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.

Get It Done – Start Your Morning or Evening MBA Application

Do you want to start your Morning or Evening MBA at Rotman this September? Time is running out – get to it! Morning MBA 2017 student, Bojan Grabovac, spoke to us about his experience as a late applicant and came up with some useful tips for you to complete your application in time. Get started so you can have a chance to be the new addition to the Morning & Evening MBA class of 2018.

Hello Bojan! Thanks for taking time to speak to us.

As we are reaching the tail-end of application season, we want to hear about your experience as an applicant and how you managed to complete the application in just one month.

One of the reasons for my late application last year was that I took my time to figure out if the program was right for me. I was already convinced that I wanted to pursue an MBA, but I wanted to be absolutely confident that Rotman’s Morning MBA was the right fit for me. During the year I took my time getting to know the school, joining class visits, and researching everything the program had to offer so that I could make an informed decision.

Bojan Grabovac, Rotman Morning MBA '17

Bojan Grabovac, Rotman Morning MBA ’17

Applying at the later stages though meant that I had less time to prepare my application. However, at least for me, I needed the time pressure to just get it done. I think having just a month to complete the application gave me the necessary urgency to organize myself. There was still time to complete the GMAT after the application is submitted. Rotman’s admissions team was also amazing at turning around and giving me feedback — learning whether I’ve been accepted or not.

Complete your Morning & Evening MBA Application

Were you concerned that your application would be part of a final round of admissions?

I wasn’t concerned enough to dissuade me from applying. Obviously, I had some concerns about whether the class was full or whether there’d be any awards left. But I already knew I wanted to do an MBA and I wanted to get it as soon as possible. I had to think positively and had to remind myself that if I got in, then I’d be a year ahead in terms of reaching my goals.

How did you manage? Were there any specific strategies that helped you complete the application successfully and on time?

I knew I only had one month, so my first step was to get simpler items out of the way. For example, I wanted to get the transcripts and references done as fast as possible. This way, I’d have more time to focus on more challenging aspects of the application.

For the GMAT, Rotman offers useful GMAT events like mock exams, verbal and math refreshers that can help you prepare for the exam and get a good score.* I took advantage of the free online exams to understand where I stood and where my weaknesses were. Once I had a clear picture of my weak spots, I started focusing on practicing and preparing for these areas so that I could improve my score on the GMAT and my chances of getting in the program. Keep in mind that you are not required to complete the GMAT before submitting your application, you can do so after, which gives you a little extra time to prepare.

Do you have any pieces of advice for other applicants in a similar situation?

First, I’d suggest to try to eliminate all speculation and talk to the recruitment team. They are always ready to help. Not only can they answer burning questions, but they can also help arrange class visits so you can see for yourself whether you can see yourself as a student at Rotman, and offer help with a GMAT course.

Also, if you are sure that you want to do an MBA, don’t delay! The faster you get it done, the more time you’ll have to reap the benefits of this degree. I know for myself, once I made the decision I wanted to get it done as soon as possible. There is simply no benefit to waiting another year.


Ready to apply? Have questions? Contact us, visit our Morning & Evening MBA website and start your application today!

* Check our admissions events schedule often to see upcoming GMAT-related and other events.

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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CFA or MFin? Why not both?

If you are currently studying for your CFA Level III 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.

Rising Up with Rotman’s Morning MBA

Congratulations to the Rotman Morning & Evening MBA Class of 2016 on convocation day! After 32 months of hard and rewarding work, our Rotman MBA class of 2016 is graduating today and ready to expand their impact globally. It’s the perfect day to reflect on the overall MBA experience. We spoke to Ciara Wakita, about her time in the Morning MBA for working professionals.

Ciara Wakita, Rotman Morning MBA ' 17

Ciara Wakita, MBA ‘ 16

Congratulations on your graduation, Ciara! You must be thrilled to have arrived to the finish line. Looking back do you remember why you chose to complete the Morning MBA at Rotman?

Thank you. It has definitely been a fulfilling time of my life!

When I decided to enrol in an MBA program, I knew that I would do it part-time. Taking time away from my career was simply not an option for me. I ended up choosing Rotman because of its reputation in the financial services sector and because U of T is an internationally renowned school.

Once I chose Rotman, I had to decide between the morning or evening program. Because I wanted to keep an active social life and play sports in the evenings, waking up earlier two mornings a week made my days hyper-productive. After my 7 to 9 am class, I would still be able to get to work in time and put in a full day.

What would you say is your favourite aspect of the program?

I’d say it’s the camaraderie of the entire Rotman community. While you make a natural bond with people in your cohort in the first half of the program, I also made friends when I went into my electives in the second half of the program. I met amazing people from other cohorts. I didn’t the camaraderie, but there is just a very common understanding amongst everyone.

Ciara open house

Ciara Wakita (Morning MBA 2016) at our 2015 Rotman Open House

Did you develop a strong network with your friends and faculty during the program? How was this beneficial?

Yes. I feel that when you are in the program, you become part of a league of professionals who all have a common understanding about what you know. You are surrounded by super smart and overachieving people and it’s cool to talk about ideas. I have three close friends in the program who are what I call my ‘board of directors’. When I need to make a professional (or personal) decision, I go to them for guidance.

