Tag Archives: Healthcare

Angèle Beausoleil: “Design is the bridge”

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

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

A woman looking at the camera

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Singapore: A Global Destination for Healthcare Management

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

 

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

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

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

Professor Will Mitchell with a student

Professor Will Mitchell with a student

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information on Singapore see Quora.

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

Dr. Sailaja Bhaskar – One Month in an Executive MBA

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

 

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

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

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

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

Photo of Dr. Sailaja Bhaskar

Dr. Sailaja Bhaskar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Thinking across silos

Photo of Dr. Amir Sheik-Yousouf

Dr. Amir Sheik-Yousouf

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

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

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

An MBA that fits

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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!

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!

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.

Alexa Gilbert, MBA ‘16: Bridging the Gap Between Science and Business

Alexa Gilbert, Rotman MBA '16, Senior Manager, Clinical Development, Assurex Health

Alexa Gilbert, Rotman MBA ’16, Senior Manager, Clinical Development, Assurex Health

During the day, Alexa Gilbert is the Senior Manager, Clinical Development at Assurex Health and, in the evening, she is a student at our part-time MBA program. Alexa chatted with us about the benefits of having an MBA in the healthcare field and what led her to choose the Rotman MBA program.

Tell us a bit about your professional background and what led you to apply to Rotman?

I grew up in Montreal where I obtained my MSc in Experimental Medicine at McGill University.  About 3 years ago, I was looking to advance in my career – at the time I was working for a contract research organization (CRO), which is an entity that pharmaceutical companies typically hire to manage their clinical trials. I moved to the greater Toronto area when I landed a job in Burlington that was still in the CRO sector, but had greater responsibilities than my previous position. I had already been thinking about doing my MBA for a few years. Knowing that Rotman’s MBA program is the best program in Canada, I decided to apply. The opportunity to tap into a network that has such a great reputation; it’s priceless!

What do you think about the need for MBAs in healthcare? What is your advice to someone in healthcare who is thinking about MBA?

I don’t know if the MBA is appropriate for everyone, but it is a good way to open your eyes beyond your particular field, in my case that of life sciences. From my experience in graduate school, you are often focused on your own one research topic and you can easily forget that there is a bigger world out there. The MBA gives you a broader perspective and can help you transition into a managerial role by helping you develop management skills that can be used in the healthcare industry.

You mentioned a lot of research stays in academia, while the point of this research is to benefit humanity as a whole.

Yes, this is why I always say: I am doing my MBA to help bridge the gap between science and business. There is a great demand for people with skills in both areas. Once you’ve done the research, then you have to get the commercialization part right – to make it viable so that people can benefit from the discoveries. I think it can be beneficial even for people who already have their PhD or MD. The MBA is an additional tool.

You said that there is a demand for the MBA in the healthcare setting. Is this demand more than before and why do you think that is?

The demand is definitely growing. It is not often you will see people in healthcare with an MBA. Having a science degree means you have the ability to research, evaluate, and critically interpret and analyze data while an MBA provides you with the business acumen you need for knowledge translation and commercialization of those innovations.  The innovations, through commercialization, will eventually improve public health and provide more effective health services to strengthen the healthcare system. 

Final question – Where do you see your career going? How do you envision the MBA helping you with your career?

I would not have secured my current position at Assurex Health without the MBA experience and support from the amazing career services. Even if I am not using everything I’m learning in the MBA program, I am conscious that the concepts exist and I perform in a way that is most beneficial for the entire company and shareholders rather than just for myself or my projects.  That means I am thinking more strategically about which projects I take on as well as about how these tie in with the company’s priorities and resources.  As I continue to learn and get exposed to different facets of the biotech industry, I am hoping to become a resource for innovators that are trying to bring their novel technologies to market.


If you want to discuss whether the Rotman part-time MBA is a right fit for you, fill out this contact form with your details. Our admissions team would happy to hear from you.

