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.
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.