How has attending the Rotman school and completing the Morning MBA impacted your career so far?

Almost everyone in my cohort switched either jobs or roles while in the program. Even I switched roles within the same company. Just by being part of the program you become a hotter commodity in the labour market.

What piece of advice could you give new incoming students and prospects for the Morning MBA at Rotman?

Do things your way. There are so many events and clubs at Rotman, it can be overwhelming at first! Don’t feel like you need to do everything. Join clubs and events that matter to you; be selective. Personally, I didn’t get involved in student life as much as others. I don’t feel that I missed out on anything. I did what worked for me.

Congratulations again and thank you for your reflections, Ciara!


If you’re interested to learn more about the Morning MBA, contact us, visit our website or sign up for an admissions event. We’d love to hear from you. 

 

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:

Startup Stock Photos

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.

writing tips post 3

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.

Rotman Evening MBA’s Impact on a Healthcare Professional

Healthcare professionals find the depth and breadth of management knowledge, and the flexibility of Rotman’s Morning & Evening MBA programs particularly attractive. In today’s guest blog post, current Evening MBA student and healthcare professional Jia Inacio shares her experience so far in the program, and why the Rotman MBA works for her.

Jia Inaco, MBA '17

Jia Inacio, MBA ’17, MRT(R)

“I completed my Bachelor’s education specialised in Radiation Sciences at the University of Toronto. Currently I am working in Princess Margaret as a Breast Cancer Imaging Expert. My work is involves imaging guided breast cancer detection and diagnosis. I take pride in helping women, addressing their personal concerns, as well as providing timely treatment.

“My days are often from 8 am to 4 pm with slight variations. Unlike many other clinicians who may have to work in shifts, mine are fairly fixed. On my own time, I enjoy learning and self-improvement, which led me to pursue several professional development courses and the UHN emerging leaders program. At the same time, I seriously looked into master’s programs that would be a right fit for my career goals.

Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

“I knew I wanted to keep working as I pursued further education because keeping my professional skill and experience fresh was important to me. Also, I love the tangible impact I am making battling breast cancer.

Reputation, convenient location, doable schedule and powerful network

Welcome to the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.

Welcome to the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.

“Rotman’s part-time MBA degree is an attractive option due to its reputation, convenient location, and outstanding alumni network. Having met a couple of Rotman alumni, and encouraged by my husband, I decided to apply to the part-time MBA program. The evening MBA program appeals to me, because it fits around my work schedule. I can work, go to school, and still have my weekends. Every Tuesday and Thursday, I’d finish at Princess Margaret, get home quickly to my little puppy, and then walk over to Rotman for class by 6:30pm. Most times, I’d be home around 9 or 9:30pm, and be able to have a late dinner before heading to bed.

“My classmates are one of the best parts of my Rotman experience. I have classmates who work in finance, IT, telecom, aerospace and so on. I get to discuss ideas with fresh new perspective all the time. In the beginning, I had doubt in my ability to compete in this elite group. However, I found that we are all aiming for the same goal: to get better together and to seek knowledge, which makes this education experience great. Learning aside, I have made great friends along the way.

Beyond the classroom

“Outside of the regular school schedule, I am also a member in two student societies. Last year, I was able to participate in a case competition. My goal for the next year is to take on more projects as well as to join more case competitions.

“The benefit of choosing to do my MBA at Rotman is already shining through. I find that I can often apply what I have learned in the classroom into work and my personal life. I’ve led a hospital wide open house event, made several work environment improvements, started my personal blog in helping women to seek breast health knowledge, and am now applying for a research fellowship for allied health professionals. Post Rotman, I hope to stay in the healthcare sector. My clinician experience together with my business management knowledge would help me to identify needs and bring tangible benefits to patients. I am a dedicated healthcare professional and am proud to be a part of the Rotman community.”


Students and alumni in Rotman’s Morning & Evening MBA programs for working professionals come from all industries, including healthcare. At Rotman, they’re able to bring together their industry experience with new management knowledge to make big impacts in the global community. Read about some of our Rotman MBA students and graduates – where they’ve been and where they are now.

If you’re interested in learning more about our MBA programs and how they might fit your career, please fill out our contact form. We’d love to hear from you. We also have opportunities for you to experience what it’s like to be a Rotman MBA student with events like our upcoming strategy sample class on May 31, 2016.

StrategyatRotman-160531

The topic will be Aligning the Stars: Using Systems Thinking to (Re)Design Canadian Healthcare. We invite you to attend and look forward to meeting you.

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.

Redesigning Canadian Healthcare: Rotman Major in Health Sector Management & Sample Class

How can we redesign, and improve, Canadian healthcare? Without question, in our current environment of changing demographics and population demands, every healthcare system on the planet has room for improvement. At the Rotman School, we are aware of the important challenges and questions faced by healthcare professionals and managers worldwide. With a view to making meaningful impact on the industry, our Major in Health Sector Management is designed to help tackle these issues and work towards creating world class healthcare systems.

