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

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rochester mba class of 2023Tim Taylor, Rochester Simon MBA Class of 2023

Age: 32
Hometown: Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Liberty University; Broadcasting and Film
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): I served in the active-duty U.S. Army as an infantry officer from 2012 to 2021. I deployed to Afghanistan in 2015 and worked with Host Nation and Coalition Forces.

Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now?
The decision to attend business school hinged on the idea of becoming an industry specialist while increasing my capacity to lead in any environment. This has been a goal of mine for the last five years. The advent of Covid gave me the perspective to make strides in achieving my long-term goals. I began to define who I wanted to be and how I could be more effective in providing solutions in my career and in my community.

Why did you choose Rochester Simon?
When inquiring as a prospective candidate, admissions welcomed my resume as what I now understand to reflect what a Simon candidate offers the workplace, continual improvement, and progress. I was encouraged in my professional story that what I pursued on my career path was attainable at the Simon Business School.

What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
After living in all corners of the country, my decision came to location and connections. U of R is 45 minutes away from family. As a husband, father, and full-time student, a close family can make a significant contribution. The connections to U of R came rapidly. Students and faculty genuinely followed up with a professional in a limbo of a substantial change.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2023?
I believe my most valuable contribution to the class is the value of sound judgment and timely decision-making in a complex set of circumstances.

Tell us a fun fact that didn’t get included on your application:
I have traveled through over 40 states in an RV and intend to travel the rest.

Post-MBA career interests:
My Post-MBA interests are Financial Analytics in Commercial Real Estate and Financial Management in Healthcare.

Advice for Current Prospective Applicants:
–What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
I would speak to first-years who are fresh off the boat of hoping to enter as prospective candidates. Interview a career veteran that has an objective outlook on MBA ROI.

–What is one thing you would change or do differently?
I would start the application process earlier and take some time off between my career transition and b-school to relax, reflect, and set other goals.

–What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
I would have skipped reading endless resumes of graduates 5-years post-MBA. I got into my head when all I needed to do was introduce myself in their inbox or leverage a mutual connection. The barriers to entry became tangibly attainable when I put them in context.

What is your initial impression of the Rochester Simon students/culture/community?
No matter who you are, the Simon Business School faculty, alumni, and candidates are collectively working to push you past your expectations.

What is one thing you have learned about Rochester Simon that has surprised you?
The diversity surprised me. There is likely to be no one that shares a similar shade of personal and professional and stories. The familiar story is that Simon students want to distinguish themselves.

Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your personal application or admissions process in any way? If so, how?
Yes. When anticipating a clean break from my career to business school, I was thrust into a bottleneck of tasks before my tenure was complete. Work took me away from admissions activities until the start of the first term.

What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
I am most anxious about growth opportunities during an internship

What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year?
I am most excited to see myself confidently communicate how my professors, new knowledge, and classmates reinforce the manager I want to be.

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.