Angèle Beausoleil: “Design is the bridge”

Rosemary Hannam, Senior Research Associate with the Centre for Health Sector Strategy at Rotman, recently sat down with Angèle Beausoleil, Assistant Professor, Business Design and Innovation. Their talk focused on what Angèle would bring to Rotman’s Global Executive MBA for Healthcare and The Life Sciences (GEMBA-HLS) and what students can expect in the San Francisco module of the program.

Rosemary: I understand you’ve recently come to us from the West Coast. We’re thrilled to welcome you to Rotman, and to the GEMBA-HLS program. Could you give us a quick overview of what you’ll be teaching for us in the program?

A woman looking at the camera

Angèle Beausoleil, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream — Business Design and Innovation

Angèle: I will be designing and delivering a course that integrates design thinking into healthcare innovation. At Rotman we have pioneered a methodology called Business Design™. Business Design takes our students through a process of understanding and applying human-centred design principles and methods to business innovation activities. The course offers foundational knowledge on the innovation process and weaves practical frameworks and techniques in first need or problem finding, then problem framing and finally problem solving.

Rosemary: Your course will be delivered in San Francisco in Module 2, along with our Digital Health course. I understand you’ve spent quite a bit of time there. How will you take advantage of the location? What types of experiences can your students expect to have?

Angèle: Yes, I am a recovering entrepreneur and former executive, having worked with many San Francisco-based organizations on educational and technological initiatives over the past 30 years. Following my recently completed PhD from the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia, I was recruited to UC Berkeley Haas to teach an applied innovation and design course for executive MBAs, similar to the course I’ll be teaching in this program. The San Francisco and greater ‘Bay Area’ location is very relevant to this course, as it has evolved into one of the largest design centres in the world where firms are integrating design into technological and social innovations. Agencies, R&D firms and corporations have been able to demonstrate how design is the bridge between research and development, art and engineering, technical performance and human behavior.

This intensive business design course for the GEMBA-HLS will integrate course modules with site visits. The course modules offer the building blocks to truly understand the innovation process, and how to apply design principles and techniques to find, frame and solve business challenges relevant to their industry. The site visits offer the student the opportunity to engage with executives from these firms and take a look at how they’re applying design principles in day-to-day practice. This experiential course will have a live healthcare case for the students to apply their learning to – increasing their level of fluency with design.

Specifically, the students will apply ‘lean ethnography’ methods, such as observations and interactions in the field, to the live business challenge in an effort to build empathy and discover deep user insights. From the data collected, they will use design-driven data analysis and synthesis techniques to frame the challenge through the lens of the user/patient/stakeholder. From this critical framing phase, the students will then iterate potential solutions based on the key insights and propose one as an innovation.

Rosemary: Overall, what is unique about the healthcare and life sciences sector in San Francisco?

Angèle: With the advent of successful innovators from the engineering and technology sectors, we are seeing a move toward applying patient and user-centred mindset to healthcare and life sciences. For example, universities, foundations, and governments are applying “design thinking” to their missions. For the past few years, Apple has been aggressively hiring healthcare-related talent. Most recently, they recruited our very own Dr Mike Evans, a physician from St Michael’s Hospital in Toronto and an associate professor of family and community medicine at the University of Toronto. Overall, the Bay Area is one jurisdiction actively integrating design into digital technologies as a way forward to transform their current healthcare systems, and we’ll be taking a first-hand look at how it’s done.

Angèle Beausoleil is the assistant professor, teaching stream of Business Design and Innovation at Rotman. She has a PhD in Innovation and Design Pedagogy from the University of British Columbia. She is a visiting lecturer at UC Berkeley Haas, having received a “top teacher award” for her applied innovation MBA courses, and was formerly an adjunct professor at the Sauder School of Business, at the University of British Columbia. She teaches human-centred design for business innovation, design research, creativity and innovation management at Rotman. She leads teaching-related research with organizations in technology, healthcare, consulting and creative sectors in Canada, US and Mexico. Her research is focused on studying teaching and learning methods for design and innovation fluency. Prior to graduate studies, she held executive positions in marketing, strategy and innovation for Canadian, North American and global agencies and corporations. During her 25 years in industry, she garnered over 20 international awards for educational products, service design and digital platforms. She has held board directorships with Telus Health, Interface Health, Vancouver International Film Society and Merging Media.

Read more about Rotman’s Global Executive MBA for Healthcare and The Life Sciences.

How Priscilla Sam Found the Missing Pieces

Priscilla Sam works in a company which is all about putting the pieces together: LEGO Canada Inc. And in 2015, she realized that there was an important piece missing in her professional life.

A smiling woman

Priscilla Sam got more than she bargained for when she enrolled in Rotman’s Morning MBA.

Passionate about continuous development, Priscilla saw that in order to advance in her career, she would need to invest in her leadership skills and deepen her knowledge in management frameworks. Business Design was an easy choice, but she would have to fit this learning journey into her already busy life.

Rotman’s Morning MBA was the solution. “I could go to class between 7 and 9 am, put in a full work day, and then after work, I could still work out, do readings or extra-curricular activities, or hear a speaker. What I’d need to give up was just sleep!”

Priscilla also chose Rotman for its focus on business design: the integration of customer empathy, experience design and business strategy. “I could learn from a couple of the pioneers of business design. Not a lot of other schools in Canada offer that so it was also a big value-add.”

Once Priscilla started her MBA, she got more than she bargained for, thanks in part to the strong networking component of Rotman’s program.

“Before I came into the MBA I would describe myself as very reserved, [although] I was ambitious to grow beyond that … I didn’t imagine in the beginning that I would end up being so involved. In the first year I joined the Women in Management Association as a representative for the part-time class, and then the year after I was elected to be on the executive team.”

“I built relationships with the other female students and my perspective has grown a thousand times because I’ve never been in an environment where so many people are encouraging, and advocating for the best for you and everyone is working towards elevating together. The awesome thing is…all the men [have] been supportive as well.”

Priscilla recently moved into a new role at LEGO Canada, integrating her employer’s sales and marketing objectives with those of the retailers, allowing the partners to build business together. She credits her MBA with broadening her perspective.

“What I’ve noticed is the ability to focus more broadly, looking at all the stakeholders, which is particularly important in my role because it’s so much about partnership development. Also, I’ve learned so many different tools, for example mapping tools, which I’ve used often in my workplace. I’m more aware of myself as a leader, and I’ve also been inspired to give back to the community.”

Priscilla works in Trade and Retail Marketing at LEGO Canada Inc. She earned her degree in Rotman’s Morning MBA program in 2018.

Singapore: A Global Destination for Healthcare Management

Rosemary Hannam, Senior Research Associate with the Centre for Health Sector Strategy at Rotman, recently sat down with Professor Will Mitchell. The interview below focuses on what students in Rotman’s Global Executive MBA for Healthcare and the Life Sciences can expect in Singapore, and why this is a global destination for healthcare management.

 

Rosemary:  Professor Mitchell, congratulations on launching the new Global Executive MBA for Healthcare and the Life Sciences. I hear the response has been tremendous so far.

Will:  Thanks Rosemary, we’re really pleased with the number and quality of the applicants so far.  The class is shaping up beautifully.

Rosemary:  That’s just terrific.  Clearly, you’ve designed a program that fills a need in the MBA market.

Professor Will Mitchell with a student

Professor Will Mitchell with a student

Will:  We believe so.  The combination of the MBA, customized for the healthcare industry and delivered in a modular format for the working professional, with a focus on global best practices, is really resonating with the sector.

Rosemary:  That’s great to hear.  The global nature of the program is particularly unique, and it would be interesting to know more about that aspect of the program design.  Let’s focus on the global destinations, specifically Singapore, one of three cities you visit in the program.  As I understand, there are six residency periods, four in Toronto, one in San Francisco and one in Singapore.  Why did you choose Singapore?

Will: It’s a good question, and it wasn’t easy to decide.  We spent quite a bit of time speaking with other faculty and leaders in the field regarding possible destinations, and many options came forward.  After some weeks Singapore emerged as a clear winner, for several reasons.

Overall, the country is a centre of excellence for care delivery, health and clinical research, the biomedical and life science industries, and technological innovation.

From a care delivery perspective, Singapore has one of the best health systems in the world.  They deliver high quality services for a reasonable amount – only 4.9%[1] of GDP is spent on health, compared to 10.5% spent in Canada, 17.1% in the U.S., and 11.7% even in highly regarded health systems such as Switzerland.  The services are funded by mandated private insurance for individuals, with a fall-back option for those without employment.

From a commercial perspective there are many global health and life sciences firms in the pharma and med tech sectors that have headquarters in Singapore to serve the Asian markets.  For example, Novartis Alcon, GE, and Johnson & Johnson.

From a technology perspective, Singapore has developed and implemented many innovative solutions, such as a National Electronic Health Record program launched in 2011, and telehealth and telemedicine are both used expensively throughout the country.

The Singapore market itself is small but sophisticated, and close to the quickly emerging markets in Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines, and close to India and China.

It’s a small place, easy to get around, and the population is a mix of Singapore natives and expats on short term assignments.  We’ll spend 7 days there in early July, and while we’re there we’ll take full advantage of the local environment and provide opportunities to learn about a major growth region.  We’ll hear from executives about their experiences, visit facilities, and potentially engage in local projects.

The region also offers an opportunity to compare emerging strategies – for example, we’ll be able to see how a company’s strategy for Vietnam, an emerging market, is different than one for Thailand, which is more developed.  It’s also an opportunity to learn about how companies are tackling huge growing markets such as China and India.

Rosemary:  Wow, that’s very convincing.  How are you going to pack all that into 7 days, with school work as well?

Will: Two ways – One, the local experiences are designed to cover specific learning objectives, so some of the hours spent engaged with senior executives will count as our class time, and two, we’ll cover as much material as we can using our distance learning platform before and after the trip, to free up hours to studying the local industry when we’re there.

Rosemary:  That makes good sense, thank you.  Any other comments for us?

Will:  Come and join us, it’s going to be a fantastic learning opportunity!

For more information on Singapore see Quora.

[1] https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SH.XPD.TOTL.ZS?locations=SG (retrieved Feb 16, 2018)

The Leadership Development Program: An Integral Piece of the Executive MBAs at Rotman

We hear again and again from students and alumni that one of their top reasons for choosing Rotman is our expertise in leadership training. Being a great leader and being a great manager are two very different pieces. We take pride in helping managers and executives become powerful leaders using a personal approach. With that in mind, we sat down with Professor Scott Rutherford who is truly an expert in leadership training.

Scott Rutherford Associate Professor, Faculty-at-Large

Scott Rutherford
Associate Professor, Faculty-at-Large

Prof. Rutherford teaches courses in leadership and management consulting, business problem solving and integrative thinking as well as working within . Additionally, he works with McKinsey & Company and their clients on topics such as Leadership Development and Top Team Strategy & Alignment. But one piece we were particularly interested in was Rotman’s Leadership Development Program, which is available to students in Rotman’s Executive MBA programs: the One-year Executive MBA, the Global Executive MBA and the new Global Executive MBA for Healthcare and the Life Sciences.

Rotman: Tell us about the Leadership Development Program.

Rutherford: The Leadership Development Program at Rotman provides some important connective-tissue between curricular and co-curricular offerings. It helps students leverage their concurrent work experiences and integrate what they are learning into a coherent, informed and intentional journey of professional and personal development.

Rutherford: The work of the program is spread across the entire Executive MBA experience, but the cornerstone of the program is a two day, offsite residential Leadership Retreat that helps to catalyze and accelerate the transformational leadership development journey that the students have embarked upon.

Rotman: What kind of impact can students expect as an outcome of the program?