Through this major you can study important topics such as: the commercialization of life-science products, the role of the private sector in the industry and performance management, governance and control. You’ll also be able to learn about such areas as Health Sector Strategy and Organization, Pharmaceutical Strategy and Healthcare Consulting. Whether you are a physician looking to refine your management skills or a healthcare administrator looking to gain specialized knowledge in your field, this may be a great option for you.

Jia_Inacio_MBA

Jia Inacio, Evening MBA 2017

Jia Inacio (Evening MBA 2017) and Rishie Seth (Evening MBA 2017) are both healthcare practitioners benefiting from Rotman’s close research ties to the health sector. With Rotman’s Morning or Evening MBA programs, working professionals have the option to accelerate their careers and work on their MBA at the same time. Jia works at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and Rishie is a physician at St Joseph’s hospital; both students agree that this program will help them make an impact on the future of their organization and the healthcare system in Ontario.

Rishie_Seth_MBA

Rishie Seth, Evening MBA 2017

Wondering about the actual classroom experience? We have the perfect opportunity for you to sample an MBA class on May 31, 2016. We invite to attend and meet us at our sample class Aligning the Stars: Using Systems Thinking to (Re)Design Canadian Healthcare.

StrategyatRotman-160531

This sample class will open your eyes to different ways of thinking about a management problems and will point you to system thinking as a tool to redesign healthcare systems and healthcare organizations. You will learn from none other than Professor Brian Golden, Vice-Dean, Professional Programs and the Sandra Rotman Chaired Professor in Health Sector Strategy at the Rotman School of Management, The University of Toronto, and The University Health Network.

The sample class is based on his research with the Veterans Administration’s Health System in the U-S. – a publicly funded health system remarkably similar to those in Canada. Professor Golden will reveal the levers that leaders of health systems and healthcare organizations can use to move from woefully under-performing to world class.

Professor Brian Golden

If you are a healthcare professional interested in expanding and deepening your knowledge of the health sector and tackling common management challenges, or you are interested in growing your strategic thinking, we would love to meet you at this sample class! Register to Aligning the Stars, and we look forward to seeing you on May 31.

Do you have any questions? Contact us or leave us a note below!

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

A Day in the Life: Rotman Morning MBA

Adam Cohen, Morning MBA '16

Adam Cohen, Morning MBA ’17

Ever wondered what it’s like to be a full-time working professional who also attends classes part-time two mornings a week as a Morning MBA student? We asked Adam Cohen, Morning MBA 2017 and Nursing Unit Administrator at Mount Sinai Hospital to walk us through a typical day.

4:00 – 7:00 am. I wake up at 4:00 am, have breakfast and head to the gym. At 6:00 am I will finish up my work-out and get ready to head to Rotman.

Morning MBA

7:00 – 9:00 am. Class starts at 7:00 am, so I arrive at 6:45 am and chat with my classmates until then. During class, professors involve students’ experiences and perspectives to explain theoretical concepts. I find this the most beneficial aspect of the program. By 9:00 am class is over and everyone heads out to start their day.

9:30 am – 12:00 pm. My work day starts at 9:30 am, when I head out to my team at Mount Sinai Hospital and see what events have transpired overnight or that morning. At 10:00 am I check my emails and continue to work on projects. This is where I see the benefits of the Morning MBA program taking place as I apply what I’ve just learned that morning to my work. Here is an example: upon review of my surgical floor, I discovered that I require an additional regular full-time employee. Due to the new government funding reform, my organization requires rational for any new hire. Using my knowledge from the course, I am able to accurately articulate the net present value of this position. Applying new learnings to my daily activities is an extremely beneficial strategy to reinforce the lesson that took place earlier in the day. It also shows senior leadership that my decisions are based on sound knowledge

Morning MBA

12:00 pm. At noon I will sit down an eat lunch with colleagues where I share about what I’m currently learning, and future social gatherings organized through my Rotman network. My colleagues are shocked to hear that class starts at 7:00 am and at how early I wake up. I chuckle and remind them that I arrive to work at 6:30 am on a day when I don’t have class. So starting at 7:00 am is actually a 30 minute sleep in!

12:45 – 5:30 pm. After lunch I go back to my units and connect with the team leader. This is often followed by leadership meetings. I believe I have developed in my role due to my time at the Rotman Morning MBA program. I am asking questions and thinking in a way I typically would not have prior to the program. I am speaking with more confidence at work, which resulted in my manager asking me to take on projects that are beyond my current scope of practice, and that have wider organizational impacts.

5:30 pm. I finish up for the day and start my walk home, checking my messages and group chats with my friends and teammates from Rotman.

6:30 – 9:30 pm. It is dinner time and I watch a mindless show to relax. Once dinner is over I catch up on phone calls and personal emails. Reading the Rotman’s GBC weekly article is very helpful for me to gauge the different events that are occurring at school. Finally, I’ll review my notes and put a plan in place to complete my homework over the weekend or work on my group responsibilities to ensure they are complete prior to meeting up.  Given that I wake up at 4:00 am, I like to go to bed early; so at 9:30 pm I turn on my alarm and hit the sack in order to wake up and start my day bright and early!


Are you a morning person? Tell us what are your strategies to get your day moving and how these help you be more productive!

