Tag Archives: CFA

Empowering Women in Business

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

61st UN Commission on the Status of Women

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

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

The commission exceeded Sabrina’s expectations.

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

Sabrina with Maryam Monsef, Minister of Status of Women

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

UN Secretary General speaking at townhall

Guiding Others

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

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

Make a Difference

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

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

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

 

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

Interview with Diana Shynkarenko, CGA, CPA

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

Jose Rivas, MFin 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Tony Chan, MFin ’15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How did the program expand your professional network?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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.

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.

Meet Your Professor: Fotini Tolias

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

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

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

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

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

What would you say is your approach to teaching?

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Has the Rotman MFin impacted your career in finance?

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

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

Tell us a bit about your professional journey.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How did you find out about the Master of Finance?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

CFA Ethics Challenge: Third Win for Rotman Master of Finance

CFA Ethics Competition Winners 2016 - Rotman Master of Finance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

This program will impact your career in two main ways:

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

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

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

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

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.

3 Ways to Receive a GMAT Exemption

Breanna Brooks, Assistant Director, Master of Finance Recruitment and Admissions

Breanna Brooks, Assistant Director, Master of Finance Recruitment and Admissions

In our admissions experience, it takes an average of about 20-months for Rotman Master of Finance candidates to actually submit an application from when they first think about higher education to accelerate their careers. In reality though, it can take as short as a few weeks to submit your application and be accepted into the program.

As a part-time program geared towards working professionals in the finance-related fields in the greater Toronto area, we get that finding that work-life balance is challenging at best.

You’re not alone. The fact is, time and time again, this is what we hear from our working professional candidates: one of the greatest barriers to finally submitting the MFin application is committing the time to study and write the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT). The GMAT is a global, standardized test that is required for many business-related graduate program applications. The test is meant to level the playing field across a breadth of applicants with very different educational and life experiences.

We hear you. As a working professional, you already have a full-time career, plus, there’s this little thing called ‘life’. Moreover, as a working professional looking to apply to a part-time Masters program for people with already valuable experience, shouldn’t your professional experience and designations count towards something?

We agree. This is why we have 3 ways for you to receive a GMAT (or GRE) exemption when you apply to the Rotman Master of Finance program and, if you have a minimum of two years of work experience in the finance field.

  1. If you have passed the CFA Level III exam
  2. If you’ve passed the three-day Uniform Evaluation (UFE) for CPA, CA designation OR
  3. If you have graduated from the University of Toronto with High Distinction

Here at Rotman, we strive to bring in and elevate the best candidates for our programs. This means that you’ll be in a classroom with peers who have just as much to offer from their real-life experiences in the boardroom as you do.

If you have questions about how the part-time Rotman Master of Finance program for working professionals is the right move for your career, please send over your questions and details in this form. I’ll be pleased to review your options with you.

Why the Rotman Master of Finance program?

Roger Brown, MFin '16

Roger Brown, MFin ’16, Relationship Manager, Commercial Real Estate Banking, Scotiabank

Hear it straight from the source. In the midst of his busy work, life and class schedule, one of our Rotman Master of Finance current students, Roger Brown, MFin ’16, had a chance to reflect on his experiences in the program so far. This is what he has to say:

“I chose the Rotman MFin program because of the world-class recognition of the Rotman brand, the part-time curriculum structure and the impressive deep and diverse financial expertise of its students and alumnus.

“The part-time structure was a key deciding factor for me. I wanted a program that was of top-notch quality and also accommodated my work schedule. The proximity of the campus to my workplace coupled with Rotman’s industry connections to Bay Street made my decision seamless.

“Being enrolled in the program gave my supervisor and senior management the confidence to assign more challenging projects to me. Six months ago, I was assigned to manage a larger loan portfolio with approximately $500 million in assets. This has given me the opportunity to operate at a higher level while working with more sophisticated clients. Also, I continue to strategically expand my professional network through my engagements in industry events organized by Rotman.

“The most valuable part of the program thus far would be my application of in-class experience at work. There were several occasions where I was able to lead my team at work on specific projects due to the expertise I bring from the MFin program. Another highlight so far was being part of the Rotman MFin winning team for this year’s Master of Finance CFA Ethics Competition. There is so much that the program can offer both in and out of the classroom.”


