As we close in on the end of another academic year, our graduating classes had a chance to reflect on their time at Rotman. Rodney Cheung, Executive MBA Class of 2017 is just one of many who are excited to leverage the knowledge and skills he’s gained to make a real world impact. Prior to joining Rotman, Rodney obtained his Bachelor of Applied Science (BASc) in Systems Design Engineering with the Management Sciences option at the University of Waterloo. We had an opportunity to talk with him about his experiences in the Rotman EMBA program.
Where are you currently working? Currently, I am the Chief Information Officer (CIO) at MediSolutions. At MediSolutions, we are working to create a brand-new business model. We are taking a startup mentality within a 34-year-old company and our executive team is creating a brand-new business model based on technical Machine Learning innovation to integrate pharmaceutical companies and advertisers to enhance patient care worldwide.
What is a fun fact about yourself: I’m an arts lover in particular with foreign films and live music performances!
Why did you choose the Executive MBA program at Rotman? Rotman has all of the characteristics of a leading EMBA program including world class faculty, reputation for excellence and alumni network. One unique aspect is Rotman’s Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) which focuses on developing massively scalable startup ventures.
What did you enjoy most about business school in general? Throughout the program, the most enjoyable aspect was how the class grew together during the year to form strong bonds and help each other. It’s like we became an extended family. I was not expecting this aspect and am thankful for the great experiences shared with all my new friends from diverse backgrounds whom I can continue to learn from in the years ahead.
What were some of the extracurricular activities you were involved with at Rotman?: I’m a member of Rotman’s Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) which is focused on value creation and capture through building massively scalable technology startups with focus on Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). I’ve been a recipient of the John Harris Award for outstanding performance in the CDL program in 2016/17 for students who have demonstrated entrepreneurial ability through curiosity and by transforming ambition into action.
What was your favorite MBA course and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it? Coming from an engineering background with concentration on technology, I had thought that the quantitative courses would be the most enjoyable for me. Instead, the many qualitative courses on leadership were my favorites with one of the many highlights being John Oesch’s Business Problem Solving (BPS). From understanding the role of one’s hidden biases to understanding the role of congruence amongst all aspects within an organization, I gained many insights.
What is the biggest myth about going back to school? That it is not worth it once you’re at a senior level. It is reasonable to believe once you have reached a certain level of success within your career that you have the answers and know how best to proceed. The reality is that it is just the opposite. Although you have reached an advanced level in your career with a great skillset, let your confidence open you up to new avenues of learning. An Executive MBA program opens your mind to new capabilities and new options which will provide even more opportunities to advance you career, help others grow, and help organizations succeed.
What is your best piece of advice to an applicant hoping to get into the Rotman Executive MBA program? As senior management, you’re likely living inside an extremely busy schedule already so you’re probably thinking about how can I cope with all of this additional work. One aspect that worked for me early on was the changing of your mindset from “I have to do this” to “I get to do this” which puts things in an entirely different light. Instead of coping and thinking of ways to get by, you believe that you have this exceptional opportunity to learn and to have fun. This reshaping of your mindset can be the root for new development.
To learn more about the Executive MBA program visit our website.