Category Archives: Master of Finance

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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.

Happy Holidays From The Rotman Team

With snow covered streets and festive lights everywhere, it can only mean one thing: the holidays are around the corner! As another year comes to a close at the Rotman School, we can celebrate this year’s achievements and look forward to milestones in the new year.  We’re excited to be celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Master of Finance program in 2017. As well, we’ve admitted our first students to the Morning & Evening MBA for the class of 2020.

After the holidays, we have a list of three things to consider as part of your new year’s resolution:

  1. Learn More About Our Programs For Working Professionals: At Rotman, we have four diverse degree programs that can help you advance in your career. Attend one of our admissions events in the new year for the Morning & Evening MBA, Executive MBA, Global Executive MBA or Master of Finance
  2. Read about our students’ experiences at Rotman: Our Working Professionals Blog gives you an exclusive insight into how our students are leveraging their Rotman degrees in their daily lives.
  3. Apply!: Are you ready to take the next step in your career? Apply to Rotman today!

Our offices are closed from December 21, 2016 to January 2, 2017. We look forward to seeing you in 2017.

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From all of us at Rotman’s Specialized Programs Recruitment and Admissions team, we wish you all happy holidays!

Where is he now? A Master of Finance alumnus shares 5 years after graduation

Interview with Yasir Mallick, MFin ’11, CPA

Yasir Mallick, MFin ’11, CPAThe Master of Finance (MFin) program at the Rotman School of Management strives for strong connections with our alumni network. Not only do we think it’s important to see how our former students are doing – we believe in paying it forward.

In this second blog post of our series, Where are they now?, we checked in with Yasir Mallick, MFin ’11, CPA, Director, Manager Selection and Portfolio Construction at the University of Toronto Asset Management Corp. (UTAM).

Thank you for speaking with us, Yasir. Tell us what it means to you and your career to be an MFin alumnus.
I applied for the MFin program after the 2008 financial crisis – I viewed it as a way to enhance my technical background given my work experience in the financial services sector. As an alumnus, I have definitely experienced direct educational and professional benefits from the program. Beyond these benefits, I am also proud of being an alumnus because I am part of a much broader community at the University of Toronto and at Rotman, a highly-regarded centre of knowledge in the Toronto financial community.

It’s been a while since you graduated; is there anything you miss from the program?
While I can’t say I miss attending classes and studying as a working professional, the program certainly reinforced my intellectual curiosity. During the program we were constantly exposed to interesting academic papers and empirical research that challenged our knowledge of finance. I have now replaced the intellectual stimulation of class with the intellectual challenges I face in my day to day role at UTAM.

Did the program give you a new appreciation for different area(s) of finance?
There were actually two areas: risk management and long-term portfolio management. These courses have provided a great foundation for my work ever since I graduated. I draw on this material daily to better understand new complexities and to execute my job.

Aside from that, what would you say have been the immediate impacts from completing your degree?
In my last year of the program, I was trying to make a career transition and I’d say that completing the MFin was critical in helping me achieve this goal. Not only did the program give me the necessary knowledge and technical skills to become a strong candidate for jobs in the industry, but it also gave me the confidence to apply to a more executive role in the pension fund management industry. I knew that, without the MFin, I would have likely been screened out by recruiters. I believe that, often, all you need is that first opportunity to meet with the hiring manager, and the MFin allowed me to get my foot in the door.

How are you involved with the MFin community as an alumnus? How do you foresee getting involved moving forward?
I’m still in touch with various professors, as I often connect with them when I see they have published new work in my area of interest. In fact, there’s a chance that I may be a guest lecturer for Rotman in the future.

In terms of the student body, I have also met with many prospective or current students to share my insights or tips as they consider their choices in the program and in their careers. I plan to continue my involvement in this capacity, as I believe it is important to share our experiences and help others.

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

  1. Whatever course you choose to take, make sure that you are truly engaged with the material and passionate about it. As a working professional and part-time student you are pushing yourself to learn and work very hard. To keep yourself motivated, it’s important that you find the material useful and intellectually stimulating.
  1. On a more professional note, I certainly think that it’s important to have a loose outline of what you want to do with your career. However, keep an open mind! Be aware that this outline may not resemble anything close to where you end up, which sometimes, can also be a great thing.

Yasir Mallick, MFin ’11, CPA, has seen the benefits of being part of the MFin community. Since graduating 5 years ago he has been rewarded with two promotions and a job at a new organization. Intrigued by his career path? Visit our website or sign up to one of our admissions events and get ready to become part of the MFin community.

 

 

Annual Rotman Open House Draws Huge Interest: A Recap

With over 300 prospective students at the Rotman Open House on Sunday November 6, the event was nothing short of a great success. The event was an exciting opportunity for attendees to learn more about the 6 programs that Rotman has to offer through engaging sample classes and information sessions.

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Morning and Evening MBA students are more than happy to answer questions from prospective applicants!

The programs that were represented at the fair were the Morning and Evening MBA, Full Time MBA, Executive MBA, Global Executive MBA, Master of Finance, and the Master of Financial Risk Management.

Making Connections at the Programs Fair

As guests began to arrive, they eagerly headed to the buzzing programs fair. Representatives for each of our Master’s programs provided information regarding admissions details and program structures. Current students were also more than happy to share their own Rotman experience. There was something new for everybody to discover about the school. One of our attendees commented that “I know I registered for one program of interest, but with such a wide range of programs that Rotman offers, it was hard to pick just one!”

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The programs fair is in  full swing

A New Way to Think

Rotman’s Annual Open House formally kicked off with a keynote speech by Don Tapscott, CEO of The Tapscott Group, and one of the world’s leading authorities on the impact of technology on business and society. He also happens to be an Adjunct Professor here at the Rotman School of Management, and was ranked the 4th most influential management thinker in the world by Thinkers50.

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Don Tapscott kicking off the event with a keynote speech

He provided us with his thrilling insight into how blockchain is becoming an industry disruptor. Don concluded by challenging our audience, the future leaders in management, on how we can develop solutions to new technological, social and economic problems.

Mix and Match to Customize Your Day

Attendees mixed and matched the sessions that were of most interest to them. With a wide selection of 17 different sessions to attend, it was definitely not an easy choice to make.

Each session brought a unique perspective and experience for our prospective applicants. On top of the information sessions led by our recruiters about what applicants needed to get in and to succeed at Rotman, there were also unique interactive sessions. In our BMO Financial Group Finance Research and Trading Lab, prospective students had the opportunity to get involved in an exciting trading simulation where they made decisions under different scenarios. There were also a number of sample classes showcasing the world renowned faculty that teach at Rotman and their research strengths. Professor Brian Golden’s sample class on Strategic Management was energizing, overflowing and was even followed enthusiastically by an international audience via our live stream!

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Brian Golden presenting a sample class on Strategic Management

The Perfect Fit at Rotman

The Rotman Open House is not only a great event for prospective applicants to learn more information about the admissions process and to get their questions answered, it is also a chance to meet with our recruitment team to network and build a one-on-one relationship.

On behalf of the entire recruitment and admissions team, thank you to each and every individual who took the time to come out and learn about all the graduate programs that Rotman has to offer. We hope you had as much fun as we did!

