Tag Archives: In their own words

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)

How a GEMBA student went from digital marketing to big picture strategy

Jean George hadn’t thought she would earn an MBA. She became more exposed to the idea when her brother was working on his own MBA applications. She was happy for him but at that point she was not entirely sure why he thought it was necessary – he was already an engineer with a busy consulting schedule. “Watching my brother embrace change forced me to analyze my own professional life.  I had become very routine and I was a bit too comfortable. Looking back, I was definitely bored,” she said.

Jean George is currently earning her Global Executive MBA at Rotman

Jean George is currently earning her Global Executive MBA at Rotman

Three months later she learned about the global MBA from her now fellow classmate John Thomas, changed her mind about pursuing an MBA and entered Rotman’s Global Executive MBA program. “I had no idea that an MBA could be served in this format,” she said.  The ability to work and take classes in different countries around the world were key factors that convinced her to go back to school.  Jean, who had worked as a digital marketing consultant, had picked up a client in Dubai. “I wanted to do more of that type of work,” she explained. “I actually asked my client how I could get more engagements like that one either within Dubai or other markets and they flat-out said an MBA would be helpful because it translates across all countries. Everyone understands what an MBA is.”

Going back to school years after her undergrad was daunting, but Jean quickly discovered that this was the best possible time for a change. “I definitely appreciate it more. The last time I was in school I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. Now I know where I’m going to use stats, I understand how valuable economics is. I can respect finance and accounting because I’ve actually used them.” Between working full time for Rotman’s Creative Destruction Lab and attending classes across five continents, her schedule is packed full. “Life doesn’t give you a break, that’s not how it works. I prefer working and being in school because I’ve actually taken things directly from class and then applied them right away. It really reinforces the learning. It forces you to change your perspective.”

Getting too comfortable is something Jean wants to avoid. “I got to a point with digital marketing where I felt I couldn’t learn anything else. I wasn’t challenged and I stopped growing. Now I’ve been very humbled by the fact that there’s a lot I don’t know.”

In fact, that’s part of why Jean decided to apply for the Global Executive MBA rather than any of the other programs offered at the School. “I had travelled a lot personally, but that doesn’t mean you know an area from a business standpoint. I’ve been to some of the module destinations previously on vacation, but going there for school was a totally different experience. I got to see things and learn things I probably wouldn’t have looked for otherwise.”

One of the most valuable aspects of the Global Executive MBA are the people you meet in your class.  “I have been able learn just as much, if not more from my peers as some of the classes.  Doing an MBA you are able to connect with individuals you may have never come across on your own.  One of the courses, capstone, emphasized this action of connecting with individuals outside your direct network.” The capstone project involves applying what you’ve learned in your MBA to a real work problem. Jean’s class was asked to interview individuals based on the topic they were assigned.

“The topic my group had was AI, and I had interviewed 3 individuals. From those conversations I realized the importance of AI and definitely wanted to work in the space,” Jean said. “I didn’t know a lot about artificial intelligence, but I realized it was going to impact our society and the job market. And I thought how am I going to ride this change in terms of the skillset that I can provide? I’m not an engineer or a coder.”

Daniel Mulet, the Associate Director from the Creative Destruction Lab, worked in the field and was one of the individuals she interviewed.  After their conversation he suggested she meet their team, and not long after she became their Marketing Manager. “I’m happy to see that I do have a place in the tech sector. Being an entrepreneur, I like the start up space. It’s a little bit messy, the borders are not very well-defined, but I enjoy it.  I’m happy to know that there’s a space for someone like me who isn’t an engineer. I’ve been able make a change in my line of work before graduating. That’s a good feeling.” This all came about by having a thirty minute conversation with someone outside of my network.