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.

Meet Anne Deng, P.Eng, M.Eng, recipient of the Women in Business Excellence Entrance Award

 

Women in Business

Anne Deng, P.Eng, M.Eng, MBA ’19 is one of this year’s recipients of the Women in Business Excellence Entrance Award

Every year, applicants to our programs are considered for various entrance awards. The Women in Business Excellence Entrance Award is given to an outstanding female candidate in support of her career aspirations. We spoke to Anne Deng, one of this year’s award winners, to learn more about her career path and decision to do an MBA.

Congratulations on receiving the Women in Business Excellence Entrance Award!

Tell us a bit about your professional journey. What is your professional area of work?

I started working at Hydro One immediately after graduating from Engineering Science at the University of Toronto. Currently, I work at Hydro One as a senior engineer; I provide technical solutions to special projects, and offer technical support on new technology or new designs to be rolled out to the field.

While some may think that the utilities industry is stagnant and lacks excitement, I find it to be the opposite; there are diverse areas of interest in my line of work! Today in North America, new technologies are emerging waiting to be incorporated into the relatively dated power grid system. In this environment, there are numerous opportunities to use my knowledge to create something meaningful. Over the years, I’ve been quite lucky to be involved in a few large scale and impactful projects at Hydro One.

I see that you already have a Master of Engineering. Where do you see your MBA taking you in the future?

To be honest, when I obtained my Master of Engineering, I never thought I would be working towards an MBA one day. At the time I just thought “there are two routes – technical expertise or management, you either take one or the other”. Back then, I had my head set on the technical path, and was convinced that technical competency was the only thing I needed in my career.

I’ve become good at solving problems –problems handed to me by other people. As I see and experience more, I realize that having a mind that can pose questions and create solutions is a must for innovation and career advancement. While the Master of Engineering helped me to become a great problem solver, I certainly believe that the Rotman MBA will give me the insights to become a good “problem poser”; that is, to know the right questions to ask in order to facilitate impactful change.

Why do you think there’s a need for an MBA in your profession?

The Rotman MBA will help me to become a good strategic thinker, and THAT I believe is a very valuable skill-set in any profession.

What convinced you that Rotman is for you?

I debated between US business schools and Canadian ones. In the end, I decide to stay in Canada, and more specifically in Toronto, because I realized that the start-up community in Toronto is growing strong. The creative talent in this city cultivates a huge up-and-coming pool of entrepreneurs.

Once I picked the city, Rotman became the automatic choice. The downtown Toronto location is amazing, it’s the number one business school in Canada, and it has one of the greatest professional and alumni network in the country. I have to say though, as a proud U of T alumna, picking Rotman may have been a slightly biased choice! At the end of the day, Rotman is the obvious and right choice for me.


For this and other stories keep checking our blog! If you would like to learn more about our program, check out our website or contact us. The next application deadline is April 10!

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.

The one skill that will boost your career in 2016

Whether your 2016 professional goal is to land a promotion in your company or get a new job, there is one skill that can help you: Networking.

The One Skill that will boost your career in 2016

Networking might seem overwhelming, but it’s nothing more than connecting with people with whom you have something in common, in this case, an industry or a career. It is also a critical skill in today’s job market. Research suggests that 80%[1] of jobs are obtained through networking. This makes sense when considering that, on average, companies receive 250 applications per job posting.[2] Hiring someone you know is simply a more efficient way of recruiting, making networking the key to a job seeker’s success.

From attending industry events to meeting someone for a coffee chat, there are various ways to network. But how do you get better at it?

Here are three steps to tone your networking muscle:

Engage. Attending an industry event or connecting with a former colleague? Be engaging to be memorable. Use LinkedIn; prepare questions and answers—remember that this should be a two-way conversation. It is certainly important to have an elevator pitch ready, but you can’t forget to listen. Listening can help you find out how you can be useful to others and create a stronger connection.

Reciprocate. Sometimes helping others is the best way to create connections that will turn into job success in the future. You may connect a friend or former colleague with someone you know; in turn, they may also be introduced to new people through this connection that you previously didn’t know, potentially extending the reach of the overall network for your colleague and yourself.

Appreciate. Whatever you do, don’t forget to say thank you. This is especially true after attending informational interviews or coffee chats. People have taken time to meet with you, so you should demonstrate that you value their time and what they’ve shared with you. It is always a good idea to send a thank you email or, even better, a thank you card.

As a working professional studying at the Rotman School of Management you can count on tailored Career Services and resources that can help you improve your networking skills. Be sure to connect with us or attend one of our events to learn more.

For these and other tips check our blog regularly this year.

Best of luck in 2016!

[1] Click here to read the article.

[2] Click here to read the article.

Happy Holidays from the Rotman Admissions Team!

Happy Holidays from the Rotman Admissions Team!

Happy Holidays from the Rotman Admissions Team!

We wish you a very happy holiday! This past year has been an exciting one as we welcomed into our midst Rotman’s newest degree program: the Master of Financial Risk Management (MFRM). Check out their blog too for tips and the latest program updates.