Healthcare and the Rotman MBA Spotlight: Vanessa Perry, Morning MBA ‘18

Healthcare is a large and growing industry in Canada and internationally, and offers opportunities for MBA graduates to make a real difference in people’s lives.

Vanessa Perry,  MBA '18, Public Health Practice Advisor, Standards and Performance at the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

Vanessa Perry, MBA ’18, Public Health Practice Advisor, Standards and Performance at the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

One of our most recent Rotman Morning MBA candidates accepted into the program to start this August is Vanessa Perry, Public Health Practice Advisor, Standards and Performance at the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Her impressive experience to date has earned her one of our new Women in Business Excellence Entrance Awards. She chatted with us over coffee about her experiences, and her decision to enter the Rotman MBA program.

Congratulations on your admission to Rotman and on your award! Tell us about your professional background.

I work for the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care in health policy planning. Currently, my emphasis is on performance management and organization management in public health.

My background is in research. I have a Masters degree in Epidemiology which is the study of population health. It is the basis of health research and involves a lot of bio statistics. Before working with the Ministry, I specialized in Aboriginal health, and worked in the North managing research sites for an international research project looking at youth resilience.

Vanessa in Labrador, Newfoundland, Canada

Vanessa in Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada

Recently, I took a leave of absence from the Ministry and spent a year working at an NGO running the monitoring and evaluation of a UN funded sanitation project as a professional volunteer. I was in Tanzania for the first year of the five year project, helping them set up a nationwide monitoring and evaluation system. I have a background studying international development and had never gotten to apply it. So it was a great opportunity to use some of those skills.

Vanessa shopping in Zanzibar, Tanzania

Vanessa shopping in Zanzibar, Tanzania

How do your earlier experiences tie back to what you’re doing at the Ministry of Health?

After completing my Masters degree and working in Labrador, I came back to Toronto and started working with the Ministry, I moved away from straight science and research into policy, planning and system management.

At the Ministry, I do a lot of performance management: how do you look at health systems, how do you evaluate them, how do you manage them to make them better?

So how does the MBA fit into your experiences?

I want to be a leader in the healthcare sector and to have influence in shaping its direction. I view business management skills as essential for me to move up and to be in a position to help create the strongest and most sustainable healthcare system that we can.

Why Rotman?

I’m happy with my career trajectory, and I didn’t want to stop working. Part-time was a natural place to go. Plus, Rotman at U of T is a top school in my backyard, with the great option of the Morning MBA program.

The Morning MBA program immediately made a lot of sense to me. In high school and university I rowed competitively, so I used to get up very early so I know I’m capable of doing that. It’s a great set up: it’s only two mornings a week and Rotman also has a health management specialization.

In my area of healthcare, there is some debate if a Masters of Health Administration or an MBA makes more sense. For me, the MBA provides a broader perspective. The ability to be in a class with people from so many different professional backgrounds – to be able to learn from them – had a lot of appeal. So even though I’m interested in the healthcare specialization, I don’t want to have my blinders on. I want to be in a class with people from different backgrounds, learn what they’re thinking and how they approach things.

What advice do you have for women thinking about the MBA?

I’m a second generation female Rotman student – my mother did the Rotman MBA, also on a part-time basis, when there were very few women taking that step. So for me, it has never been an emphasis of whether you’re a man or a woman, but on pursuing what you want and need professionally. That said, I believe that women can bring something special to the table as strong, collaborative leaders and communicators and, considering the low representation of women in MBA programs, should be proactively encouraged to pursue them. It’s really amazing to me what we can accomplish.

Thanks for your time, Vanessa. Final question – is there anything else that you’re particularly looking forward to during your time at Rotman?

One of the things that I most look forward to is the networking – to take advantage of the community that Rotman provides. During the application process, I got to sit in on a healthcare-related workshop. To have access to those conversations and events beyond the classroom, I find that really energizing!


To learn more about the Rotman Morning & Evening MBA, attend one of our admissions events, or contact us to chat one-on-one. We would be happy to speak with you!