To learn more about the Rotman School of Management, visit our website at www.rotman.utoronto.ca

Meet Emily Mancuso: New Rotman Master of Finance Assistant Director

Emily Mancuso, Assistant Director, Recruitment and Admissions, Master of Finance

Emily Mancuso, Assistant Director, Recruitment and Admissions, Master of Finance

We are delighted to introduce Emily Mancuso, our new Rotman Master of Finance Assistant Director of Recruitment and Admissions!

Thinking about how to accelerate your finance career? Emily will be able to answer your questions and help you find the right fit at Rotman. Please feel free to contact her directly with any questions about the Rotman Master of Finance program.

Here are a few fun facts about Emily:

  • She has a degree in Fine Arts and she enjoys printmaking in her free time
  • She has travelled to 60+ countries
  • She ran three half-marathons and is training to run a fourth race in spring 2017
  • She loves quiz nights and usually ranks as MVP in the music, arts and culture categories

Where is he now? A Master of Finance alumnus shares 2 years after graduation

Where are they now? Where have their careers taken them since their days at Rotman? In our new series, Where are they now?, we seek out Rotman Master of Finance alumni and ask them to review their careers since graduation.

In this first blog post, Michael Hayes, MFin ’14, CFA, Director of Structuring and Credit Risk, BMO Corporate Finance took the time to share his wide ranging insights as an MFin alumni.

So, it’s been two years! How does it feel?
It feels great! I feel grounded in my career in finance since completing the Master of Finance (MFin); the program has a lot to do with my current success.

Michael Hayes MFin '14, CFA, Director of Structuring and Credit Risk , BMO Corporate Finance

Michael Hayes MFin ’14, CFA, Director of Structuring and Credit Risk, BMO Corporate Finance

Why did you choose to do the MFin instead of an MBA?
I’ve always been a big believer that credentials are ever more important in mature industries like banking. As I wanted to remain in this sector, I knew that I needed highly qualified credentials to my name in order to advance significantly and remove any potential future career barriers. I already had a Bachelors of Commerce and my CFA, but knew that it wouldn’t be enough.

When you realize that, you need to ask yourself: why am I going back to school? Is it to further develop skills necessary in my current field or to move industries and land a job in a different area?

If your answer is like mine, and you are looking to become an expert in your field, then your best bet is to stay in your job and complete the MFin. With my work experience and previous education, for me, it simply didn’t make sense to do an MBA. I was more interested in the technical skills and depth of finance knowledge that could best be obtained through the MFin.

What would you say have been the immediate impacts of being part of the MFin community?
When I first joined the MFin program, I was managing a book of commercial clients in Toronto as a Relationship Manager. I needed a change and starting the MFin program gave me the confidence to reach out to executive leaders and to talk about my career goals. This was a great decision, as just two months after joining the program I was promoted with an opportunity to work as an Associate in Investment & Corporate Banking in Chicago, USA.

Since then, I’ve advanced another two times within the same institution, with my most recent promotion in June 2016 when I became the Director of Structuring and Credit Risk for BMO’s Corporate Finance Division. I can certainly say that joining the Master of Finance was a catalyst for my first upward move.

What does it mean to you and your career to be an MFin alumni?
I am exceptionally proud not only of being a Rotman alumnus, but also of being a graduate of the MFin program. I take a lot of pride in being part of the highly-skilled and experienced community that is made up of MFin alumni. The Rotman MFin is a challenging program that admits students with work experience in finance. Many of my classmates already possessed designations such as the CFA or CPA.

What we learn and the networks that we build are extremely valuable to our professional and even our personal life.

How has this network impacted your life?
I have worked with some of my classmates at BMO, and there’ve been times when we leaned on each other for career advice. More importantly, some of my best friends today are from the MFin program.

You’ have to realize that in the program you not only meet people who share your passion for finance; you also meet people who share similar life experiences, whether it means being a working professional and part-time student, or having kids for the first time. In fact, aside from the intellectual stimulation present in the program, getting together with my classmates during our lunch break or after class is probably what I miss the most from the program.

How do you foresee getting involved with the MFin community as an alumni going forward?
I think it’s very important to stay connected. Every single graduate of the MFin program can give back and increase your scope. For example, working in a bank for quite sometime, I hadn’t been exposed to the perspectives of finance leaders who are non-bankers. During the MFin program, I met several classmates working in insurance companies and pension funds, which made me recognize the bigger world outside of banking.

As alumni, we have a responsibility to pay it forward and connect with current students looking to learn about our work and opportunities in our field.

What advice would you give to someone considering starting the program now?
First, recognize the importance of your community of classmates who will be your connections for life. Make connections with as many people as you can. As a tip, the easiest way to do that is to never sit in the same seat twice.

Second, remember that going back to school is a family decision. As a working professional and part-time student you’ll be sacrificing some of the time you spend with your family. Recognize their importance, and ensure they are on board with your plans.

Third, challenge the status quo. As a graduate student, you are here to learn and push the boundaries, so don’t just settle for what’s in the textbook. The best classes take place when students challenge the concepts reviewed in class and put them to the test.


Interested to learn more about what our students and alumni have to say about the program? Our upcoming Open House on November 6 is the perfect time to speak with students and alumni. Or, sign up for an upcoming admissions events.

6 Master’s Programs, 1 Open House

Rotman's Annual Open House. Join us November 6, 2016.

Rotman’s Annual Open House. Join us November 6, 2016.

Rotman’s Open House 2016 – mark your calendars!

Rotman’s Annual Open House takes place on Sunday, November 6, 2016. Check out all six of our Master’s programs to see which program is the right fit for you. It’s the perfect day! Attend an information session, sample a class, try your hand at a trading simulation, and meet current students and alumni.

MBA programs at Rotman

Specialized degrees at Rotman

Don Tapscott, CEO of the Tapscott Group and one of the world's leading authories on the impact of technology. He is also an Adjunct Processor at the Rotman School of Management.

Don Tapscott, CEO of the Tapscott Group and one of the world’s leading authorities on the impact of technology. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the Rotman School of Management.

Don Tapscott, keynote

Our exciting keynote speaker is Don Tapscott, CEO of The Tapscott Group. He is one of the world’s leading authorities on the impact of technology on business and society. He has authored over 15 books including Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything which has been translated into over 25 languages.

Don’s most recent and ambitious book was co-authored with his son, startup CEO and bitcoin governance expert Alex Tapscott. Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Underlying Bitcoin is Changing Business, Money and the World was published in May 2016 and is, according to Harvard Business School’s Clay Christensen, “the book, literally, on how to survive and thrive in this next wave of technology-driven disruption” and, “likely to become one of the iconic books of our time.”

In 2015, Don became a member of the Order of Canada, and was ranked the 4th most influential management thinker in the world by Thinkers50. He is an Adjunct Professor at the Rotman School of Management, an Associate of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, and Chancellor of Trent University in Ontario. Don is the Founder and Executive Director of the $4M Global Solution Networks investigation of multi-stakeholder models for global problem solving and governance.

It is hard to imagine anyone who has been more prolific, profound, and influential in explaining today’s technological revolutions and their impact on the world.

Register now to meet Don and our Master’s admissions teams on November 6, 2016 at Rotman’s Annual Open House.