As we’re winding down for the holidays, we’re also gearing up to meet you in the new year. Please visit our Rotman Morning & Evening MBA or Master of Finance admissions events pages to sign up for one of our many upcoming 2016 events.

Our offices will be closed for the holidays from Dec 23, 2015 to January 1, 2016. In the meantime, check out our websites for more information.

Have a wonderful holiday and we wish you a prosperous new year!

Canada’s Demographic Challenge – How you can take the lead

A demographic challenge is fast looming for Canada. As our population ages, a whole new set of societal, business and political challenges arise, where currently no ideal solution exists. These challenges aren’t limited to just our country – they are also occurring in Western Europe and countries such as China.

demographic challenge

We spoke with Doug Hyatt, Professor of Business Economics here at the Rotman School of Management to get his view on Canada’s demographic Challenges, and how you can take the lead.

Could you tell us a little bit about the main demographic challenge that Canada faces today?
Canada’s challenge of an aging population is a critical issue because unlike other challenges that we face in the economy, what’s happening with demographics is not something that you can fix by increasing interest rates or choosing other short-term tools common in government economic policy. Really, this is a long-term challenge.

How is this topic relevant to prospective MBA students?
This topic is important to those learning to become leaders because this isn’t something that we’ve encountered before. For example, current challenges in the workplace – the way that companies finance their retirees’ benefits or where they source new workers – are issues that we’ve never dealt with before. Ultimately, solutions need to be headed by a new generation of leaders.

Is there a particular industry that will be affected more than others?
If you think about this from the perspective of “how do I make money?” it’s really hard to know who the winners will be. You may think of investing in the retirement home business, but the problem will come in 15 to 20 years when the generation of baby boomers has passed. You’ve got to think about what your business model is 15 years after that. So, it’s a harder question to answer than you’d think.

Do you think that high-skilled immigration to Canada is going to offset the issues associated with an ageing population?
That’s another important issue to address in conjunction with this topic. There’s a lot of competition for new immigrants and Canada regularly doesn’t meet its quota. Everyone wants young people who are highly educated and entrepreneurial; unsurprisingly, these people want to bring the rest of their family, including their parents. So, if you look at the demographic profile of immigrants to Canada, it doesn’t look very different from Canada’s population make up.

Any advice to business leaders and prospective students regarding this topic?
I would suggest that they familiarize themselves with the popular press. There’s a lot written about saving for retirement, myths about working longer, and intergenerational conflict. This will help them understand how this demographic challenge is already affecting their personal, professional and political life and can help them think of ways to address these issues.


On January 20th, 2016 meet Professor Doug Hyatt and learn about this critical topic that will affect your future and the world of business. Register and attend his sample class on the nature and implications of Canada’s evolving demographic.

T’is the Season! Dining Do’s & Don’ts

Rotman Happy Holidays Christmas CardOffice holiday parties offer the chance to gather with colleagues outside of work, and networking with food & drink can be tricky. The career coaches from our Career Services for Working Professionals team (they work with both our Rotman Morning & Evening MBA and Master of Finance programs) put together a quick Holiday Party Guide with tips, do’s and don’ts to showcase your professional polish.

Holiday Party Guide

Table Setting

Formal Place Setting

Formal Place Setting

Informal Place Setting

Informal Place Setting

Dining Etiquette

Dining Etiquette

Dining Etiquette

Source: tonyatko.com

Networking with Food & Drink

DOs

DON’Ts

Follow your host’s lead (allow them to sit and order first) Do not start eating before your host
Place your napkin in your lap upon sitting down Do not season before tasting your meal
Select easy to eat, familiar, mid-price range options Do not put your cell phone, bag, keys, or elbows on the table
Wait until everyone is served to begin your meal Do not dip your bread into soup or other sauces on your plate
Remember that conversation comes first, eating is secondary Do not push your plate or bowl away when you are finished
Use your inside voice, turn off your phone and keep it out of view Do not reach across the table
Mind your posture Do not dominate conversation; give everyone a chance to speak
Chew with your mouth closed Do not speak with your mouth full
Thank your host! Do not rub your chopsticks together

Connect with top finance leaders

The Rotman School of Management is home to many of the industry’s top finance leaders, and this is one of the reasons why working professionals increasingly look to our Master of Finance program to accelerate their careers.

Peter Meech, MFin '16, CFA, Investment Associate, Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan on connecting with finance leaders.

Peter Meech, MFin ’16, CFA, Investment Associate, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan

Peter Meech, one of our current MFin students provides his perspective on choosing the program. He is currently an Investment Associate with Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.

“I have a keen interest in expanding my knowledge through learning from and working with top finance leaders in the industry. The Rotman School of Management is the perfect outlet for satisfying this component of my goals due to its strong reputation for expert instructors. Although my successful completion of the CFA exams and a B.Math degree gave me the skills and foundational knowledge crucial to my individual learning, the MFin at Rotman adds a layer of leadership training that is vital to well-rounded success in finance. Specifically, through its opportunities for networking and collaborative work, I had the opportunity to work through practical scenarios with my peer group. Through this, I gained the practical skills that complemented my theoretical background knowledge.