Rutherford: Executive MBA students will learn an amazing number of new and valuable ideas and concepts, and also practice new skills. The real impact of the Leadership Development Program extends these new ways of thinking and doing into new ways of being. They learn new ways of showing up in the room and in the world.

Rutherford: We encourage students to step back from their success so far in life, take stock, and give themselves permission to step into a new sense of professional identity and become more the leader that they aspire to become.

Rotman: How does the Leadership Development Program tie back into everything else students will learn during their Executive MBA?

Rutherford:  In a way, everything students will do during their Executive MBA experience at Rotman will be part of their Leadership Development Program. That is, one definition of leadership is the ability to bring about a desired future for oneself and others. Therefore at the very beginning of their Rotman experience, we ask students to imagine and articulate their desired future as a result of this period of intense work and study at this point in their lives.

Rutherford: The rest of the Leadership Development Program, and indeed the MBA itself, is focused on helping students bring about their desired future by offering new ways of thinking, acting and being. We do that by providing rich learning and experiences with regular developmental feedback and, most importantly, supporting the active co-development of the entire cohort through sharing of experiences, challenges and successes.

Rotman: You’ve been running the Leadership Development Program for a few years now. Can you tell us about some of the tangible changes you’ve seen in students and alumni?

Rutherford: The tangible changes we’ve seen to date from this program include accelerated career progression, successful transitions to new regions, countries and industries, and many other key indicators of professional growth and development.

Rutherford: I’m particularly proud of those students that have extended their leadership development success from the professional space into their broader ‘life’ space, and feel in a much better place not just at work, but at home and in other life pursuits. I believe these students are now more inspiring to others by becoming more inspired themselves.

How a GEMBA student went from digital marketing to big picture strategy

Jean George hadn’t thought she would earn an MBA. She became more exposed to the idea when her brother was working on his own MBA applications. She was happy for him but at that point she was not entirely sure why he thought it was necessary – he was already an engineer with a busy consulting schedule. “Watching my brother embrace change forced me to analyze my own professional life.  I had become very routine and I was a bit too comfortable. Looking back, I was definitely bored,” she said.

Jean George is currently earning her Global Executive MBA at Rotman

Jean George is currently earning her Global Executive MBA at Rotman

Three months later she learned about the global MBA from her now fellow classmate John Thomas, changed her mind about pursuing an MBA and entered Rotman’s Global Executive MBA program. “I had no idea that an MBA could be served in this format,” she said.  The ability to work and take classes in different countries around the world were key factors that convinced her to go back to school.  Jean, who had worked as a digital marketing consultant, had picked up a client in Dubai. “I wanted to do more of that type of work,” she explained. “I actually asked my client how I could get more engagements like that one either within Dubai or other markets and they flat-out said an MBA would be helpful because it translates across all countries. Everyone understands what an MBA is.”

Going back to school years after her undergrad was daunting, but Jean quickly discovered that this was the best possible time for a change. “I definitely appreciate it more. The last time I was in school I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. Now I know where I’m going to use stats, I understand how valuable economics is. I can respect finance and accounting because I’ve actually used them.” Between working full time for Rotman’s Creative Destruction Lab and attending classes across five continents, her schedule is packed full. “Life doesn’t give you a break, that’s not how it works. I prefer working and being in school because I’ve actually taken things directly from class and then applied them right away. It really reinforces the learning. It forces you to change your perspective.”

Getting too comfortable is something Jean wants to avoid. “I got to a point with digital marketing where I felt I couldn’t learn anything else. I wasn’t challenged and I stopped growing. Now I’ve been very humbled by the fact that there’s a lot I don’t know.”

In fact, that’s part of why Jean decided to apply for the Global Executive MBA rather than any of the other programs offered at the School. “I had travelled a lot personally, but that doesn’t mean you know an area from a business standpoint. I’ve been to some of the module destinations previously on vacation, but going there for school was a totally different experience. I got to see things and learn things I probably wouldn’t have looked for otherwise.”

One of the most valuable aspects of the Global Executive MBA are the people you meet in your class.  “I have been able learn just as much, if not more from my peers as some of the classes.  Doing an MBA you are able to connect with individuals you may have never come across on your own.  One of the courses, capstone, emphasized this action of connecting with individuals outside your direct network.” The capstone project involves applying what you’ve learned in your MBA to a real work problem. Jean’s class was asked to interview individuals based on the topic they were assigned.

“The topic my group had was AI, and I had interviewed 3 individuals. From those conversations I realized the importance of AI and definitely wanted to work in the space,” Jean said. “I didn’t know a lot about artificial intelligence, but I realized it was going to impact our society and the job market. And I thought how am I going to ride this change in terms of the skillset that I can provide? I’m not an engineer or a coder.”

Daniel Mulet, the Associate Director from the Creative Destruction Lab, worked in the field and was one of the individuals she interviewed.  After their conversation he suggested she meet their team, and not long after she became their Marketing Manager. “I’m happy to see that I do have a place in the tech sector. Being an entrepreneur, I like the start up space. It’s a little bit messy, the borders are not very well-defined, but I enjoy it.  I’m happy to know that there’s a space for someone like me who isn’t an engineer. I’ve been able make a change in my line of work before graduating. That’s a good feeling.” This all came about by having a thirty minute conversation with someone outside of my network.

Jean with her GEMBA class during their India module - an MBA is more than just accounting and finance

Jean with her GEMBA class during their India module – an MBA is more than just accounting and finance

We asked Jean if she had any advice for people considering applying to the Global Executive MBA. “You will really get to know yourself.  Throughout the program you are continually put in ambiguous situations. Imagine you’re balancing work, school, travel and group assignments. You’re going to learn a lot about yourself and what you’re good at. I really know what my strengths are now and I know my confidence has gone up because of this program. I have been able to meet people I wouldn’t have otherwise met,  traveled places I’ve never been before, and I got to learn about topics I don’t know if I would have ever naturally come across. If you’re looking for a change, it’s a great way to go about it.”

A member of the Rotman team is always available to personally review your resume and provide one-on-one advice about making your application as strong as possible. Make 2018 the year you earn your MBA.

How Nastassia Bukina juggles work and the Evening MBA

Nastassia Bukina is an accomplished professional living and working downtown Toronto. This year, she made the decision to apply for Rotman’s Evening MBA program in order to earn her degree part-time while continuing to work. During the application process, all of our applicants are automatically considered for entrance awards, and Natassia’s application was particularly outstanding. She is one of four winners of a Forte Fellowship Award, part of one million dollars in entrance awards available to Rotman Morning & Evening MBA students. We sat down to talk to her about the experience so far.

People decide to earn an MBA for a variety of reasons. With Nastassia’s background in engineering and business, she already had experience with problem solving and analytical challenges, but she needed something more. “I felt like I had a gap in strategic thinking and leadership. I thought I could either learn these skills organically on the job or I could fast-track and learn through an MBA program.”

Nastassia Bukina, Rotman Evening MBA student

Nastassia Bukina, Rotman Evening MBA student

Classes in the Morning & Evening MBAs take place two days a week, either before work from 7-8:59 am or after work in the evening from 6:30-8:30 pm in downtown Toronto. That format was very appealing to Nastassia. “One major benefit of this program is that you are able to continue working and study during your mornings or evenings. That way everything you learn in the classroom can be taken back to work the next day. Or vice versa!”

It’s not just the timing of the classes that appealed, though. Each MBA class is made up of talented, accomplished professionals from a wide range of industries. When asked about the most rewarding part of the program so far, she was quick to point to her exceptional classmates. “We have an amazing group. We’re very social and there is true camaraderie in our group. When things go well we all celebrate together. On the flip side, if we’re in the middle of exams everyone is very helpful –  a classmate actually hosted a tutorial session for the group once. Everyone is very supportive and that makes it a lot easier.”  Her new network of professionals from different backgrounds helps Nastassia get the most out of her degree, but they’re also helpful back at work, too. “If you’re having trouble at work you have tremendous resources at school that you can use to bounce ideas off of; people who might have more insights into an area you’re not familiar with.”

Earning an MBA while you work is relevant and rewarding, but it’s also a lot of hard work. “It is what you make of it,” Nastassia said. “I think to get the most benefit out of the program you have to be involved. Make connections with your classmates and participate in class. There are a lot of clubs and case competitions that are offered at Rotman.” Case competitions allow students to test their skills and knowledge in real-time. “I’m working on a few case competitions at the moment. It’s an interesting contrast to things we learn in class and is a great opportunity to work with your classmates to apply theoretical concepts to real life scenarios.”

If you’ve been considering applying for Rotman’s Morning MBA or Evening MBA programs, Nastassia has some parting wisdom. “What I found to be most helpful was coming to Rotman and seeing what it’s like for myself. Talk to admissions, go to coffee chats, attend an actual class, and talk to current students and alumni.”

You can learn more about Rotman’s Morning & Evening MBAs here.

Intensive Weeks, the MBA Experience, and Balance

One of the best way to learn what an MBA is like before you start class is to speak with current and past students in the program. Recently we sat down with two outstanding students in Rotman’s Evening MBA to ask them about their experiences. Both Casey Yang and Nastassia Bukina are recipients of Forte Fellowship, part of the one million dollars in entrance awards available to Rotman Morning & Evening MBA students.

Casey Yang, Rotman Evening MBA student

Casey Yang, Rotman Evening MBA student

Casey Yang is a finance professional currently working in capital markets. “I came to Rotman to meet different people with different backgrounds,” she explained. “All my classmates are at the top of their own fields and are all great students and professionals.”

“It’s been almost four years since I finished my undergraduate degree in Engineering,” said Nastassia Bukina, who works in project management tackling complex problems. “I felt like I had a gap in strategic thinking and leadership. We all come into the program with different objectives. I believe that if you have an open mind you can walk away with a lot more than what you bargained for.”

Classes for the Morning and Evening MBA programs take place over 32 months, twice a week. Morning students attend class from 7:00 – 8:59 am, and Evening students from 6:30 – 8:30 pm. This schedule helps busy professionals fit a degree in around their work and personal lives. “We all have a career, we all have to take time off to come here to study, and most of us also have a family. It sometimes becomes a little bit difficult to balance all of those things,” Casey pointed out. “But it is a very excellent experience because it brings you a lot of opportunities and experience that it’s not very possible to have outside of Rotman.”

When we spoke to Casey and Nastassia they were at the tail end of an intensive week where they complete 1-2 courses quickly.  “We just completed a course on Leading People in Organizations,” Nastassia said. “It’s all about leadership, teams, and motivation.  I’m currently helping to transform a department so a lot of the concepts we learned in class were extremely relevant!”

Nastassia Bukina, Rotman Evening MBA student

Nastassia Bukina, Rotman Evening MBA student

One of the benefits of the intensive week is that students can learn a great deal in a short period of time, but there are other benefits, too. Casey was quick to point out the relationships she could develop. “I would say the beauty of the intensive week is you spend more than eight hours a day with your classmates. You really get to know them, not just say hi every day and go back home. You talk to them about their background and exchange ideas.”

The diverse backgrounds of her classmates was key for Casey. “My classmates here majored in engineering, majoring in health science, in law. They can provide a lot of ideas I had never thought of, which is pretty amazing to me.”

Both women recommended talking to current or past students to get a feel for the program. “I think if someone is interested, I would encourage them to take a more hands-on approach,” Nastassia said. “Talk to admissions, go to coffee chats, attend an actual class, and talk to current students and alumni.”

Casey’s advice for people thinking about applying was to think about the future. “This program is very rewarding once you get started.”

Speak to a member of our admissions team one-on-one to receive personalized help with your application, or attend an upcoming admissions event.