Jean with her GEMBA class during their India module - an MBA is more than just accounting and finance

Jean with her GEMBA class during their India module – an MBA is more than just accounting and finance

We asked Jean if she had any advice for people considering applying to the Global Executive MBA. “You will really get to know yourself.  Throughout the program you are continually put in ambiguous situations. Imagine you’re balancing work, school, travel and group assignments. You’re going to learn a lot about yourself and what you’re good at. I really know what my strengths are now and I know my confidence has gone up because of this program. I have been able to meet people I wouldn’t have otherwise met,  traveled places I’ve never been before, and I got to learn about topics I don’t know if I would have ever naturally come across. If you’re looking for a change, it’s a great way to go about it.”

A member of the Rotman team is always available to personally review your resume and provide one-on-one advice about making your application as strong as possible. Make 2018 the year you earn your MBA.

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.

EMBA International Elective: Italy

Don Trynor, Executive MBA ’37, recently completed an international elective in Italy. A Product Management executive with over 15 years of experience with technology products and services, Don works as an independent consultant focused on helping tech start-ups.

We asked Don to tell us a bit more about his experience in Italy.

R: Why did you want to do an international elective? What did you see as the main benefits going in?

D: I have always wanted to study aboard, however I never had the opportunity to do so until now. Also, since I love to travel and experience other countries – including learning about its people, culture, food and taking in its many attractions, this was something that was very much of interest to me.

In addition, I thought that it would be a great way to meet other like-minded people that could become lifelong friends – as has been the case with my classmates at Rotman. So really, the main benefit that I perceived at the time of applying to the program was the relationships that I would build with my classmates.

Don Trynor with classmates Kelly Grieves and Jasmine Wong in Italy during their international elective.Don Trynor with classmates Kelly Grieves and Jasmine Wong in Italy.

R: Why did you choose to complete your international elective in Italy over China or the US?

D: I chose Italy over China since the specific modules that I was most interested in and those that aligned the most with my professional experience were only offered at SDA Bocconi in Milan.

R: Was there a different benefit or outcome at the end of the elective that you didn’t expect? What was your biggest takeaway?

D: I have to say, the whole experience greatly exceeded my expectations. I met so many great people from Italy and other schools around the world. I got to see a lot of sights and attractions around Milan and the Italian countryside – including a day trip to Cinque Terre for some hiking along the Mediterranean coast and another day trip to Florence.

I learned a lot about how classes are delivered in Italy, which is a bit different than what we’re used to at Rotman. In addition, the many examples, case studies and presenters that we had in class provided great insight into how business is conducted in Europe. Of course, I learned a lot from the class material too, which will help me professionally in my career.

In terms of my biggest takeaway, I would have to say that it was the relationships that I formed with my classmates and the memories that I will take away from the experience as a whole.

R: What was your favourite part of the experience?

D: My favourite part of the experience would have been spending time with my classmates outside of class, trying out new restaurants, enjoying good food and learning about Italian culture. And I got to spend some quality time with two of my Rotman classmates – Jasmine Wong and Kelly Grieves, which was awesome. Of course, the day trips to Cinque Terre and Florence were amazing too. So many favourites actually.

You can read more about Don’s experience in the Globe & Mail.

Ask sign

Advice from Rotman students and alumni

There are many different sources of information when it comes to getting advice and making most decisions in life, and choosing the right Master degree is no different.  In researching Rotman Master degree programs, you will most likely have viewed our website a number of times, hopefully attended an event or spoken to someone involved with the program – whether someone on the recruitment team, or a member of faculty.

One great source of information are current students and graduates – they would have had similar questions to you before starting and now have the answers to those questions (and perhaps ones you have not thought of before).

We asked the question ‘what advice would you give to someone considering choosing a Rotman program’ to students/graduates from the Executive MBA, Master of Finance, Global Executive MBA and the Morning and Evening MBA programs. We’ve highlighted a few of their comments below.

Rotman Executive MBA

“What advice would you give to someone considering choosing a Rotman program?”