“I believe this program is for people who are ambitious and have a passion for the financial industry. The benefits are twofold: the professors challenged me to apply my theoretical knowledge in the classroom into practice, and I have made strong relationships with classmates who I am confident will be future leaders in the industry.”


Interested in accelerating your finance career and in connecting with top finance leaders in Toronto? Contact us or attend one of our upcoming MFin information events to learn more.

Top 3 Application Tips For Working Professional Master’s Programs

Given the unique criteria that differentiates Rotman’s part-time programs from full-time programs, applicants often wonder about the factors that are most important in their application. While we take a holistic approach to the admissions process and consider all aspects to be important, this is still a good question. There are certainly ways to ensure that you have a competitive advantage, and here we offer our latest top 3 application tips.

Rotman Morning MBA Team Attollo, Hult Prize 2015 finalists, use their areas of professional and academic expertise to develop a system to delivery early childhood education for marginalized children. Image from @AttolloSE.

Rotman Morning MBA Team Attollo, Hult Prize 2015 finalists, use their areas of professional and academic expertise to develop a system to delivery early childhood education for marginalized children. Here with UT – Mississauga Principal, Prof. Deep Saini. Image from @AttolloSE.

  1. Exhibit your soft skills. Although a graduate program in business requires students to have strong technical skills, we cannot forget the importance of communication. Your ability to succeed in your career will also depend on such soft skills. Therefore, when reviewing your application, we will be assessing your ability to communicate effectively. You’ll first get a chance to showcase your writing skills in three essays. Remember that aside from grammar and spelling, we will be looking for a clear writing style that can tell us why you think an MBA or Master of Finance (MFin) is right for you.  If you are called to the interview stage, this will be another chance to show us your ability to communicate your story persuasively.
  2. Demonstrate the value of your work experience. As programs for working professionals, the Morning & Evening MBA and MFin require applicants to refer back to their work experience. On average, our students have worked for 6 years. For your application, it is important to emphasize the relevance of this work experience to your studies and future career goals. So, when preparing your CV and statement, remember to refer to your achievements and progression during these years. Your resume should focus on results rather than job tasks.
  3. Have great professional references. When asking for references, don’t focus on titles. Instead, a good professional reference is one that can speak of your track record and your potential for professional growth. Your two professional references will be assessing your ability to think, to work in a team, and your ability to work with integrity to positively impact your organization. Therefore, before including them in your application, make sure you are asking individuals who can effectively strengthen your application and that they can refer back to specific examples of your achievements.

Overall, remember that these programs are significant investments, so you want to make sure the program you choose is a good fit for you. While you prepare your application be sure to research the program, attend one of our Morning & Evening MBA or Master of Finance info sessions , or sign up for a coffee chat. Last, but not least, remember to start your application early! Bonus tip: the earlier you apply, the greater your chance of receiving an entrance award.

Risk Management Sample Class with Professor John Hull

You’re invited to a rare opportunity to sit in on a finance class by one of Rotman’s world renowned professors, John Hull, on Thursday November 26th from 6:30-7:30 PM.

Titled Risk Management Lessons from the Credit Crisis, this free sample class will give an explanation of the mistakes made during the 2007-2009 crisis and how we can avoid making the same mistakes in the future. It’s a pertinent presentation for any finance professional.

About Professor John Hull

John Hull, Professor of Finance, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

John Hull, Professor of Finance, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

Many of you may have already heard of Professor Hull. He will have penned many of the textbooks you’ll pick up during the course of your financial career. Professor Hull is the Maple Financial Professor of Derivatives and Risk Management at the Rotman School of Management. He is also a co-director of the Rotman Master of Finance and Master of Financial Risk Management programs. His research has an applied focus, and is concerned with risk management, bank regulation, and valuation of derivatives. He is best known for his books Risk Management and Financial Institutions (now in its 4th edition), Options, Futures, and Other Derivatives (now in its 9th edition), and Fundamentals of Futures and Options Markets (now in its 8th edition). His books have been translated into many languages and are widely used in trading rooms throughout the world, as well as in the classroom.

Meet Professor Hull in person and participate in his upcoming sample class. The class should be of particular interest to anyone curious about Rotman’s Master of Financial Risk Management program or the Master of Finance or Morning & Evening MBA programs for working professionals.

The class will take place at the Rotman School of Management, 105 St. George Street – Room LL1035. Full details and registration can be found here.

We look forward to seeing you there!

 

Energized to meet our prospective new students! Open House 2015 Recap

Rotman Open House 2015Rotman’s annual Open House on Saturday, October 17, 2015 was an energizing success! It is the Rotman School of Management’s biggest annual recruiting event where prospective students can get a feel of the quality of education at U of T, and also get a chance to chat with current students, alumni, faculty and recruiting and admissions staff to see which master’s program is the right fit.

Rotman Morning & Evening MBA students, alumni and staff ready to greet our Open House visitors.

Rotman Morning & Evening MBA students, alumni and staff ready to greet our Open House visitors.

6 programs were on showcase including the Morning & Evening MBA and Master of Finance for working professionals, plus our newest graduate program, Master of Financial Risk Management.

