March 6, 2024 | Simon Admissions & Programs Team

Below is a Q&A with two current Chinese MS students, Zhi Tao, an MS in Marketing Analytics candidate, and Tsz Sing Chan, an MS in Finance candidate. We encourage you to review the Q&A to learn more about Simon! If your question isn’t answered, please reach out to us at—we’d love to connect with you.

For those who celebrate, we hope you had a joyous Lunar New Year! The Simon Business School Admissions & Programs Office sends our best wishes for a prosperous, happy, and healthy Year of the Dragon.

As a new year begins, you may be thinking about your future goals. If pursuing a graduate business degree is something you hope to accomplish this year, we encourage you to explore an MS degree at Simon Business School. We know that choosing a business school comes with many questions. To aid in the process, Zhi Tao and Tsz Sing Chan, two of our current Chinese MS students, worked together to answer some of the most frequently asked questions from prospective students. We wish you all the best as you pursue your goals this year!

Are there any special orientations or programs designed to help international students acclimate?   

MS students: Each MS program has a mandatory in-person Orientation prior to the start of the program. Orientation introduces Simon and the curriculum and allows you to participate in team building events to get to know your cohort. Orientation will help you make a smooth transition into your new life at Simon.

What is the teaching style of the professors?

MS students: Professors tend to design the classes to fit their teaching style and reach maximum efficiency. Some professors enjoy and facilitate in-class discussions, while some professors would like to reserve all the questions you might have at the end of the class. In the meantime, students are encouraged to attend the office hours after class. All the professors and TAs are very reachable and responsive through their email.

Do I need programming experience prior to the start of any Simon MS program? 

MS students: Not necessarily, although we have a programming-intensive curriculum. There are introductory courses to help students get familiar with the programming language that will be used in their curriculum.

How has participation in different student clubs contributed to your personal and professional growth?

MS students: Academic clubs aim to leverage hands-on experience for club members. Participants can explore the industry they are interested in. For example, Meliora Fund is designed to provide equity research experience, and the Simon School Venture Fund provides experience in project management (join as an associate) or due diligence (join as an analyst). Workshops are available and held regularly to hone your practical experience on certain industries or software. Moreover, clubs like Simon Vision Consulting club provide the opportunity to work with real businesses, solving problems that you will encounter in your professional career. 

Tsz Sing Chan
Tsz Sing Chan '24S (MS)

Non-academic clubs are for fun and networking. You can find your own community by joining different clubs whose members might share a mutual interest with you. Participants gain valuable interpersonal experience through joining club events/being elected as MS representatives.
Both types of clubs are a good way to experience the US and Simon culture, as well as stepping out of your comfort zone.

How does what we learn fit in the professional world? 

Tsz Sing Chan: Simon Business School’s curriculum is designed to be practical. It encompasses the latest trends of the business world and integrate them into classroom learning. During lectures, professors will simulate a real-world business scenario and demonstrate how to use certain software to solve business problems.
Regular engagement between the school and its alumni allows Simon to react rapidly to the aforementioned industry trend and make changes to curriculum accordingly.

Apart from alumni, the Master’s Advisory Council, which is run by current MS students, is responsible for conducting regular meetings and relaying any suggestions they collect from the MS class to enhance the teaching experience as well as to fit the professional world.

How will a Simon MS degree help me to secure a job? 

MS students: A Simon MS degree provides you with relevant skills in the business world, including: 

  • Interpersonal skills. These are gained through a professional communication course and your own participation in student clubs.
  • Critical thinking skills. You’ll develop these from participation in various courses/case competitions, which allow you to analyze and articulate your opinions about a range of topics.
  • Resilience and quick-learning skills. These are developed due to the fast-paced curriculum at Simon.

All the aforementioned characteristics are frequently found in a job description, and Simon’s degrees are here to qualify you for the position you hope to obtain.

Do you engage with Simon alumni? How can they help support you in your job search? 

MS students: We have intensive interaction with Simon alumni. Simon invites alumni to attend webinars and conduct face-to-face coffee chat hours; you can even find outstanding alumni during some case competitions organized by student clubs.
For personal outreach, we often connect with alumni in LinkedIn, inviting them to have a coffee chat or a virtual Zoom call to exchange and share our stories. The Simon Finance and Investment Club also organizes networking events in NYC to help MS/MBA students to connect with alumni who work there (happy hours, panel discussions, firm visits etc.).
Simon alumni are supportive and will always be a great resource in your job-hunting process. They offer fundamental support like CV and cover letter edits, share the latest developments in the professional world with you, and provide technical support such as interview preparation and possibly even a job referral.

What are the things you most enjoy about living in Rochester? 

MS students: Rochester is a close-knit city with many attractions. It is near the Finger Lakes region, where there are many gorgeous trekking trails and 

Zhi Tao '24S (MS)

vineyards. Rochester also resides next to Lake Ontario, where miles of beach stretches across the coastline.

How can I find housing in Rochester? Does the school provide any resources or assistance?  

MS students: Candidates are suggested to visit the Graduate Housing website to gain more information regarding the details of housing (Q&A, application logistics, rent, etc.) Admitted candidates from China are invited to join a WeChat group that includes information sharing and discussions about housing.

Candidates could also reach out to housing agencies for the inquiry of housing information and sign the contract with them independently. It should be noted that some off-campus housing has University of Rochester Bus stops set up near them, which loops between school and housing.

Students are suggested to start looking for housing 2–3 months before the semester starts. The on-campus housing lottery happens each year in May, and availability of off-campus housing is first come, first-served.

Are there any part-time on-campus jobs available? 

MS students: Yes! Here are a few examples:

  • Academic-related part-time jobs like: Tutor, Teaching Assistant, etc.
  • Non-academic part-time jobs like: Coffee shop helper, event helper, etc.

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