Meet The Rochester Simon MBA Class Of 2018


Melaine Soro

Simon Business School, University of Rochester

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: I’m a globetrotter and curious person, who believes in hard work and learning through differences.

Hometown: Korhogo, Cote d’Ivoire and Paris, France

Fun Fact About Yourself: When I was younger, my dream was to become a Formula 1 driver and I can spend an entire day watching the race!

Undergraduate School and Major:

  • Telecom ParisTech (Specialized Master in Network and Security Architecture), in Paris, France
  • The Bonch-Bruevich Saint-Petersburg State University of Telecommunication (Bachelor in Telecommunication Engineering) in Saint Petersburg, Russia

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

  • OCADO TECHNOLOGY in London, UK – Wireless Project Engineer (2015 – 2016)
  • SFR Paris, France – Network Capacity Planning Manager (2014 – 2015)
  • SFR Paris, France – Wireless Network Analyst (2011 – 2014)
  • DAVIDSON CONSULTING – Paris, France Wireless Network Consultant (2010 – 2011)

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest accomplishment so far was the introduction of a new process for the deployment of optical network equipment. I recommended on-demand deployment, instead of initial full-capacity strategy, generating $500K in savings per year, representing a 10 percent budget cuts as requested by the senior management.

Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants?  I would advise future business school applicants to start by getting insight into the schools they are targeting by reaching out to current students or attending campus visits. In addition, it is true that there are several factors to consider when making a decision to enroll in a particular program, but one of the key drivers should be their personal fit with the school.

Another aspect is the GMAT, which is an important part of the application. I would define the GMAT as a marathon, which requires endurance and good preparation. Therefore, I would suggest that future business school applicants to make an initial self-assessment to decide whether they should prepare with a test prep company. Then it is crucial to set up a daily study plan and commit to it, as two hours per day is more efficient than ten hours in a single day. Lastly, it is important to learn from your mistakes. Therefore, it is important to make an error log and review it constantly.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? Even though I applied to several business school, I decided to come to Simon for several reasons:

Firstly, after interacting with students and the admission team, I was positively surprise by the high level of attention and support they provided. Ultimately, I felt this was a place I could really enjoy my learning experience. Secondly, a significant part of the program is completely relevant to my career goal, which requires a strong finance and analytics abilities, something that the program does well through a high level of preparation and trainings, and that was clearly distinctive point. Finally, the small class size was an asset, because it allows more interaction not only with my peers, but also with the faculty members.

Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? Since a young age, I’ve been passionate about technology because it simplifies life and solves day-to-day problems. While working for the second largest telecommunication operator in France, I had to collaborate on daily basis with the financial controller’s team. This collaboration got me interested in their activities and hence in finance in general. Getting my MBA is an opportunity to explore my interests further. After business school, I would like to work in corporate finance for a technology company or in a corporate division of a bank to provide financial strategy advice and execute transactions in the technology industry.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? Coming from a different culture, I have to adapt quickly to American culture and lifestyle. In addition, coming from a technology background, I need to work hard to improve my business and finance skills. After we graduate, I want to be perceived by my peers as someone who is committed to delivering good work, who can adapt to changes, and also someone they can rely on beyond business school.

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