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Rochester / Simon MBA Essay Topic Analysis

Simon Business School – University of Rochester

The University of Rochester’s Simon Business School offers a flagship two-year MBA program on its main River Campus, just south of downtown Rochester. The city is New York state’s third-largest metropolitan area, and was once known as “the city that George Eastman built,” thanks to his photographic innovations and world-famous Kodak brand.  In addition to its full-time MBA, Simon offers part-time and executive MBA programs with 15 different concentrations.

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The Simon Business School employs about 70 full-time MBA faculty members. They teach across 15 academic areas and concentrate their academic research in eight fields of expertise: accounting, applied economics, computers and information systems, competitive and organizational strategy, finance, macroeconomics, marketing, and operations management. While Simon is the smallest of the top-ranked business schools, its faculty is responsible for writing the most-cited business article of all time, The Theory of the Firm. The school’s smaller class sizes allow professors and students to work one-on-one and develop strong long-term professional relationships.


The school’s academic year is broken into seasonal quarters, which last an average of 12 weeks. Fall Quarter classes generally begin in early October and end in mid-December. Classes resume for the Winter Quarter in early January and conclude in mid-March. After a short break, Spring Quarter begins in late March and finishes around late May. Classes take places Monday through Thursday and 67 credits are required for graduation.

The full-time MBA program consists of 20 courses: nine core classes (spanning finance, economics, marketing, management, communication, and analysis), and 11 electives, completed over 22 months. During that time, students focus on one or several concentrations to develop their own particular expertise. In addition to the coursework, students have the opportunity to study abroad, build leadership skills for class projects and corporate cases, participate in more than 30 academic and social clubs, and complete internships over summer break. Overall, the curriculum aims to integrate analytical skills with real-world opportunities, tailored to each student’s concentration.

Simon students learn to address business issues and find solutions through a three-step process called “FACt,” or “Frame, Analyze, Communicate”—which teaches them to apply classroom theories in practical situations. Simon considers the approach integral to all aspects of the curriculum, and key to sound decision-making, insights, and empowerment in post-graduate, global business settings.

Other MBA Degree Options

Along with its 22-month full-time MBA program, Simon offers Evening MBA programs one or two nights per week, starting in September and March. The part-time MBA program allows students to earn an MBA in as little as 2.5, or within the average 3.3 academic years. The school also has an Executive MBA program for individuals at a more advanced stage in their careers, meeting every other Saturday and one Friday per month. The second-Saturday classes may be attended remotely online as needed. Finally, Simon offers a joint degree, an MD/MBA with the University Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. Students complete the MBA core courses in their first year, then return for electives after two years as a full-time medical student.


  • Competitive and Organizational Strategy
  • Strategy and Organizations
  • Pricing
  • Corporate Accounting
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Brand Management
  • Business Systems Consulting
  • Computers and Information Systems
  • Health Sciences Management
  • International Management
  • Operations Management
  • Public Accounting

Degree Offerings

Full-Time MBA

Executive MBA

Part-Time MBA

MD/MBA Program

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Clubs, Conferences and Competitions

Simon Business School students have a variety of opportunities to get involved with the school community. There are more than 30 student-led groups that span diversity and educational, social and athletic, and professional and corporate categories. Signature events include the West Coast Tech Trek, a venture capital investment competition, and the Taste of Rochester culinary outing.

The Graduate Business Council collaborates with administrators, faculty, and student organizations to host sociable, year-round events and activities. Organized group volunteer projects and programs like the Practicum on Urban Entrepreneurship invite students to work within local communities, while applying some of their core business tactics. Several more concentration-specific experiential programs are offered as well, such as the Student Venture Fund, for which students collaborate with analysts, entrepreneurs, and alumni to make data-driven investment decisions and manage the fund.

The school makes a pointed effort to support diversity and inclusivity, with programs to support women in business, members of the military, and students representing about 17 different countries. For example, the MBA Class of 2018 founded the Simon Inclusion Ambassadors, one of Simon’s newest programs. Through it, ambassadors seek to foster dialogue and mutual respect in classrooms and across campus through greater individual and cultural awareness.

Campus Spaces

Simon Business School is located in Schlegel Hall on the 154-acre River Campus, just south of downtown Rochester on the Genesee River. At the center of campus is the Eastman Quadrangle, named for Eastman Kodak founder and benefactor, George Eastman. The central “Quad” is home to the original 1930s River Campus buildings housing faculty of arts, sciences and engineering, including the landmark Rush Rhees Library. The Simon School of Business is located on the River Campus, as is the Warner School of Education.

MBA students and their families are welcome to apply for housing in three different graduate student residential buildings on campus. Simon’s graduate communities find support with university directors and staff, and are encouraged to get involved with their local communities through potluck dinners, group outings, recreational activities, and even community gardening.

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Career Services

Simon’s Career Management Center provides many ways for students to develop professionally during their time at the school. These services include one-on-one career coaching, assessing student interests, developing search action plans, generating leads and interviewing, and help with internships or full-time positions. The center also invites “executives in residence” to consult with students about their particular fields, such as manufacturing, technology, real estate, health care, media, and banking.

The school hosts on- and off-campus events all year round both in Rochester and New York City, providing many opportunities for students to network with alumni, admissions counselors, faculty, and potential employers. A few of the on-campus events include career fairs, Experience Simon Weekend, Graduate Programs Open House, and niche conferences like Women’s Forum, Diversity Forum, and the MBA Veterans Conference. Additionally, the center offers specialized career assistance for international students, such as visa guidance for short- or long-term employment.

