Meet Rochester Simon’s MBA Class of 2019

Cate Bannar

Simon Business School, University of Rochester

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Inquisitive learner with a passion for developing new products and visiting national parks.

Hometown: Medford, NJ

Fun Fact About Yourself: My creative outlet is knitting and sewing clothes. The next goal on my list is sewing a pair of jeans.

Undergraduate School and Major: Northeastern University, Business Administration

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

Staples, Product Management Specialist

SodaStream, Assistant Marketing Manager, Associate Marketing Manager

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: At SodaStream, I developed and launched a new website with mobile functionality along with a new social and digital strategy designed to drive consumer engagement and sales, ultimately growing the e-commerce channel by 45%. This initiative played a key role in re-positioning SodaStream in the market as a sparkling water brand.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in the MBA program so far: Accepting an offer for an internship next summer has been the biggest accomplishment so far. Recruiting is a source of stress for all MBA students, so being able to look back at all the work I put into the recruiting season and knowing it paid off is something I’m very proud of.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants?


  1. My biggest piece of advice is to start early. Allow yourself enough time to fully prepare for each step of the application process.
  2. Find a mentor who can give you advice and constructive feedback along the way.
  3. Plan school visits so you can assess your fit within the school’s culture. During the application process, GMAT score, school ranking, location, and other factors can overshadow cultural fit, but in order to be successful, I believe fit is the most important factor.

What was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? When I visited Simon, what stuck out most to me was the sense of community within the class of 2018. It was very apparent that Simon was a collaborative environment and students were more interested in success as a whole than personal gain. For me, this was the type of school environment I was interested in.

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? After my first year of business school, success would be building a strong network, pushing myself out of my comfort zone to learn new skills, and becoming a club leader to make a positive impact on the future Simon community.

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