“The relationships with your classmates are as important as the academics. Prepare to work hard, and have fun.” Eghtedar Manouchehri, EMBA ‘15

“My experience at Rotman exceeded my expectations. The program is a well-rounded academic experience and Rotman offers amazing opportunities to connect and network with industry leaders, both past, present and future.” Ashley Warburton, MFin ’17

“My advice: engage early and often with career services. They were instrumental in helping me choose my next career, prepare for it, and land the job I wanted.” Cole Lepine, Morning MBA ‘17

“Take advantage of extracurricular activities including clubs, lectures, workshops and case competitions. Rotman offers fantastic learning and networking opportunities outside of your coursework in the MBA.” Vanessa Perry, Morning MBA’18

“The support within the class is incredible. Inspiring professional women and role models help you thrive as colleagues and friends.” Gavinder Bhatia, EMBA ‘15

“I was impressed with the emphasis that Rotman places on leadership excellence – both organizational and personal. There is no substitution for great leadership in the corporate world.” Rachel Huckle, GEMBA ‘17

“I have acquired new friendships with like-minded people in all corners of the financial market. For anyone who wants to further their career in the financial markets while working full-time, this program is undoubtedly at the top of my recommendation list.” Richard Wong, MFin ’12

Unlock Your Potential with the Rotman Executive MBA

With the One Year Executive MBA (EMBA) program at the Rotman School of Management, we’re focusing on helping managers and executives discover their true leadership potential. The EMBA curriculum is dedicated to real life application and taught by a world renowned faculty who are experts in the field.  Jasmine Wong, EMBA 2018 shares her experiences with the program.

Share Your Experience

Jasmine Wong

Jasmine Wong, Senior Manager, Planning, Office of the President, Rogers Communications

Jasmine is a Senior Manager, Planning in the Office of the President at Rogers Communications. Her work revolves around executing visions through key initiatives such as regional planning and delivering the strategic agenda of the organization.  “I always wanted to do an MBA, so it was always about the timing. I had some of the business theory through my undergraduate degree in Commerce but I felt I needed the industry knowledge to make the most out of the MBA so that I could bring those experiences to the classroom.” The Executive MBA Class of 2017 had on average 15 years of work experience and nine years in a management position.

“One of the best things about the EMBA program is the teaching style. Instead of learning a theory and when to use it, the EMBA program focuses on sharing our work experience, and drawing on how they apply to the theories and the lessons that we can learn from each other. It’s a great combination of discussions, lecture and case-based learning.”

Leadership Development

Students in this program will master the fundamentals of business strategy, operations, accounting, finance, marketing and human resources. “I was expecting to gain analytical and business knowledge out of the program which I did but I feel the true value of the program lies in its leadership development initiatives.”

Incorporated into the curriculum is the Leadership Development Program (LDP) which provides tools, one-on-one coaching and experimental learning to facilitate growth and leadership skills. “By getting feedback from my managers and peers, it helps me understand my strengths and weaknesses and how I connect with people. Through the LDP program, I’ve gained a better understanding of where I can grow and my leadership style.”

Rotman Executive MBAFlexible Schedule

The structure of the program is designed to maximize learning for working professionals while minimizing the time away from work. There are four one week residential modules in downtown Toronto followed by classes every other Friday and Saturday over 13 months. “One of the reasons I chose Rotman’s Executive MBA was its unique format compared to other programs. With this schedule I’m able to have classes at regular intervals and keep in touch. Also by having classes on the weekends, I am able to immediately take what I’ve learned and apply it on Monday morning.”

“I highly encourage the program for anyone who is looking to becoming a better leader. Rogers has been extremely supportive of my EMBA journey.” Jasmine highlights that good communication and time management skills are key drivers to success in the program. “It’s important to set clear expectations and communicate with both my team at work and my classmates. If I need to travel for work while a project is due, I make sure that I let my classmates know ahead of time. It’s an intense program for sure, but the rewards at the end are definitely worth it.”


To learn more about the One-Year Executive MBA Program, visit our website.

 

Balancing a Master’s degree with a family

Pursuing a Master’s degree is a large decision to make and starting a family is an even bigger one. Imagine trying to both now; that is to undertake a Master’s degree program while continue to working and raising a family. It’s tough, but it’s not impossible.