First-year students will find assistance through Career Management Center starting at pre-orientation and continuing through, and even beyond, the full-time MBA program. Simon’s “Day 1” process allows students to explore the major MBA career functions and ways to boost knowledge of various industries. The Day 1 steps are available at the center and online, encouraging incoming students to prepare in advance deliverables like market assessments, online profiles, and targeted employers lists.

Career Statistics

Of the Class of 2017 graduates, 37% took on  finance/accounting functions. The next most popular functions were in marketing and sales, which claimed 27% of students. Twenty-three percent chose consulting, and 5% operations/logistics.

As is common among MBA candidates, most graduates settled within the region of the business school. Thirty-six percent of the Class stayed in the Northeast while the next most popular destinations were the West and Midwest, which each claimed 19% of graduates. Fifteen percent of graduates headed south, while 11% settled in the Mid-Atlantic. Finally, 11% kicked off their post-MBA careers abroad.

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Class Profile

The Class of 2019 is comprised of 105 students. Upon matriculation at Simon in the fall of 2017, students averaged 28 years in age with just over five years of full-time work experience.  In total, the program was comprised of 33% women, and 25% identifying as a member of a minority group. Students hail from 18 countries overall.

The middle 80% of GMAT scores of incoming students ranged from 610 to 710; undergraduate GPAs ranged from 2.93 to 3.8 for the middle 80%.  Thirty-one percent of Rochester Simon’s Class of 2019 full-time MBA students pursued degrees in business and commerce during their undergraduate studies, and 26% studied engineering. Sixteen percent studied humanities/social science and an equal number selected math/science.  The remaining 11% had earned degrees in economics.

Application Procedures

Simon Business School offers applicants five admission rounds, taking place between October and May. The school encourages applicants to apply on or before the early January deadline to receive priority admission and scholarship consideration. The application requirements for Simon include completing the school’s online application form and submitting essays, a current résumé, one letter of recommendation (a second letter is optional), and unofficial transcripts for each college attended. Applicants also must report their GMAT or GRE test results, and, where applicable, TOEFL or IELTS scores. All MBA students are required to successfully demonstrate strong English communication skills. Simon recommends a TOEFL score of 100 or higher, with sub-scores in the mid-20s; or an IELTS score of 7.5 or higher with sub-scores of 7 or higher.

Interviews are required for admission, upon notification by the Admissions Office. A $150 application fee is required, though the fee is waived for active-duty military and veterans, as well as full-time MBA applicants who meet certain criteria (such as university or partner-university alumni, exceeding certain academic or professional milestones, etc.).

Application Checklist

  • Online application form
  • Current résumé
  • Work history
  • One required essay
  • One short answer
  • Unofficial transcripts
  • GMAT or GRE scores
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores
  • Letter of recommendation
  • $150 application fee

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Simon Business School’s 2018-2019 tuition is $46,000 a year. With additional fees as living expenses, activity fees and books, however, the estimated cost of attendance is $65,727. Health insurance, which is optional, can add $2,460 to the total. The school awards nearly $5 million in scholarships and fellowships every year, and 80% Full-Time MBA students receive significant merit-based awards. Financial aid and loans are also available to both domestic and international students, as are graduate fellowships, employer-tuition benefits, and outside scholarships. International MBA students may apply for the International Student Loan Program (ISLP) funding.

Estimated Cost of Attendance

  • Tuition: $46,000
  • International Services and Programming Fee: $750
  • Room, Board, Transportation: $13,300
  • Mandatory Health Fee: $612
  • Books: $1,965
  • Personal Expenses: $2,500
  • Activity Fee: $600
  • Health Insurance (Optional): $2,460
  • Total: $68,187

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Class Size105
GMAT 80% RANGE 610-710
GPA 80% Range2.93-3.8

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Mailing Address:
University of Rochester
Simon Business School
305 Schlegel Hall
Box 270107
Rochester, NY 14627

Phone: 585-275-3533
Fax: 585-271-3907
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @SimonSchool

MBA LiveWire for Rochester / Simon

Application results in real time, submitted by site visitors.
March 21, 2018 4:28am
Waitlisted via portal.
GMAT: 640.
March 17, 2018 5:15am
Waitlisted via email.
GPA: 3.4. GMAT: 660.
March 16, 2018 1:36pm
Waitlisted via portal.
GMAT: 640.
February 19, 2018 3:19pm
Waitlisted via email.
GMAT: 720. India.
February 9, 2018 7:57am
Accepted via n/a.
GPA: 3.3. GMAT: 700.

DecisionWire for Rochester / Simon

Enrolled: Undecided
Admitted: NYU Stern, Rochester / Simon, UCLA Anderson, USC / Marshall, Washington U. / Olin
GMAT: 730 GPA: 3.6
Post-MBA Career: Technology
Enrolled: Undecided
Admitted: Rochester / Simon, Toronto / Rotman
GMAT: 720
Enrolled: Cornell / Johnson
Admitted: Cornell / Johnson, Emory / Goizueta, Rochester / Simon, Wisconsin
GMAT: 700
Post-MBA Career: Venture Capital
Enrolled: Undecided
Admitted: Emory / Goizueta, Minnesota / Carlson, Rochester / Simon, UNC Kenan-Flagler
GRE: 325 GPA: 2.9
Post-MBA Career: Consulting