The Simon Business School at the University of Rochester takes a quantitative, economics-based approach to the MBA.
“Simon’s degree programs inspire a new level of clarity: about how analytical frameworks drive success in business; about what it takes to collaborate and manage in the contemporary, global workplace; and about professional growth and goals,” says Rebekah S. Lewin, assistant dean of admissions and financial aid at Simon.
That approach is, perhaps, most apparent in the fact that Simon became the first U.S. business school with a STEM-designated option for each of its full-time MBA specializations. In the fall of 2019, Simon plans to launch an innovative new MBA curriculum that emphasizes the skills required to operate in an increasingly data-driven business environment as well as management skills needed to successfully lead diverse teams.
Lewin says the redesigned curriculum will allow students to take more electives during their first year, work with other students with similar career interests, and choose from a breadth of electives aimed at teaching in-demand skills.
When Simon MBAs arrive on campus, they have the option of specializing in one of 10 areas within three core business verticals: finance, marketing, and consulting. Ultimately, whichever specialty a student picks will determine his or her MBA study plan. Each plan includes core and elective courses, a project-based course, and access to student clubs and organizations, all of which are complimentary within the area of specialization.
One of the more unique specializations at Simon is the Pricing track, in which students can delve into pricing theory and techniques. Simon is the first business school to offer a specialized pricing track within the MBA program and is one of just two U.S. business schools that currently have a pricing program.
In 2007, Simon founded the Center for Pricing, a research center dedicated to providing a platform for meaningful interaction between business executives, educators, and researchers. The business school also has an exclusive partnership with the Professional Pricing Society, which serves thousands of members, representing all leading industries and over 50 countries. The partnership offers Simon students exclusive invitations to the PPS annual conference, which provides exposure to industry executives.
Despite its specialized tracks, Simon intends for its students to have a well-rounded set of skills. Every Simon MBA is required to take at least two breadth electives, which are courses focused on professional skills such as leadership, business ethics, negotiation, and organizational behavior. These electives are designed to ensure every Simon MBA enters the workforce positioned to make an immediate impact.
Students interested in taking these skills a step further can take part in the Simon EDGE program, a comprehensive professional skill-building and competency-development curricular program that focuses on communication, teamwork, and leadership skills. Students in the EDGE program can build on the technical skills they learn in the classroom through high-impact personal-development workshops and signature events throughout the course of their MBA.
Simon, Lewin says, is dedicated to helping its students reach their career goals. The school recently launched the “Integrated Student Experience,” which tailors the MBA education and experience to ensure students are getting the resources they need to get the job they want.
“One of the most cohesive, career-focused student experiences of any MBA program, Simon’s ISE closely links students’ coursework, co-curricular activities, and career search to ensure they are market-ready for their internship and full-time job,” Lewin says.