Tag Archives: Interviewing

Empowering Women in Business

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

61st UN Commission on the Status of Women

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

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

The commission exceeded Sabrina’s expectations.

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

Sabrina with Maryam Monsef, Minister of Status of Women

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

UN Secretary General speaking at townhall

Guiding Others

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

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

Make a Difference

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

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

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

 

Top 3 Application Tips For Working Professional Master’s Programs

Given the unique criteria that differentiates Rotman’s part-time programs from full-time programs, applicants often wonder about the factors that are most important in their application. While we take a holistic approach to the admissions process and consider all aspects to be important, this is still a good question. There are certainly ways to ensure that you have a competitive advantage, and here we offer our latest top 3 application tips.

Rotman Morning MBA Team Attollo, Hult Prize 2015 finalists, use their areas of professional and academic expertise to develop a system to delivery early childhood education for marginalized children. Image from @AttolloSE.

Rotman Morning MBA Team Attollo, Hult Prize 2015 finalists, use their areas of professional and academic expertise to develop a system to delivery early childhood education for marginalized children. Here with UT – Mississauga Principal, Prof. Deep Saini. Image from @AttolloSE.

  1. Exhibit your soft skills. Although a graduate program in business requires students to have strong technical skills, we cannot forget the importance of communication. Your ability to succeed in your career will also depend on such soft skills. Therefore, when reviewing your application, we will be assessing your ability to communicate effectively. You’ll first get a chance to showcase your writing skills in three essays. Remember that aside from grammar and spelling, we will be looking for a clear writing style that can tell us why you think an MBA or Master of Finance (MFin) is right for you.  If you are called to the interview stage, this will be another chance to show us your ability to communicate your story persuasively.
  2. Demonstrate the value of your work experience. As programs for working professionals, the Morning & Evening MBA and MFin require applicants to refer back to their work experience. On average, our students have worked for 6 years. For your application, it is important to emphasize the relevance of this work experience to your studies and future career goals. So, when preparing your CV and statement, remember to refer to your achievements and progression during these years. Your resume should focus on results rather than job tasks.
  3. Have great professional references. When asking for references, don’t focus on titles. Instead, a good professional reference is one that can speak of your track record and your potential for professional growth. Your two professional references will be assessing your ability to think, to work in a team, and your ability to work with integrity to positively impact your organization. Therefore, before including them in your application, make sure you are asking individuals who can effectively strengthen your application and that they can refer back to specific examples of your achievements.

Overall, remember that these programs are significant investments, so you want to make sure the program you choose is a good fit for you. While you prepare your application be sure to research the program, attend one of our Morning & Evening MBA or Master of Finance info sessions , or sign up for a coffee chat. Last, but not least, remember to start your application early! Bonus tip: the earlier you apply, the greater your chance of receiving an entrance award.

Tuesday Tips: Ace your behavioural interview

Annette Filler

Annette Filler, Lead, Career Services for Working Professionals

Interviews can be nerve wrecking, and acing that particular interview could be the stepping stone to the career path of your dreams. Annette Filler is a Lead and Career Coach with Career Services for Working Professionals here at Rotman. Yesterday, the career services monthly workshop offered some valuable advice for our Morning & Evening MBA and Master of Finance students on acing your behavioural interview.

Interview Preparation:

  • Do your background research on industry, company, role
  • Understand the requirements of the position
  • Know who will be conducting the interview
  • Prepare 2 – 3 points in advance that clearly communicates why you are an excellent fit for the position
  • Remember to dress and groom for success!

Behavioural Interview Questions: What are they?

  • They are common questions based on the premise that past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior
  • Provides proof of your potential demonstrated through description of past situations
  • Instead of being situational e.g. “If you are faced with multiple deadlines, what will you do?” a behavioural question is more like, “Give an example of a situation here you were faced with multiple deadlines and what did you do?”
  • This type of question is open ended and allows the interviewer to probe and zero in on specific behaviours and skills to find out more about the candidate

Interviewers use behavioural interview questions to assess leadership, problem-solving, analytical thinking, time management, communication and interpersonal skills. Candidates need to prepare examples and stories that demonstrates the themes mentioned above. In addition, as a candidate, you should prepare examples and stories for additional key competencies that are outlined on the job description.

Practice, practice, practice!

Your confidence in your presentation, and belief that you’re the best candidate for the role is paramount. It’s important to practice responses out loud. Practice with classmates. Practice with family. Practice with friends and Career Services. Practice so you’ll have a flow and can articulate your examples clearly and concisely. The flip side is of course, don’t memorize examples verbatim as you might sound too rehearsed an unnatural.

And, once you’re in the Rotman Morning & Evening MBA or Master of Finance programs, you’ll have access to Interview Stream. It’s an online video interview practice tool that allows you to simulate a job interview by responding to pre-recorded interview questions.