The Fall 2017 Master’s programs application cycle is now open!

Start your application for one of Rotman’s Master’s programs for working professionals today!

Study while you accelerate your career. At the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, we have four flexible options for ambitious working professionals looking to boost their potential through part-time Master’s programs.

Whether you are thinking of making changes at work or expanding your professional network, now is the time to take charge of your career.

Applications are now open for all our Master’s programs for working professionals at Rotman. Take a look at each of our four Master’s programs for working professionals and get ready to apply to the program that is the right fit for you.

Master of Finance

Rotman Finance Lab

Do you:
• work in the financial industry?
• have solid technical skills?
• want to become an expert in the finance field?

Consider the Master of Finance. Attend one of our admissions events to learn more about the program or start your application today. The first application deadline is November 15, 2016.

Check out the profiles of some of our students and alumni.

Morning & Evening MBA

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Our Morning & Evening MBA program is perfect for those who have started their careers and want to broaden their leadership skills to strengthen their presence in the boardroom. Learn more about the program requirements through our admission events and start planning your submission for our first application deadline on November 20, 2016.

Executive MBA

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At Rotman, we designed the One-Year Executive MBA program with senior industry leaders in mind. As an executive leader, this program will give you the tools to lead your team into success with confidence. Come to one of our information sessions to learn more or start preparing your application; the first submission deadline is on November 16, 2016.

Global Executive MBA

East Asia-Rotman18 months. 4 continents. Career Transformation.

In today’s global market it is imperative for leaders to understand the complexities of doing business across border. With Rotman’s Global Executive MBA program you’ll gain the practical skills and international experience to respond to the demands of today’s globalized world. The first application deadline is on November 16, 2016. Visit our website or attend one of our information sessions to learn more about the program.


Excited about the possibility of joining the Rotman community in 2017 but still unsure which program is right for you? Come to Rotman’s Open House on November 6 where you’ll be able to meet with alumni, current students and recruiters for all of our programs.

This is your chance to start building connections and learning all that there is to know to ensure you prepare a great application and start your part-time Master’s program in Fall 2017. Don’t wait, register now!

Bonus tip: the earlier you apply, the greater your chance of securing an entrance award.

MBA or MFin? Choosing the program that is right for you

MBA or MFin? Counting on our record of excellence from our cutting-edge Master’s programs, the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto is a key destination for ambitious working professionals looking to advance in their careers. Given the choice of top Master’s programs, the question often then comes down to: which program should I choose?

If you work in finance, you may be wondering whether the Rotman Morning & Evening MBA or the Master of Finance (MFin) program is right for you. We spoke to Rummy Gill and Emily Mancuso, our Assistant Directors of Recruitment for the respective programs, to put together key tips and considerations that will help you choose the program that is most appropriate for your career goals.

Rummy Gill, Assistant Director, Morning & Evening MBA, Recruitment & Admissions

Rummy Gill, Assistant Director, Morning & Evening MBA, Recruitment & Admissions

Consider your background. Have you worked in finance for some time? Or, did you major in finance in your undergrad? The Rotman MFin program requires a strong foundation in finance.  In fact, over 60% of students have already passed the CFA I, II or III examinations by the time they are admitted into the program.

On the other hand, if you are interested in working in finance but your educational background does not have a strong foundation in this field or you need to gain more work experience in the sector, an MBA may be a better option. In fact, completing the Morning & Evening MBA and majoring in Finance would be a great choice for someone looking to transition into finance from a different functional area.

Emily Mancuso, Assistant Director, Recruitment and Admissions, Master of Finance

Emily Mancuso, Assistant Director, Recruitment and Admissions, Master of Finance

What kind of leader do you want to be? If you’re considering both programs, then, it’s likely you already have a strong finance background. In this case, you’ll need to ask yourself whether the skills that you need to do your job better include gaining in-depth finance expertise or whether it may be skills associated with general management.

The MFin focuses on further developing the technical know-how and strategic thinking that is needed to become a leading finance practitioner; even people with a CFA will feel challenged in this program.

On the other hand, the Morning & Evening MBA is about broadening your perspective. It has classes in Innovation & entrepreneurship, business design, consulting & strategic management. Our  grad Ciara Wakita makes reference to this in her interview with us. People whose immediate or mid-career goals include attaining a senior leadership role within their organization, therefore, might find this program a better fit.

Consider whether you are looking for breadth or depth. While in the Morning & Evening MBA you can choose from various majors and have the chance to pick from over 115 elective courses, the MFin program is designed to provide you with in-depth finance knowledge. Most courses in the MFin are finance specific. This means that you, your peers and your professors can expect a certain level of foundational knowledge and skills from the class and can move faster through the course. This also means you’ll be learning from a richer depth of material.

Think of the network you’d like to build. Given that the MFin is planned as one cohort of 35 to 50 students all the way through the program, you’ll be able to tap into a strong tight-knit network of finance professionals. The expertise that comes with such a group will certainly impact class discussions as it will be centered around finance and will be guided by the perspective of finance practitioners.

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In the Morning & Evening MBA program, your peers might come with a different background, influencing a multi-faceted perspective and network. Think of it like this: if your career goals include staying in finance but moving companies, the MFin could help you meet the right people to connect you with these kinds of opportunities; instead, if you were hoping to explore positions in other functions, you might want to consider the MBA, where you’ll meet people from all backgrounds and function areas.

Ultimately you’ll have to ask yourself, what are your career goals for the next 5-10 years? We recommend that you do your research to understand positions you’d like to aspire to and what people in these roles have done to get there. Consider, speaking to your HR department to learn about the future of your industry and what qualifications may become necessary or give you an advantage in the job market.


Still not sure which one is right for you? Visit our website or contact us and we’ll help you choose the program that is right for you.

International Study Tour to Japan: Rotman Master of Finance

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

Opportunities to expand your experience and network internationally beyond the classroom abound at Rotman. Sabrina Wu, an MFin ’17, in our Master of Finance program for working professionals embarked on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Study Tour to Japan. Here is her account of her time on this once-in-a-lifetime experience:


I was chosen as one of two Rotman students to join a delegation of Canadian graduate students on the Trans-Pacific-Partnership Study Tour to Japan. It was a unique opportunity presented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan aimed to foster better understanding of Japanese society, history, politics and economy. The trip focused on issues related to the Trans-Pacific-Partnership and provided exposure to several industries in Japan including Biotechnology, Agriculture, Automotive and Textile.

Rotman - Japan International Study Tour

The eight-day trip was packed with activities that included company visits, courtesy calls to local governments, lectures, site-seeing and dining. During my stay there, I visited three Japanese cities – Tokyo, Nagoya, and Kyoto. I had the privilege of experiencing Japan’s world class bullet train ¬ the shinkansen – travelling at speeds of 240 to 320 kilometers per hour. The well-developed and well-maintained infrastructure in Japan was very impressive. Its extensive and modern road network consists of 1,152,207 kilometers of highways and 6,114 kilometers of expressways.

The visit to Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture, and in particular, the tour of Toyota’s manufacturing plant was the most interesting to me. As business students, we are familiar with “the Toyota Way” – kaizen (continuous improvement), jidoka (intelligent automation) and just-in-time system. Being able to see these management concepts in action was absolutely amazing!

