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Category: Student Spotlight

It’s Not Too Late to Begin Your Studies in 2022!

Good news: while our final deadline has passed, we are accepting applications to our full-time MBA and MS programs on a space-available basis—meaning it’s still possible for you to begin business school this summer! To simplify the process, your $90 application fee is waived.

Every year promising candidates apply after May 1, are admitted, and go on to find success in our programs. One such example is soon-to-be graduate, Andrew Black ’22S (MBA). We asked Andrew about his experience applying after the final deadline, what his transition to business school was like, advice for those considering applying now, and more.


Andrew Black ’22S (MBA)

What made you want to apply to business school? Why did you choose to apply after May 1?
I knew that at some point in my career, an MBA degree from a top business school was going to be imperative for taking on greater professional leadership roles. Because of that, I wanted to be proactive in terms of obtaining my MBA degree early in my career.

In 2020, I was planning on applying to MBA programs during the fall (for 2021 intake), but during the pandemic some key target schools shifted deadlines and encouraged candidates to apply. This made my decision to apply very easy, as I realized that the worst outcome that would come from my late application would be that I receive valuable feedback on my candidacy for my original 2021 targeted timeline. The risk was really low, and I wanted to explore all of my options.

What factors weighed in to choosing Simon?
Distilling it down to one factor, I would say the intercommunity support. Relationships are important at Simon. When I was making my business school decision, it became apparent from conversations with alumni and current students just how much everyone in the Simon student body supports one another, particularly through the career search process. Now, having gone through the MBA program, my belief that intercommunity support is a pillar of the Simon experience has only been reaffirmed.

How was your transition to b-school on a relatively tight timeline?
My transition was a relatively smooth one. While there were some onboarding tasks to complete, the transition from professional work to Simon was more about getting mentally prepared than completing any one task. Onboarding was streamlined, and I devoted a small portion of every day toward getting myself ready for Simon (i.e., résumé reviews, logistics, career research), which made the process feel very manageable.

What resources helped you prepare for your MBA after applying later in the admissions process?
The Benet Career Management Center was the most valuable resource post-admittance. I met with my career advisor (Steve Simpson) after accepting my admission offer, and Steve helped lay the groundwork for what the next 3–6 months would look like. This level-setting conversation with Steve continued throughout the summer and was highly impactful in making sure I was ready to hit the ground running for recruitment that took place at the end of August.

What has been your favorite part of your MBA experience?
I would say being a Benet Career Peer (BCP). Last year I worked very closely with two BCPs: Toby Motyka and Gabi Pacheco. In November of 2020, my first internship offer came from Verizon, and my second came a week later from Microsoft. Toby Motyka and Gabi Pacheco interned and now work at Verizon and Microsoft, respectively. The correlation between Toby’s and Gabi’s backgrounds to my offers was no accident. I was in the fortuitous position to decide between two exceptional companies because Toby and Gabi invested themselves in my career progression.

At Simon we call this “pay it forward.” It’s an axiom that permeates the school—one I try to uphold. This year as a BCP, I learned a lot about myself through coaching, mentoring, and providing career guidance as Toby and Gabi did for me. The process has been incredibly rewarding. It is extremely gratifying to see others realize their full potential, and I am lucky to play a small part in that.

What’s next after graduation?
I will be moving to Seattle later this summer to begin as a product marketing manager at Microsoft, where I will be working in Cloud Marketing.

What advice do you have for prospective MBA students wondering if they should apply this time of year?
A simple cost-benefit analysis reveals that the risk of applying now is limited. I distinctly remember wondering if I was making the right decision by applying late, but I soon realized that there was no application outcome that would equate to failure. Best case, I get into a top-tier business school and then have a difficult decision to make (whether to move up my timeline by a year and pursue my MBA sooner than expected); worst case, I receive a rejection, but in the process I’ll learn what I should work on for the following application cycle.

If you are on the fence about applying, consider my thought process above. There is significant value in exploring all options, and taking risks is essential to success.

Learn more about Andrew, who was just named one of Poets&Quants’ Best and Brightest MBAs of 2022!

If you are an international student and you do not currently have a student visa, please note that there are time sensitivities surrounding the visa process. We encourage you to work through the application with urgency. If you have questions or would like to discuss your individual candidacy or next steps, reach out to us at admissions@simon.rochester.edu.

Speak With A Current MS Student!

A few weeks ago we introduced you to some of our Full-Time MBA students who regularly communicate with prospective students, and we are lucky to have several MS students who do the same! If you have questions about our Full-Time MS programs in Accountancy, Business Analytics, Finance, or Marketing Analytics—the work load, STEM designation, the internship/career search, or even something as simple as where to find the best food on campus, feel free to email the current MS students below or any on our website—they are eager to connect with you!

GeeGee Pressley
From: Millford, CT
Academic Focus: MS in Accountancy
Post-MS Plans: Land a job at one of the Big Four companies
Simon Club: Simon Accounting Association

“I chose Simon because it will help me prepare to sit for the CPA exam and earn my license. I believe Simon will help me achieve my post-graduate goals.”

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Parshva Vakharia
From: Mumbai, India
Academic Focus: MS in Business Analytics
Post-MS Plans: I hope to enter the management consultant industry as a generalist and work on a variety of projects in different fields before being able to specialize in a field that piques a passion in me. 
Simon Club: Simon Consulting Club

“I chose Simon for the unique combination of an analytically rigorous curriculum and the corporate-world preparation.”

