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Real Humans of Rochester Simon’s MBA Class of 2025

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simon mbaTemitope Ishmael Zainab, Rochester Simon Business School MBA Class of 2025

Age: 25
Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria 
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Babcock University – B.S. in Anatomy 
Pre-MBA Work Experience (role, company, years): Two years in health and three+ years in marketing

Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now?
After transitioning from the health field and working in marketing for over three years, I realized the importance of deepening my understanding of business frameworks and enhancing my leadership skills. Attending business school now is a natural step for me to solidify my marketing interests with formal education and advance my career on a global platform.

Why did you choose Simon Business School? What factors figured most prominently in your decision of where to attend?
I was drawn to Simon Business School primarily because of its specialization track and the STEM MBA option, aligning perfectly with my academic aspirations. The marketing specialization particularly impressed me due to its focus on innovation, problem-solving, and critical analysis—crucial in today’s business landscape. Additionally, the tight-knit and supportive community was evident when interacting with current students and alumni, who were genuinely invested in my application journey.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2025?
My most valuable contribution to the Class of 2025 is my expertise in time management. I bring a systematic approach to our group activities, always advocating for the use of agendas during meetings to ensure clear objectives and minimize distractions. This has proven to be highly effective in improving our overall meeting efficiency and productivity.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself that didn’t get included in your application:
I am an avid film watcher. I watch movies to reduce stress and my favorite TV series is “Suits.” I have watched it seven times—it’s a wonder that I’m not a practicing lawyer at this point!

Post-MBA career interests:
My post-MBA career interests lie in branding, human resources, and marketing. I am interested in the consumer-packaged goods industry and health industry.

Advice for Current Prospective Applicants:
-What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
I would emphasize two critical actions. First, thoroughly research your target schools and engage with current students and alums. This offers invaluable insight into the student’s pre- and post-graduation journey. Second, reflect upon your journey and be authentic. Ensure your narrative is genuine and consistent, which is vital for essay writing. Also, never underestimate the importance of self-awareness and introspection in this process.

-What is one thing you would change or do differently?
I would apply earlier and not overthink the process. It’s important to take the time to adequately prepare and submit your best application, but as this quote by Robert Kiyosaki says, “Don’t let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning.” 

-What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
I would have skipped the overthinking I did about whether or not now was the best time to further my education by pursuing business school. I got through it by speaking to mentors who assured me that it was the right step to take. 

What is your initial impression of the Simon students/culture/community?
My first impression is that everyone is kind and interested in my well-being. The community is tight knit. 

What is one thing you have learned about Simon that has surprised you?
It has to be the intentional approach to everything they do. Whether it’s academic resources, career resources, or investment in student life—they give it 100%. It is commendable. 

What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
My primary anxieties revolve around acclimating to the weather, especially winter, and facing unfamiliar courses due to my unique background. After the Pre-Fall semester, my concern shifted to balancing academic performance with recruiting for summer internship positions. 

What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year?
I am excited about building long-lasting relationships through networking and connecting with people from different parts of the world. Also, gaining insights into different cultures and discovering interests I share with my classmates.

Christina Griffith
Christina Griffith is a writer and editor based in Philadelphia. She specializes in covering education, science, and history, and has experience in research and interviews, magazine content, and web content writing.