Our learning of Japanese auto industry did not stop there. Contrary to the assumption that industrial cities such as Toyota City must have the highest carbon footprint in the country, the city in fact led the country in low-carbon infrastructure. A visit to Ecoful Town allowed us to take a peek at what a future green society can look like. In 2009, Toyota City was selected by the Japanese government to be a model city for the environment. It set high standards for carbon reduction through building smart grids, smart homes, and hydrogen fueling stations. Each smart home is equipped with a Home Energy Management System (HEMS) to monitor and allocate energy use efficiently.

Rotman - Japan International Study TourAll serious business aside, touring around the beautiful Imperial Palace, Meiji Shrine, Asakusa, Osu Kannon, and Kiyomizu Temple was a very unique experience. Kyoto, the cultural centre of Japan, has 1600 temples. Dining and sleeping on tatami, enjoying Yebisu beer at a Super Mario-themed pub, and sampling 10 different kinds of Sake were some of the best memories of Japan.

Rotman - Japan Study Tour

Thank you to Rotman for providing the opportunity. I am so grateful for it and I look forward to sharing this amazing experience with many others!


Interested in learning more about the Master of Finance program at Rotman? Visit our website or contact us for more information.

Theory in Practice Series: Master of Finance Part Three

What is the Rotman Master of Finance curriculum like? How do our working professional students and alumni take the theory they learn in the classroom and apply them to real situations in the workplace? In this final blog post of our 3-part series on the Rotman MFin curriculum, current student Jose Rivas gives his view of the program so far.


Jose Rivas, MFin '17, CPA, CGA, Senior Manager, Financial Planning & Analysis Business, Operations, National Diabetes Trust

Jose Rivas, MFin ’17, CPA, CGA, Senior Manager, Financial Planning & Analysis, Business Operations, National Diabetes Trust

Jose Rivas, MFin ’17, CPA, CGA
Current role: Senior Manager, Financial Planning & Analysis, National Diabetes Trust
Role entering the program: Senior Finance Manager, National Diabetes Trust

The Theory:

In the Forecasting Risks and Opportunities class taught by Professor Tom McCurdy, we covered advanced methods to forecast and to assess risks in our financial models. In the Advanced Accounting class taught by Associate Professor Ramy Elitzur, we covered the use of statistical regressions to derive meaningful forecasting relationships.

The Application:

Although I didn’t use the exact forecasting models taught in the forecasting risk course (a mean reversion model), the methodology to develop a forecast and to assess model risk was meaningful as I was able to use the same techniques to create a production forecasting model. I then used the advanced accounting course material to assess the adequacy of the model (autocorrelation tests as well as the evaluation of the model’s parameters).

The end result was the creation of a forecasting model with robust documentation. After presenting my findings to my CFO and senior operations management group, I got buy-in to roll out, and to use it to forecast production, which was a deficient process in the past. Through this, we have drastically improved guidance and product planning nationally.

Breadth of Finance Knowledge

In terms of general capital markets knowledge, most people with my background and level of seniority have a soft understanding of capital markets. The Analysis of Fixed Income Markets class taught by Associate Professor Fotini Tolias gave me a much better understanding of debt products and their origination.

Certainly, the context of this course is more relevant to those who work for large firms. However, in gaining this type of knowledge, I have been able to open up conversations with senior management surrounding access to mid-markets, and to understand what financial institutions seek out of these deals.

Finance Career Bridge

All in all, my take on the Rotman MFin program is that it is not only about specific knowledge – it is also about our ability to expand what we’ve learned in creative applications beyond the classroom. The Rotman MFin program is excellent for those with a background similar to mine who want to change up their finance career path as the program truly advances your finance knowledge and bridges your knowledge or skill set gaps.


Interested to see how the Rotman Master of Finance program for working professionals can help you master your finance career in just 20-months? Learn more about the Rotman MFin program on our website, or contact us to see if the program is right for you.

Theory in Practice Series: Master of Finance Part Two

Di Shan, MFin '17, CPA, CMA, Senior Financial Analyst, Canadian Tire Corporation

Di Shan, MFin ’17, CPA, CMA, Senior Financial Analyst, Canadian Tire

Make an immediate impact at work and on your finance career. According to our working professional students, the ability to practically apply the latest finance theories learned in the classroom is one of Rotman’s Master of Finance program’s key benefits.

Half way into the 20-month Rotman MFin program, current MFin student Di Shan shares her experiences so far – the knowledge she has gained, and how she applies this to her work daily. This is the second blog post in a series of three posts about the Rotman MFin curriculum.


Di Shan, MFin ’17, CPA, CMA
Current role: Senior Financial Analyst, Canadian Tire Corporation
Role entering the program: Financial Analyst, Canadian Tire Corporation

At Canadian Tire, I work in the corporate finance area providing financial support and management consulting to the senior management of our business teams.

The six courses that we’ve taken so far in the first half of the Rotman MFin program covered a broad range of topics in finance. The Foundation of Finance and Macroeconomics courses provided a great foundation for the theories and models required to understand and analyze market movements. I was able to very quickly apply what we learned in class. I linked discoveries from our weekly news article assignments to my weekly meetings with business clients; I would provide relevant market updates such as interest rate and exchange rate movements, and engage in in-depth conversation with senior leaders.

The Forecasting Risks & Opportunities course provided many practical tools and models that I was able to use in my financial planning work where I enhanced my existing forecasting models with regressions and simulations. The Financial Analysis course provided new perspectives to analyzing and valuing a company; the experience gained from working on the final project of valuing and comparing two firms was highly valuable. Applying the same procedures, and focusing more on the quality of financial disclosure, I was able to link back to corporate strategies when performing analysis on competitors at work.


Are you a working professional in finance? Have a look at the Rotman Master of Finance curriculum and see if the program is right for you. Contact us if you have any questions or to meet us for a coffee chat.

Theory in Practice Series: Master of Finance

MFin Theory in Practice: Hank Liu, Rotman MFin '17, Senior Performance Analyst, Manulife Asset Management

Hank Liu, MFin ’17, CPA, CGA, CFA II Candidate, Client On-boarding Manager, Manulife Asset Management

The latest financial theories with direct practical applications – this is what students can expect with the Master of Finance program at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. Every day, our globally renowned faculty and practitioners translate their latest research and experience in the finance field into the classroom.

Over 20-months, the Rotman MFin curriculum covers in-depth topics such as Risk Management and Financial Institutions, Applications of Derivative Products, Investment Banking, Applied Portfolio Management and more. In this first of a series of three blog posts on the Rotman MFin curriculum, current MFin student Hank Liu shares his experiences in a few of the courses to date, and what this means in his everyday work, and for his career.


Hank Liu, MFin ’17, CPA, CGA, CFA II Candidate
Current role: Client On-boarding Manager, Manulife Asset Management
Role entering the program: Senior Analyst, Performance Measurement and Attribution, Manulife Asset Management

Professor Laurence Booth‘s Foundations of Finance course requires me to follow the market closely on a daily basis. Through this, I know more about what is happening around in the financial world, and this helps me better understand and predict our portfolio manager’s strategy. For instance, by closely following world news, I know when the U.S. treasury rate is expected to go up and would expect our U.S. fixed income PM to reduce our exposure to long duration securities.

