Tag Archives: Innovation

The Rotman Global Executive MBA: Experiencing the East Asia Module in Shanghai and Hong Kong, China

The Rotman Global Executive MBA at the University of Toronto offers exciting opportunities to study in key business hubs of the world. On this 18-month leadership journey, students learn from successful companies, faculty and business leaders around the globe. Recently, a group of senior managers and entrepreneurs embarked on a two-week East Asia module in the modern business hubs of Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Meeting a Network of Alumni Globally

Alumni and staff in China with the Rotman Global Executive MBA

Alumni and staff in China with the Rotman Global Executive MBA

Vicky Yang, an alumna from the Global Executive MBA program based in Hong Kong invited Rotman Staff and other alumni. Learning about Vicky’s experience during the program and the impact that it had on her career as an entrepreneur was fascinating. She attributed her decision to start her own company to the confidence, learning and experiences she gained during her Global Executive MBA. She keeps a very active and dynamic network that includes U of T alumni, not only from Rotman but from a wide variety of other areas.

Strategic Classes in a Local Context

The first course of the module was Strategic Change and Implementation taught by Brian Golden, Vice-Dean, Professional Programs at Rotman, which focused on a case study of GE’s change and growth under Jim Welsh’s leadership. The class also participated in the Capstone course, Applied Innovation, taught by Grayson Bass. After arriving in Hong Kong, the class attended Operations & Corporate Governance taught by Prof. Joe Milner and David Beatty. The content of the courses was further enhanced by five guest speakers who brought to the class a deep understanding of various industries in Asia. Guest speakers included, Craig Smith, President and Managing Director of Marriot for Asia Pacific and an Global Executive MBA alum.

Professor David Beatty, teaching""

Exciting Site Visits

A group photo at URWORKTo drive home global ways of doing business locally, the program intertwines local visits to dynamic businesses with the course curriculum. The first site visit of the module was hosted by URWORK, a co-working space in China. URWORK is an innovation hub that hosts start-ups and offers services in a wide variety of areas including HR, legal and finance. The class experienced the new and proliferating business of shared work space in China.

The class also visited MRD Dingshi Group in Shanghai, which is an integrated professional design company specializing in architectural design. The class had the opportunity to hear from and ask questions to Mr. Wu, Chairman of MRD Dingshi Group, who also shared his deep understanding of the development of commercial real estate in China.

Group photo at the Hong Kong Stock ExchangeAfter arriving in Hong Kong, the group visited ScotiaBank to learn about its 30 years’ of experience in China. The visit featured executives from the bank who talked about their respective units and the opportunities and challenges in the region.

The final visit for the module was to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, one of the largest financial market operators in the world. Students had the opportunity to further their knowledge of trading in Hong Kong through this visit.

Speaker Series & Networking

Every module hosts a Speaker Series & Networking event, this time Egidio Zarrella, Clients and Innovation Partner at KPMG China addressed the audience with an interactive talk about the economy in China and Hong Kong, the challenges that Hong Kong faces with the rapid digitalization of the financial market and the growth China continues to experience. The focus on innovation and the interactive nature of the talk allowed for lively participation by students and guests alike. After the talk, the networking portion of the event allowed students to grow their network by making new connections.

A collage of photos from the Speaker Series

The Global Executive MBA program at the University of Toronto is an expansive leadership journey that will transform the way you think about your career on the global stage. In addition to learning from East Asia, the program will take you to key business hubs in the Americas, Europe, South Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Want to learn more? Connect with us or visit our website to learn more.

 

Business Design: A Human Centered Approach to Problem Solving

Stephanie Grimbly is a current Rotman Morning MBA student. In this 2-part blog series, she shares her experiences in the Business Design Accelerator Series at Rotman.

