2020 MBAs To Watch: Tady Chen, University of Rochester (Simon)

Te-chien (Tady) Chen

University of Rochester, Simon Business School

“A people person who enjoys learning the rules and playing the games!”

Hometown: Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Fun fact about yourself: I have a group of friends that went to karaoke to celebrate every time we finished our final exams in high school; now (many years later) we still go to sing once or twice a year- sometimes even more!

Undergraduate School and Degree: National Tsing Hua University, Bachelor of Arts- Foreign Languages & Literature

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Sheng Yu Steel, Global Sales & Supply Chain Representative

Where did you intern during the summer of 2019?

Winedirect, California;

Role: Strategic MBA internship, Pricing

Where will you be working after graduation? Undecided

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

2019-2020 President – Simon Net Impact

  • Led the effort along with the club advisor Megan Litvinenko to establish the first Simon Net Impact Alumni Advisory Council and to maintain the Gold status of our Net Impact club.
  • Cooperated with staff and OSE to replace paper cups in Simon business school by offering mugs for incoming students (avg. 100 waxed-lined cups/hour were used in peak time)
  • The club was ranked six out of 150+ clubs in terms of attendance at the Net Impact conference in Detroit; Simon club members launched six impactful plans for the school and local community after the event that cover from food waste issues to reconnection with local NGO.

2018-2019 Member of Simon Net Impact and Diversity & Inclusion Club

  • Performer of D&I Talent show
  • Co-author of International student guide and Second-year buddy for incoming students
  • Facilitator for Implicit Bias training
  • Presenter for Taiwan at Simon’s Global Showcase

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I’m most proud of being the leader of Simon Net Impact club at our school. I focused on moving the club to highlight more career-related programming. For example, having different speakers talk about what “impact” looks like in their current job. We recruited speakers from across industries, including a former VP of social responsibility at Disney (Kevin Callahan), a sustainability consultant in Accenture (Mikayla Hart), and even to one of the Rochester community’s own NGO leaders (Andrew Brady) among others.

After joining the Net Impact conference 2019 in Detroit, our group was energized by speakers and leaders from different areas such as Intel, Honest Tea, and GreenBiz. Upon returning to campus, the club launched different projects to try to deal with the most critical problems in our surroundings. I greatly enjoyed leading the team and working together with the members. I was grateful to and surprised about their passion for these projects as well as their “can-do attitude” towards driving real change. These projects included the extremely ambitious, such as ideas to transform the overall student experiences in Simon and present our impact in the business and society. It also featured more sustainable projects, which could be measured on a yearly basis. I’m excited to see these programs grow from the beginning stages and look forward to seeing how they are carried forward into the future.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Before coming to business school, I helped to establish and develop business in more than ten countries for my previous company. The achievement I most proud of is the trust that I built with my global customers from Cambodia, New Zealand, Kenya, to Puerto Rico. In Cambodia, for example, I helped my customer to identify the product-market fit and developed the pricing strategy. Because of the relationship I built, the customer even sent people to our factory to learn to establish their own laboratory and QC measurements. This kind of trust also led to year-over-year revenue increasing by 68% from this customer. I learned the importance of building this kind of trust with people, and I really appreciate how this experience helped me grow.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? There are so many great professors in our school. If I have to name one, I’d say Professor David Primo because his class, “Strategy Beyond Markets”, is really eye-opening. We talked about things well beyond what is included in traditional market strategy, from lobbying, global crisis management to the latest issues about Business Roundtable. The discussion with both classmates and the professor was fascinating and with the depth that I haven’t experienced before. In addition, I also enjoy classes from Professor Ravi Mantena, Vera Tilson, Rick Cardot, Rajiv Dewan, and Takeaki Sunada because they helped me to build up my analytical skills.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? JIHAN JAM, it’s a Simon Community celebration of the life of Jihan Cooke ’18S. She passed away because of cancer in 2018 and Simon MBA decided to pass her love to the future generation. Last year, we collectively raised more than $2,300 at the event for the Wilmot Cancer Institute. It really shows how our students and the school values the community and care about each other.

Another signature event I really enjoy is the Diversity & Inclusion Talent Show. There are so many talents in our school and this is the event that makes people shine. The event and other D&I events such as Global Showcase connect students from different backgrounds together even more than before, and you would know some of the hidden gems of our classmates!

Why did you choose this business school? From the start, I felt there’s something special about this school. I enjoyed the conversation with the Admission Directors Julie Sadwick and Andrew Brayda. These discussions show how they value my own thinking processes and reflected genuine interests in me as an applicant. They also shared valuable information about Rochester and answered any questions I had. I then started to reach out to alumni of the school to learn more about it. After I did all the research, I felt this is the environment that could help me learn and grow.