Associate Professor Fotini Tolias‘ Analysis of Fixed Income Markets course is directly applicable to my work. I developed a much deeper understanding on all types of fixed income products. Part of my work is to analyze the performance, analytics, and attribution for our fixed income portfolios. By learning how to calculate average life, yield, duration, convexity, I developed an independent calculation tool/model for our team, and if there were any discrepancies on those characteristics, I have the confidence to validate them. Another example: there were some data issues with a “fix-to-floating” security held in our portfolio. As we covered it in class, I quickly figured out what caused the issues and suggested how to fix them.

Most importantly, these incredible courses offered by MFin program sharpened my expertise in financial world, and taught me how to speak the same language as professionals in other areas of finance. I now have a much better understanding of how other teams operate. For example, after taking the Forecasting Risks and Opportunities course taught by Professor Tom McCurdy, I am able discuss with the variable annuity team about their hedging strategies. The Corporate Finance and Valuation course taught by Adjunct Professor Heather-Anne Irwin was helpful for me to discuss the models developed by our finance project team.

I’m taking the MFin program at just “The Right Time”. As I am transitioning from accounting to investments, the MFin program is preparing me well for all the challenges that I will encounter in the future. Since I’m taking the MFin program as a working professional with a few years of work experience, rather than as a fresh undergraduate, I have a clear sense on “why I am taking the program”, “what I expect from the program”, and “what my plan is after the program”.


Interested in exploring the Rotman Master of Finance curriculum or want to see if the program is right for your finance career? Visit our Rotman MFin website or contact us for a chat.

Master of Finance: June 11-13, 2016 in review

What a busy couple of weeks at Rotman for our recently graduated Master of Finance class of 2016 and current MFin students! More than just in the classroom, our alumni, students, faculty and staff rubbed shoulders (and noisemakers) outside of school.

On June 11, 2016, we had our third annual friendly soccer match with Schulich’s and Smith’s MFin classes. Trophy goes to Smith this year. Well played!

The day after on June 12, we had our pre-convocation MFin reception where valedictorian Morgan Pampe gave a rousing and at times, emotional retrospective of the class over the past 20 months.

Finally, the big day! On June 13, the MFin class of 2016 officially became Rotman alumni.

Check out the photos below.

2016 Master of Finance Soccer Match

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Rotman Master of Finance Class of 2016 Convocation Reception

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Rotman Master of Finance Class of 2016 Convocation

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Rotman Master of Finance: A Wealth of Surprises

Today is convocation day for the Rotman Master of Finance Class of 2016! Congratulations. Our newly graduated Rotman MFin Class of 2016 is now armed with a new way to think about finance and management that will transform their careers as finance leaders.

Morgan Pampe, MFin ’16, CFA is the class of 2016’s valedictorian. He was drawn to the program for career reasons. What came as a welcome surprise was the wealth of experiences that Rotman makes possible: the professors, the case competitions, the speaker series, and most of all, the friendships. Here is a conversation we recently had with him.

Morgan Pampe, MFin '17, CFA

Morgan Pampe, MFin ’17, CFA

How does it feel to be finally done?

It’s nice to have a lot more free time. And since the weather has improved, it’s doubly uplifting. However, I do miss coming back to Rotman because I made so many great friends here.

Something people don’t appreciate or understand about the Master of Finance program is the closeness of the friendships you form here. As the program is so intensive, you end up spending a lot of your free time at the School, working on challenges together. It’s like when you’re younger and you’re doing everything together at the cabin, or going on a canoe trip.  I really enjoyed that aspect, because I was a camper and I like that idea of closely bonding with people.

That was something you didn’t expect.

Like most people, I was drawn to the program for career reasons. With regards to that, it was the right choice. But I had no idea of how much I’d like everyone in class. There are people from all sorts of different backgrounds, in terms of the country they’re from, or their professional experience or education. You get great perspective on many different things. You’re all going through the same process of working and doing school, so there’s a lot of empathy. People are smart and ambitious, and there’s also a sense that we’re all in it together.

Aside from the friendships you made, what’s the biggest take away from your experience?

I couldn’t imagine how smart the professors would be. I’d learn something in, let’s say, John Hull’s or Peter Christoffersen’s class, and the next day I would be doing it at work and showing people. I would get some blank stares or head nods, and they’d be, “That’s good.  We’ve never done that before. Keep doing that.”  I got to see how worthwhile the program is in real time.

Coming out as a graduate, you feel confident in talking to anybody about their job or their line of business. If you don’t understand it, you know how to find out. The program gives you the tools and confidence to dig deeper.

 If you were to talk to someone just entering the program, what advice would you give?

I would point out that Rotman has so much to offer. The professors are great. There’s a wonderful stream of smart people and ideas and knowledge that flow through here. There’s an incredible speaker series that brings in heads of state, professionals and industry leaders to come and share their ideas.  There’s an incredible alumni network, and always someone willing to sit down and talk to you.

That said, the opportunity is fleeting. Time is passing. It’s up to you to have the discipline to constantly try to get as much out of it as possible.  It’s like a wet towel and you need to just squeeze as much as you can out.  How hard you’re willing to do that is in your hands.

Edited. Full conversation with Morgan can be found here.


Are you interested in investing in your career with the Rotman MFin? Contact us or visit our website for more information. We’d love to hear from you.

A Day in the Life: Rotman Master of Finance

Finance working professional Christina Alexander, MFin '17, Vice-President, Derivatives and Structured Products, Citibank Canada

Christina Alexander, MFin ’17, Vice-President, Derivatives and Structured Products, Citibank Canada

Christina Alexander is Vice-President, Derivatives and Structured Products at Citibank Canada and a student in our Rotman Master of Finance program for finance working professionals. Demanding schedules are the norm for her and her peers in the finance industry.

We asked her to walk us through her regular work day and share about her experience as a working professional studying for her MFin.


6:00 am – 8:00 am. Typically, I’m awake between 6:00 am and 6:30 am. I head to work with the goal of being in my seat anywhere from 7:00 am to 8:00 am. “Breakfast” (aka coffee) takes place at my desk while I catch up on overnight news, and plan my day before the market opens.

8:00 am – 5:30 pm. The work day is unpredictable; it is usually a mixed bag of conference calls, meetings, watching the market, pricing and executing transactions, or working on new ideas and presentation materials for client meetings. I generally eat lunch at my desk unless I am taking out a client or have other commitments.

It’s hard not to think about the Master of Finance during the work day as it naturally fits in with my daily conversations with colleagues and clients. For example, I recently pitched a complicated hedging strategy to the Treasurer of a company. While she liked the idea, she needed to run it by her accounting team to understand how it may impact the company’s cash flow and leverage ratios. I wasn’t able to give her the perfect answer, but I was able to give her some preliminary thoughts, and more importantly, I had a good appreciation for her concerns.

5:30 pm. My team at work knows that I have class every Wednesday evening, and I try to start wrapping things up at 5:30 pm to make sure I’m on time for class at 6:15pm. Otherwise, unexpected things could come up and I could be stuck in the office forever!

