Tag: "Rochester MBA"

What Does it Mean to Be a Simon Partner?

By Caitlin DeClercq

After more than a year as a Simon Partner—the wife of a Simon student—I now have a much better appreciation for how the size and culture of the Simon School has not only shaped my husband’s experiences, but mine as well. 

One of the things that drew my husband to the Simon school was its size: a relatively smaller class size meant better access to faculty, more personal engagement with his peers and team members, and therefore a deeper and more meaningful learning experience.   Indeed, he credits the small class size of Simon with having great benefit to his educational experience and personal growth over the last year and a half. 

What’s surprising to me is how beneficial the relatively small size of Simon has been for me as well. 

Just last week, while giving a tour of Simon to a prospective student (and his wife), I was surprised to see so many familiar faces in the building: students I’ve met through Simon school events, fellow members of the UNCorked student club I’m a part of, and professional staff I’ve worked with to organize the Simon Partners Club.  Though I’m not a student at Simon, I feel like part of the Simon community.  Having moved to Rochester from California—so far away from family and friends—I am particularly grateful for the opportunities I have had to engage with Simon students, partners, and professional staff. 

But it’s not just the class size of Simon that has enabled me to become part of the community: it’s also the collaborative and inclusive culture of the school.  For example, partners are invited to many events in the Simon community, such as lectures and social activities, and are also allowed to join any club at Simon.  Love to dance?  Great!  You can join the Simon Dance Club!  Want to learn more about wine?  Fabulous!  Join the UNCorked club!  There are clubs for a variety of sports and academic interests as well, so there is truly something for everyone at Simon. 

What I enjoy the most about leading the Simon Partners Club the chance it gives me to play a role in connecting incoming and current partners with other members of the Simon community who share their interests. 

Due to the number of ways I have been able to be part of the Simon community, the Simon school will always be more than just my husband’s MBA school.  It will also be the place in which I was able to befriend other partners, learn more about wine, and make Rochester a true home for a couple of years. 

Caitlin DeClercq is the president of the Simon Partners Group, a social club designed for and operated by the spouses, families, and significant others of Simon Students.  She is also a graduate student in the Health Professions Education Program at the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education.  Caitlin can be reached via email at simonpartnersgroup@gmail.com


Myths about Rochester…

City of Rochester SkylineNow that the recruiting season is beginning for us in Admissions, we get to meet and converse with prospective students from across the county and abroad who are just starting their search for the perfect MBA program.  These interactions are what help us shape the incoming MBA and MS classes, but also give us insight into marketplace perceptions.  In recent travel, I have had to assure students that, one, we do not live in an ice and snow laden tundra; two, that the city has great culture and lifestyle; and three, that one studying in Rochester can find employment opportunities post-graduation beyond upstate New York.

Let me begin by dispelling the climate myth.  Occasionally someone will come up to speak with me and say, “I was considering the Simon MBA because of its great programs, but I just can’t force myself to live in snow nine months of the year…”  or perhaps instead they say, “I can’t force myself to survive in subzero temperatures…”  This is not true.  While we do get snow (definitely more than any school in Florida), it’s usually only from late November until March.  Since we know we will be getting snow each year, the City of Rochester is very good at plowing roads in the wee hours of the morning before any traffic really begins, and the university maintenance staff is equally prepared and effective to clear sidewalks and passageways on campus.  There are also underground tunnels for students to use so they never have to leave the warmth of a building.  The plus side to the weather in winter is that there are dozens of sports and activities that students get involved in ranging from downhill and cross country skiing to simply sledding.  This also means that we are a four season city, with autumn (my personal favorite for hiking and biking around town), spring and summer each having their own unique festivals, events and activities in which to participate.

On to the next myth: that there is nothing to do in Rochester.  While we are not as big as New York City in either population size or cost of living (thankfully), we still have plenty to keep you busy.  As of the year 2000, the metro area of Rochester had a population of more than 1 million, with social and athletic activities, restaurants and cultural venues catering to each person.  Restaurants from a wide variety of ethnic designations, dozens of bars, theatre, museums (for young and old as Rochester is home to the Strong Museum of Play), music conservatories, and parks are everywhere.  The geography of the region allows for easy access to the Finger Lake region where there are dozens of vineyards to explore or numerous state and national parks where one can walk, hike, bike or camp.  Rochester is fortunate that the location is accessible to the 14 northeastern states in the U.S. as well as two major Canadian cities, Montreal and Toronto.  This means the majority of large cities in the Northeast and Midwest can be reached in less than a day’s drive, usually in only a few hours.  For those who want to move a little faster to get to their intended destinations, the Rochester International Airport also services more than 200 flights daily across the U.S. and abroad.

Now, let’s address the last myth about job placement.  While it is true that students attending a graduate program can expect more job placement opportunity in the region where their program is located, (for us that would mean the northeast region of the U.S.) that does not preclude students from placing elsewhere.   Our most populated alumni networks for the University of Rochester are in Rochester and New York City, however, we have strong alumni networks in Chicago, Boston, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles and in most major cities abroad on each continent.  If students are looking for placement based on geography rather than job function, there are at least a few well-connected alumni in almost every city on the map for the Simon School.

Hopefully this blog has opened your eyes a bit to the possibilities available here in Rochester for a fun, intense and rewarding education that isn’t underneath 20 feet of snow in the winter quarter.  Even so…I still recommend you buy a winter jacket before winter quarter arrives.

Forte Foundation Career Lab for Promising College Women

As a member of the Forte Foundation, a consortium of major corporations and top business schools that seeks to direct talented women toward leadership roles in business, Simon has scheduled numerous successful alumni, current students and industry professionals to network and educate attending students at their annual Career Lab.  With more than 65 undergraduate women participating from numerous area schools, scheduled activities were well attended.

Students met with a variety of alumni professionals including Jennifer Garsin (Class of 2006), Manager in Corporate Development with Constellation Brands; Jari Greenbaum (Class of 2006), Senior Manager of International Strategy and Operations for Medco Health Solutions, Inc.; and Shelli Ulrich (Class of 2007), Account Executive at GE Capital Commercial Distribution Finance.

Additionally, the attendees were able to enjoy a career workshop conducted by Natalie Madeira Cofield, President of the NMC Consulting Group and a frequent public speaker, radio personality, presenter and lecturer on topics of business, economic and community development.  In this workshop, the women were led through a self-analysis of their personal interests and passions and shown how to translate that to a full-time career.

Opportunities for scholarship and networking on campus during the year and during the summer for women enrolled at Simon abound as a direct result of our affiliations with organizations such as Forte and the internal success of clubs such as SAWMBA, Simon Association of Women MBAs. With the growing trend of women seeking graduate degrees and the increase in women seeking MBAs specifically, we hope that you might join us in the near future!