Tag Archives: Intensive Week

Intensive Weeks, the MBA Experience, and Balance

One of the best way to learn what an MBA is like before you start class is to speak with current and past students in the program. Recently we sat down with two outstanding students in Rotman’s Evening MBA to ask them about their experiences. Both Casey Yang and Nastassia Bukina are recipients of Forte Fellowship, part of the one million dollars in entrance awards available to Rotman Morning & Evening MBA students.

Casey Yang, Rotman Evening MBA student

Casey Yang, Rotman Evening MBA student

Casey Yang is a finance professional currently working in capital markets. “I came to Rotman to meet different people with different backgrounds,” she explained. “All my classmates are at the top of their own fields and are all great students and professionals.”

“It’s been almost four years since I finished my undergraduate degree in Engineering,” said Nastassia Bukina, who works in project management tackling complex problems. “I felt like I had a gap in strategic thinking and leadership. We all come into the program with different objectives. I believe that if you have an open mind you can walk away with a lot more than what you bargained for.”

Classes for the Morning and Evening MBA programs take place over 32 months, twice a week. Morning students attend class from 7:00 – 8:59 am, and Evening students from 6:30 – 8:30 pm. This schedule helps busy professionals fit a degree in around their work and personal lives. “We all have a career, we all have to take time off to come here to study, and most of us also have a family. It sometimes becomes a little bit difficult to balance all of those things,” Casey pointed out. “But it is a very excellent experience because it brings you a lot of opportunities and experience that it’s not very possible to have outside of Rotman.”

When we spoke to Casey and Nastassia they were at the tail end of an intensive week where they complete 1-2 courses quickly.  “We just completed a course on Leading People in Organizations,” Nastassia said. “It’s all about leadership, teams, and motivation.  I’m currently helping to transform a department so a lot of the concepts we learned in class were extremely relevant!”

Nastassia Bukina, Rotman Evening MBA student

Nastassia Bukina, Rotman Evening MBA student

One of the benefits of the intensive week is that students can learn a great deal in a short period of time, but there are other benefits, too. Casey was quick to point out the relationships she could develop. “I would say the beauty of the intensive week is you spend more than eight hours a day with your classmates. You really get to know them, not just say hi every day and go back home. You talk to them about their background and exchange ideas.”

The diverse backgrounds of her classmates was key for Casey. “My classmates here majored in engineering, majoring in health science, in law. They can provide a lot of ideas I had never thought of, which is pretty amazing to me.”

Both women recommended talking to current or past students to get a feel for the program. “I think if someone is interested, I would encourage them to take a more hands-on approach,” Nastassia said. “Talk to admissions, go to coffee chats, attend an actual class, and talk to current students and alumni.”

Casey’s advice for people thinking about applying was to think about the future. “This program is very rewarding once you get started.”

Speak to a member of our admissions team one-on-one to receive personalized help with your application, or attend an upcoming admissions event.

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.