Usually I receive a comment or two on the way out such as, “Wow, I forget Wednesdays are extra-long for you.”  Or, my co-workers want to ask me about what the night’s class topic will be – so I have to budget extra time for this. Additionally, we often have visits from our senior management in New York, as well as client entertainment in the evenings. Sometimes getting to class for 6:15 pm is not always so smooth; I have now perfected the art of popping into a social event, saying hello to everyone for a short period of time before politely excusing myself, and then finding a cab to dash to the Rotman campus.

6:15 pm – 9:30 pm. Class time! We also have a break for dinner where our entire class eats together; this is a great time to catch up with my classmates.

On an average day, I will leave campus right at 9:30 pm, with a couple exceptions: 1. As the program has a fair bit of group work, sometimes my group will meet briefly after class to make sure we are on track for our projects, and 2. If we’ve just written a final exam, our class may pop over to the pub for a celebratory drink!

9:45 pm – 11:00 pm. This is when I decompress and prepare for the next day. Hopefully I don’t have to pack and be up extra early for a flight to Calgary or Vancouver. Other times, if I have upcoming client meetings, I may spend some time preparing for those presentations. In any case, I try to get to sleep by 11:00 pm.


Thank you for sharing, Christina!

Christina exemplifies our Rotman Master of Finance students who have challenging, full-time finance careers, and who also attend classes part-time. Designed with busy finance working professionals in mind, the MFin program at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto has classes only every Wednesday evening and full days every other Saturday.

Curious to see if the Rotman MFin might be the next step in your finance career? Drop us a line and visit our website for more information. We’d love to hear from you.

Tips to Ace Your Master of Finance Application Written Essays

As you prepare the written portions of your Rotman Master of Finance application, your undergrad days when you last wrote essays may seem like a distant memory. Have no fear! We’ve talked to some of our current MFin students who came up with great advice on how to complete the written essays for your Master of FInance application.

In your application, you have to demonstrate that you have a record of academic excellence and relevant work experience. You also have to demonstrate your communication skills and suitability for the program through application items such as the written essays.  Here are some tips to help get past your writer’s block:

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Focus on content. While style and grammar are important indicators of your ability to communicate effectively, on your written essays you should definitely focus on content—what you want to communicate to the admissions committee.

John McGlynn (MFin 2017) mentions, “The essays are your pitch to an admissions representative, therefore content is the most important part of the essays.” He adds that you should make sure to:

  1. Match up the Master of Finance degree to your long term goals. Think of how the MFin program can uniquely contribute to your professional and personal growth in comparison to other programs.
  2. Demonstrate how you’ll be a great asset to the class. Consider, for example, how your academic background, work experience, and network can add value to the program and your classmates.
  3. Emphasize why you want to attend Rotman. There are many finance programs in various schools in Toronto and around the world, so let the admissions committee know why you Rotman is the best fit for you.

Write from your own perspective: the essay is not generic, it is about you! This is your chance to get personal. Both Amy Wang (Mfin 2017) and Johnny Wu (MFin 2017) point out that being genuine is key to the success of your written essays. The admissions committee wants to know what you can bring to Rotman and the MFin program, and this is your chance to tell us. Mention what you have learned at work and how your job aligns with the goals of the program. Don’t forget to include details about your professional network; remember that as students of the MFin program you will learn from each other as much as from our professors.

John also emphasized this point, mentioning that the essay should be memorable. You need to shine through the hundreds of other essays that the admissions committee reads daily.

Ask for help. If you are stuck at any point or would like some guidance, Amy reminds us that you can always reach out to our Recruitment and Admissions team. Our team is always willing to help you at any point during your application! We are here to help you succeed.

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Don’t forget to edit! Writing the essay is only half the work. Editing is just as important. A good tip from Johnny is to have others – like your family and friends – read over your essay. Having someone else read your work can often help you notice details and typos you would have otherwise missed.


Do you have any tips to share? Leave us a note below or contact us with any questions.

How to Ace the Master of Finance Video Essays

Working on your Rotman Master of Finance application? Flummoxed by the video essays? We asked our newly admitted students to share tips on how to complete and ace our Master of Finance video essays. These incoming students only recently completed their applications, so the MFin video essays are very fresh in their minds. Review their tips below and prepare to ace the Master of Finance video essays:

Screenshot from Rotman Master of Finance video essays application.

Screenshot from Rotman Master of Finance video essays application.

How you express and present yourself is just as important as what you say. As a finance leader, you’ll be expected to present strategies for success; along the same lines, the admission committee is looking to see if you have what it takes when it comes to your presence and ability to clearly articulate your ideas.

Brendon Buschman (MFin 2018) says, “Even if you feel like your response is not shaping up to be reflective of your abilities, keep focused on how you are presenting yourself non-verbally.” This thought is echoed by Jessie Hao (MFin 2018) who emphasizes that, “Even if you are at home, you should dress professionally and be ready to impress.”

Also, don’t be afraid about the content and nature of the questions. As Nicole Chang (MFin 2018) says, “the video essays questions are straightforward and personal in nature. You don’t have to worry about anything too technical or complicated. Brainstorming a handful of experiences about who you are, what you like to do, and the things that make you tick. When answering the question, be confident and get to the point directly within the given time frame.”

“Be confident and get to the point directly within the given time frame.”

Practice like you would for an interview, but don’t memorize a script. Much like a job interview, the video essays are trying to assess what you are like as a person and as a professional. This means that you can use similar job interview preparation techniques. Brendon notes that practice helped him calm his nerves during the video essays. Nonetheless, Daanish Afzal (MFin 2018) reminds us that you should definitely not memorize a script. After all, the video essays are evaluating your ability to think on your feet and communicate effectively. Instead, he suggests to focus on key points you want to highlight and how you’d like to relay this message.

Get used to a recording environment. Last but not least, all students agree that it is essential to get comfortable with a recording environment. Brendon mentions that in order to get rid of the strange feeling of being recorded, he set up his own recording environment and practiced several times through dry runs to get used to it. Jessie points out that you should definitely check for any hardware and software malfunctions. Just imagine starting the video essays and your computer running out of battery!

Following these tips will sure help you ace the MFin video essay. If you have any questions on concerns don’t hesitate to contact us or visit our website.

Are You the Next Addition to Our MFin Class of 2018?

As we near our next application deadline on June 15, here’s a sneak peek at how the new Rotman Master of Finance class of 2018 is shaping up. These MFin candidates will start the program this coming September 2016. They come from all areas of the industry and are already very professionally accomplished.

You could be their future classmate and share in their MFin journey this year.

Are you the next addition to our MFin class of 2018? To see where you stand, email a copy of your resume & transcript to Breanna Brooks, our Assistant Director of Recruitment & Admissions.