Dr. Sailaja Bhaskar – One Month in an Executive MBA

Dr. Sailaja Bhaskar is the Executive Director, Research & Development with Purdue Pharma Canada, and most recently a new student in Rotman’s One-Year Executive MBA. Sailaja has 29 years of work experience, 22 of which have been progressive roles in leading drug development for various therapeutic areas in the pharmaceutical industry. We spoke with her to find out why she chose to earn an Executive MBA and how the experience one month into the program compared to her expectations.

 

R: What were your main reasons for applying to the Executive MBA? Why did you choose Rotman?

S: I’m a scientist and I have been in drug development for the past 22 years, and my work has always been primarily in research and development. I knew I could add more value to the science if I understood the business aspects better. So I was learning about the business aspects on my own but soon realized that I would maximize my learning in a structured environment such as an EMBA.

I chose Rotman because it is very highly ranked in the world, and a highly ranked, competitive school would attract some of the best teachers and some of the best students.

The other reason is my son is studying for his undergrad at the University of Toronto!

Photo of Dr. Sailaja Bhaskar

Dr. Sailaja Bhaskar

R: How has your life, your family, and/or work changed since you joined the program?

S:  My life is a lot busier now and being back in school after so many years is tough and at times overwhelming and intimidating. It has also forced me to re-think the boundaries of my comfort zone and re-assess my daily routine. The program is challenging and requires a lot of commitment and juggling work, school and family priorities. But I am not alone in this journey; my family, my friends, my team at work are all extremely supportive and their support makes everything a little easier.

R: Has anything changed as a result of your studies? Are you able to apply what you’ve learned in class back at work?

S: Plenty! It’s only been one month of classes and already I feel like there are so many things that I can explain better, or I understand better from a business perspective. I’m just amazed at how much I have learned in just the last month.

R: What is the best part of the program so far?

S: The best part of the program are my classmates, the teachers, and the support we get from the program directors. They’re just fantastic! And the teachers are outstanding.

R: What didn’t you expect? What was different once you were actually taking classes compared to your expectations when you applied?
S:
Everyone told me it would get busy, but I could not have anticipated how busy it could get. Some days need a bit more juggling of priorities than others, and managing such a busy schedule requires a lot of planning and discipline. I am being challenged every day because the program and the course materials encourage a completely new way of thinking which is invaluable.

R: What are you looking forward to the most?
S:
 The leadership training sounds very interesting, but you know what really caught my attention? I am really curious about behavioural economics and organizational behaviour. I find it is something I would like to explore further.

Research and development is very demanding and requires team work. It goes without saying that sound science in drug development is salient but equally important is understanding customer behaviour. It’ll be good to learn more about organizational behaviour and behavioural economics and bring the learning back to work.

 

Rotman’s One-Year Executive MBA empowers managers, executives, and entrepreneurs to become better leaders. In 13 months, students gain robust business training and transformational leadership skills they need to take their careers to the next level.

Learn more about how the One-Year Executive MBA can broaden your impact at one of our upcoming webinars or other events.

Dr. Amir Sheik-Yousouf: Leadership and Business Education for Healthcare

The Canadian health sector is an intersection of economic and political priorities. This industry is on the verge of significant change due to pressure for a more sustainable, cost-effective, and integrated system across all provinces and territories. As the industry changes and adapts, our health leaders need to change and adapt as well.

Physicians like Dr. Amir Sheik-Yousouf, who specializes in internal medicine, are already ahead of the curve. Amir is on the verge of completing Rotman’s One-Year Executive MBA while maintaining his practice.

Thinking across silos

Photo of Dr. Amir Sheik-Yousouf

Dr. Amir Sheik-Yousouf

“If I look at my training as a physician, there are a lot of aspects of teamwork, personal and organizational leadership that I would have wanted to gain,” says Amir. “The Executive MBA has taught me to think outside of the box. Where perhaps I might have always used the lens of a physician or the way that I understood healthcare I can now appreciate it in a deeper manner, looking at the financial aspect of it, to even how we manage the people within the system.”

One of the major challenges of our current healthcare system is a lack of communication and collaboration across organizations, regions, and other boundaries. Each province has its own approach to care, often duplicating the work put into other provincial systems. By learning how to step back and look at the full value chain, physicians like Amir can position themselves as innovative leaders, ready to ensure our system evolves to become more effective and cohesive.

But it’s not just key business knowledge or new ways of thinking that Amir is getting out of his MBA. “One aspect of the program that I found very useful was the 360̊. It comprises of selecting peers — our managers, subordinates, and anyone else we think would be relevant — to give us an appropriate evaluation. That feedback was very useful in how I could perhaps change the way I work.”

An MBA that fits

Each professional MBA program offered at Rotman is designed to fit around the busy schedules of our students, and finding the right one often requires a combination of planning and research. The schedule of Amir’s One-Year Executive MBA was one of many key factors in his decision to attend Rotman. “Being a physician, doing an MBA program that would fit within my timetable was essential,” he says. “I had to make sure that I had applied a year in advance so that I could arrange my schedule to cater for it.”

The Rotman School focuses on helping leaders and future leaders succeed. Participants receive a personal leadership plan, one-on-one coaching, and experiential learning about a variety of topics, including personal leadership. “At the end of the day, when I compared programs across other universities, there wasn’t one that gave the reputation of U of T and Rotman, and neither was there one that I found that catered for my needs as a potential health care leader. The leadership component was what really drew me to the program.”

Amir said he applies what he has learned about management in his practice, especially the personal skills and leadership skills. “Now that people know I’m doing an MBA, they actually approach me to help them with projects. Most recently it was a staffing project within our Intensive Care Unit, which I helped the nurse manager with. So my skills certainly help, but there’s also the recognition that Amir is potentially someone who can help or a potential leader.”

At the end of his MBA, Amir will have developed the robust business and transformational leadership skills he needs to take his career, and our health systems, to the next level. “Taking your vision of yourself and the world to a different level I think is very useful.”
Rotman’s Global Executive MBA for Healthcare & the Life Sciences is designed to accelerate your career in a world of unprecedented health sector business and leadership opportunities. Applications are currently open for the inaugural 2018 class.

Rotman’s Executive Diagnostic Test for Executive MBAs

One difference between the Executive MBA Programs and the other MBA programs offered at Rotman, is the Executive Diagnostic Test (EDT). All candidates who have an undergraduate degree from a recognized university have an option to complete this test instead of the GMAT  in order to be considered for admission to any of Rotman’s Executive MBA programs.

Obtaining a successful EDT score ensures that each class is comprised of the highest quality students – those with both the necessary skills, but also the motivation to be successful. At Rotman you’ll be challenged and motivated every day by your classmates, an exceptional group of professionals who will enrich your learning and form a strong network you can leverage long after you graduate.

The EDT was developed by Rotman’s world-class faculty and focuses on key topics that will be used in several MBA courses. The test has three sections: math, graphing, and logic and reasoning. It takes approximately three hours to write. A passing grade is 80% or higher on each of the three sections, and typically, students receive feedback on their test within 72 hours. You can write the test up to three times.

One of the benefits of the EDT over the GMAT is that it requires significantly less preparation time. We provide you with all the information you need in order to prepare for and pass the test. You will receive a Math Help Guide, an EDT Workbook, and access to our EDT portal. The portal contains additional information about the EDT, including ten online video tutorials, each addressing a different topic.

Each month we offer free in-person tutorials at Rotman from 6:00 to 9:30 pm on two consecutive nights, and if you arrive early, you can enjoy a buffet dinner starting at 5:30pm. Each night covers different topics, so it’s important to attend both sessions if you can. Candidates who are out-of-province or overseas are offered additional online support in lieu of the in-person tutorials.

The first step in the admissions process for any of our Executive MBAs is to send us your resume. We review it and if we see you meet the requirements in terms of work and managerial experience, you will be invited for an interview. If the interview is successful, we will invite you to write the EDT and will give you access to all the free resources available to prepare and succeed in the test.

You can learn more about Rotman’s Executive Diagnostic Test here.

CFA or MFin? Why not both?

If you are currently studying for your CFA exam or are a charterholder, you may  wonder if you should consider completing a Master of Finance (MFin). To give you some perspective, we spoke to a number of our Rotman MFin grads who are also charterholders.

Tracy Chong, MFin ’16, CFA

Tracy Chong, MFin ’17, CFA

“While Rotman’s Master of Finance and the CFA both cover a wide range of finance topics, the MFin explores each area in much greater detail while the CFA is more focused on portfolio management.” Tracy Chong, CFA, MFin ‘17.

As Tracy points out, becoming a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) is key to certain positions within the financial sector, including portfolio management. However, the MFin will prepare you to go even further in your career. Having both is definitely an advantage, if you want to be a finance leader.

Michael Da Silva, MFin ’16, CFA

Michael Da Silva, MFin, CFA

Another recent grad, Michael Da Silva, CFA, MFin ’16, expands on this:

“Through the MFin program, you attain the technical skills needed to get an edge in any finance career—including investment banking, which is a challenging field to break into. In Heather-Anne Irwin’s Investment Banking course, you learn what it takes to be an investment banker when you produce your own M&A deal and pitch it to a panel of industry professionals.”

Omar Karim, MFin ’17, CFA

Omar Karim, MFin ’17, CFA

The practical skills learned through the MFin curriculum and the practical experience of your faculty and peers will help you take the theoretical knowledge gained during your CFA and apply it in your day-to-day. As Omar Karim, CFA, MFin ’17 says, “It is incredibly fulfilling to learn about bond theories in class one day and then apply them directly on the sales and trading floor the next day.”

Ashley Warburton, MFin ’17, CFA

Ashley Warburton, MFin ’17, CFA

Ashley Warburton, CFA, MFin ‘17 and Francois du Toit, CFA, MFin ‘16 both agreed that learning from practically-minded faculty was invaluable when exploring current events in financial markets. Ashley remembers, for example, learning about coco bonds in Fotini Tolias’ class and seeing them affect European banks balance sheets, which resulted in changes in their stock price this past February.

Ultimately, while the CFA may give you key foundational concepts to understand these events, it is in the MFin that you’ll get the deeper insights to interpret and understand the complex set of variables that impacted turns in financial markets.

Francois du Toit, MFin '16 , CFA

Francois du Toit, MFin, CFA

Without a doubt, together the CFA and the MFin will make you a strong candidate in the financial sector. In addition, if you are currently completing the CFA Level III exam and are thinking of applying to the MFin, you have the advantage of receiving a GMAT exemption, as you can automatically be considered for a conditional offer.


What are you waiting for? Put your CFA knowledge to the test, and contact us or apply now to become our next MFin candidate.

Better Now: Danielle Martin on Six Big Ideas to Improve Healthcare

Each year, Rotman hosts approximately 100 public talks by international bestselling authors, top management executives, and other influential thought leaders. On October 4th, Dr. Danielle Martin addressed an audience of healthcare, life science, and business professionals about her book Better Now: Six Big Ideas to Improve Healthcare for All Canadians.

Dr. Martin is Vice-President, Medical Affairs & Health System Solutions and also serves as a family physician at Women’s College Hospital. Her experience and insights into healthcare make her uniquely qualified to address the specific challenges facing our country today.

Brian Golden, Vice-Dean, MBA Programs with Dr. Danielle Martin

Brian Golden, Vice-Dean, MBA Programs with Dr. Danielle Martin

Brian Golden, Vice-Dean, MBA Programs and Program Director for Rotman’s new Global Executive MBA for Healthcare & the Life Sciences introduced Dr. Martin.

Dr. Martin began her talk noting that as a nation, Canada has a great reputation for healthcare and health outcomes. A child born in Canada today has a life expectancy of over 82 years – an excellent measure of our success. But we now spend over 10% of our GDP on healthcare. That is far less than what America spends, but far more than comparable countries elsewhere. At the provincial level, healthcare takes up more than 40% of the annual budget, and rising.