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Jillan Gunawan
From: Jakarta Indonesia
Academic Focus: MS in Finance
Post-MS Plans: Investment Banking
Simon Clubs: Simon Finance & Investment Club

“I chose Simon because of its sheer strength in the finance program, its alumni network, and the attention it puts towards international students.”

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Karina Vasquez
From: Lima, Peru
Academic Focus: MS in Marketing Analytics
Post-MS Plans: Brand/Marketing Manager
Simon Club: Simon Marketing Association

“Simon is the place where I believe I can holistically develop as a professional and improve my networking and leadership skills.”

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We encourage you to reach out to one of the students above—or any of our other MS students who regularly communicate with prospective students—for answers to your b-school questions.

Best of luck as you prepare for your MS degree!

Speak With A Current MBA Student!

Here in the United States we are approaching the Thanksgiving holiday—a time when we pause and reflect on what enriches our lives. One thing we are grateful for now and all year round is the Simon community. There’s a reason why you often hear current students, staff, faculty, administrators, and alumni refer to the “Simon family.” We all come from different countries and have various backgrounds, beliefs, and traditions, and that diversity is our strength. We care about each other, support one another, and celebrate the successes of friends and peers.

One of the ways our students foster this close-knit environment is by engaging with prospective students throughout all stages of the admissions process. If you’re curious about Simon’s Full-Time MBA program—the work load, the STEM-designated option, the internship/career search, or even something as simple as where to find the best food on campus, feel free to email any one of our MBA students in this post or on our website—they are eager to connect with you!

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Julianne Fiori, Class of 2022
From: Pittsford, NY
Academic Focus: Product Management (specialization); Entrepreneurship and Global Business (minor)
Post MBA Plans: Pursue a career within the tech industry where I am able to influence teams across the globe within the marketing and business development space. As someone who has a strong passion for international business, I plan to take my career global where I will be able to work cross-functionally, not only between teams but also between countries.
Simon Clubs: Simon Entrepreneurs Association (President); Forté; Simon Women in Business; Simon Marketing Association

“I love the diversity that Simon offers its students, not only within its course and club offerings but the classmates within each MBA cohort.”

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Mukund Prasad, Class of 2022
From: Gaya, India
Academic Focus: Product Management (specialization); Finance (minor)
Post-MBA Plans: Product manager in FinTech industry
Simon Clubs: Simon Product Management Club

“I chose Simon because of its strong community, great management support, and lucrative return on investment.”

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Anika Wright, Class of 2022
From: Bronx, NY
Academic Focus: Corporate Finance
Post-MBA Plans: ESG/Impact Investing
Simon Clubs: Simon Black Student Alliance; Simon Volunteers; Simon Women in Business; Forté

“I chose Simon because it was the first school with a STEM MBA for every specialization, and it champions diversity.”

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Please note that our current students will be unavailable November 24–28 due to Thanksgiving break, so responses will be delayed during that period.

These are just three of 17 MBA students who regularly communicate with prospective students—reach out to them for answers to all your burning b-school questions.

We wish you all the best as you prepare for your MBA!

Andrea Bell is Ready to Take on New Challenges with MBA Specializing in Consulting

The following article was written by Jen Roach, director of internal communications at the University of Rochester, and originally appeared in the UR Newscenter.

Andrea Bell is driven by her desire to solve problems and have a positive impact on people’s lives. After years of working for the federal government, Bell, who holds a master’s in social work from the University of Pennsylvania and an undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College, wanted to transition to a career in consulting. “And I knew I needed to go to business school to do that,” she says.


Photo courtesy of Andrea Bell.

Bell, who is from Baldwin, New York, graduates this spring from the Simon Business School at the University of Rochester with a STEM MBA in consulting, focused on strategy, with a minor in marketing.

She describes her Simon experience as “challenging yet rewarding.” In addition to her work in the classroom, Bell was involved with Simon’s student-led clubs and organizations, leading initiatives around career development, mental health and wellness, and racial equity.

Actively involved in Simon’s Graduate Business Council, she was elected to serve as the vice president of the Benet Career Management Center and Alumni Relations. For Black History Month, she helped moderate a virtual discussion with James Fripp, chief equity and inclusion officer with Yum! Brands, for a candid conversation with students and staff about his professional experiences in the field today. Additionally, she formed and helped lead with classmates a Racial Equity Task Force, which focused on advocating for systemic change and informed the equity, diversity, and inclusion action plan and forthcoming strategic plan for Simon.

Bell was also a coach for a team of first-year MBA students and served as a mentor for a Rochester undergraduate student through the Forté program.

“The opportunities I have had are because of the support I have received along my professional journey,” she says, noting that her goal was to serve as a resource for students as they navigated the hybrid school environment.

Additionally, during her first year in business school Bell served as project manager for Simon Vision Consulting and was a member of the board for Simon’s Consortium for Graduate Study in Management Board, a nonprofit that works to ensure equal representation of African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans in management careers in the US business community. Bell is also a Forté Fellow and an MBA Professional Development Program Fellow through Management Leadership for Tomorrow, a national nonprofit that aims to build a leadership pipeline from underrepresented communities.

This fall, Bell will begin a senior consultant position at Kalypso, an innovation consulting firm.

In the future, Bell hopes to empower people to achieve their career goals by opening her own career counseling practice with a focus on equity, diversity, and inclusion issues that are encountered by marginalized populations in work environments. She says she would also like to apply the knowledge she has learned about corporate governance by serving on a corporate board.

“Attending business school has allowed me to develop a foundational business acumen, expand my leadership experiences, and hopefully leave a legacy that ties in with the motto of the University of Rochester: Meliora,” Bell says.