Stephanie Grimbly, Rotman MBA '19

Stephanie Grimbly, MBA ’19, Channel Account Manager, Avaya

After many months contemplating exactly what it was that I was looking for in an MBA program I had an “ah-ha” moment when I discovered Rotman’s Business Design major. The concept of Business Design checked a lot of boxes for me in terms of the kind of work I wanted to get involved in – creative problem solving of complex issues – and therefore the kind of knowledge and skills I wanted to bone-up on via an MBA. I already knew I enjoyed the process of brainstorming and “ideation”.

Now two semesters into the program, I’m very pleased to report that my expectations of what the Rotman Morning MBA program would offer have been exceeded. My favorite aspect of the program is The Business Design Accelerator Series offered by Rotman’s DesignWorks.

Rotman DesignWorks


Designed for, and offered to MBA candidates who work full-time, the Business Design Accelerator Series is exactly the kind of extra-curricular opportunity an MBA student hopes to take advantage of while in school.


This six-part series is a step-by-step introduction to Business Design principles and tools (quite literally the building blocks of the problem-solving framework I was looking for!) The idea behind the series is that participants walk away with a better understanding of what Business Design is, and the value it can offer any professional looking to get creative and innovate at work. The absolute best part of this series is that, as working professionals, participants can immediately apply some of these principles and tools to the work they do today.


One of the primary reasons I decided to do a part-time MBA instead of full-time was I valued the opportunity to immediately apply what I was learning at school in my full-time job.


And this is exactly my intention for the strategies, exercises and protocols introduced during the Accelerator Series – to apply them in my current job!

Regardless of role, responsibilities or industry, Business Design Theory is inherently valuable to the individuals and teams who leverage it because it is a multi-dimensional problem solving methodology. When the problem is too complex, unprecedented or is actually the amalgamation of many smaller, intertwined issues, the most prudent approach to tackling that problem is not with broad strokes in management style, organizational structure, financial finessing or economic intervention – at least not right away. Instead, it begins with a thorough investigation into the factors that make up the problem, a systematic breakdown of primary factors into the human needs and emotions that perpetuate them followed by rapid iteration of many possible resolutions and, finally, a critical evaluation of each prototype to assess its viability.

The bottom line is that complex, unprecedented problems demand intricate investigation, creative consideration and deliberate solutions.


Stay tuned for part two of Stephanie’s blog posts on the Rotman DesignWorks Business Design Accelerator Series. Interested in exploring the Morning MBA at Rotman? Contact us to learn more!

Annual Rotman Open House Draws Huge Interest: A Recap

With over 300 prospective students at the Rotman Open House on Sunday November 6, the event was nothing short of a great success. The event was an exciting opportunity for attendees to learn more about the 6 programs that Rotman has to offer through engaging sample classes and information sessions.

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Morning and Evening MBA students are more than happy to answer questions from prospective applicants!

The programs that were represented at the fair were the Morning and Evening MBA, Full Time MBA, Executive MBA, Global Executive MBA, Master of Finance, and the Master of Financial Risk Management.

Making Connections at the Programs Fair

As guests began to arrive, they eagerly headed to the buzzing programs fair. Representatives for each of our Master’s programs provided information regarding admissions details and program structures. Current students were also more than happy to share their own Rotman experience. There was something new for everybody to discover about the school. One of our attendees commented that “I know I registered for one program of interest, but with such a wide range of programs that Rotman offers, it was hard to pick just one!”

open-house-programs-fair

The programs fair is in  full swing

A New Way to Think

Rotman’s Annual Open House formally kicked off with a keynote speech by Don Tapscott, CEO of The Tapscott Group, and one of the world’s leading authorities on the impact of technology on business and society. He also happens to be an Adjunct Professor here at the Rotman School of Management, and was ranked the 4th most influential management thinker in the world by Thinkers50.

tapscott-speaking

Don Tapscott kicking off the event with a keynote speech

He provided us with his thrilling insight into how blockchain is becoming an industry disruptor. Don concluded by challenging our audience, the future leaders in management, on how we can develop solutions to new technological, social and economic problems.