After arriving at Simon, I was surprised by how strong the school community is. I have great and supportive advisors for Career, Student life, and Clubs. The amazing professors, the student council, the club leaders, the coach, the Student Career Advisors, and the tutors (Yes! we have free tutor here for everyone in Simon!) are all important parts of this community and make us thrive.

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Be authentic and learn how to tell your story well. It will help even when you need to interview for different roles in the future. In addition, try to reach out to people in this program so that you could know what differentiates Simon from other business schools, and incorporate your findings in your story of why you chose Simon.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? I would take advantage of our TA and professor’s office hours more often. They care deeply about the students’ learning experience. In my second year, I did take this advice and received precious insights and guidance. Some of the professors are highly experienced industry experts, and this is a valuable asset to our students (I even got one of my interviews from the connection of a professor!).

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Adeeso Adetoye – I’m glad to have him as my roommate in my second year. He was previously a Manager of PWC Nigeria and also a founder of a startup. In Simon, he’s the President of Simon Vision Consulting club (a pro-bono service for corporations), TA, and a tutor for many classes. On a personal level, he’s also a great husband and father to his amazing family. As his friend, I have learned how to think more strategically and analyze business problems more efficiently.

Wallace Gundy – She was president of our Graduate Business Council and worked tirelessly with members of the Council and other Club leaders to ensure the students experience a variety of views while on campus. We have weekly coffee hours and hang-out Thursday nights at KSS (Keep Simon Social) events. Besides class discussions, our club speakers covered topics from gender representation in the finance fields to raising awareness of AIDS in the community. Surprisingly for me, elder generations living in nursing homes are one of the high-risk groups and more and more stakeholders are starting to address this issue. The depth of discussion and diverse topics really makes Simon special and different from other schools.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? The idea of obtaining an MBA occurred later in my life. I worked for seven years after receiving my undergraduate degree. This experience gave me the confidence that I could do more with my career including pivoting into new fields. My research showed that a two-year full-time MBA would allow me to build up new skillsets and also establish the trust of firms and stakeholders in a variety of industries.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? I’m learning to use R for a pricing analytics project. The learning curve is steep but I enjoy it. After this class, I want to challenge myself to use different data sets and pursue another pricing project to continue to sharpen these skills.

During my recent summer in California, I self-trained for the Golden Gate Double 8K Run and won third place in my age group. I now want to do something similar (or bigger) this summer.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? A person who could walk the talk and a strong supporter for the local and global community!

Hobbies? Karaoke, jogging when there’s no snow, and potluck with friends!

What made Tady such an invaluable member of the Class of 2020?

“Tady is an outstanding member of Simon’s 2020 MBA class. His uniqueness centers on three attributes – being a true global citizen, a passionate employee, and a supportive leader that helps to elevate those around him.

  • Global Citizen. Tady’s journey to Simon has literally spanned the globe. He began his career in the Taiwanese military, spent over five years working in over ten countries in Southeast Asia, interned in Napa Valley, studied in New York, and participated in student treks and conferences in Boston, Silicon Valley, and China. In our profession, we often talk about the value international experiences can bring – Tady epitomizes them. He speaks multiple languages and is comfortable conducting business in different cultures and countries.
  • Passionate Employee. Tady has shown – repeatedly – that he is a passionate employee that not only meets goals but exceeds them. He grew in his initial role at Sheng Yu Steel starting as an assistant and emerging as a global business leader overseeing $9 million in annual revenue across multiple countries. During his internship at WineDirect last summer, he stepped into a dynamic tech firm and helped redesign their B2B pricing strategy and increase their projected annual recurring revenue by over $3.7 million in only 12-weeks.
  • Supportive Leader. The above items make Tady a good candidate. What makes him a great one, is his desire to not only lead but support others around him. Tady has expertise in the supply chain/logistics area. He continues to educate himself in and out of the classroom on these topics. When other students are looking to learn more, Tady has always been open to meeting with them and helping students quickly get up to speed. He has also taken on more formal leadership roles including the President of the school’s Net Impact club. This role also highlights his strong desire to “give back” to the community. In addition to the club, he also volunteers at Habitat for Humanity, Veterati (mentoring for veterans and military spouses), and as a second-year MBA “buddy” for another incoming international student.

The combination of these factors is truly what makes Tady stand out from his peers. It is what makes him a leader now and will ensure his success going forward.”

Andrew Tempest
MBA Career Advisor
Benet Career Center
Simon Business School


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