Get Inspired at Experience Simon Weekend

The following blog post was written by Neftali Morales, MS ’13 and 2016 MBA Candidate

As a soon-to-be three-time graduate from the University of Rochester (BA ’12, MS ’13 and MBA ’16), I have either come to love this place or I am a glutton for pain. I prefer to think it’s the former.

Over the years, I have had the pleasure of attending Experience Simon Weekend events hosted by the Simon School’s admissions office. My first experience with the Simon Business School came during the senior year of my undergraduate studies. At an event hosted at the undergraduate campus, I had an encounter with a second-year MBA student from Simon that remains one of the most impactful and pivotal moments in my life. After starting up a conversation and learning that I was unsure about what I would be doing after graduation, she urged me to at the very least consider the Simon Business School and explore possible careers in business. Although hesitant due to my liberal arts background, I contacted her to learn more about master’s programs and begin my application process. After I had demonstrated great interest, she forwarded my name to the admissions office and I received an invitation to an upcoming Experience Simon Weekend (ESW).

photo of Neftali

Neftali Morales, a soon-to-be two-time graduate of Simon Business School, first attended Experience Simon Weekend while he was a senior at the University of Rochester. He has since returned as an MS alumnus, and as a current student during his MBA studies.

My first ever ESW was in Spring of 2012 when I attended with hopes that my incredible undergraduate experience at my alma mater would extend into my graduate school journey. I felt very fortunate to have had the opportunity to participate in this event. We were able to sit-in on current student and alumni panels, meet other candidates from across the country, explore the campus at large, learn more about the application process, and interview with the admissions office.

I enrolled at Simon in Fall of 2012 and I graduated in Spring 2013 with an MS in Management (Simon has since realigned its specialized master’s programs). After graduation, I relocated to Chicago to begin my career. I was invited back many times to attend Simon’s ESW to experience this event as someone on the other side; serving both as an alumni panelist and interviewer for candidates. I remembered how impactful this experience was for me as a candidate, so I accepted each invitation to return as an alumnus and participate in this wonderful event because I knew it could be the determining factor in a candidate’s decision. At the same time, I was excelling professionally with my company but I knew an MBA would be necessary in order to achieve my ultimate career goals. The question that remained was not ‘if?’ but instead, ‘when?’

During the last ESW I attended as an alum, the many conversations with prospective students, interviews of candidates with ambitious future plans, and the excitement of the staff welcoming innovative changes at the Simon School inspired me to revisit my long-term goals. In that moment I decided that it was time to return to Simon for my MBA. As a current MBA student, I have already participated in several ESWs this year, and I plan to continue long after I complete my degree this summer.

Following a great journey here at Simon, I am excited to begin the next chapter of my life in my dream role as a management consultant with a firm based out of the Washington, D.C., area this summer. As someone who had the great fortune of being on both sides, I understand and fully appreciate how influential an experience with a current student or alum can be, and as such, I can find no better way to say ‘thank you’ to the Simon Business School family for such great experiences over the years than to do my part in helping provide that very same experience to others.

My life’s trajectory was forever re-directed because of one conversation with one Simon student to whom I owe a great deal of gratitude, and I can say without reservation that our interaction changed the course of my life.

We look forward to welcoming guests for our next Experience Simon Weekend on January 29 and 30! If you haven’t visited campus, we encourage you to register for our ESW on April 8 and 9 to learn more about Simon’s MBA and MS programs!

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