At the Rotman School of Management, we make a continued commitment to all our students in supporting their professional development but also personal growth. We spoke to Jinzi Zheng, MBA 2017 on how to balance her time between raising a family, pursuing an MBA and working at the same time.

Prior to joining Rotman, she obtained her Bachelor of Applied Science in Biomedical Engineering and also has a PhD in medical biophysics and is currently a scientist at UHN and assistant professor of Biomedical Engineering. She is also the Co-Founder of Nanovista Inc., a startup dedicated to developing new technology that can help with patient care.

New Priorities

During her 2nd year in the program, she decided it was time that she wanted to raise a family. “Having a child changed a lot in my life but I’m grateful that everyone in the program was super supportive. Because of that, I didn’t have to lose any time to complete my MBA. All the faculty and staff’s willingness to be flexible has allowed me to progress smoothly through this journey.”

Time management was also an essential skill to successfully balancing the MBA and family. Jinzi says that her situation was not too different from other part time students. “All of us in the program have a full time job that we are managing. I like to think of myself as having just that extra bit of commitment with my family. Because of the cohort nature of the program, we all have the same challenges but by working together, we’re able to overcome these obstacles and build a better relationship while doing so.”

Her advice for those in similar situations is that “there’s never a best time to have a child so if you feel now is the time to do a master’s degree, it’s best to pursue this degree sooner rather than later. There’s no better place to do a part time MBA than at Rotman. The school’s strong reputation and convenient location to Canada’s business hub made it an easy choice for me. Remember that doing an MBA and starting a family are not mutually exclusive.”

Journey of a Lifetime

After completing her MBA, Jinzi hopes to use the knowledge she has gained from the program to continue to run her successful company as well as leveraging her network to grow professionally. “Through this program, the people that I have met and the connections I’ve made have definitely changed my career. It’s great to be part of the Rotman family. The entire experience has been amazing for me.

To learn more about our programs for working professionals, visit our website.

Build Something Massive at the Creative Destruction Lab

In today’s rapidly changing world, new innovations and technology are at the forefront of economic growth. Having recognized this early on, the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto has become a leader in developing the next generation of entrepreneurs with the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Major as well as the Creative Destruction Lab. Since its launch in 2012, startup ventures from the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) program have generated over $1 Billion in equity value. We spoke with Yen On, Morning MBA 2016 who currently is the Course Manager at the Creative Destruction Lab. She shares more about what the CDL program is and how MBA students can get involved with the Lab.

Yen On, Morning MBA 2016

The Creative Destruction Lab is made up of three parties who work tightly together over the course of 9 months. First there are the G7/ML7 Fellows who are phenomenal and successful entrepreneurs that advise companies who go through the CDL program. Examples of advisors are Ted Livingston, founder of Kik and Tony Lacavera, founder of Wind Mobile.  Second are early stage technology companies looking to scale their idea into a high growth company. Finally, there are a group of talented MBA students who join through the CDL course where they work with one of these startups during the year.

The MBA Impact

When Yen was a student at Rotman, she was accepted into the CDL course in her third year. She initially wanted to pursue her MBA because she wanted to move up in her company.  “I discovered early on that  there were so many opportunities outside of my industry. I wanted to expand out of the corporate space and make the jump from media to technology,” she explained. The CDL course further propelled Yen to keep an open mind. “Once I was in the CDL course, I realized that my mindset was so similar to the other people in the Lab. Their roll-up-your-sleeves attitude really resonated with me. The work culture was appealing and there is a huge amount of potential in this industry.”

MBA students undertake a variety of tasks including building financial models and developing strategies to ultimately create value for the startups they are working with. With tight 8 week deadlines between objectives, these committed students are instrumental in helping startups achieve those objectives. “Having been through the program, I know how impactful MBA students can be in the Creative Destruction Lab.”