She noted that healthcare systems are, of course, about much more than money and medicine. They’re about the values that define us as a society. Ask Canadians about what the important elements of the Canadian identity are, and chances are they will mention healthcare. We love to talk about the successes of our health systems, but we are less interested in discussing the challenges that lead to rising costs, to lowered quality of life, and to poor patient experience.

But, Dr. Martin says, if we don’t talk about these issues, we’ll miss opportunities to make changes that would have a huge impact.  For example, the current Canadian system is full of problems that cause us to pay far more for the drugs we buy than other countries.  Plans and coverages are inconsistent, inefficient bureaucracies are abundant, and fragmentation works against economics of scale, driving up costs. The cost of private drug plans negatively impacts our individual lives and drags down our economy.

Small and medium-sized businesses feel as though they need to choose between their bottom lines and supporting their employees with comprehensive benefit plans. Precarious and part-time work is on the rise, and will not go away here or elsewhere in the world, which means we are going to be failing increasing numbers of Canadians each year who will not receive healthcare benefits from their employer. That’s not just for low-income Canadians, either. It includes people who are self-employed, such as highly paid consultants and lawyers.  Having a chronic condition could mean being tied to an employer with a strong benefits package, eliminating the freedom to start a new firm or small business.

Solutions like OHIP Plus cover Ontarians over 65 or under 25, but leave the middle range, which contains the majority of people who have chronic diseases, without coverage. These people experience early stage issues that, when not addressed, lead to huge complications down the road.

Dr. Martin’s point is that every one of us is a job loss and a cancer diagnosis away from having to choose between our lives and our happiness, our families, and our freedoms. “No one should have to decide between their health and their family,” she says.

One solution she suggests is a universal pharmacare program, which she believes could reduce total spending on drugs in Canada by as much as 7.3 billion dollars[1]. Re-organizing the resources we already have in this manner could reduce the cost of drugs to the consumer, which would go a long way to ensuring everyone has access to the drugs they need to get better and stay healthy.

The secret sauce to solving our problems is breaking down barriers and silos – not putting provincial limits on healthcare, but working as one unified country to provide the best possible care. That’s how we save money and create better outcomes at the same time.

Healthcare is an $8 trillion global industry, representative of the service and knowledge-oriented focus of the 21st century economy. The Rotman School of Management is uniquely positioned to play a leading role in the innovations taking place across health and life science systems, helping people across the full value chain provide greater patient value. Visit the Centre for Health Sector Strategy for more information.

You can view a short version of Danielle’s talk here to learn more.

[1] https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/03/16/national-pharmacare-program-could-save-73-billion-study.html

EMBA International Elective: Italy

Don Trynor, Executive MBA ’37, recently completed an international elective in Italy. A Product Management executive with over 15 years of experience with technology products and services, Don works as an independent consultant focused on helping tech start-ups.

We asked Don to tell us a bit more about his experience in Italy.

R: Why did you want to do an international elective? What did you see as the main benefits going in?

D: I have always wanted to study aboard, however I never had the opportunity to do so until now. Also, since I love to travel and experience other countries – including learning about its people, culture, food and taking in its many attractions, this was something that was very much of interest to me.

In addition, I thought that it would be a great way to meet other like-minded people that could become lifelong friends – as has been the case with my classmates at Rotman. So really, the main benefit that I perceived at the time of applying to the program was the relationships that I would build with my classmates.

Don Trynor with classmates Kelly Grieves and Jasmine Wong in Italy during their international elective.Don Trynor with classmates Kelly Grieves and Jasmine Wong in Italy.

R: Why did you choose to complete your international elective in Italy over China or the US?

D: I chose Italy over China since the specific modules that I was most interested in and those that aligned the most with my professional experience were only offered at SDA Bocconi in Milan.

R: Was there a different benefit or outcome at the end of the elective that you didn’t expect? What was your biggest takeaway?

D: I have to say, the whole experience greatly exceeded my expectations. I met so many great people from Italy and other schools around the world. I got to see a lot of sights and attractions around Milan and the Italian countryside – including a day trip to Cinque Terre for some hiking along the Mediterranean coast and another day trip to Florence.

I learned a lot about how classes are delivered in Italy, which is a bit different than what we’re used to at Rotman. In addition, the many examples, case studies and presenters that we had in class provided great insight into how business is conducted in Europe. Of course, I learned a lot from the class material too, which will help me professionally in my career.

In terms of my biggest takeaway, I would have to say that it was the relationships that I formed with my classmates and the memories that I will take away from the experience as a whole.

R: What was your favourite part of the experience?

D: My favourite part of the experience would have been spending time with my classmates outside of class, trying out new restaurants, enjoying good food and learning about Italian culture. And I got to spend some quality time with two of my Rotman classmates – Jasmine Wong and Kelly Grieves, which was awesome. Of course, the day trips to Cinque Terre and Florence were amazing too. So many favourites actually.

You can read more about Don’s experience in the Globe & Mail.

Rotman’s Specialized Master’s Program

The Morning & Evening MBA 

Do you want to advance your education while accelerating your career? With the Morning & Evening MBA you can complete your degree before or after the work day, with classes twice a week over 32 months.

Classes take place twice a week, from 7-8:59 am for the Morning MBA, or from 6:30-8:30 pm after work for the Evening MBA.

You will be taught by the world renowned faculty at Canada’s top business school. This program is designed for ambitious working professionals to gain a competitive edge in their respective field.

To learn more about to apply to the program, visit our website.

You can also speak to a member of the Recruitment and Admissions team by emailing me-mba@rotman.utoronto.ca.

Applications for August 2018 are now open. Join us for an Information Session on September 14th or a Webinar on September 18th!

Career Services for the ME MBA and Master of Finance

At the Rotman School of Management we want to accelerate the careers of our students. As one of the largest MBA career teams in business education we want to maximize your learning experience. The list of services available to students is extensive and varies by program, but includes one-on-one coaching, 24/7 online resources and workshops and speaker events. Our career coaching model is highly personalized. Students are paired with a career coach in their first year and remain connected throughout their time at Rotman. You will also learn how to leverage your degree within your organization.

We provide career services for working professionals.

Your Career Services team is dedicated to supporting all Morning and Evening MBA and Master of Finance students throughout your journey at Rotman and beyond. Our goal is to equip you with a lifelong toolkit you can use to take ownership of and manage your career and professional development.

Whether you are looking to advance within your company or switch to a new industry, we are here to assist you in developing your Career Management Plan to achieve your career goals. This Plan will be based on an understanding of your interests, values and strengths, coupled with knowledge and awareness of career opportunities that you will explore and target. We provide one-on-one coaching, advice on how to position yourself in the market, targeted workshops, plus a wide variety of online tools and resources to help you achieve your career goals. Professional goals are a priority, we have a full week dedicated to career preparation. This includes over 100 hours of career workshops and skill building sessions.

Our career services include individual career counselling appointments which includes a self-assessment, resume and cover letter review, networking techniques, interview preparation, behavioural mock interviews, job offer and negotiation advice, to name a few. We also provide professional development workshops about defining your career objectives, branding and positioning, crafting your network pitch, developing a job search strategy, workshops and speaker events. Finally, there are our online career resources which are job postings, career development guidelines, research tools and the alumni database.

We help you refine your career goals, market yourself efficiently and learn to network. As a member of the Rotman community, you have access to a global network of prosperous alumni. We provide carer support throughout your journey at Rotman and beyond.

The Rotman Global Executive MBA: Experiencing the East Asia Module in Shanghai and Hong Kong, China

The Rotman Global Executive MBA at the University of Toronto offers exciting opportunities to study in key business hubs of the world. On this 18-month leadership journey, students learn from successful companies, faculty and business leaders around the globe. Recently, a group of senior managers and entrepreneurs embarked on a two-week East Asia module in the modern business hubs of Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Meeting a Network of Alumni Globally

Alumni and staff in China with the Rotman Global Executive MBA

Alumni and staff in China with the Rotman Global Executive MBA

Vicky Yang, an alumna from the Global Executive MBA program based in Hong Kong invited Rotman Staff and other alumni. Learning about Vicky’s experience during the program and the impact that it had on her career as an entrepreneur was fascinating. She attributed her decision to start her own company to the confidence, learning and experiences she gained during her Global Executive MBA. She keeps a very active and dynamic network that includes U of T alumni, not only from Rotman but from a wide variety of other areas.

Strategic Classes in a Local Context

The first course of the module was Strategic Change and Implementation taught by Brian Golden, Vice-Dean, Professional Programs at Rotman, which focused on a case study of GE’s change and growth under Jim Welsh’s leadership. The class also participated in the Capstone course, Applied Innovation, taught by Grayson Bass. After arriving in Hong Kong, the class attended Operations & Corporate Governance taught by Prof. Joe Milner and David Beatty. The content of the courses was further enhanced by five guest speakers who brought to the class a deep understanding of various industries in Asia. Guest speakers included, Craig Smith, President and Managing Director of Marriot for Asia Pacific and an Global Executive MBA alum.

Professor David Beatty, teaching""

Exciting Site Visits

A group photo at URWORKTo drive home global ways of doing business locally, the program intertwines local visits to dynamic businesses with the course curriculum. The first site visit of the module was hosted by URWORK, a co-working space in China. URWORK is an innovation hub that hosts start-ups and offers services in a wide variety of areas including HR, legal and finance. The class experienced the new and proliferating business of shared work space in China.

The class also visited MRD Dingshi Group in Shanghai, which is an integrated professional design company specializing in architectural design. The class had the opportunity to hear from and ask questions to Mr. Wu, Chairman of MRD Dingshi Group, who also shared his deep understanding of the development of commercial real estate in China.

Group photo at the Hong Kong Stock ExchangeAfter arriving in Hong Kong, the group visited ScotiaBank to learn about its 30 years’ of experience in China. The visit featured executives from the bank who talked about their respective units and the opportunities and challenges in the region.

The final visit for the module was to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, one of the largest financial market operators in the world. Students had the opportunity to further their knowledge of trading in Hong Kong through this visit.

Speaker Series & Networking

Every module hosts a Speaker Series & Networking event, this time Egidio Zarrella, Clients and Innovation Partner at KPMG China addressed the audience with an interactive talk about the economy in China and Hong Kong, the challenges that Hong Kong faces with the rapid digitalization of the financial market and the growth China continues to experience. The focus on innovation and the interactive nature of the talk allowed for lively participation by students and guests alike. After the talk, the networking portion of the event allowed students to grow their network by making new connections.

A collage of photos from the Speaker Series

The Global Executive MBA program at the University of Toronto is an expansive leadership journey that will transform the way you think about your career on the global stage. In addition to learning from East Asia, the program will take you to key business hubs in the Americas, Europe, South Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Want to learn more? Connect with us or visit our website to learn more.

 

Students in session

Grow with the Rotman Self-Development Lab

The Self-Development Lab (SDL) is an incredible resource for Rotman students to participate in to develop and nurture the communicative, interactive and interpersonal skills essential to be a collaborative problem solver and decision maker in the workplace.

Unique to Rotman, the SDL offers an extensive schedule of workshops designed to help you express yourself effectively, understand your own motivations and those of others, and achieve your goals in complex, high-stakes environments. You will receive personalized feedback on your behavioural performance, communication style, and personal presence in a series of intensive, individual coaching sessions and small group workshops.

The skills developed within the SDL are the perfect compliment to the knowledge and set of technical, analytical and targeted problem solving skills (both know-what and know-how) that are the main areas being developed in the classroom.