Get more insights directly from current students, including Roger, who will be one our of student panelists, at our upcoming Rotman Master of Finance Information Session on May 5. Or, contact Breanna Brooks, Assistant Director, Rotman Master of Finance Admissions to chat one-on-one about the program. We would be happy to hear from you.

Back-to-Back Top Honours with CFA Master of Finance Ethics Challenge

For the second year in a row, a Rotman MFin team won the CFA Master of Finance Ethics Challenge. Congratulations to the Rotman MFin team of Roger Brown, Mahtab Faruqui, Sheng Fei and Michael Szaura!

Rotman winners of 2015 CFA Master of Finance Ethics Challenge Michael Szaura, Sheng Fei, Mahtab Faruqui and Roger Brown.

Left to right: Rotman winners of 2015 CFA Master of Finance Ethics Challenge Michael Szaura, Sheng Fei, Mahtab Faruqui and Roger Brown.

Planted last year as a result of a conversations between the Rotman, Schulich and Queen’s Master of Finance programs, the 2015 second annual ethics challenge saw MFin teams from the three schools again competing for top honours.

Case competitions like this is an incredible way to take theory beyond the classroom. “Presenting my work to my classmates was a good first step. That is because the answer was not simply A, B or C,” says Michael. “And this time I got to present my analysis to the president of the CFA Society. ”

Sheng continues, “All my team members signed up immediately after I pitched the case competition. All of us believe strongly in the value of ethics education, and the importance of promoting the highest ethical standards in the investment profession. As financial professionals we are faced with ethical dilemmas on a daily basis and this competition helped us sharpen our tool kit to analyze and resolve ethical situations effectively.

“We received tremendous support from the Rotman family. The faculty and staff are extraordinarily supportive and resourceful. We owe much of our success to the fantastic coaching from both last year’s winning team (Tony Chan, Akshat Gupta and Angel Liu) and two highly accomplished MFin alumni (Miranda Fong and William Cheng). The team worked extremely hard and we are very proud to have brought back the top honour once again to Rotman.”

We’re delighted with the team’s win and are looking forward to next year’s challenge.


If you’re interested to learn more about the Rotman Master of Finance program, visit our website at www.rotman.utoronto.ca/MFin.

Contact us for more information or to start your MFin September 2015. You may also contact Breanna Brooks, Assistant Director of Admissions directly. We would love to meet with you!

How is the Rotman Master of Finance (MFin) different from the CFA?

How is the Rotman Master of Finance (MFin) different from the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation? 

It’s a question that we are frequently asked by prospective students like yourself who are looking to accelerate your finance career with the Rotman Master of Finance.

To answer this, we turned to one of our MFin alumna to get her perspective in her own words.

Lindsay Sinclair, MFin, CFA

Lindsay Sinclair, MFin, CFA, Vice-President, Rates Sales, RBC Capital Markets

“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. The MFin is classroom and team-work based which allows for interaction with professors, industry professionals and other classmates, who are often well-versed in their specific areas of finance. Plus, there are many other benefits of a Rotman graduate program – networking, career services for working professionals, being at the forefront of the latest industry research, industry events and conferences, case competitions, etc.”

Lindsay Sinclair, MFin, CFA
Vice-President, Rates Sales, RBC Capital Markets

What those seriously looking into the program should know is that the Rotman MFin curriculum supplements and extends beyond that of CFA and other professional finance designations. Typically 50% of our class has at minimum passed the CFA level I examination. The Rotman MFin is a program that’s designed to help you to become a future finance leader. The breadth and depth of finance knowledge that Ms. Sinclair mentions above translates into an ability to master the diverse languages of finance – from risk management, fixed income, investments to corporate finance. You’ll also have access to world-renowned faculty such as Professor John Hull, who is the world’s leading expert in derivatives, options and risk management.

Professor John Hull

Rotman Master of Finance: Professor John Hull

We recognize the dedication and foundational finance knowledge gained with a CFA designation, which is why the Rotman MFin program accepts your CFA level 3 exam passed in lieu of the Graduate Masters Admissions Test (GMAT). For those who have recently passed their CFA level 3 examination, congratulations again and we hope you’re ready for your next challenge with the Rotman MFin!

Bonus: Did you know that the Rotman MFin itself qualifies as a Continuing Education (CE) activity for CFA charter holders?

Talk to us if you have any questions about starting the Rotman Master of Finance. Our Master of Finance Assistant Director of Admissions, Emily Mancuso would love to hear from you! Simply fill out this contact form with your information.