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Real Humans of MBA Students: Rochester Simon MBA Class of 2023

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rochester mba class of 2023Nishita Srivastav, Rochester Simon MBA Class of 2023

Age: 26
Hometown: Mumbai, India
Undergraduate Institution and Major: NMIMS University. Bachelor of Business Administration (Finance)
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): I worked in the financial services industry for 4 years. Majority of my work experience is with JPMorgan Chase where my responsibilities mainly included managing client relationships with pension/insurance funds and performing investment analyses. 

Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now?
Business school had always been one of the significant career goals that I had planned for myself primarily to expand my knowledge and skills and to gain exposure to diverse perspectives. Four years into my job, I was well grounded in the basics and was looking to accelerate my career growth while making a pivot into leadership positions within corporate finance. Hence, I decided to pursue my MBA to enhance my professional skill sets and learn how to thrive in a global business scenario.  

Why did you choose Rochester Simon? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
Looking to pursue a dynamic career in finance, I aspired to join a school that is well reputed for finance and has a rigorous curriculum. Simon provided me with exactly that, along with the added advantage of STEM certification, which is critical for an international student like me.

Additionally, having worked with people from diverse backgrounds at JPMorgan, I realized the value of embracing diversity and how essential it is for the success of any organization, thus I wanted to join a school with rich cultural diversity. Simon’s #1 rank in diversity in the USA and conversations with alumni about its supportive community ultimately sealed the deal for me.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2023?
As a team lead in my previous organization, I learned the value of lifting each other up and how that contributes towards collective growth of individuals as well as the organization. Utilizing my background and experience, I hope to make Simon proud by fostering the team spirit and supporting my colleagues in their journey towards success.

Tell us a fun fact that didn’t get included on your application:
I have a knack for dramatics and if it were not for finance, I would probably have a career in theatre.

Post-MBA career interests:
Corporate Finance

Advice for Current Prospective Applicants:
–What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
My interview experience was an extremely pleasant one and I would absolutely do it again. It was very conversational where I felt comfortable talking about myself and did not feel any hesitation while asking questions about the school.

–What is one thing you would change or do differently?
I would start reaching out to the Simon alumni and current students much more in advance than I had. Starting the process early really helps in gaining better insights on the school, curriculum, clubs, employment statistics etc. which in turn helps the candidate in writing more effective essays and being better prepared for interviews.

–What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
While preparing for my GMAT and applying to schools, I would feel very overworked and exhausted with how elaborate the process was, but once I joined Simon, I realized how essential every aspect of the application process is as it helps in vetting out the best qualified candidates for the school, which eventually makes for an enriching student experience. Hence, reflecting on the process now, I don’t think I would have skipped any part.

What is your initial impression of the Rochester Simon students/culture/community?
One of the key reasons why I chose to join Simon were the PEOPLE. Simon has a close-knit community with extremely helpful and encouraging staff, faculty, students, and alumni. Simon’s website and its social media profiles on Instagram and YouTube allude to a happy and warm vibe that really resonated with me. That vibe came to life the day I was admitted, and the first thing I watched on the admitted student portal was a video of the Class of 2022 welcoming the Class of 2023. That simple gesture touched me and gave me the assurance that I was going to be a part of a supportive and compassionate community.

Even during my initial conversations on the WhatsApp and Slack groups, I realized how approachable and helpful everyone at Simon was. From advising on basics like housing and transportation, to providing reassurance during anxious times when I was worried about my visa and other Covid-related issues. Talking to peers, current second-year students and the staff helped me figure out everything. This supportive spirit has only strengthened after coming to the campus.

What is one thing you have learned about Rochester Simon that has surprised you?
The one thing that surprised me was the magnitude of the resources that Simon offers. Recruitment, industry research, academic material, case competitions, and much more, there are abundant resources to learn and expand your knowledge and skills.

Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your personal application or admissions process in any way? If so, how?
Yes, I had to delay my application process by a year as I wanted to be able to attend school in person and make the most of my time at Simon.

What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
I was most anxious about moving to a different country and coping with the changes that the move would entail. Fortunately, it has been a smooth ride, all thanks to the Simon community who have made Rochester a ‘home away from home’ for me.

What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year?
I was most excited about meeting new people from diverse backgrounds and exploring the United States of America.

Lauren Wakal
Lauren Wakal has been covering the MBA admissions space for more than a decade, from in-depth business school profiles to weekly breaking news and more.