Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Connor Hutchison, University of Rochester (Simon)

Connor Hutchison

University of Rochester, Simon Business School

“An energetic, inquisitive, and conscientious MBA candidate and veteran of the US Navy’s bomb squad.”

Hometown: Ortley Beach, New Jersey

Fun Fact About Yourself: I played the violin for eight years.

Undergraduate School and Major: Saint Leo University – BA in Criminal Justice

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: US Navy – Senior Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician

Rochester Simon is known for being “unabashedly analytical.” Why does the program’s focus on quantitative analysis and decision-making appeal to you? How do you intend to leverage this approach as a student and professional? My previous work experience in construction and the US Navy allowed me to build a solid qualitative skill set. The next step in rounding out my professional ability is the addition of an MBA from a notoriously rigorous quantitative program. Further, through Simon Vision Consulting, I’ll have hands-on experience providing consultation to local New York businesses early in my education. I’ll be leveraging what I’ve learned from Simon and previous experience when I move into the consulting industry as a tested decision-maker with a solid qualitative and quantitative track record. To me, the better I can integrate myself in this regard, the more effectively I can navigate the world and ultimately improve it.

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of Rochester Simon’s MBA curriculum or programming that led you to choose this business school, and why was it so important to you? The STEM designation was a major attraction. In particular, Simon being the first MBA program to earn the STEM designation for any MBA specialization showed that “unabashedly analytical” isn’t just a clever quip. The most important takeaway was that Simon delivered on their promise, and they continue to do so in every aspect.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at Rochester Simon? International immersions. While I’ve spent a fair amount of time working with individuals from other countries during military exercises, experiencing a foreign country through a business lens can provide insights and experiences that few will ever understand. This exposure is invaluable from a personal growth perspective. Given our degree of global connectivity, these experiences are essential for responsible stewardship moving forward.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: It was becoming a member of the US Navy’s bomb squad when I graduated from my military job training. After years of preparation, and two years of some of the most demanding training the military has to offer, my dad pinned the badge of a new Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician on my chest. The event was very heavy for everyone involved, and it was the proudest moment of my professional life so far.

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans. This book was recommended by a Simon alumnus. It gave me the tools to distill what I was truly looking for in my MBA experience, as well as what I wanted my life to look like after business school. The book provided a more structured approach to understanding my motivations and future desires, which are valuable to anyone – not just MBA students. However, at a pivotal moment in your life, the practices and information contained in this book are steps in the right direction that you can take right now.

Looking ahead two years, what would make your MBA experience successful? While micro-goals continue to emerge as I move through the MBA experience, the main metric that will decide success will be based upon the quality of relationships we create. I’m expecting no issues scoring well in that regard because, despite the freezing winters, there is a very warm community at Simon. I’m confident I’ve already made friendships that will last a lifetime, and I have the MBA experience to thank for that.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Simon’s MBA program? Get to know the program from all sides, and understand what Simon offers specifically. Speak to those currently at Simon, as well as those who have come and gone. If you aren’t part of something like a veterans’ club, the easiest route would be to contact the Admissions Office directly. There is no shortage of new and current students/staff willing to speak candidly with someone debating the value of a Simon MBA, and Admissions can put you in contact with these individuals.


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