The school was already buzzing at the earliest part of the Open House during our Programs Fair. Student ambassadors, alumni and staff from each of the programs were on hand to give perspective and information. Prospective students also had a chance to tour the Rotman building.

Michael Hyatt on the set of Next Gen Den.

Michael Hyatt on the set of Next Gen Den.

Michael Hyatt, our keynote from the Next Gen Den, immediately followed with a dynamic presentation on Opportunity.

Rotman's Professor Peter ChristoffersenRotman's Professor Glen WhyteThe main events of Rotman’s annual Open House took place thereafter. There were information sessions on each of the master’s programs; sample classes like Professor Peter Christoffersen‘s class on New Techniques for Managing Market Risk; Professor Glen Whyte‘s case study illustrating Effective Negotiating ; round table discussions on women in business, and more sessions that truly gave a flavour of all that is available to students of the Rotman School of Management.

If you missed the Open House, there are still opportunities for you to connect with our admissions staff, and to find our more about the programs that interest you. Visit our website and keep an eye out for our next Morning & Evening MBA and Master of Finance admission events. We look forward to meeting you at one of our upcoming events!

6 Master’s programs to check out at Rotman’s Annual Open House

Rotman's Annual Open House. Join us October 17, 2015.

Rotman’s Annual Open House. Join us October 17, 2015.

Rotman’s Annual Open House is fast approaching! Come explore what Rotman has to offer by attending an information session, sampling a class, trying out our BMO Financial Group Finance and Trading Lab, and meeting current students and alumni.

This year, 6 Rotman Master’s programs will be showcased:

Make the most of it by planning your day in advance using the online schedule.

Michael Hyatt on the set of Next Gen Den.

Michael Hyatt on the set of Next Gen Den.

Latest news! Our keynote speaker is Michael Hyatt. He became a self-made millionaire at just 25, when he built two highly successful tech firms valued in the hundreds of millions. Today, he ranks as one of Canada’s top entrepreneurs, is a celebrated “Dragon” on CBC’s new online sensation Next Gen Den, and is a weekly Business Commentator on CBC News Network. Michael is also a Founding Partner at the Rotman School of Management Creative Destruction Lab, and on the CEO Board of Advisors at Georgian Partners. He is a finalist in Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award, a recipient of the Top 40 Under 40™ Award and chairs his family’s charitable foundation.

Our Master’s admissions teams will be in attendance and available to answer any questions about our programs, the School, and application processes.

Register now and we’ll see you on October 17 at Rotman’s Annual Open House.

Launching the New Part-Time Master of Finance Application Cycle for Fall 2016!

Welcome to the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.

Welcome to the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.

The beginning of September marks the start of the school year with our new Master of Finance students arriving on campus! We are thrilled to have them with us, especially after many months of reviewing great applications and conducting admissions interviews. In addition to welcoming our new students, September also marks the launch of our new admission cycle to recruit the best students for our part-time MFin program starting in September 2016.

We have 4 deadlines throughout the recruiting year to allow you to work towards a timeline that works best for your schedule, however, we do suggest that you apply as early as possible as this gives you the best shot of admission and entrance awards.

The Rotman MFin program grants Entrance Awards that range from $5,000 – $20,000 to a select group of students from the incoming class who demonstrate exceptional merit. Again this year, we will have four Women in Business Excellence Awards valued at $20,000 each.

Master of Finance Application Deadlines for 2015-16
December 1, 2015
February 1, 2016
April 3, 2016
June 15, 2016

International Applicant Deadline
January 20, 2016

What’s New This Year
New this year, we will be requiring applicants to record their answers to two video questions. The video interview component is designed to give all candidates guaranteed “face time” with the Admissions Committee. What we want to achieve with this video interview is to make your application come to life, and to find out more about you which will help us to evaluate whether this is the right program for you.

Prior to submitting your application, be sure to come out to some of our admission events as we hold a great variety of information sessions, coffee chats, panel discussions and sample classes throughout the year. These events will give you the opportunity to explore what Rotman has to offer and to figure out whether our MFin is the right program for you. To view our upcoming events and to register, visit Master of Finance Events

Rotman Open House, October 17, 2015. Join us at this free event.

Rotman Open House, October 17, 2015. Join us at this free event.

You might also want to consider coming to our annual Rotman Open House on October 17th. It’s an excellent way to get a feel for all things Rotman and to meet faculty, alumni and students as well as the entire Working Professionals’ team!

As always, feel free to connect with us. You may fill out this Contact Us form with your details and questions, or, contact me, Breanna Brooks, Assistant Director of Admissions & Recruitment for the Master of Finance program. We look forward to hearing from you!

Back to School with the Rotman Morning & Evening MBA

Rotman Morning & Evening MBA Class of 2018 Orientation

Rotman Morning & Evening MBA Class of 2018 Orientation

It’s back to school! Getting a jump-start on the academic year, our new class of 2018 Rotman Morning & Evening MBA students officially commenced the program with an intensive week of classes last week. Students also got the chance to get to know each other and Rotman staff at an overnight Orientation event held mid-August.  As working professionals, our part-time MBA students know the value of maximizing time to balance their personal lives and to accelerate their career. Regular classes that take place twice a week in the morning from 7:00 – 8:59AM before work or after 6:30PM in the evening, depending on the MBA program of choice, will begin after Labour Day.