Explore Innovative Opportunities

At Rotman, students learn top management practices from a world renowned faculty but also gain an opportunity to apply their knowledge to real world business problems. The Creative Destruction Lab is a risk free way to experience working in a startup. “People who want to create their own company but don’t know how to can have a trial run and get an inside look at the effort it takes to propel a startup.” It also provides a way for students to explore areas outside of their comfort zone and gain exposure to leaders who have revolutionized their respective industries. “Rotman is truly amazing. I love the fact that we can always be inspired by other people at the school.”

For more information about the Part Time MBA 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.

 

 

 

 

 

Inside the Morning MBA Classroom

You can find Canada’s only Morning MBA program at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. Here, ambitious working professionals learn from a world class MBA from 7-8:59AM twice a week before work.

We recently had the opportunity to speak with Ain Ansari, Morning MBA Class of 2018 who gave us an inside look into the classroom of a Morning MBA student. He shares his insight into courses, work life balance and the integrated thinking method at Rotman.

Intensive weeks

As part of the program schedule, students partake in 3 different intensive weeks. This is where students take part in a course that is condensed into a one week timeframe. During an intensive week, students take the entire week off work and are fully dedicated to school and immersed in their studies. The schedule is packed, typically running from 9AM- 4PM. As Ain describes, “Intensive courses are case-based, it’s not as much lecture and textbook readings, but instead based on case and in class discussions.” Students are taught concepts through lecture based-learning and then apply them in a case-based scenario. The week is fast paced and requires students to be on top of all readings and to be prepared to actively participate in class.

Morning MBA Students celebrate after the Winter 2018 Intensive Week is Over!

Ain took RSM2607: Managerial Negotiations with Professor Glen Whyte for his first intensive week. He described it as “an extremely practical course. We had a different case every day that we would discuss and act out in role-play.” For example, one situation had students divided into 6 different parties where they had to negotiate the best deal. Strategies that were taught included union, B2B, employer and government – business negotiations.

Customizing your degree

During a school semester, students take two courses, one on Tuesday and one on Thursday, both from 7AM – 8:59AM. During the first half of the program, students take the core courses required in the curriculum. Throughout the remainder of the program, students can pick from over 90 elective courses from 16 different majors to fully customize their MBA experience based on their interest and career goals.

Our MBA students are focusing intently during a lecture

One of Ain’s favorite course thus far in his MBA journey is RSM 1310: Economic Environment of Business taught by Professor Walid Hejazi. The course focuses on the economic drivers that go into making a decision as well as how current global issues are impacting Canadian business. While the course covered many tangible topics, it was “[Professor Hejazi] who made the experience so good. He was engaging, enthusiastic and had many real world experiences and examples to support the class.”

Strategy in a global context

During another intensive week, Ain took RSM1301: Fundamentals of Strategic Management with Professor Will Mitchell. He discovered that when developing a strategy, there is a lot of quantitative reasoning involved. There were a lot of examples in Canada as well as emerging markets that highlighted relevant cases. The course forces students to think critically and ask questions that a normal investor would not ask.

Designed for working professionals

As a working professional in the Morning MBA program, Ain notes that “It’s definitely challenging to dedicate both time to school and work and to succeed in the program; time management is key. Work life balance can be done but you have to manage your time well.”

His best tip for prospective students is to “Do your research. The quality of education, reputation and location of the school and the quality of professors is very important. Rotman is at the top in all these categories. The Rotman brand carries a lot of weight.”


To learn more about the Morning & Evening MBA program, visit our website.

Think critically with Rotman’s Morning & Evening MBA

At the Rotman School of Management, the Morning & Evening MBA is not just another business degree. It is also an opportunity for you to strengthen your critical thinking skills in a business environment—essential as you move up in your career.

In this week’s interview, two of our students’ employers share their thoughts about the Rotman MBA program and what they think has been one of the most valuable skills their employees have gained: critical thinking.

Run Yu, Rotman MBA '18

Run Yu, Rotman MBA ’18

Dennis McCatty, Director of Sales at Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Run Yu’s (MBA ’18) employer, believes that Run’s existing professional capabilities can take her far in her MBA career. Since joining the program, he noticed a substantial improvement in the way Run approaches problems in the workplace.

