Alumni Answers: Jordon Jones, ’11 MBA

Meet Jordon Jones, director of strategic planning/FP&A at Hertz Corporation and a 2011 graduate of the MBA program.

Tell me a little about you and your career since you left Simon.

After graduating from Simon, I spent two years in Hertz’s MBA finance development program, with rotations in the fleet planning group and corporate treasury department, and I also worked on an acquisition integration project.  After the rotational program, I was a manager in the company’s investor relations group, working with investors in helping them understand how to model our business.  I currently work in the company’s corporate financial planning and analysis group as the director of the long range planning team. Our job is to take both internal and external data and from that, estimate how the company is going to perform over the next 5 – 7 years.

Just enjoy the experience," Jones said of business school. "You work for the rest of your life so enjoy taking time out to focus on learning, building relationships with your classmates, and networking—and yes, all three are extremely important."

Just enjoy the experience,” Jones said of business school. “You work for the rest of your life so enjoy taking time out to focus on learning, building relationships with your classmates, and networking—and yes, all three are extremely important.”

How did you know Simon was right for you?

Small class size was important to me. I wanted to be somewhere that would allow for involvement in extracurricular activities. I think Simon at its core is very entrepreneurial and proactive in that regard.  I also wanted a school that was focused on finance, and I wanted to study somewhere in the Northeast. I also felt like Simon was interested in me, and that was extremely meaningful. I was accepted to other schools but ultimately didn’t gel with them as much as Simon. Really, I wasn’t convinced that they were interested in me as a student. Throughout the application process, I felt that the people and the administration at Simon really wanted me here, and that made a big difference. I’ve heard many other students say this same thing, so the sentiment isn’t unique.

Who impacted you the most while you were at Simon and why?

The faculty here are excellent. They are not only interested in teaching what they teach, but also in making sure you learn. I felt like they had a vested interest in making sure the students really learned the material, and that made a big difference in the classroom. I also think that the environment at Simon from a student/peer standpoint is extremely collaborative. It was encouraging to come here and not feel like I had to shield my notes or compete with students over a grade. Everybody seemed to work well together. So I’d say faculty and my peers had the biggest impact on me.

Fill in the blank: While you are in Rochester, you absolutely have to ____________.

Eat Sticky Lips, visit the state parks (Stony Brook and Letchworth are personal favorites), attend the Lilac Festival, and definitely experience a garbage plate at least once.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I enjoy sports – you name it, I’ll play it. I really like to run and exercise. I like to read. More than anything, I like to spend time with my wife and kids. I have three young kids so finding time with them is a priority.

Do you remember where you were when you received your Simon acceptance? How did it feel?

I was sitting at my desk at work, and due to the timing of when I applied, I received a phone call simultaneously offering acceptance and the opportunity to be a Simon Leadership Fellow.  I was pumped to say the least. I had actually decided to go to another business school and the day I was going to call Simon and say “no thank you,” they called and gave me the formal acceptance and fellowship offer.  We had put money down at the other school, we had bought tickets to fly out to find a place to live, but all that changed when I was accepted to Simon.

What would you say was your most memorable Simon experience?

During the first quarter I was having trouble understanding a basic principle in Professor Brickley’s economics class, and it seemed like everyone else understood but me. I went to his office to talk to him about it, and he very patiently explained how I was thinking about it incorrectly and helped reframe my perspective. Just the idea of him taking time to explain this really simple principle—he wasn’t judging me, he wasn’t making me feel like an idiot—he was just trying to help me understand it. That was memorable for me. Professor Wasley’s Financial Statement Analysis final exam was very memorable. Professor Jarrell’s Cases in Finance class was one of my favorites.  Graduation was obviously memorable as well because you see all of your classmates enjoying this shared sense of accomplishment and success. We had achieved this goal and were prepared for our next step in our professional lives.

What is your advice for prospective students? Or what was the best piece of advice you received?

For admitted students, just enjoy the experience. You work for the rest of your life so enjoy taking time out to focus on learning, building relationships with your classmates, and networking—and yes, all three are extremely important. Remember that b-school is all about balance and also that corporate recruiters are looking for well-rounded candidates.  I have yet to hear a hiring manager say, “We’re really looking for a smart person who doesn’t know how to build relationships.” I can’t underscore that point enough, so don’t neglect the relationship aspect of b-school. For prospective students, focus on finding the school that fits you well. It’s a really qualitative thing to say, so it’s difficult to give concrete examples, but pay attention to how your gut feels as you interact with schools. Some will click with you more than others. Also, have confidence in the admissions process. It’s a two-way street–you’re interviewing the school as they are interviewing you–and the end result will be that you find a school where you have a mutual connection.

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