Hit the Ground Running: Attend a Pre-MBA Conference

The following blog post was written by Mike Alcazaren ’19 (MBA), who is headed to Amazon as a senior product manager after graduation. If you plan to attend a pre-MBA conference, please contact the Simon Admissions Office at admissions@simon.rochester.edu or (585) 275-3533 so we can help you prepare your application (if necessary) and make the most out of your conference experience. 

Mike AGMAT studying, application writing, and campus visits have wrapped up, and you’ve just accepted your offer—congratulations and welcome to Simon! We’re excited to have you join our community.

When I was coming into the first year of my Simon MBA, I wanted to make sure that I hit the ground running. I expressed this desire to the admissions team, and they suggested that I attend a pre-MBA conference. They helped me register for the 2017 Poets & Quants Pre-MBA Networking Festival in New York City. By the way—I’m also proud to share that Poets & Quants named Simon Business School the 2018 MBA Program of the Year!  

The Poets & Quants Pre-MBA Networking Festival is an annual spring event for MBA candidates headed to leading business schools in the fall. At the festival, you can network with your peers from across schools and make office visits to leading companies. It is a great way to explore new career opportunities including investment banking, management consulting, product management, and other MBA roles. Our company visits included Amazon, Google, McKinsey, Google, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and others. During these visits we learned about career opportunities, company culture, and what a day in the life looks like at each company.

I knew I wanted to use my MBA to propel myself into a career as a product manager or a management consultant.  For others who weren’t as sure, they had a fantastic opportunity to explore new potential career paths and gain insights from folks in industry.

Once the conference ended, many of the companies extended invitations to apply to their internship programs before starting school. Amazon was one of the companies that reached out to me, and I applied to their 2018 summer internship program. I ended up interviewing with Amazon for a senior product manager internship in August. At the beginning of Fall Term I received the good news that I was headed to Amazon for my summer internship!

Many of my other classmates had similar experiences, landing jobs early by attending pre-MBA conferences through Forté and The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management. Attending a pre-MBA conference and securing a summer internship opened up a plethora of new opportunities during my first year. Time I would have spent recruiting was now free to dive into other activities to shape my MBA experience, including attending international immersions and joining student clubs and co-curricular activities.

If you’re given an opportunity to attend these conferences, be sure to take the plunge and get your head start!

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