events, fellow members of the UNCorked student club I’m a part of, and professional staff I’ve worked with to organize the Simon Partners Club.  Though I’m not a student at Simon, I feel like part of the Simon community.  Having moved to Rochester from California—so far away from family and friends—I am particularly grateful for the opportunities I have had to engage with Simon students, partners, and professional staff. 

But it’s not just the class size of Simon that has enabled me to become part of the community: it’s also the collaborative and inclusive culture of the school.  For example, partners are invited to many events in the Simon community, such as lectures and social activities, and are also allowed to join any club at Simon.  Love to dance?  Great!  You can join the Simon Dance Club!  Want to learn more about wine?  Fabulous!  Join the UNCorked club!  There are clubs for a variety of sports and academic interests as well, so there is truly something for everyone at Simon. 

What I enjoy the most about leading the Simon Partners Club the chance it gives me to play a role in connecting incoming and current partners with other members of the Simon community who share their interests. 

Due to the number of ways I have been able to be part of the Simon community, the Simon school will always be more than just my husband’s MBA school.  It will also be the place in which I was able to befriend other partners, learn more about wine, and make Rochester a true home for a couple of years. 

Caitlin DeClercq is the president of the Simon Partners Group, a social club designed for and operated by the spouses, families, and significant others of Simon Students.  She is also a graduate student in the Health Professions Education Program at the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education.  Caitlin can be reached via email at simonpartnersgroup@gmail.com

 

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