Our Rotman Morning & Evening MBA class of 2018 is incredibly strong and diverse. A few highlights:

  • The Morning MBA class of 2018 is our largest cohort for this program, ever.
  • 37% of this Morning & Evening MBA cohort are women; in the Morning MBA program, women represent 44% of the class. With an industry average of 30% women in MBA programs, this is certainly very exciting and encouraging news!
  • 12% of candidates in our part-time MBA programs are employed in the healthcare field. This indicates a growing recognition of need in the healthcare industry for strong leaders who also intimately understand its unique challenges.
Rotman Morning & Evening MBA class of 2018 profile.

Rotman Morning & Evening MBA class of 2018 profile.

We’re privileged to be able to walk with these ambitious working professionals on their MBA journey. Good luck!

Meeting everyone for the first time during the Rotman Morning & Evening MBA Orientation

Meeting everyone for the first time during the Rotman Morning & Evening MBA Orientation

Academic Director Professor Doug Hyatt welcomes Rotman Morning & Evening MBA class of 2018.

Academic Director Professor Doug Hyatt welcomes Rotman Morning & Evening MBA class of 2018.

Team building during Orientation - Rotman Morning & Evening MBA

Team building during Orientation

Having lunch together during the first day of classes. Rotman Morning & Evening MBA

Having lunch together during the first day of classes.

3 Job Search Tips from a Rotman MBA Grad

Students in our part-time MBA programs have access to a range of strong and efficient career services and tools during their time here at the Rotman School of Management. Dejan Knezevic is a recent graduate of our Rotman Evening MBA program for working professionals who also successfully navigated a job search while taking full advantage of our career services offerings. In this blog post, he gives us his top three pieces of job search advice.

Dejan Knezevic, MBA, Consultant, Cpco

Dejan Knezevic, MBA, Consultant, Capco

Name: Dejan Knezevic, MBA
Current title and company: Consultant at Capco
Former title and company: Vice-President, National Sales at Spartan Fund Management

1. Leverage your Rotman Morning & Evening MBA Career Services’ career coaches, tools and resources

Students in the Rotman Morning & Evening MBA programs have access to a wide range of career services. I found career coaching for behavioural interviews crucial if you are looking to move your career in a different direction. Additionally, I strongly encourage everyone to leverage the many online tools and videos that are available to you through Rotman’s career services. As an example, this is an online seminar that will teach you a very effective framework to help you become much more efficient during your job search.

2. Network

I cannot stress how important this is; take the opportunity meet both alumni and non-alumni. The more you network, the better you will become at it. You will definitely get better at asking the right questions over time. As I went through this process, I learned quickly that meeting multiple people from one organization will give you a good feel for the culture of that organization, which is hugely important.

3. Preparation is key

The job search is a consuming process. Take advantage of Rotman’s career services to guide you through it. Make sure that you have a focused, tailored approach that will allow you to be effective in pursuing organizations and industries that you are truly interested in.

Rotman Morning MBA Alumni Field Tests Talking Stickers with Children and Parents in India

On-the-ground update: Team Attollo has landed in Hyderabad, India and is in the midst of actively field testing their Talking Stickers concept that involves a small hand-held device.

Piloting Talking Stickers concept in Hyderabad, India.

Piloting Talking Stickers concept in Hyderabad, India.

The ultimate goal of Attollo Social Enterprise is to improve the vocabulary and communication skills for children in underdeveloped areas around the world. They won the Hult Prize regional finals in Dubai in March with their Talking Stickers idea, and the U of T quarter finals previous to that. Today, they are field testing their concept and preparing for the finals in September that would result in US $1 million to the winning team. The Hult Prize is a competition designed to help launch the ‘most compelling social business ideas’ and to ‘solve the world’s toughest challenges’.

Lak Chinta, one of the four co-founders of Attollo dropped us a few lines yesterday to share their progress so far.

“We are into day five of our field tests. We are finally getting to see progress of parents from urban slums learning with the device, and are engaging children curious to scan and playback sounds. It’s very encouraging.

Parents engaging in field tests for Talking Stickers in Hyderabad, India.

Parents engaging in field tests for Talking Stickers in Hyderabad, India.

Children interacting with Talking Stickers during field tests in Hyderabad, India.

Children interacting with Talking Stickers during field tests in Hyderabad, India.

“We will be meeting last year’s Hult Prize winner NanoHealth this afternoon to understand their slum operations and to observe the community in the same city.

“In the coming week, we will be meeting the local press and government officials as well to discuss and to spread word of our work.”

Welcome to India, Attollo!

Welcome to India, Attollo!

Chinta, his colleagues Jamie Austin, Aisha Bukhari and Peter Cinat met as students while studying in the Rotman Morning MBA program for working professionals. We’re so proud of their social innovation and dedication to improving the lives of children in impoverished communities. We’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for their updates, and cheering them on as they continue their field tests in Hyderabad and in Mombasa, Kenya later this summer.

All photos courtesy of Attollo Social Enterprise. Follow their progress on Twitter.