Tag Archives: Application tips

Tips to Ace Your Master of Finance Application Written Essays

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

How to Ace the Master of Finance Video Essays

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

Screenshot from Rotman Master of Finance video essays application.

Screenshot from Rotman Master of Finance video essays application.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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