Mix and Match to Customize Your Day

Attendees mixed and matched the sessions that were of most interest to them. With a wide selection of 17 different sessions to attend, it was definitely not an easy choice to make.

Each session brought a unique perspective and experience for our prospective applicants. On top of the information sessions led by our recruiters about what applicants needed to get in and to succeed at Rotman, there were also unique interactive sessions. In our BMO Financial Group Finance Research and Trading Lab, prospective students had the opportunity to get involved in an exciting trading simulation where they made decisions under different scenarios. There were also a number of sample classes showcasing the world renowned faculty that teach at Rotman and their research strengths. Professor Brian Golden’s sample class on Strategic Management was energizing, overflowing and was even followed enthusiastically by an international audience via our live stream!

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Brian Golden presenting a sample class on Strategic Management

The Perfect Fit at Rotman

The Rotman Open House is not only a great event for prospective applicants to learn more information about the admissions process and to get their questions answered, it is also a chance to meet with our recruitment team to network and build a one-on-one relationship.

On behalf of the entire recruitment and admissions team, thank you to each and every individual who took the time to come out and learn about all the graduate programs that Rotman has to offer. We hope you had as much fun as we did!

To learn more about the Rotman School of Management, visit our website at www.rotman.utoronto.ca

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

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

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

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Jia Inacio, Evening MBA 2017

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

Rishie_Seth_MBA

Rishie Seth, Evening MBA 2017

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

StrategyatRotman-160531

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

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

Professor Brian Golden

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

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

Congratulations to winners of the Hult Prize at U of T

It is with great pride that we congratulate our Hult Prize at U of T quarterfinal winners. Team Attollo is made up of current Rotman Morning MBA students and an alumnus: Lak Chinta, Aisha Bukhari and Peter Cinat.

Hult Prize at U of T winners 2014

Left to right: Rotman Morning MBA alumnus Peter Cinat, Rotman Morning MBA candidates Aisha Bukhari and Lak Chinta

“In the Hult Prize competition, teams of students from around the world develop ideas for social enterprises to solve global challenges. The 2015 challenge, co-sponsored by Hult International Business School and the Clinton Global Initiative, is to develop a business plan to deliver early childhood education for marginalized children.”[1]

The three students will now go on to represent U of T at the Regional Finals in March 2015. The winners of the regional will compete for US$1 million in funding to start-up their social enterprise.

It’s not the first time this team has worked and won a competition together. In 2013, they won the $100,000 to prize in the Manulife Entry to Asia Challenge. Their personal accomplishments are impressive and each member brings his or her own passion and experience for a winning combination. Lak has a PhD in Neuroscience with over 12 years’ experience in research, engineering, healthcare, entrepreneurship and direct experience from living and working with urban slums communities in India. Peter comes from a computer engineering background with over 11 years of experience working on strategic problems in the technology space with global clients. Aisha has her Masters in Engineering, expertise developing innovative solutions in the energy sector and brings her public-sector experience to the team. For more details about their win and an interview with Peter, visit this U of T news article.

Good luck to an outstanding team. We’re very proud of your accomplishments.


[1] Meet the winners of Hult Prize at U of T; next stop, regional rounds ǀ last accessed 17/12/2014
Image: Facebook

An MBA post-mortem from a real estate guy

Brandon Donnelly is a real estate developer, internet entrepreneur, blogger and Rotman MBA alumnus.

As a recent graduate of Rotman’s Morning MBA program (and presumably because somebody over there reads my blog), I was asked to write a guest post for their MBA blog. More specifically, I was asked to share my thoughts on the real estate industry and on my time at Rotman. And since I haven’t really done a post like this before, I thought it would be worthwhile to do.

