The William E. Simon School of Business Administration is launching its first master of science degree program in New York City with a concentration in finance. It is a 13-month long program designed for working professionals in the city seeking an advanced finance degree.
“We’ve offered programs historically in Europe [and] Australia and we’ve helped with some programs in India and China, but this is the first one we’re doing in New York City,” Dean of the Simon School Mark Zupan said.

The growth of similar programs in Rochester over the past five years spurred the idea, which was suggested by two Simon alumni, Nancy Hsieh and Michael Sassoon. They felt that Simon School should have more of a presence in New York City.

The M.S. program is targeted at age groups 21 to 35, particularly at those working in the finance-related industry.

Out of the 12 courses offered, 10 will be conducted in midtown Manhattan on alternating weekends beginning March 2011. The remaining two courses are week-long programs held at the UR campus in the summer and Switzerland in March 2012.

“The intent of those is to be able to bring different professors into the discussion, to have people come up to see the UR campus and get to know UR, and then to get the international finance and economics background,” Director of Executive Education at Simon School Janet Anderson, said.

Classes will be taught by world-renowned UR faculty in the fields of finance, accounting and economics.

After completing the program, the students can apply the credits to an MBA program here by spending an additional year at UR.

“So we hope that over time, it will actually increase visibility and bring even stronger candidates back here to the home base,” Zupan said.

Other side benefits for the Simon School include job opportunities due to the broader connection to New York area. More students will have potential opportunities from programs there, on the account of Simon School having a greater visibility in the New York market.

Zupan expressed that New York City made sense strategically, in terms of its reputation in finance and proximity to Rochester.

There will also be easier access to guest speakers and lecturers from the financial world. The simon School has 3,000 alumni in the area, some of whom Anderson has been working with to establish the program.

“New York City by far is the most important market to us,” Zupan said. “The more established we are there [will] make the home base even stronger. It’s just a natural way to have a beacon for the UR campus.”

The M.S. program has been receiving many applications from UR undergrads with a liberal arts background, based in New York City. Historically, New York City has been the number one destination for students from Rochester. With this program, they would not have to give up the opportunity to pursue additional schooling.

“For those who want to stay in New York, it’s an option for them now versus having to uproot,” Anderson said. “Others who are there for a few years’ experience and want to come back to Rochester after are looking at the M.B.A. as an option.”

The first candidate to be accepted was Murtaza Partapurwala, a UR alum and senior consultant at Allscripts in Manhattan.

“To have the convenience as well as a brand name of Simon on your résumé are the two main reasons that I have applied to the M.S. program,” Partapurwala said.

With what he is looking to get out of the program, Partapurwala thinks gaining more knowledge in finance will help him succeed in the field. He hopes to gain a deep understanding of finance, especially after the financial crisis.

“We pride ourselves on the quality of the education, the high ranking but also the personal touch. We think it’ll be a good group in New York City to follow that model,” Zupan said.

Lim is a member of class 2014.

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