Self-Development Lab; Re-engineering patterns of expressive, communicative and interactive skills, and of one's own understanding of self

Since the launch of the Lab, our students have consistently reported learning some of the most impactful and valuable skills in their student experience for the real world.

You can learn more about the Self-Development Lab on our website.

Maja Djikic, PhD., Director, Self-Development Lab, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

Maja Djikic, PhD., Executive Director, Self-Development Lab, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

 

The SDL is directed by Maja Djikic, PhD. She is a psychologist specializing in the field of personality development and was a post-doctoral fellow with Desautels Centre for Integrative Thinking (Rotman School of Management) and Psychology Department at Harvard University.

 

 

Ask sign

Advice from Rotman students and alumni

There are many different sources of information when it comes to getting advice and making most decisions in life, and choosing the right Master degree is no different.  In researching Rotman Master degree programs, you will most likely have viewed our website a number of times, hopefully attended an event or spoken to someone involved with the program – whether someone on the recruitment team, or a member of faculty.

One great source of information are current students and graduates – they would have had similar questions to you before starting and now have the answers to those questions (and perhaps ones you have not thought of before).

We asked the question ‘what advice would you give to someone considering choosing a Rotman program’ to students/graduates from the Executive MBA, Master of Finance, Global Executive MBA and the Morning and Evening MBA programs. We’ve highlighted a few of their comments below.

Rotman Executive MBA

“What advice would you give to someone considering choosing a Rotman program?”

“The relationships with your classmates are as important as the academics. Prepare to work hard, and have fun.” Eghtedar Manouchehri, EMBA ‘15

“My experience at Rotman exceeded my expectations. The program is a well-rounded academic experience and Rotman offers amazing opportunities to connect and network with industry leaders, both past, present and future.” Ashley Warburton, MFin ’17

“My advice: engage early and often with career services. They were instrumental in helping me choose my next career, prepare for it, and land the job I wanted.” Cole Lepine, Morning MBA ‘17

“Take advantage of extracurricular activities including clubs, lectures, workshops and case competitions. Rotman offers fantastic learning and networking opportunities outside of your coursework in the MBA.” Vanessa Perry, Morning MBA’18

“The support within the class is incredible. Inspiring professional women and role models help you thrive as colleagues and friends.” Gavinder Bhatia, EMBA ‘15

“I was impressed with the emphasis that Rotman places on leadership excellence – both organizational and personal. There is no substitution for great leadership in the corporate world.” Rachel Huckle, GEMBA ‘17

“I have acquired new friendships with like-minded people in all corners of the financial market. For anyone who wants to further their career in the financial markets while working full-time, this program is undoubtedly at the top of my recommendation list.” Richard Wong, MFin ’12

Unlock Your Potential with the Rotman Executive MBA

With the One Year Executive MBA (EMBA) program at the Rotman School of Management, we’re focusing on helping managers and executives discover their true leadership potential. The EMBA curriculum is dedicated to real life application and taught by a world renowned faculty who are experts in the field.  Jasmine Wong, EMBA 2018 shares her experiences with the program.

Share Your Experience

Jasmine Wong

Jasmine Wong, Senior Manager, Planning, Office of the President, Rogers Communications

Jasmine is a Senior Manager, Planning in the Office of the President at Rogers Communications. Her work revolves around executing visions through key initiatives such as regional planning and delivering the strategic agenda of the organization.  “I always wanted to do an MBA, so it was always about the timing. I had some of the business theory through my undergraduate degree in Commerce but I felt I needed the industry knowledge to make the most out of the MBA so that I could bring those experiences to the classroom.” The Executive MBA Class of 2017 had on average 15 years of work experience and nine years in a management position.

“One of the best things about the EMBA program is the teaching style. Instead of learning a theory and when to use it, the EMBA program focuses on sharing our work experience, and drawing on how they apply to the theories and the lessons that we can learn from each other. It’s a great combination of discussions, lecture and case-based learning.”

Leadership Development

Students in this program will master the fundamentals of business strategy, operations, accounting, finance, marketing and human resources. “I was expecting to gain analytical and business knowledge out of the program which I did but I feel the true value of the program lies in its leadership development initiatives.”

Incorporated into the curriculum is the Leadership Development Program (LDP) which provides tools, one-on-one coaching and experimental learning to facilitate growth and leadership skills. “By getting feedback from my managers and peers, it helps me understand my strengths and weaknesses and how I connect with people. Through the LDP program, I’ve gained a better understanding of where I can grow and my leadership style.”

Rotman Executive MBAFlexible Schedule

The structure of the program is designed to maximize learning for working professionals while minimizing the time away from work. There are four one week residential modules in downtown Toronto followed by classes every other Friday and Saturday over 13 months. “One of the reasons I chose Rotman’s Executive MBA was its unique format compared to other programs. With this schedule I’m able to have classes at regular intervals and keep in touch. Also by having classes on the weekends, I am able to immediately take what I’ve learned and apply it on Monday morning.”

“I highly encourage the program for anyone who is looking to becoming a better leader. Rogers has been extremely supportive of my EMBA journey.” Jasmine highlights that good communication and time management skills are key drivers to success in the program. “It’s important to set clear expectations and communicate with both my team at work and my classmates. If I need to travel for work while a project is due, I make sure that I let my classmates know ahead of time. It’s an intense program for sure, but the rewards at the end are definitely worth it.”


To learn more about the One-Year Executive MBA Program, visit our website.

 

Balancing a Master’s degree with a family

Pursuing a Master’s degree is a large decision to make and starting a family is an even bigger one. Imagine trying to both now; that is to undertake a Master’s degree program while continue to working and raising a family. It’s tough, but it’s not impossible.

At the Rotman School of Management, we make a continued commitment to all our students in supporting their professional development but also personal growth. We spoke to Jinzi Zheng, MBA 2017 on how to balance her time between raising a family, pursuing an MBA and working at the same time.

Prior to joining Rotman, she obtained her Bachelor of Applied Science in Biomedical Engineering and also has a PhD in medical biophysics and is currently a scientist at UHN and assistant professor of Biomedical Engineering. She is also the Co-Founder of Nanovista Inc., a startup dedicated to developing new technology that can help with patient care.

New Priorities

During her 2nd year in the program, she decided it was time that she wanted to raise a family. “Having a child changed a lot in my life but I’m grateful that everyone in the program was super supportive. Because of that, I didn’t have to lose any time to complete my MBA. All the faculty and staff’s willingness to be flexible has allowed me to progress smoothly through this journey.”

Time management was also an essential skill to successfully balancing the MBA and family. Jinzi says that her situation was not too different from other part time students. “All of us in the program have a full time job that we are managing. I like to think of myself as having just that extra bit of commitment with my family. Because of the cohort nature of the program, we all have the same challenges but by working together, we’re able to overcome these obstacles and build a better relationship while doing so.”

Her advice for those in similar situations is that “there’s never a best time to have a child so if you feel now is the time to do a master’s degree, it’s best to pursue this degree sooner rather than later. There’s no better place to do a part time MBA than at Rotman. The school’s strong reputation and convenient location to Canada’s business hub made it an easy choice for me. Remember that doing an MBA and starting a family are not mutually exclusive.”

Journey of a Lifetime

After completing her MBA, Jinzi hopes to use the knowledge she has gained from the program to continue to run her successful company as well as leveraging her network to grow professionally. “Through this program, the people that I have met and the connections I’ve made have definitely changed my career. It’s great to be part of the Rotman family. The entire experience has been amazing for me.

To learn more about our programs for working professionals, visit our website.

Business Design: A Human Centered Approach to Problem Solving

Stephanie Grimbly is a current Rotman Morning MBA student. In this 2-part blog series, she shares her experiences in the Business Design Accelerator Series at Rotman.

Stephanie Grimbly, Rotman MBA '19

Stephanie Grimbly, MBA ’19, Channel Account Manager, Avaya

After many months contemplating exactly what it was that I was looking for in an MBA program I had an “ah-ha” moment when I discovered Rotman’s Business Design major. The concept of Business Design checked a lot of boxes for me in terms of the kind of work I wanted to get involved in – creative problem solving of complex issues – and therefore the kind of knowledge and skills I wanted to bone-up on via an MBA. I already knew I enjoyed the process of brainstorming and “ideation”.

Now two semesters into the program, I’m very pleased to report that my expectations of what the Rotman Morning MBA program would offer have been exceeded. My favorite aspect of the program is The Business Design Accelerator Series offered by Rotman’s DesignWorks.

Rotman DesignWorks


Designed for, and offered to MBA candidates who work full-time, the Business Design Accelerator Series is exactly the kind of extra-curricular opportunity an MBA student hopes to take advantage of while in school.


This six-part series is a step-by-step introduction to Business Design principles and tools (quite literally the building blocks of the problem-solving framework I was looking for!) The idea behind the series is that participants walk away with a better understanding of what Business Design is, and the value it can offer any professional looking to get creative and innovate at work. The absolute best part of this series is that, as working professionals, participants can immediately apply some of these principles and tools to the work they do today.


One of the primary reasons I decided to do a part-time MBA instead of full-time was I valued the opportunity to immediately apply what I was learning at school in my full-time job.


And this is exactly my intention for the strategies, exercises and protocols introduced during the Accelerator Series – to apply them in my current job!

Regardless of role, responsibilities or industry, Business Design Theory is inherently valuable to the individuals and teams who leverage it because it is a multi-dimensional problem solving methodology. When the problem is too complex, unprecedented or is actually the amalgamation of many smaller, intertwined issues, the most prudent approach to tackling that problem is not with broad strokes in management style, organizational structure, financial finessing or economic intervention – at least not right away. Instead, it begins with a thorough investigation into the factors that make up the problem, a systematic breakdown of primary factors into the human needs and emotions that perpetuate them followed by rapid iteration of many possible resolutions and, finally, a critical evaluation of each prototype to assess its viability.

The bottom line is that complex, unprecedented problems demand intricate investigation, creative consideration and deliberate solutions.


Stay tuned for part two of Stephanie’s blog posts on the Rotman DesignWorks Business Design Accelerator Series. Interested in exploring the Morning MBA at Rotman? Contact us to learn more!

Design Your Future with the Rotman Executive MBA

As we close in on the end of another academic year, our graduating classes had a chance to reflect on their time at Rotman. Rodney Cheung, Executive MBA Class of 2017 is just one of many who are excited to leverage the knowledge and skills he’s gained to make a real world impact. Prior to joining Rotman, Rodney obtained his Bachelor of Applied Science (BASc) in Systems Design Engineering with the Management Sciences option at the University of Waterloo. We had an opportunity to talk with him about his experiences in the Rotman EMBA program.

Rodney Cheung, EMBA 2017

Where are you currently working? Currently, I am the Chief Information Officer (CIO) at MediSolutions.  At MediSolutions, we are working to create a brand-new business model. We are taking a startup mentality within a 34-year-old company and our executive team is creating a brand-new business model based on technical Machine Learning innovation to integrate pharmaceutical companies and advertisers to enhance patient care worldwide.

What is a fun fact about yourself: I’m an arts lover in particular with foreign films and live music performances!

Why did you choose the Executive MBA program at Rotman?  Rotman has all of the characteristics of a leading EMBA program including world class faculty, reputation for excellence and alumni network.  One unique aspect is Rotman’s Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) which focuses on developing massively scalable startup ventures.

What did you enjoy most about business school in general? Throughout the program, the most enjoyable aspect was how the class grew together during the year to form strong bonds and help each other. It’s like we became an extended family.  I was not expecting this aspect and am thankful for the great experiences shared with all my new friends from diverse backgrounds whom I can continue to learn from in the years ahead.

