My Simon Experience thus Far!

By: Jonathan Markowicz

Welcome everyone to my blog post for the Simon Graduate School of Business admissions.  I figured today would be a good day to start chronicling my experiences as a first-year Simon student because Sunday was the first time my team convened to work on our first team assignment.  We have all met each other previously at Simon happy hours, in the student commons, and in class.  But, as you can imagine, the interactions around the bar is very different than in a working group.  We opted to meet at my house, outside the walls of Gleason, and enjoy a team lunch before tackling our first team assignment.  Menu: Fresh pineapple; tomato, garlic, and basil bruschetta; and fusilli with arugula, broccoli, and lemon in a light cream sauce.

The rule was no talking business while at the table, which sent the conversation in all sorts of directions.  Naturally, it would, given the international perspectives represented: United States, China, India, and Ukraine.  From neuroscience to Mandarin dialects, classical piano to cricket, we shared about ourselves and cultures.  One of my classmates didn’t believe I could play piano.  We joked about picturing me in a “penguin suit” performing on stage.  She thought I looked more the “rocker” type.  First impressions can surprise you; if you ever get to know me, you will realize that rocker is the furthest thing from reality.  Okay, maybe I like the enigmatic qualities of a rock star, but I’ll need those in business, too.

Simon values the team environment.  The student body, as you have read in all the literature admissions provides, is small; you get to know your classmates very well.  Even three weeks in to the program and I have a pretty good idea who everyone is (remembering the names of the international students, however, is another thing).  In fact, it is very intimidating when your classmate knows your name and you can’t remember his.  It has forced me to make a concerted effort to remember people and their backgrounds, interests, and goals better.  FYI: this is a great soft-skill for the business environment.  You can’t be a shrinking violet at Simon.  And who wants to be?

I want to publicly compliment my team.  We did not agree on a number of the answers given or processes used in the team assignment.  Did we expect to?  My background is in non-profit leadership and the military with an education in philosophy.  My arguments in logic and reasoning were very different, albeit complementary, to my teammates’ arguments in personal experience at Proctor and Gamble or accounting.  I use the term “arguments” to represent disagreement: natural in the business world.  Maybe it was in the knowledge that we had different backgrounds that we were eager to hear and consider each others’ perspectives.  Remember I’m a “rocker” to at least one of my teammates.  All of our perspectives are different.  (Great job Team 8).

The Air Force won’t let me grow my hair out or wear raging amounts of black eye-liner, but I still need to find a piano on the River Campus to throw down a mean Brahms Rhapsody(?).  I hope you will continue reading my experiences as a first-year Simon student and enjoy the anecdotes I will share.

If you want to reach out to me, my email is  Good luck with your application.


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