MFin Class of 2018

Kitty Rong
Manager, Securitization, Real Estate Secured Lending, Scotiabank
Portfolio Management
10 years’ experience
CFA & FRM
Bachelor Degree of Mathematics, University of Waterloo

 

MFin Class of 2018

Daanish Afzal
Associate Portfolio Manager, RP Investment Advisors
Portfolio Management
5 years’ experience
CFA
Bachelor of Arts in Economics & Employment Relations, University of Toronto

 

MFin Class of 2018

Daniel Nieto
Analyst, Risk Management, East Coast Fund Management
Portfolio Management
8 years’ experience
CFA level III candidate
Bachelor of Business Administration, University of Guelph

 

MFin Class of 2018

Mathieu Galipeault
Structuring Manager, BMO
Risk Management
6 years’ experience
CPA/CMA
Bachelor of Commerce, University of Ottawa

 

MFin Class of 2018

Patrick Kodjo
Senior Risk Rating Specialist, Commercial Banking, TD
Investment Banking
4 years’ experience
CFA level II candidate
Bachelor of Finance, EDHEC
MBA, Auburn University
Master of International Economics, Université de Clermont-Ferrand I – CERDI

 

Nicole Chang, Rotman MFin candidate

Nicole Chang
Senior Fund Accountant, CITCO Fund Services Companies
Accounting/Audit
3.5 years’ experience
CFA level II candidate
Bachelor of Commerce, McGill

Classmates, friends, network for life

Network for life: Rotman MFins Jose Rivas, Wentao Jiang, Srijan Agrawal, Fotini Tolias (Academic Director), Michael Kristanto, Tony Zhuang, Tracy Chong, Christina Alexander, Chi Woong Hoh, Emile Givogue, Morgan Pampe

A fun night of connecting with Rotman classmates and friends (and winning a lot, apparently)! Master of Finance students at Charity Casino Night left to right: Jose Rivas, Wentao Jiang, Srijan Agrawal, Fotini Tolias (MFin Academic Director), Michael Kristanto, Tony Zhuang, Tracy Chong, Christina Alexander, Chi Woong Hoh, Emile Givogue, Morgan Pampe.

A network for life: that’s one of irreplaceable benefits that you can expect from being at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. Classmates become lifelong friends who become the network that you can rely on throughout your career.

This March, the Graduate Business Council launched the inaugural Charity Casino Night, modelled after the Master of Finance program‘s traditional event. This year’s event brought together students, alumni, faculty and staff from all of the Rotman School’s master’s programs for a lively evening of fun, connection and raising proceeds for four charity partners.

Beyond the classroom, there are so many opportunities to develop your network for life here at Rotman. Here are a few examples of moments during your time at Rotman that could lead to your next great connection:

Remember that when choosing a graduate program, it’s also important to think about the community that will surround you. In the end, it’s this network that will make all the difference.


For more sneak peeks into some of our great events, keep reading our blog or visit our website.

Meet Your Professor: Fotini Tolias

Today, we’d like to introduce Fotini Tolias, our new Academic Director for the Master of Finance program. You will no doubt be interacting with her during the course of your time at Rotman.Fotini Tolias

Congratulations and welcome! We’re so excited to have you as our new Master of Finance Academic Director. Can you tell us a little bit about your background?

I spent the majority of my career in the capital markets, bond origination, which means that I used to create fixed-income securities in the primary market. Working for banks such as RBC and CIBC, my client coverage included Media & Telecom, Financial Institutions and special situations. My clients were large, publicly traded companies.

Can you tell us a little bit about your time at Rotman?

I’ve been at Rotman since 2009. I teach across all programs, from undergraduate to graduate programs. My area of expertise is in fixed income and I approach my teaching of it from a former practitioner’s point of view. Within the Master of Finance program, I teach the Fixed Income course. The course provides students with an understanding of the capital markets—specifically the bond markets—and how these markets function in practice.

What would you say is your approach to teaching?

Every class, I begin by reviewing new bond issues done in the market. I pick transactions that I think are interesting – that may tie into the lecture of the day – and then discuss them in class. Most people think that quants are boring, but they are absolutely not! That’s what I want to show my students in class. I try to make the market come alive for everyone.

By looking at actual transactions, students can make more sense of the finance theory. The classes I teach on fixed income are very hands-on.

Any advice to anyone interested in the Master of Finance program?

I think it’s a fantastic program. I wish it’d existed when I was thinking of going back to complete a graduate degree.

What I love about the program is that the students are very knowledgeable. To various degrees, every student has industry experience or an established career path. This brings a good mix to the classroom. It’s definitely one of the more challenging groups to teach because they have so much experience already. I have definitely been challenged in the classroom by students who work in the fixed income area. This keeps me on my toes and keeps me engaged and often leads me to consider fixed income from their perspective.

I am pleased to expand my involvement with the Rotman Master of Finance program and I’m looking forward to meeting everyone.


Subscribe to our blog for more thoughts on the finance industry, career paths and the Rotman MFin program. If you want to learn more about starting the Master of Finance program this September, check out our website or fill out our Master of Finance contact form for more information.

Tip: There are 3 ways to receive a GMAT exemption on your Rotman MFin application, including passing the CFA III exam. This is just one way we acknowledge the experience of our working professional applicants.

Career growth in finance: reflections from a first class Rotman Master of Finance alumna

It’s incredibly inspiring to follow the career growth of our Rotman alumni. Recently, we got a chance to follow up with Krati Chhajer, MFin, CFA. She is an alumna from the inaugural Rotman Master of Finance class of 2009 and is currently a Director in Corporate Banking at CIBC.

Finance Career Growth: Krati Chhajer, MFin, CFA, Director, Corporate Banking, CIBC

Krati Chhajer, MFin, CFA, Director, Corporate Banking, CIBC

Thank you for taking the time to share your finance career story with us today! What made you first consider the Rotman Master of Finance program?

When I started to contemplate a graduate program, my options were endless. My credentials at the time were a Bachelor of Commerce degree with specialization in Finance and the CFA designation, with four years of work experience in capital markets.  I wasn’t looking for a career change but wanted to enhance my knowledge from the basic and intermediate foundation that were set.  First year MBA classes would have been repetitive with only second year offering the specialization that I was looking for.  I wanted to focus my immediate learning on quantitative skills with a deep dive on corporate structure and derivatives. The Rotman Master of Finance program offered these topics from day 1. Also, Rotman’s downtown location and vicinity to my workplace in the financial district was definitely attractive.

Has the Rotman MFin impacted your career in finance?

Definitely! I’d say that the critical thinking skills I learned had the biggest impact. The Master of Finance gave me the analytical skills to assess and understand how markets work, and to comprehend the theories and assumptions behind pricing and tail risk. The combination of critical thinking skills and learned knowledge affected how deep I could dig into my work.

All this being said, you have to evaluate for yourself what your finance background is and what the MFin program offers. At the end of the day, your MFin credentials will be compared to that of other masters’ programs. What will help is the incredibly deep finance knowledge you have gained from the program.

Tell us a bit about your professional journey.

Getting into the rotational program at Scotiabank with my MFin was a huge step, as I had rotations in corporate lending, market risk and economic capital – giving me the opportunity to see many aspects of the business. After completing the rotations, I took on a Senior Manager position in Global Risk Management with Scotiabank, where I adjudicated on trading lines to hedge fund counterparties. From there, I moved to Corporate Banking as a Director at CIBC, with a focus on non-bank financial institutions. I know the industry well, and have developed the technical skills with experience and with education – which helped me move effortlessly between these roles.

Krati, we know you’re a mom as well – any advice on balancing your career and home life?

