Category: Posts by Dana

Thinking about b-school, but haven’t had a chance yet to apply? It’s not too late!

By: Dana

With 3 application deadlines behind us, the Simon Admissions team is certainly keeping busy processing and reviewing the applications that have been rolling in from all around the globe; but, there are 2 deadline rounds remaining.  That means there is still plenty of time to visit campus, speak with an admissions representative, and begin assembling a competitive application to Simon for our MBA or MS programs.

The first upcoming deadline of March 15th is just around the corner.  This particular deadline is especially important for our International applicants, as it is the last deadline for International Students to submit their materials for review.

The final deadline of May 15th will be the last opportunity for our Domestic and Permanent Resident students to submit their applications for entry into our fall 2012 MBA and MS classes.

So how do you get started?  Applying for admission to the Simon Graduate School of Business’ MBA and MS programs is an online process (there is no paper application for you to fill out or mail).  After creating an account in ApplyYourself and accessing the online application, you may then begin to complete your application- it’s that simple!

As a quick reminder, here is everything you will need as you prepare to submit your application online:

Online application form
Current résumé
One required essay (double spaced, 12-point font, 500 word limit)
Unofficial transcripts, scanned and uploaded for each college attended (admitted students will be required to submit official transcripts at a later date)
Test-taker results for GMAT or GRE, scanned and uploaded (optional for MS Marketing applicants)
Test-taker results for TOEFL, scanned and uploaded (all international candidates except those who received a degree from an English-speaking institution)
One online letter of recommendation (submitted electronically); a second letter of recommendation is optional
$125 application fee

Best of luck to you all as you begin the exciting processing of applying to b-school!  We look forward to seeing your application soon!


Tis’ the season!

By: Dana

Last week, the Simon School hosted a Secret Santa gift wrapping party as part of its 19th annual Simon School Secret Santa Program, organized by the student-run organization Simon Volunteers.  In a recent press release about the event, written by Charla Stevens Kucko, we learned that each year Simon Volunteers partners with local Rochester organizations, and through the support of Simon students, alumni, faculty and staff coordinates fundraising, shopping and wrapping holiday gifts for needy children throughout the city of Rochester.  Last year, the club raised over $12,000 enabling the Simon School to provide clothing, toys and school supplies for 160 children from 85 underprivileged families in the Rochester area.  On Friday afternoon, Simon students, faculty and staff alike could be found taking a break from exam week to help wrap all of the presents that were donated for the program to prepare them for delivery to these children and their families.

Dean Mark Zupan also commented on the event, stating, “The Secret Santa Program brings together the entire Simon School community in a united effort to help those in need during the holiday season.” He continues, “In addition to making the holiday brighter for Rochester children, it exposes our international students to American holiday traditions and enriches those traditions for our domestic students, faculty and staff. Simon is proud to participate in this community service project each year.”

Source: Charla Stevens Kucko., “Simon School 19th Annual Secret Santa Gift Wrapping Party”, November 20, 2011

Identifying your weaknesses can be a strength in your b-school application!

By: Dana

The most difficult question asked by an Admissions Committee when applying for graduate study is probably, “what are your areas of weakness?”  You spend your entire application- resume, essay, interview attempting to sell yourself on your strengths, that answering this questions can often times feel like 2 steps backward in the process.  Why would anyone want to reveal their areas of weakness to the Admissions Committee?  The answer is what many Admissions Committees and applicants find themselves searching for in the application process, and that is, FIT.

As an Admissions Representative, I can tell you that I have interviewed many candidates who have perfected the art of illustrating how their weakness is also their strength.  I can honestly tell you that some of the most refreshing and enlightening conversations I have had were those in which the candidate has highlighted their areas of potential growth (weaknesses), and how those areas will be improved upon by completing graduate study.  There is no shame in admitting the areas that you need to improve; after all, if you had no areas of improvement, you would probably already be a CEO, correct?

That being said, keep in mind that the admissions application and interview process is very similar to the application and interview selection for any professional job.  Therefore your weaknesses and areas for personal growth should be relevant to business, career growth and academic preparation in the classroom.  While we encourage honesty, we also want to see professionalism.  Avoid the blame game, or finger pointing in why you may be lacking in certain areas.  Instead, concentrate on the future and what you plan to do to lessen your short comings and head for success in your MBA and MS study.

While your leadership skills, work experience, communication and academics will certainly help to set you apart from the applicant pool, your weaknesses may in fact do the same, and not always in a negative way.  For instance, a sound understanding of why you are pursuing graduate study, and how specifically the school to which you are applying will help you to develop your weaknesses to achieve your short and long term career aspirations is in fact a way to strengthen an application.  Being honest with yourself in determining your shortcomings will not only help you identify what you need from your graduate experience, but it will also help the Admissions Committee to better understand your reasoning for wanting a business degree and how their program offerings and support on campus will benefit you.

Rather than hiding behind your weaknesses, use them to your advantage.  Provide your interviewer, and yourself, an honest understanding of why business school makes sense for you.  This consideration and level of clarity will serve as a strength on its own and will make the process of finding the right “fit” a lot easier for you, and your prospective schools.


Admissions and Alumni- A Perfect Recruitment Combination

By: Dana

As an Admissions Representative, one of the things I enjoy the most about what I do is having the opportunity to meet new people from all over the world.  Not only am I fortunate enough to meet prospective students who are just beginning to consider b-school, but I am also lucky enough to meet many of our Simon alumni, who as a network extends across the globe.  These alums believe so strongly in their Simon degree that they are often willing to take time out of their day to assist in our recruiting efforts. They share their stories and successes with others who currently find themselves in a place that is currently familiar since they especially relate to team projects and Rochester winters.  Alumni possess the ability to share their stories of transitioning to a new place in a way that no one else can; the challenges they faced in the program, the sense of accomplishment after completing a team presentation, and most importantly the ways in which Simon helped prepare them for what came next after the walk across the stage.  Alumni are informative and relatable and it is easy to see how much their dedication and encouragement means to those who are considering a similar investment in their time, money and future.

So how do these connections with alum become possible? One great way to meet and discuss business school with others who have been through the same decision making process as you, is to attend recruiting events both on and off-campus.  For off-campus events, MBA fairs in your city are a great start.  It’s an exciting environment full of people just like you who are currently in various stages of their business school search.  But additionally it is a room full of resources who want to help, and who are there to answer any question you many have about b-school, the application process, and ways to prepare for the transition from work back to the classroom.  While we encourage visits to campus, we also recognize that it is not always easy or economical to visit every school on your radar. MBA fairs are an excellent opportunity to let schools come to you, so that you can start an initial search and narrow your top choices down to a few that you would like to visit when the opportunity allows.  It’s also a great way to start networking with a particular school, as many admissions teams will travel with alumni representatives who want to help, and who have great advice and experience to share.  Alum provide a unique opportunity to hear a true account of what it is like to sit in a class, work in team, and live in a new city. 

While everyone has a different story about how they decided that b-school, and particularly Simon, was the next logical step for them, it is amazing to me to see the sense of Simon community that extends not only across our campus, but also across multiple time zones. I hope that you will take advantage of the many helping hands along the way to make your transition to b-school an easier one.  And, as you look towards the future, I hope that you will also consider that these careful choices you make today will be what make you a wonderful mentor to someone else in the future.  Best of luck in your search!