Asked about his reaction to Run’s interest in joining the Rotman MBA program he said:

When Run was thinking about joining the Rotman MBA program she approached a number of people in the organization, including myself. Because I already thought that she was a great professional with a lot of potential, my first reaction was to say that she didn’t really need an MBA. After all, many executives have gone a long way without the degree.

However, once Run explained that she wanted to join the program and the Rotman community to confront new challenges and gain new perspectives in the business field, I was on board with the idea. As a learning experience, the MBA program can reveal new frontiers, pushing you to think in a different way and from different business angles.

Bojan Grabovac

Bojan Grabovac, Rotman MBA ’17

Similarly, in our interview with Guillaume Paradis, Manager of System Planning at Toronto Hydro and Bojan Grabovac’s (MBA ’18) employer, he emphasized the importance of the critical thinking skills gained through the MBA program:

I think the MBA program at Rotman is helping expand Bojan’s vision and is strengthening his thinking process. Since he started the program, Bojan has begun to look at the broader context of the business and not just the technology we work with at Toronto Hydro.

As an Electrical Engineer, one could fall into a tendency of focusing too much on the technical aspects of the job, and not enough on other variables that may be affecting our work and our overall business. However, through the MBA program, Bojan has had exposure to different industries and fields, ensuring he analyzes problems critically and within their broader context.

These employers also agree that the ability to think critically in their jobs has not only been evident through the way they tackle business issues, but also in the creative and innovative practices that these students have come up with in their projects at work.

In fact, Dennis McCatty said:

With Run, I’ve noticed a willingness to truly understand the nuts and bolts of our products and our issues in order to proactively create solutions and add value to the team. She doesn’t only focus on the ‘what’ of our business, but digs deeper to understand the ‘why’. For example, in her work for the Business Development team, if she notices a decline in sales, she looks into all the variables to understand what the real issue is that causes this decline.

Guillaume Paradis also commented on Bojan’s use of creative thinking in the workplace when he mentioned:

When analyzing how our business and projects are moving forward, Bojan has tapped into the knowledge he has gained at Rotman as well as the networks he has formed. In fact, we have recently started working on a project concerning Asset Management and Bojan has been instrumental in finding the right people to help us with this project. He has even connected with faculty members who have extensive experience in this field.

Overall, it is clear that the challenging content and stimulating environment provided by the MBA program at the Rotman School of Management gives an edge to the overall graduate business experience. Through their participation in the program, both Run and Bojan have been able to gain the skills and knowledge to power important solutions and changes in their work.


Can you see yourself in their shoes? Contact us today or sign up to attend one of our admissions events to learn more about the Morning & Evening MBA program at the Rotman School of Management.

Why the Rotman Evening MBA? An incoming student shares

Our first Rotman Morning & Evening MBA application deadline for next year’s class recently came and went.  We’re thrilled by the diversity in industry and experience that we’re already seeing in this early crop of incoming students. Today we spoke with Max (Yimin) Ma, Category/Product Manager, Canada Computers, and one of our first incoming students for the new academic year.

Max Ma, Rotman Evening MBA 2020, Category/Product Manager, Canada Computers

Max Ma, Rotman Evening MBA 2020, Category/Product Manager, Canada Computers

Welcome to Rotman, Max. Can you tell us why you chose the Evening MBA program at Rotman?

In order to further advance my career and to increase my management knowledge, an MBA degree is essential. I also believe the Rotman MBA program is an excellent way to build a stronger professional network. I’m looking forward to meeting classmates with deep experience in different industries. That Rotman is the number one MBA School in Canada according to Financial Times also factored into my decision. I want to learn from the best!

The part-time nature of the Evening MBA program is definitely key to choosing Rotman. It’s important to me that I can continue to work, advance my career and support my family while fitting a Master’s degree into my schedule.

Did you receive any advice while you were researching MBA programs?

