At the Rotman School of Management, the Morning & Evening MBA is not just another business degree. It is also an opportunity for you to strengthen your critical thinking skills in a business environment—essential as you move up in your career.
In this week’s interview, two of our students’ employers share their thoughts about the Rotman MBA program and what they think has been one of the most valuable skills their employees have gained: critical thinking.
Dennis McCatty, Director of Sales at Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Run Yu’s (MBA ’18) employer, believes that Run’s existing professional capabilities can take her far in her MBA career. Since joining the program, he noticed a substantial improvement in the way Run approaches problems in the workplace.
Asked about his reaction to Run’s interest in joining the Rotman MBA program he said:
When Run was thinking about joining the Rotman MBA program she approached a number of people in the organization, including myself. Because I already thought that she was a great professional with a lot of potential, my first reaction was to say that she didn’t really need an MBA. After all, many executives have gone a long way without the degree.
However, once Run explained that she wanted to join the program and the Rotman community to confront new challenges and gain new perspectives in the business field, I was on board with the idea. As a learning experience, the MBA program can reveal new frontiers, pushing you to think in a different way and from different business angles.
Similarly, in our interview with Guillaume Paradis, Manager of System Planning at Toronto Hydro and Bojan Grabovac’s (MBA ’18) employer, he emphasized the importance of the critical thinking skills gained through the MBA program:
I think the MBA program at Rotman is helping expand Bojan’s vision and is strengthening his thinking process. Since he started the program, Bojan has begun to look at the broader context of the business and not just the technology we work with at Toronto Hydro.
As an Electrical Engineer, one could fall into a tendency of focusing too much on the technical aspects of the job, and not enough on other variables that may be affecting our work and our overall business. However, through the MBA program, Bojan has had exposure to different industries and fields, ensuring he analyzes problems critically and within their broader context.
These employers also agree that the ability to think critically in their jobs has not only been evident through the way they tackle business issues, but also in the creative and innovative practices that these students have come up with in their projects at work.
In fact, Dennis McCatty said:
With Run, I’ve noticed a willingness to truly understand the nuts and bolts of our products and our issues in order to proactively create solutions and add value to the team. She doesn’t only focus on the ‘what’ of our business, but digs deeper to understand the ‘why’. For example, in her work for the Business Development team, if she notices a decline in sales, she looks into all the variables to understand what the real issue is that causes this decline.
Guillaume Paradis also commented on Bojan’s use of creative thinking in the workplace when he mentioned:
When analyzing how our business and projects are moving forward, Bojan has tapped into the knowledge he has gained at Rotman as well as the networks he has formed. In fact, we have recently started working on a project concerning Asset Management and Bojan has been instrumental in finding the right people to help us with this project. He has even connected with faculty members who have extensive experience in this field.
Overall, it is clear that the challenging content and stimulating environment provided by the MBA program at the Rotman School of Management gives an edge to the overall graduate business experience. Through their participation in the program, both Run and Bojan have been able to gain the skills and knowledge to power important solutions and changes in their work.