Mike Alcazaren ’19S (MBA)

Mike Alcazaren ’19S (MBA)

Mike Alcazaren ’19S (MBA)
Hometown: Buffalo, NY
Scholarship: Ronald H. Fielding Leadership Fellow

Dear Mr. Fielding,

I’m so proud to be recognized as a Fielding Fellow, something that has already had such an impact on my time at Simon. I’ve been given the chance to emerge as a leader among such high performing peers, to be an ambassador for Simon, and to set a top-tier example for my class. As an aspiring entreprenuer, this scholarship gives me the freedom to follow my dreams without the added stress of having to make ends meet. Thank you for this one-of-a-kind opportunity to explore my passion and make a real difference through my business education.

Sincerely,
Mike Alcazaren

“As an undergraduate, I was drawn to engineering. I had a knack for pulling things apart and putting them back together, but my interest also led me to leadership roles within Engineers for a Sustainable World, an organization focused on building for the future and practicing leadership skills. It really scratched this itch I had to lead.

After graduating from the University at Buffalo, I moved to Boston where I worked at a few engineering firms. I really enjoyed my job, but in the midst of all of this, I started my own company, Canary Drones. Our vision was to use drone technology to detect agricultural diseases before the human eye. Despite being passionate, I quickly learned that our team didn’t have the business skills to be successful, and ultimately, we ended the project. I knew if I wanted to make it as an entrepreneur, I needed some essential business skills to launch my next venture—that was the catalyst to apply to Simon.

Growing up in Buffalo, I’ve always loved Western New York. I was already aware of the University of Rochester’s strong reputation, but visiting campus during Experience Simon Weekend was really eye opening. It showed off exactly what made Simon so unique—a small analytical community of collaborative people helping each other achieve their goals. I knew it was a place I could really hone my leadership skills.

Shortly after I was admitted, I participated in Simon’s scholarship weekend to compete for additional funding. My future classmates and I were placed on teams, and each team was presented with the same case challenge to develop a new product launch strategy for Starbucks. After presenting, a committee of staff and alumni awarded prizes, ranging from merit scholarship increases to leadership scholarships, and I was one of only three students to receive the Fielding Fellowship.

This scholarship was a turning point for me. As a Fielding Fellow, I’ve become a more engaged student. I’ve joined groups like the Simon Venture Capital Fund, and I get to represent the school at case competitions and interact with alumni and prospective students. It’s motivated me to take advantage of great professional and networking opportunities, which led to my upcoming internship as a senior product manager at Amazon this summer.

After graduating, I hope to start a clean technology company in Western New York. I moved from Buffalo because I couldn’t find a job, but I want to be able to provide students like me a career path so they can make a difference where they grew up.”

Support a deserving scholar
To learn how you can help students realize their academic dreams and potential, contact Stephen A. Dare, senior associate vice president for University Advancement for Academic Relations, at (585) 275-7530.

The Ronald H. Fielding Scholarship was established in 2002 through a generous gift from Ronald H. Fielding ’73 (MA), ’76S (MBA). The Fielding Scholarship provides support for Fielding Leadership Fellows in the Simon Business School at the University of Rochester and is the premier scholarship offered by Simon.


—Story compiled by Kristine Thompson and Meghan Goff, April 2018

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