I have two great kids who are three and five. I can’t say that I have all the answers on maintaining a good work/life balance all the time. You definitely have to stay on top of things. I have never held myself back because I am a mom but have acknowledged that having children does delay your career progression to some degree in the first few years. You do catch up, just don’t expect too much in the first five years with kids.

What I found really encouraging was listening to and meeting up one-on-one with other successful women with children. Hearing them talk about their experiences also helped to put the career and home balance into perspective.


If you’re interested to learn more about the Rotman Master of Finance program, visit our website at www.rotman.utoronto.ca/MFin or contact us. Our next MFin application deadline is in April and we look forward to reviewing your application.

Tip: the earlier you apply, the greater your chance of an entrance award.

Congratulations! Rotman Master of Finance Women’s Excellence Entrance Scholarship Recipient

Kitty Rong, MFin '18, Rotman Master of Finance Women's Excellence Entrance Scholarship winner

Kitty Rong, CFA, FRM, MFin ’18 is one of our Rotman Master of Finance Women’s Excellence Entrance Award winners

Congratulations to Kitty Rong, CFA, FRM, one of our Master of Finance Women’s Excellence Entrance Scholarship winners entering the program this September.

Would you be able to tell us about your professional background?

I’ve been at Scotiabank for nine years, and have been in the securitization area as a Manager for about five years. I’m happy to be working in a field that I’m truly interested in.

How did you find out about the Master of Finance?

I’ve always known that I wanted a Master’s degree. I first heard about the Master of Finance program through researching the Master of Financial Risk Management program which is also offered at Rotman. Due to my extensive work experience in the finance field, I was referred to the working professional MFin program instead.

What convinced you that the Rotman Master of Finance program is right for you?

I wanted a degree that offers very in-depth — and at the same time — broad finance-specific knowledge, which is why I ultimately chose the MFin instead of an MBA.

Two current MFin students chatted with me and gave me great insights into the MFin program. I also did a class visit and sampled a class in investments that is taught by Professor Peter Christoffersen. The teaching style and the remarkable material helped to cement my decision to apply.

How do you think the Rotman Master of Finance will help you in the next steps in your career?

With the knowledge that I’ll gain from the MFin program, I know that I will also gain confidence in my abilities to enhance my career. Today, everyone working in finance has a CFA, so a Master’s degree, particularly a specialized one, is a step that I need to take to move ahead faster.

Do you have any advice for other women in finance who may be in your shoes?

Women can be very accomplished in the workplace. We need to gain confidence in ourselves and education is a tool that we can use to build this confidence.

What do you hope to accomplish during your time at Rotman?

I look forward to the connections and friendships that I’ll make with my peers, alumni and faculty. I also look forward to building strong presentation skills and critical thinking skills from case study learning.

Congratulations again, Kitty – we look forward to having you here at Rotman this September!


If you’re interested to learn more about the Rotman Master of Finance program and our other entrance awards, visit our website at www.rotman.utoronto.ca/MFin. MFin entrance awards range from $5,000 to $20,000 each. Our next MFin application deadline is February 1. Tip: the earlier you apply, the greater your chance of an entrance award.

Contact us for more information or to start your MFin September 2016. You may also contact Breanna Brooks, Assistant Director of Admissions directly. We would be pleased to meet with you!

CFA Ethics Challenge: Third Win for Rotman Master of Finance

CFA Ethics Competition Winners 2016 - Rotman Master of Finance

CFA Ethics Challenge Rotman Master of Finance winning team. L-R Johnny Wu, Nicole Jiang, Elizabeth Ren and Michael Kim (CNW Group/CFA Society Toronto)

Congratulations to the Rotman Master of Finance winners of the annual CFA Ethics Challenge! This is the third consecutive year that Rotman students achieved first place, competing against students from Schulich, Queen’s Smith School of Business, and the University of Ottawa’s Telfer School of Management.

The CFA Ethics Challenge is organized to encourage the development of analytical and ethical skills required to tackle real-life challenges in the workplace. We asked winners Elizabeth Ren, Nicole Jiang, Michael Kim and Johnny Wu from the Master of Finance 2017 winning team to tell us about their experience.

Congratulations on winning this competition! How do you feel about bringing it home for the third year?

We are so proud (and also relieved, phew!) to bring home the top honor for the third year in a row, especially since Rotman was hosting the challenge this year. We all strongly believe in the importance of ethics for financial professionals. With the bloom of compliance and the regulatory industry, Rotman has taken the leadership in educating financial practitioners in this area. Our very own MFin Program is a strong evidence of this.

Where there other resources that you tapped into to prepare for this challenge?

While academic courses provided us insights into ethics in the finance world, mandatory and optional professional development modules offered by the Rotman MFin program really gave us an edge. The dynamic Teams Workshop showed us how powerful we can be if we value each other’s input and truly collaborate with each other; the Presentation Skills Workshop sharpened our skills and enabled us to present effectively in front of the CFA Society of Toronto. We worked extremely hard to dissect the complicated case, and now we know that all those Sunday practices and late online meetings were worth it! This experience has been more than rewarding and we are so grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in this challenge.

Did you reach out to your external network outside of your team?

We could not have done this without the support from last year’s winning team (Michael Szaura, Sheng Fei, Mahtab Faruqui and Roger Brown). We are so thankful for Roger taking time on a Saturday afternoon to coach us. Special thanks to our former and current MFin Academic Directors Alexandra MacKay and Fotini Tolias, and Reema Chaudhry our MFin programs Assistant Director,  who not only encouraged us but also provided much guidance.


If you’re interested to learn more about the Rotman Master of Finance program, visit our website at www.rotman.utoronto.ca/MFin or contact us. Our next MFin deadline is February and we look forward to reviewing your application.

Tip: the earlier you apply, the greater your chance of an entrance award.

Passionate about a career in finance? This program is designed for you.

Passionate about finance and accelerating your career? The Master of Finance at the Rotman School of Management may be the perfect program for you. In our latest video, world renowned Professors of Finance John Hull and Peter Christoffersen give compelling reasons why this program will enrich your professional life.

The Rotman Master of Finance is designed for students who are already working in the financial industry. “The Rotman Master of Finance offers a deep focus on a broad set of finance topics, where the CFA is quite centered on money management. The learning style is very different as well,” says Lindsay Sinclair, CFA, an MFin alumna and Vice-President, Rates Sales at RBC Capital Markets. The depth and breadth of our curriculum will give you the finance fluency to make direct impact in your boardroom and your career.

This program will impact your career in two main ways:

First, by studying at the top finance school in Canada, you’ll have access to state of the art resources such as our finance lab and to world-class finance faculty strongly connected to industry. Often, the best schools will have ties with industry, creating a reciprocal feed of input and ideas. This is the case with Stanford and Silicon Valley, and it is also the case with Rotman and the financial industry in Toronto.

Second, this program only admits one cohort per year, which means that you’ll be taking courses with the same people and at the same time. This will allow you to build strong professional and personal relationships that will continue well beyond the duration of the program. At Rotman we have a highly active and engaged Master of Finance alumni network, often participating in events together with our current students. In this community you’ll share study notes, tips and advice and you’ll be able to grow together as professionals by sharing ideas and challenging each other to think.

There is simply no question that this program can help you achieve your goal to become a future finance leader.

Want to learn more about the program? Contact us or attend one of our upcoming events.