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Real Humans of Rochester Simon’s MBA Class of 2025

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simon business school 2025Juan Fermin, Rochester Simon Business School MBA Class of 2025

Age: 31
Hometown: East Harlem, New York
Undergraduate Institution and Major: SUNY Oswego – B.S. in Finance
Pre-MBA Work Experience (role, company, years): I was an associate at JPMorgan for nearly two years. Prior to that, I served as an investment research analyst and performance associate at Orion for four years.

Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now?
I was at a point in my career where I knew what I wanted to do – investment research. However, I needed a platform where I could take a break in my career to focus my energy solely on getting there, while simultaneously being able to take care of my family. Rochester has allowed me to do just that – quality of life here is a huge factor where I can get hours back to focus on taking care of my family, while also focusing on my future career.

Why did you choose Simon Business School? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
My journey with Simon Business School started in fall 2019. I visited Rochester for Simon’s Diversity Conference event. One of the things that stood out to me at the Event was how engaged the students and alumni were – they were invested in my success. I attended the Event again a few years later and experienced the same support, which speaks to the culture at Simon. A combination of this and the quality of life in Rochester solidified it for me.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2025?
My intellectual curiosity, driven by my interest in learning about new businesses and how things work, makes me feel like I know a little about many things! Driven by this curiosity, I have contributed to my coursework and continue to learn more from my professors and classmates.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself that didn’t get included on your application:
I’m huge baseball fan! In fact, my sons Xavier Clemente and Steven Robinson are named after players that I respect and who made an impact on and off the field – Roberto Clemente and Jackie Robinson.

Post-MBA career interests:
Join an investment firm as an investment research analyst.

Advice for Current Prospective Applicants:
–What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
Visit schools! By doing so, I got a feel for where my family and I would fit in best. At Simon, everyone was supportive right from the start, which made the decision easy.

 –What is one thing you would change or do differently?
I would have started the application process earlier since it was a hectic few months as I worked on my application. Starting the process earlier would have allowed me to spend more quality time with my family, as well as allow for more self-reflection – which is an important part of the application process. Also, trust that your application is more than just your standardized test score. It’s truly is a holistic application process. I heard this plenty of times, but it didn’t resonate until I was accepted.

–What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
One part that I would have skipped would be studying for the GMAT/GRE. Although it’s a requirement for many schools, take a look at opportunities for a waiver and seriously consider it if you don’t think you’ll have enough time to study for the GMAT/GRE.

What is your initial impression of the Simon students/culture/community?
It’s been a great experience thus far. Everyone has been supportive and willing to help. It feels like a tight-knit community that continues to get closer as the program progresses.

What is one thing you have learned about Simon that has surprised you?
How diverse Simon’s student body truly is! It’s impressive when you read about the Program’s accolades – but you don’t appreciate it until you’re here, and talking to people from all around the world and with different educational backgrounds and professional experiences.

What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
I’m most anxious about my family adjusting to life in a new city. But, it’s going well so far. My kids love the parks in Rochester and going to The Strong National Museum of Play. As well, my wife found a great opportunity to teach. For me, let’s just say I don’t miss the New York City traffic and my commute is much smoother in Rochester!

What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year?
I’m excited about competing in the Stock Pitch Competition (as part of the Simon Finance & Investment Club). It’s a great opportunity to hone my skills, master the art of pitching a stock, learn from my fellow classmates, and network with students from other top programs.

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.