My city pt 2 by JR F

But before I begin, I think it’s important to explain a bit about my background and my motivations for doing an MBA in the first place. Before going to Rotman, my first master’s degree was in architecture and real estate from the University of Pennsylvania. Basically it was a Master of Architecture combined with their MBA real estate concentration. So it included everything from real estate finance to real estate development.

Having already done this 3-year program, there were a couple of things I wanted out of an MBA program. First of all, I wasn’t prepared to go full-time. Five years out of the workforce was simply too high of an opportunity cost for me and so part-time was all I considered. I also only applied to Rotman because I didn’t want to waste anytime traveling outside of the city (or to other parts of the city). I also saw Rotman as a rising star and one of, if not the, best option in Canada.

At the same time, I didn’t give much thought to the real estate curriculum being offered even though I fully planned to stay working in the real estate industry. I felt like I already had that sort of formal training and so, unlike some of my classmates who were looking to switch into real estate, I was after something else. I ended up majoring in Innovation & Entrepreneurship.

What I was trying to do was really round out my skillset and fill in some of the missing holes: accounting, marketing, and so on. But even more importantly, I had drunk the kool-aid around Rotman’s focus on integrative thinking (renamed “business problem solving”) and “design thinking”. And since there will always be a part of me that thinks of itself as a designer, it seemed like the perfect program for me.

Because at the end of the day, it’s not that hard to learn how to create a real estate development pro forma or calculate your expected exit cap rate on some piece of real estate. That stuff is all fairly mechanical. It might seem quite mythical when you don’t know how to do it, but once you do, you quickly realize that a financial model is only as good as the assumptions you put in. As we’re told in school, garbage in = garbage out.

The real value gets created in the assumptions. It’s created in the way you think about the market, your product, and your customers. And a lot of the time, the most value is created when you know or believe something that nobody else believes to be true. If you’re a lemming, you’re going to get lemming like returns and outcomes. So in a lot of ways, I went to Rotman to help me think better and think differently.

In some industries, resting on your laurels can kill you in a relatively short period of time. See Blackberry. Real estate, on the other hand, is generally a bit slower moving. But that doesn’t mean that change doesn’t happen and that there isn’t room for loads of innovation.

Just look at the Toronto of today versus the Toronto of 10-15 years ago. We’ve transformed ourselves into a city of high-rises where more and more people now want to live in the core of the city. This has brought commercial landlords back to the city center so that employers have downtown office space to attract the best human capital (see South Core) and it’s brought suburban retailers into the core to sell to these same urbanites. We’re seeing a complete reversal of the trends experienced with the last generation.

Amidst all of this, I’ve been noticing a growing awareness and passion around cities. My blog Architect This City started as a forum for architects, planners, and developers, but it has grown into a community of thousands of people who simply love cities. They’re passionate about everything from architecture to grade-separated bike lanes (as geeky as that probably sounds).

So I think that it’s not only the real estate market that’s changing, but also the professions involved with it. I’ve written a lot about the future of the architecture profession because I think we’re starting to see the emergence of new business models. Architects are becoming developers and developers are starting to become much more heavily involved in the shaping of the communities in which they build. Which is why in many ways, I think of my self as a city builder more than anything else.

Finally, to make matters even more complicated, technology is starting to have a huge impact on the business. Zillow.com just bought Trulia.com for $3.5 billion to form a portal that will now serve around 1/4 of the online US residential market. And Opendoor.com is getting ready to launch a product that seems entirely poised to disrupt the way homes are bought and sold in America.

So what I’m getting at is that there’s absolutely no guarantee that the way we used to do something, is the way we’re going to continue doing it. In fact, I operate under the assumption that everything can and will be changed by somebody at some point. And if this is the way you approach things, then it should become abundantly clear to you that being able think critically is going to be one of your most important assets.

When I was just starting at Rotman, I met for lunch with an upper year classmate who told me that one of the best things he’s taken away from the program is the ability to think about the way he thinks. That may sound silly to some, but in our uncertain world, it’s actually a great skill to have.

Image: Flickr