What were some of the extracurricular activities you were involved with at Rotman?: I’m a member of Rotman’s Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) which is focused on value creation and capture through building massively scalable technology startups with focus on Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). I’ve been a recipient of the John Harris Award for outstanding performance in the CDL program in 2016/17 for students who have demonstrated entrepreneurial ability through curiosity and by transforming ambition into action.

What was your favorite MBA course and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it?  Coming from an engineering background with concentration on technology, I had thought that the quantitative courses would be the most enjoyable for me.  Instead, the many qualitative courses on leadership were my favorites with one of the many highlights being John Oesch’s Business Problem Solving (BPS).  From understanding the role of one’s hidden biases to understanding the role of congruence amongst all aspects within an organization, I gained many insights.

What is the biggest myth about going back to school?  That it is not worth it once you’re at a senior level.  It is reasonable to believe once you have reached a certain level of success within your career that you have the answers and know how best to proceed. The reality is that it is just the opposite.  Although you have reached an advanced level in your career with a great skillset, let your confidence open you up to new avenues of learning.  An Executive MBA program opens your mind to new capabilities and new options which will provide even more opportunities to advance you career, help others grow, and help organizations succeed.

What is your best piece of advice to an applicant hoping to get into the Rotman Executive MBA program? As senior management, you’re likely living inside an extremely busy schedule already so you’re probably thinking about how can I cope with all of this additional work. One aspect that worked for me early on was the changing of your mindset from “I have to do this” to “I get to do this” which puts things in an entirely different light.  Instead of coping and thinking of ways to get by, you believe that you have this exceptional opportunity to learn and to have fun. This reshaping of your mindset can be the root for new development.


Interested in our EMBA program? Contact us directly at emba@rotman.utoronto.ca. The deadline to apply for this year’s incoming class is June 1.

To learn more about the Executive MBA program visit our website.

An early look at our Morning and Evening MBA Classes of 2020

It is at this time of the year when Morning and Evening MBA classes really begin to take shape ahead of the August start. Here we look at a few of the candidates who are looking forward to embarking on their MBA later this year.

As you will see they all have a number of years of work experience and come from a variety of industries. With different backgrounds come different ideas and perspectives which is one of the great things about the classes for the working professional programs – you learn not only from the Rotman faculty but from the experiences of your classmates as well.

Interested in being part of the working professional MBA class starting this September?

Send your resume and transcript to Rummy Gill, Assistant Director, Morning & Evening MBA who would be happy to discuss how a Rotman MBA could help you reach your career goals ahead of the next application deadline.

Image of Bradley Leufkens

 

Bradley Leufkens

Senior Principal, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan
8 years of work experience
BSc in Physics, University of Guelph

 

 

 

Image of Cecilia Cheng

 

Cecilia Cheng
Senior Consultant, Toyota Canada Inc.
6 years of work experience
Bachelor of Environmental Studies, University of Waterloo

 

 

 

 

Image of Nirusan Rajakulendran

 

Nirusan Rajakulendran
Industry Analyst, MaRS Discovery District
7 years of work experience
BSc Cell and Molecular Biology, , University of Toronto
Master of Biotechnology, University of Toronto

 

 

 

Image of Hande Akseki

 

Hande Akseki
Senior Analyst, Pratt & Whitney Canada
6 years of work experience
BEng, Istanbul Technical University
Master of Applied Science, McMaster

Introducing Our Executive MBA and Global Executive MBA Programs!

The Rotman School of Management offers degree programs for working professionals at all stages of their career. For senior management professionals looking to take their careers to the next level, we’re pleased to introduce our One-Year Executive MBA and Global Executive MBA programs to this blog. You’ll get an inside look into these two programs and read about current students and alumni as they take you through their transformative journey at Canada’s top business school.

The One Year Executive MBA is more than just a degree, it’s a hands-on leadership experience that will change the way you think and lead. Over 13 months, a combination of an innovative curriculum, world renowned faculty, and participation in our Leadership Develop Program will give senior decision-makers the tools to reach their true leadership potential.

Taught through in-person classes on Fridays and Saturdays twice a month and four one-week residential modules, the program is structured to minimize time spent away from work while maximizing learning.

Visit the One Year Executive MBA website to learn more.

The Global Executive MBA is an 18-month program for working professionals that takes you on a journey to key business hubs on 5 continents around the world. This program allows students to grow their leadership on the global stage. In between residential modules, students work on assigned readings, and team-based and individual projects.

As globalization continues to dissolve business boundaries, obtaining an internationally recognized degree from one of the world’s most prestigious universities sets you up to make an immediate impact in your career and organization.

Visit the Global Executive MBA, website to learn more.

We’re excited to be bringing you content from these two programs in the near future.

Test Out Your Skills With Case Competitions

A combination of academic excellence and a global reputation makes the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto Canada’s top business school. There are so many ways for MBA students to customize their experience at Rotman. One excellent way is through case competitions where students can test their skills and knowledge in real time. Chris Daniel, Morning MBA Class of 2019 competed in the MLSE Case Competition in October. In this blog post, he shares his enthusiasm about the value of case competitions and how they enhance the learning experience beyond the classroom.

Apply Your Knowledge

In the MLSE Case Competition hosted by the Rotman Marketing Association and the Rotman Sports Business Association, teams of five students pitched new partnership opportunities for the sporting franchise giant. Teams had one week to analyze and prepare recommendations to MLSE executives. Out of the 15 teams that competed, one team was comprised of entirely Part-Time MBA students.

The Part Time MBA Team finishes in the top 5! (From left to right, Suraj Bhardwaj, Morning MBA 19, Fraser Scott Evening MBA 19, Mihae Ahn, Evening MBA 19, Aditya Ramesh, Morning MBA 19, Chris Daniel, Morning MBA 19)

Although he had just begun the program a month prior, the skills and concepts from the core courses were immediately applied throughout this case. During his first intensive week, Chris took RSM 2607: Managerial Negotiations. He described it as “extremely relevant in my role.” The case involved understanding different organizations that MLSE would be in contact with and developing the right approach to the negotiation strategy for each of these parties.

The knowledge from this course and others is also extremely valuable to his day-to-day professional life. For example, Chris is “constantly negotiating for internal and external resources depending on the project that I am working on. After taking Negotiations, I learned how to approach these conversations more effectively.” Another example of utilizing knowledge that was gained was with RSM 1360: Leading People in Organizations. “The one thing that stood out for me from leading people in organizations was the decision making process. Having a framework of best practices has “helped make my meetings more efficient by using concepts learned to ensure that the right decision makers are in the room at the right time.”

Different Perspectives

During the MBA core curriculum, students are placed in groups based on their education and work experience which brings diversity and multiple perspectives to tackling any problem. The Morning & Evening MBA Class of 2019 students has working professionals with established roots in the industry noted by an average work experience of 6 years prior to starting the program. Chris explains that this is so beneficial “since the Class of 2019 has a great mix of experiences, personalities, and backgrounds, we all work extremely well together.” This was highlighted by the composition of the Part-Time MBA team in the case competition which comprised of two marketing managers, an insurance underwriter, an engineer and a consultant.

There are many reasons why the Rotman Morning MBA attracts diversity. Palak Sharma, Morning MBA Class of 2019 comes from an engineering background which lends to a strong foundation in critical reasoning and logic building. She believes that “a Rotman MBA will help me adapt these skills to a broader range of subjects in order to become a well-rounded business leader.” The cohort structure for the first half of the program allows friendships developed to transform into a powerful lifelong network.

Showcase Your Skills

Following the case competition was an exclusive opportunity for participants to network with MLSE representatives. A career in the sports marketing industry is something that Chris is considering upon graduation and “this is what makes case competitions unique. Instead of just having a coffee chat, I’m able to showcase my thought process when faced with a specific challenge and pitch ideas to sports executives.” Competitions such as these provide a way for students to make an impression as well as allowing Rotman to showcase the high caliber of its students to potential employers.

Teams presenting in the final round of the MLSE Competition

Chris’s biggest piece of advice is that “”you get out of the program what you put into it, and more specifically to take advantage of the unique opportunities that a Rotman MBA provides you with.”

To learn more about the Morning & Evening MBA program, visit our website.

 

Empowering Women in Business

March 8 was International Women’s Day, a day dedicated to celebrating the achievements of all women as well as the progression towards gender equality. The Rotman School of Management is committed to providing women opportunities for advancement in their respective fields, for example we offer financial support throughour Women in Finance awards. We’ve seen an increasing number of female student enrol in our masters programs and are fortunate to also have dedicated faculty, staff and students who are taking the initiative to advocate for gender equality.

61st UN Commission on the Status of Women

Sabrina Wu, MFin 2017, is just one of our many students who are passionate about this cause. She was selected to attend the 61st Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at the United Nations in New York. Sabrina currently is a member on the Board of Directors for YWCA, a not-for-profit (NFP) which promotes equality and economic security for all women. This year’s UN CSW priority theme is women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work. During the two week commission, emerging female leaders and NFPs gather together to hold discussions as well as to hear from each other about empowering women. We asked Sabrina what she was hoping for prior to her departure to the UN headquarters. “I am really looking forward to meeting women leaders around the world on a cause that is dear to my heart.”

Sabrina Wu, MFin 2017 at the UN Headquarters in New York

The commission exceeded Sabrina’s expectations.

Throughout the week she attended many events, each giving her a new perspective and opening her eyes to the realities of the world. “I was surprised at the differences and the important issues that surround different countries. The UN CSW was the biggest international event that I have ever been to. I had this amazing opportunity to meet representatives from 193 member states of the UN and I learned so much about the different issues that are important to different regions of the world.” At the Government of Canada reception, she had the opportunity to meet elected government officials including the Minister of the Status of Women, Maryam Monsef, and participate in roundtable discussions on important issues facing young women and girls. Minister Monsef emphasized the need to empower women and girls, saying, “When we leave out 50% of the population, our economy will not grow.”

Sabrina with Maryam Monsef, Minister of Status of Women

One of Sabrina’s most memorable moments was attending a townhall with the UN Secretary General, António Guterres. In 2015, 193 member states of the UN unanimously adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes an ambitious set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). There are 17 SDGs with number 5 being to “achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.” Packed with hundreds of women and men from NGOs and government officials around the world, the Secretary General emphasized the importance of civil and political society working together to achieving the 2030 Agenda. This was another takeaway for Sabrina: “It meant a lot to me to hear world leaders committing to working towards gender equality.”

UN Secretary General speaking at townhall

Guiding Others

“Looking at my own experience at work and at the YWCA, I was extremely fortunate to have great mentors who care about empowering women. We need more great role models, more women on corporate boards and in senior management.” Professionally, Sabrina is a Money Market Trader for a large international bank. She benefited from having a very supportive manager who had taken an interest in guiding her. Since her first day at work, Patricia Castanheiro, Senior FX Trader and VP at The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ had been supportive and encouraged Sabrina to pursue higher education and get engaged in leadership opportunities outside the bank.

“Patriciais an incredible manager, mentor and friend to me. She will always push me to aim higher, learn more and develop my skills. It’s great to have someone like her on my side. It means a lot to me.”

Make a Difference

Sabrina’s main advice to others and prospective students is to get involved. “Though we have come a long way, we still haven’t achieved gender equality. We need to get more women to come forward and take leadership roles. Volunteering for causes brings together like-minded people. I am inspired by all the women trailblazers who came before us and made a difference in this world. Let’s join forces with them and together we can achieve our ambitious goal of 50/50 by 2030”.

Rotman has many programs dedicated to advancing the career of women across many industries through our Initiative for Women in Business.

For more information about the Master of Finance program, visit our website.