Yes, I consulted with a couple of my friends who either completed the MBA at Rotman or are currently taking the program. Their experiences were all positive. They were especially enthusiastic about the great class profiles, the friendships they made and the incredible quality of Rotman’s faculty. Their feedback helped make it an easy decision to apply to the Evening MBA at Rotman.

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

My short term career goal is to advance to become a Senior Product Manager in a technology company, during my time at Rotman. In the long-term, I hope to become a VP of project management, CEO of a technology company or to start my own business in the technology industry. The knowledge and networks that I hope to gain at Rotman will be central to accomplishing these goals.

What course are you most looking forward to taking?

I am looking forward to the entrepreneurship courses at Rotman as owning a brand and opening my own chain stores have always been my dreams. The management knowledge and networks at Rotman will be key to achieving these goals. I am particularly interested in branding courses which will be helpful not only for my current job as Product Manager, but also for my long term plans.


Interested to learn more about how Rotman’s Morning & Evening MBA programs can help meet your career goals? Visit our Rotman MBA website for more information, or check out our current Rotman Morning & Evening MBA class profile.

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

Interview with Yasir Mallick, MFin ’11, CPA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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.

International Study Tour to Japan: Rotman Master of Finance

Sabrina Wu, MFin '17, FRM, Money Market Trader, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ

Sabrina Wu, MFin ’17, FRM, Money Market Trader, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ

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


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

Rotman - Japan International Study Tour

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

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

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

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

Rotman - Japan Study Tour

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


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

Theory in Practice Series: Master of Finance Part Three

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


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

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

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

The Theory:

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

The Application:

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

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

Breadth of Finance Knowledge

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

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

Finance Career Bridge

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


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

Theory in Practice Series: Master of Finance Part Two

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

Theory in Practice Series: Master of Finance

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

Rising Up with Rotman’s Morning MBA

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

Ciara Wakita, Rotman Morning MBA ' 17

Ciara Wakita, MBA ‘ 16

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ciara open house

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Congratulations again and thank you for your reflections, Ciara!


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

 

Rotman Master of Finance: A Wealth of Surprises

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

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

Morgan Pampe, MFin '17, CFA

Morgan Pampe, MFin ’17, CFA

How does it feel to be finally done?

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

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

That was something you didn’t expect.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edited. Full conversation with Morgan can be found here.


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

A Day in the Life: Rotman Master of Finance

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Thank you for sharing, Christina!

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

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

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.

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!

Meet Your Professor: Fotini Tolias

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

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

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

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

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

What would you say is your approach to teaching?

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

 

Women in Business

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

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

Congratulations on receiving the Women in Business Excellence Entrance Award!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What convinced you that Rotman is for you?

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Has the Rotman MFin impacted your career in finance?

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

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

Tell us a bit about your professional journey.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How did you find out about the Master of Finance?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

CFA Ethics Challenge: Third Win for Rotman Master of Finance

CFA Ethics Competition Winners 2016 - Rotman Master of Finance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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.

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.

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.

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!

In the spotlight: Thaksa Sethukavalan, CPA, CA, Auditor & Rotman MFin Candidate

Thaksa Sethukavalan, CPA, CA, Auditor, Office of the Auditor General of Ontario. Rotman MFin candidate and Master of Finance Women’s Excellence Entrance Award Recipient.

Thaksa Sethukavalan, CPA, CA, Auditor, Office of the Auditor General of Ontario. Rotman MFin candidate and Master of Finance Women’s Excellence Entrance Award Recipient.

We’re now deep into building our Master of Finance 2017 class. The calibre of applicants are impressive professionally and are remarkable in the clarity of their drive to succeed.

In this blog post, we’re highlighting another recipient of the Master of Finance Women’s Excellence Entrance Award. Congratulations to Thaksa Sethukavalan, CPA, CA who will start the program this September.

How did you hear about the Rotman MFin?

Before applying to the MFin program, I had spent several months researching graduate business programs in Toronto. I had been feeling the itch to go back to school for some time by that point, but I wasn’t initially sure which graduate degree was right for me. Originally, I was leaning towards an MBA, but through my research I came across the MFin program. It appealed to me a lot more as I read more and more about the program.

