Meet Rochester Simon’s MBA Class of 2019

Gavin D. Hall

Simon Business School, University of Rochester

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Every day trying to be a better son, student, friend, person, than I was yesterday.

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

Fun Fact About Yourself: In 2017 I was co-chairperson of JDRF Young Leadership Committee annual fundraiser where we raised over $180,000 in one night for research for a cure to Type One diabetes.

Undergraduate School and Major: Villanova University, B.S. Computer Science

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

Wellington Management Company, LLC, Systems Analyst

Cohen & Steers Capital Management, Senior Business Systems Analyst

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Shortly after I joined my most recent employer, my department endured a reorganization, and after some volatility my team was downsized from seven people to just me. It was a tumultuous and challenging time, but it allowed me to grow outside my comfort zone and learn much more than I had ever imagined. Looking back, it was an immense accomplishment to not only survive that time, but also come out improved as I was rewarded with a promotion at the end of that year.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in the MBA program so far: Being able to be part of many life-changing experiences, including participating in the 2017 National Black MBA Association case competition and the Simon/Minority Male Leadership Association mentorship program with Vertus High School in Rochester.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? Network early and often. The people you meet through this process will be your greatest resources and can impact your decision, regardless if you attend that school or not. I found that interacting with students allowed me to get a much better perspective about different programs than I would have gotten from the admissions department.

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? Culture and fit is super important to me. The reality is that you are going to spend a lot of time (emphasis on a lot) with these people over the two years, so you should like and feel comfortable with them. Everyone I met at Simon through the application process was super accommodating and helpful, administration and students alike. The culture here is to help one another: #SimonStrong. It felt as if I was immersed in the Simon community even before I was admitted. So the opportunity to be part of an intimate community where I can develop tangible, close relationships with my classmates was valuable to me. Additionally, half of the Simon MBA Class of 2019 class is international, so it is rewarding to learn from their experiences.

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? A summer internship, of course, but also to know I have evolved as a person from when I began school—in and out of the classroom. Life is still occurring while we are in school, so since I enrolled in a full-time program, I want to make sure I am benefitting from the experience but also giving back to the school community as much as possible.

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