 

Build Something Massive at the Creative Destruction Lab

In today’s rapidly changing world, new innovations and technology are at the forefront of economic growth. Having recognized this early on, the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto has become a leader in developing the next generation of entrepreneurs with the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Major as well as the Creative Destruction Lab. Since its launch in 2012, startup ventures from the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) program have generated over $1 Billion in equity value. We spoke with Yen On, Morning MBA 2016 who currently is the Course Manager at the Creative Destruction Lab. She shares more about what the CDL program is and how MBA students can get involved with the Lab.

Yen On, Morning MBA 2016

The Creative Destruction Lab is made up of three parties who work tightly together over the course of 9 months. First there are the G7/ML7 Fellows who are phenomenal and successful entrepreneurs that advise companies who go through the CDL program. Examples of advisors are Ted Livingston, founder of Kik and Tony Lacavera, founder of Wind Mobile.  Second are early stage technology companies looking to scale their idea into a high growth company. Finally, there are a group of talented MBA students who join through the CDL course where they work with one of these startups during the year.

The MBA Impact

When Yen was a student at Rotman, she was accepted into the CDL course in her third year. She initially wanted to pursue her MBA because she wanted to move up in her company.  “I discovered early on that  there were so many opportunities outside of my industry. I wanted to expand out of the corporate space and make the jump from media to technology,” she explained. The CDL course further propelled Yen to keep an open mind. “Once I was in the CDL course, I realized that my mindset was so similar to the other people in the Lab. Their roll-up-your-sleeves attitude really resonated with me. The work culture was appealing and there is a huge amount of potential in this industry.”

MBA students undertake a variety of tasks including building financial models and developing strategies to ultimately create value for the startups they are working with. With tight 8 week deadlines between objectives, these committed students are instrumental in helping startups achieve those objectives. “Having been through the program, I know how impactful MBA students can be in the Creative Destruction Lab.”

Explore Innovative Opportunities

At Rotman, students learn top management practices from a world renowned faculty but also gain an opportunity to apply their knowledge to real world business problems. The Creative Destruction Lab is a risk free way to experience working in a startup. “People who want to create their own company but don’t know how to can have a trial run and get an inside look at the effort it takes to propel a startup.” It also provides a way for students to explore areas outside of their comfort zone and gain exposure to leaders who have revolutionized their respective industries. “Rotman is truly amazing. I love the fact that we can always be inspired by other people at the school.”

For more information about the Part Time MBA program, visit our website.

Advance Your Career with the Morning MBA

Making an immediate impact is just one of many benefits of the Morning MBA program at the Rotman School of Management. Offered over 32 months, the Morning MBA program allows high achieving working professionals to maintain their work schedule while earning their degree. This blog features current students as they share their thoughts about why they chose to pursue the Morning MBA program.

Match Your Lifestyle

For many students in the program including Pallavi Armoogum, Morning MBA 2019, balancing family commitments while pursuing an MBA posed a challenge. The solution to being able to do both? Rotman’s Morning MBA. Pallavi explains that “I have a family as well as a very demanding full-time job. The morning MBA worked beautifully with my rather frantic schedule.” She also comments that “I get a feeling of satisfaction when walking out of class at 9 a.m. knowing that I’ve already maximized the utility of the first few hours of my day.”

By attending classes in the morning, not only does it not affect students’ work commitments but it frees up time in the evenings to participate in social events.

Palak Sharma, Morning MBA 2019

Palak Sharma, Morning MBA 2019 agrees with this. “I consciously picked the Morning MBA program as I am more productive and efficient in learning new concepts when my mind is fresh. Also because I have classes in the morning, I have my evenings free to do various things: whether it is socializing or pursuing my other passions.” Heather Trommels, incoming Morning MBA 2020 shares her thoughts “I’ve always been a morning person so morning classes suit my schedule really well.” Since students are able to maximize the early mornings with class, it makes it easier to plan the rest of their day knowing that they have already completed class for the day. The Morning MBA program provides schedule flexibility to our working professional students.

 

Real World Applications

Students in the Morning MBA also gain the advantage of instantly applying what they’ve learned as they make the transition from the classroom to the boardroom. Palak highlights this as an advantage because “as I have class in the morning, I’m able to apply the concepts I’ve just learned right away to my job.” Pallavi says that “every class I’ve taken that is related to building leadership skills has had an immediate and profound impact on my perspective at work.”

The MBA Curriculum is designed to teach future business leaders a new way to think. It provides a solid foundation in business fundamentals and Rotman’s integrated thinking methodology allows our students to tackle some of the toughest business problems.

Endless Opportunities

Although it is demanding, the benefits and career development opportunities from the Morning MBA program are certainly well worth it. “Since I am in a classroom with working professionals from a wide range of background and experiences, I’m not just learning from my professors but also a lot from my peers.” explains Chris Daniel, Morning MBA 2019 “We’re able to share our perspectives and experiences which makes the Morning MBA even more valuable.” With an average of 6 years of work experience, the MBA for working professionals has a cohort of more senior students.

Throughout the program, students will gain a strong business acumen and realize their leadership potential all while translating their knowledge to make real impacts in the industry. “It’s always useful to have people from different industries thinking of things you never thought of and how you can incorporate that change into your own work.” comments Heather.

To learn more about the Morning & Evening MBA program, visit our website at http://www.rotman.utoronto.ca/Degrees/MastersPrograms/MBAPrograms/PTMBA

 

MFin 360 – What’s it like to work for a Master of Finance student?

Interview with Diana Shynkarenko, CGA, CPA

With a robust program structure and curriculum, the Master of Finance (MFin) is designed to help finance professionals not only become technical experts, but also inspiring leaders.

Jose Rivas, MFin 2017

This week we spoke to Diana Shynkarenko, CPA, CGA a Financial Analyst at the Canadian Diabetes Association. Her supervisor is MFin candidate Jose Rivas, MFin’17, CPA, CGA. Read below to get her take on the benefits of the MFin program.

We are excited to hear about your perspective on the value of the MFin and your experience working with one of our students. Could you tell us a little bit about your work with Jose?

Jose was recently promoted, actually. But, up until a few months ago, he was my manager at the Canadian Diabetes Association where I am a Financial Analyst, working under the accounting umbrella. I reported directly to him for over a year and worked on several initiatives that he implemented for our team since he started the MFin program.

Have you noticed any difference since he joined the MFin program?

Definitely. I’ve seen him implement quite a few changes that have made a positive impact on the way our team works, and ultimately on our organization. There is no question that Jose’s leadership has helped build a more collaborate and professional team. In fact, soon after he joined the program, he introduced new team huddles where we discuss our work and figure out how we can work better as a team.

As a bonus, in every meeting we get to choose a professional topic for discussion, and one lucky person gets to present on the topic for professional development purposes. To choose a topic of discussion we would all take a vote. I found these professional development sessions so valuable that I actually lobbied for topics that I’m extremely interested in. Fortunately, I was successful and got the team to learn about the Beneish manipulation index—a concept Jose explored deeply during the MFin program.

In your day-to-day have you experienced any moment when the knowledge and skills that Jose has acquired through the MFin program impacted the work of your team?

The MFin has made Jose much more aware of every-day inefficiencies at work and the ways he could turn them into opportunities for improvement. He got our team to implement procedural and technical changes that enhanced our reporting database to the point that our month-end became more efficient and accurate. This is a very exciting fact in the world of accounting!

Have you seen your work improve through mentorship you’ve received from Jose since he joined the program?

Yes, absolutely! Jose really likes to challenge his team. There’s never a dull moment when you are part of his team. For example, I was working on a complex project for cash forecasting. It was exciting and challenging at the same time. In order to support me in the project development, Jose took the time to look at my progress and pointed to areas where I could find answers to successfully complete the project. Instead of just giving me the answers, Jose taught me ways to think about the problem and its solution.

As a manager, he is aware of what his employees know and how they work, and that’s important. He knows what it takes to do our jobs and how to support us when in need. At the same time, though, if we came up with a better way to do something, he would listen and would encourage us to take the lead.

Through the MFin program students often get to expand their network inside and outside their workplace, have you seen an example of this in your work with Jose?

At work we definitely work more closely with HR and IT since Jose joined the program. I think his experience with the MFin has allowed him to see the key benefits of working across teams to implement sustainable change. In finance, much of the change will ultimately impact other teams and require the support of subject-matter experts within the company. For example, when making changes to payroll systems you need to collaborate with both IT and HR.

Outside of our company, we noticed that Jose made quite a few connections with consultants who he then brought along to evaluate some of our processes at work to find ways to improve them.

 

Where is he now? A Master of Finance alumnus shares his experience 1 year after graduation

The Master of Finance (MFin) at the Rotman School of Management is designed to develop the next generation of finance leaders. Our graduates are examples of our delivered promise. We interviewed Tony Chan, MFin ’15 currently working as an associate of Global Corporate Securities for CPP Investment Board. Here is what he had to say:

Tony Chan, MFin ’15

Hello Tony! Thank you for sharing your experience as a student and alumnus with us.

It hasn’t been that long since you graduated, how did it feel in your second year as an alumnus not to have to go back to school?

To be honest, it felt weird! I was really busy while I was in school and I got used to it. Having to go to work and school at the same time, I had developed a routine to help me keep up with the work and also maintain an active social life. But, now that I am done, I feel as if I’m slacking. So much so that I decided to join recreational classes and activities such as cooking, badminton, volleyball and Frisbee.

What does it mean to you and your career to be an alumnus of the MFin program?

It’s hard to say at this point because it’s only been a year since I graduated, but I can say that I’m still connected with friends from the MFin program. It feels good to know that I’m still part of the Rotman community and that I have met so many people with common interest and life experiences, who are now some of my best friends.

Did the program give you a new appreciation for a different area(s) of finance?

Yes, the curriculum covered a lot of important basis and some foundational concepts that weren’t as familiar to me. This also sparked new interests. For example, before joining the MFin program I didn’t know a whole lot about investment banking and wasn’t sure if I would find it interesting. However, once I joined the program and took the investment banking course I learned to really enjoy the subject. I was surprise that I was interested in this content, but after taking the course everything in finance makes more sense to me.

How did the program expand your professional network?

One of the major benefits of joining the MFin program was the possibility of expanding my network. As a graduate, today,  I can definitively say it helped me make more connections. Think about it: because you are studying alongside finance experts and working professionals in some of the major financial institutions in Canada, you have a chance to make extremely good connections.

In today’s labour market there is a lot of emphasis on networking, and many people choose to attend conferences and events to meet people in their field. This is good, but it is definitely a lot better when you are able to get to know these people over two years of course work. After all, if you are part of the same team project, they’ll get to know how you really work and be able to vouch for you.

How have the relationships you’ve made during your program impact your year since the graduation?

I made some great friends during my time as an MFin student. I think this is mainly because we share so much in common. Before joining the program, I only had a small group of friends with whom I could actually discuss politics, finance and our careers. Thanks to my time at Rotman, I now have a really close group of friends with whom I can engage in these kinds of conversations. My friends from the program are also good people to go to for professional advice, and I think that is invaluable.

Have you been able to make a career switch or receive a promotion because of the MFin?

I did change careers during the program. What I can say with certainty is that graduating from the MFin program definitely made me a more confident professional. Ultimately, I think this will positively impact my career going forward.

Do you have any words of advice for future students or anyone thinking of applying now? 

I think everyone considering applying to a Master’s program should think of their own criteria for doing so. We all come with different experience and career goals and it is important to stay true to yourself. I would also urge applicants to do their research! They should speak with faculty members, the recruitment team and current students to really understand what the program is like and how it can benefit their careers.

 Ready to learn more about the MFin program? Visit our website or sign up to one of our admissions event and start preparing to become a finance leader.

 

 

 

 

 

Inside the Morning MBA Classroom

You can find Canada’s only Morning MBA program at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. Here, ambitious working professionals learn from a world class MBA from 7-8:59AM twice a week before work.