Can you tell us a bit more about your professional background as you certainly are a unique candidate for the MFin program.

My professional background is actually in accounting and audit. After university, I spent three years working at Deloitte LLP in its audit practice and earned my Chartered Accountant designation with the firm. My focus was on financial statement audits. I can honestly say that I learned a lot while I was there, and was able to work on a number of interesting and complex audit engagements. At present I work for the Auditor General of Ontario, where my focus is on value-for-money audits of the provincial government and its ministries. It is very interesting work!

What is your favourite thing about finance?

My favourite thing about finance is the fact that finance itself is such a broad and wide-ranging topic. There are so many different specializations or focus areas that an individual could choose to get into or pursue, based on their own personal interests. I love the fact that you can never really be done learning about finance – there is always something new that an individual can choose to understand.

What made you decide to apply to the MFin?

As a Chartered Accountant, I’m always looking for ways to differentiate myself from my peers. With the recent merger of all the Canadian accounting designations into the CPA designation, I really felt like I needed a graduate degree to help set myself apart from other CPAs and to move into more upper management type roles. I’ve also always had an interest in finance in particular, and having already come from an accounting and audit background, it made more sense for me to complete a Master of Finance degree over an MBA. I also enjoy challenges and truly love to learn – I really felt as though the Master of Finance degree would help me become a better, stronger and more well-rounded business professional than any other type of graduate degree.

Did you attend any MFin events that helped you to make your decision?

I was fortunate to attend quite a few MFin events that helped me make my decision. The Rotman information session was able to provide me with some background information on the program, the curriculum and the workload involved with the MFin degree. There were some past and current students that attended the event and I was able to speak to them about their experiences with the program. I was also able to attend some Rotman networking events (the MFin market simulation sample class as well as the TD & Rotman Women @ Work Symposium) which really gave me a good feel for the culture and network at Rotman. I was also fortunate enough to be able to sit in on a Wednesday evening class and speak to some current students who spoke highly of the program, which also helped me make my decision to pursue an MFin degree.

Additionally, Alexandra MacKay, the Academic Director of the Master of Finance program, was kind enough to put me in contact with several Chartered Accountants who had already completed the program or were in the process of completing it. All of them had very good things to say about the program, the material and courses, as well as the quality of professors that taught in the program. They all told me it was a very challenging program, but well worth their time and effort, which is something that really resonated with me.

What made you decide to accept your offer of admission?

For me, there were several factors that helped guide me to accept my Rotman MFin offer. First and foremost, having sat in an MFin class and having spoken to several past and current students, I was really impressed by the material being taught and what past and current students had to say about the program. No matter who I spoke to, everyone spoke highly about the program, the curriculum and the professors, which really impressed me. I was also impressed by the close-knit network at Rotman and the high calibre of graduates from the program. Everyone I spoke to was really eager to help answer my questions about the program, which was very appealing to me. I decided that I want to a part of this community. Also, being awarded with the Master of Finance Women’s Excellence Scholarship was a very pleasant surprise and helped seal the deal.

Do you have any advice for students thinking of applying to the MFin program?

The only piece of advice I would have to give is to do your research. The MFin is an incredible program, but it’s really important to make an assessment as to whether the program is the right fit for you at your stage in your career. I recommend attending information sessions and Rotman networking sessions to see if you could benefit from the program. I also recommend getting in touch with MFin alumni and current students and talking to them about how they found the program. Doing this will help ensure you make an informed decision about pursuing an MFin degree.

Final question: what are you most looking forward to in the program?

Other than bettering my understanding of finance, I am really looking forward to meeting and networking with my future classmates. I have heard great things about the calibre of students that are admitted into the program, so I look forward to learning and working with them.


Our next Rotman Master of Finance application deadline to start September 2015 is fast approaching on April 1, 2015. If you have any questions about the program or the application, please contact us. We would be pleased to help.