We recently had the opportunity to speak with Ain Ansari, Morning MBA Class of 2018 who gave us an inside look into the classroom of a Morning MBA student. He shares his insight into courses, work life balance and the integrated thinking method at Rotman.

Intensive weeks

As part of the program schedule, students partake in 3 different intensive weeks. This is where students take part in a course that is condensed into a one week timeframe. During an intensive week, students take the entire week off work and are fully dedicated to school and immersed in their studies. The schedule is packed, typically running from 9AM- 4PM. As Ain describes, “Intensive courses are case-based, it’s not as much lecture and textbook readings, but instead based on case and in class discussions.” Students are taught concepts through lecture based-learning and then apply them in a case-based scenario. The week is fast paced and requires students to be on top of all readings and to be prepared to actively participate in class.

Morning MBA Students celebrate after the Winter 2018 Intensive Week is Over!

Ain took RSM2607: Managerial Negotiations with Professor Glen Whyte for his first intensive week. He described it as “an extremely practical course. We had a different case every day that we would discuss and act out in role-play.” For example, one situation had students divided into 6 different parties where they had to negotiate the best deal. Strategies that were taught included union, B2B, employer and government – business negotiations.

Customizing your degree

During a school semester, students take two courses, one on Tuesday and one on Thursday, both from 7AM – 8:59AM. During the first half of the program, students take the core courses required in the curriculum. Throughout the remainder of the program, students can pick from over 90 elective courses from 16 different majors to fully customize their MBA experience based on their interest and career goals.

Our MBA students are focusing intently during a lecture

One of Ain’s favorite course thus far in his MBA journey is RSM 1310: Economic Environment of Business taught by Professor Walid Hejazi. The course focuses on the economic drivers that go into making a decision as well as how current global issues are impacting Canadian business. While the course covered many tangible topics, it was “[Professor Hejazi] who made the experience so good. He was engaging, enthusiastic and had many real world experiences and examples to support the class.”

Strategy in a global context

During another intensive week, Ain took RSM1301: Fundamentals of Strategic Management with Professor Will Mitchell. He discovered that when developing a strategy, there is a lot of quantitative reasoning involved. There were a lot of examples in Canada as well as emerging markets that highlighted relevant cases. The course forces students to think critically and ask questions that a normal investor would not ask.

Designed for working professionals

As a working professional in the Morning MBA program, Ain notes that “It’s definitely challenging to dedicate both time to school and work and to succeed in the program; time management is key. Work life balance can be done but you have to manage your time well.”

His best tip for prospective students is to “Do your research. The quality of education, reputation and location of the school and the quality of professors is very important. Rotman is at the top in all these categories. The Rotman brand carries a lot of weight.”


To learn more about the Morning & Evening MBA program, visit our website.

MFin 360 – Leadership begins with teamwork

Interview with Celina Li, Hedge Fund Accountant

The Master of Finance (MFin) at the Rotman School of Management develops leaders who are also key team players at work. Elizabeth Ren, CPA, CA, MFin ’17 is a great example. Recently, we interviewed Celina Li, Hedge Fund Accountant at SS & C Technologies and Elizabeth’s colleague, who emphasized the benefits of working alongside an MFin student.

Elizabeth Ren, MFin '17, Fund Accountant, SS&C Technologies

Elizabeth Ren, MFin ’17, Fund Accountant, SS&C Technologies

Hello Celina! Thank you for chatting with us. We are excited to hear your thoughts on what it’s like to work with a Master of Finance student. Could you tell us a little bit about your work with Elizabeth?

Thank you for reaching out, I am happy to tell you about my work with Elizabeth.

We currently work under the same director, but for different funds. Essentially, we have the same position, but we work with different clients. However, we work in a team environment, so we have opportunities to collaborate with each other on such things as financial reporting. We also engage in discussions during our monthly team meetings.

Do you find that your discussions at work are different with Elizabeth?

The technical knowledge she shares with us during meetings and when working on team projects helps solve issues that benefit the whole team, not just her clients. For example, she is currently in charge of setting up a new fund and, as a colleague, I get to learn from her experience and the creative solutions she brings to develop this fund. Ultimately, it is a learning opportunity for the whole team.

What would you say are important skills that she’s been able to learn and integrate in her work since she became an MFin student?

She’s been able to learn how to prioritize and manage her time to reach a high performance level at work as well as in school. In fact, she always comes to work early to avoid missing any deadlines while she is completing coursework.

Do you find that teamwork is different since Elizabeth joined the program?

Elizabeth is a very effective and collaborative team player. I think this comes from having to work on group projects during her MFin program. Recently she was tasked with training two new colleagues; she’s doing a stellar job at mentoring them and explaining the ins and outs of our work.

Has her experience in the MFin program impacted your own work in any way?

Definitely. As she creates the new fund for her client, I get to learn the strategies she implements to arrive at a solution. It is also inspiring to see her become a leader as she trains and mentors new colleagues.


Are you an aspiring leader at work? Join us at one of our admissions events or contact us to learn more about the Master of Finance at the Rotman School of Management.

Think critically with Rotman’s Morning & Evening MBA

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.

Run Yu, Rotman MBA '18

Run Yu, Rotman MBA ’18

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.

Bojan Grabovac

Bojan Grabovac, Rotman MBA ’17

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.


Can you see yourself in their shoes? Contact us today or sign up to attend one of our admissions events to learn more about the Morning & Evening MBA program at the Rotman School of Management.

Five top tips to accelerate your career

In a competitive job market, it takes serious focus, drive and leadership skills to take your career to the next level. Our dedicated Career Services help our Working Professional students structure their career plan, and position candidates to reach their goals. Rotman School of Management students are equipped with a toolkit to use and to take ownership of and manage their career management plan beyond their time at Rotman.

Annette Filler, Careers

Annette Filler,
Lead, Career Services,
Morning & Evening MBA and Master of Finance Programs

We asked Annette Filler, Lead, Career Services for Working Professionals for her Five top tips to accelerate your career.

Tip #1: Set goals
Set specific career goals and gain focus. What industry or function do you aspire to progress within? What would success look like?

Tip #2: Do your homework
Do your homework on the roles that interest you, and that you aspire to. Research the market, companies of interest, and job requirements.

Tip #3: Start building from Day 1
Be prepared to start building your Career Management Plan on Day 1 at Rotman – not when you pick up your graduation gown!

Tip #4: Invest time
Be ready to invest time. It takes time and energy to switch or progress careers. You’ll have put in the hours to learn about your new function, or sector. Network and target your pitch, resume and LinkedIn profile to appeal to recruiters and hiring managers.

Tip #5: Be accountable
Be accountable for your progress and eventual success. Use resources available to you, including Career Services at Rotman. Be sure to meet with your Career Coach.

Careers Services at the Rotman School of Management

The Career Services team is committed to working closely with students to refine career goals, help position and market candidates effectively and develop networks with people w who are in a position to help candidates achieve their goals. Career Services provides students with career support through a range of offerings:

Individual career counseling appointments in person or via telephone

  • Self-assessment
  • Independent job search strategy
  • Resume and cover letter review
  • Networking techniques
  • Interview preparation
  • Job offer and negotiation advice
  • Career advancement strategies (leverage your Master of Finance or Morning & Evening MBA within your organization)

Career Management workshops, webinars & speaker events

  • Defining your career objectives
  • Branding & positioning
  • Crafting your networking pitch
  • Developing a job search strategy
  • Interview preparation
  • Negotiating an offer

Online career resources

  • Tools & templates
  • Videos, webinars, podcasts
  • Career development guides

MFin 360 – Building strong leaders with the Master of Finance

Interview with Patricia Castanheiro, Vice President & Senior FX Trader, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ

As a part-time program for working professionals, the Master of Finance (MFin) at the Rotman School of Management is designed to help students reach their full potential while at work. This means that we want our students not only to prepare for their future careers, but also to gain the confidence and practical skills to support their current teams as finance leaders. Putting our program to the test, we’ve interviewed Patricia Castanheiro, Vice President & Senior FX Trader at the The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi to tell us a little bit about what it’s like to work with Sabrina Wu, MFin’17, who works as a trader in Patricia’s team.

Sabrina Wu, MFin '17, FRM, Money Market Trader, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ

Sabrina Wu, MFin ’17, FRM, Money Market Trader, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ

Thank you for taking the time to share your insights. Could you tell us a little bit about Sabrina’s current role and relationship to you at work?

Sabrina has been working with me at the Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ since 2013. She is currently a Money Market Trader and works on the trading floor reporting to me and another colleague. We have a mentor-mentee relationship and I’ve seen her grow tremendously since she started working with me.

What did you think when Sabrina informed you that she would be completing the MFin program while working fulltime in your company?

As part of our strategy to keep our talent motivated, we try to get our young professionals on the trading floor to work on each desk and expand their knowledge that way. We have a total of 8 traders and, as I mentioned before, Sabrina is currently on the Money Market side. Knowing that I am a big promoter of professional development, when deciding whether it was a good idea to start the MFin program, Sabrina came to me for advice and to find out if it would be possible to get funding from our organization. Right away, I told her she had my full support and lobbied to get our company on board as well.

Have you noticed any immediate impacts the program has had on Sabrina’s work? What would you say has been the added value so far?

I’ve definitely seen her analytical and research skills improve since she started the MFin. For example, we get our traders to write a weekly report providing their opinion on what’s happening in the market and Sabrina has been in charge of putting together the Money Market Weekly Report for quite some time now. I’ll be honest, when she first started it was not amazing; but 6 months down the line she got 100 times better! I’m certain it’s because of the program.

She’s certainly gained greater depth in her way of analyzing changes and variables in the market. Now, you can really tell that she observes and evaluates all the information she gathers through a critical lens in her classes at Rotman.

Would you say Sabrina’s experience as an MFin student has impacted the team when working collaboratively?

Sabrina has always been very collaborative; in fact, I would say that she’s extremely team oriented. Thanks to her participation in the MFin program, she expanded her network outside of the bank itself. We often share our thoughts on this matter, as she’ll bring her questions to me in order to decide strategically how to best expand her network.

When comparing the MFin program to other programs such as the MBA, do you think that the specialized content of the MFin program has been noticeable in Sabrina’s work? 

Considering the industry we’re in, the MFin is much more relevant to our work than other graduate programs in business. I have hired other young professionals that have completed an MBA or the CFA, and Sabrina’s MFin advantage is clear because she is able to apply what she learns directly into her job every day. For example, when she is working on a case study at Rotman, she is learning to respond to events that are happening in the market right now; so, it’s much more useful for us.

Have you noticed any knowledge or skill become a differentiating factor or competitive advantage for Sabrina since she started the MFin program?

Even though she was already well-spoken before joining the program, I still believe her communication skills have improved substantially. She also gained leadership skills and greater confidence from participating in group discussions and projects at school, which is incredibly valuable for her current job and future career.

The best thing is that this is not only evident at work, it also shows in her activities outside of the office. In fact, recently, she was selected to become one of the youngest board members of the YWCA! She is certainly becoming a well-rounded leader, which I can see having a great impact on her career.

How do you think this program will impact her career going forward?

She has a world of opportunities and, where she goes next, is up to her! At our bank, we have internal programs where you can move for a year to another country if there is an opening. Someone like Sabrina can take advantage of this opportunity and work in offices in places like NYC or Hong Kong. For now, she is working on finishing up her program at Rotman, but it’s safe to say that the MFin has opened many doors for her. I’m excited to see what the future has in store for her!


Looking for a graduate program that will charge your impact on your finance career? Visit our website or sign up to one of our admissions events and learn more about the Master of Finance  program.