Tag Archives: Where are they now?

Where is he now? A Master of Finance alumnus shares 5 years after graduation

Interview with Yasir Mallick, MFin ’11, CPA

Yasir Mallick, MFin ’11, CPAThe Master of Finance (MFin) program at the Rotman School of Management strives for strong connections with our alumni network. Not only do we think it’s important to see how our former students are doing – we believe in paying it forward.

In this second blog post of our series, Where are they now?, we checked in with Yasir Mallick, MFin ’11, CPA, Director, Manager Selection and Portfolio Construction at the University of Toronto Asset Management Corp. (UTAM).

Thank you for speaking with us, Yasir. Tell us what it means to you and your career to be an MFin alumnus.
I applied for the MFin program after the 2008 financial crisis – I viewed it as a way to enhance my technical background given my work experience in the financial services sector. As an alumnus, I have definitely experienced direct educational and professional benefits from the program. Beyond these benefits, I am also proud of being an alumnus because I am part of a much broader community at the University of Toronto and at Rotman, a highly-regarded centre of knowledge in the Toronto financial community.

It’s been a while since you graduated; is there anything you miss from the program?
While I can’t say I miss attending classes and studying as a working professional, the program certainly reinforced my intellectual curiosity. During the program we were constantly exposed to interesting academic papers and empirical research that challenged our knowledge of finance. I have now replaced the intellectual stimulation of class with the intellectual challenges I face in my day to day role at UTAM.

Did the program give you a new appreciation for different area(s) of finance?
There were actually two areas: risk management and long-term portfolio management. These courses have provided a great foundation for my work ever since I graduated. I draw on this material daily to better understand new complexities and to execute my job.

Aside from that, what would you say have been the immediate impacts from completing your degree?
In my last year of the program, I was trying to make a career transition and I’d say that completing the MFin was critical in helping me achieve this goal. Not only did the program give me the necessary knowledge and technical skills to become a strong candidate for jobs in the industry, but it also gave me the confidence to apply to a more executive role in the pension fund management industry. I knew that, without the MFin, I would have likely been screened out by recruiters. I believe that, often, all you need is that first opportunity to meet with the hiring manager, and the MFin allowed me to get my foot in the door.

How are you involved with the MFin community as an alumnus? How do you foresee getting involved moving forward?
I’m still in touch with various professors, as I often connect with them when I see they have published new work in my area of interest. In fact, there’s a chance that I may be a guest lecturer for Rotman in the future.

In terms of the student body, I have also met with many prospective or current students to share my insights or tips as they consider their choices in the program and in their careers. I plan to continue my involvement in this capacity, as I believe it is important to share our experiences and help others.

Do you have any words of advice for future students or anyone thinking of applying now? 
Two things…

  1. Whatever course you choose to take, make sure that you are truly engaged with the material and passionate about it. As a working professional and part-time student you are pushing yourself to learn and work very hard. To keep yourself motivated, it’s important that you find the material useful and intellectually stimulating.
  1. On a more professional note, I certainly think that it’s important to have a loose outline of what you want to do with your career. However, keep an open mind! Be aware that this outline may not resemble anything close to where you end up, which sometimes, can also be a great thing.

Yasir Mallick, MFin ’11, CPA, has seen the benefits of being part of the MFin community. Since graduating 5 years ago he has been rewarded with two promotions and a job at a new organization. Intrigued by his career path? Visit our website or sign up to one of our admissions events and get ready to become part of the MFin community.

 

 

Where is he now? A Master of Finance alumnus shares 2 years after graduation

Where are they now? Where have their careers taken them since their days at Rotman? In our new series, Where are they now?, we seek out Rotman Master of Finance alumni and ask them to review their careers since graduation.

In this first blog post, Michael Hayes, MFin ’14, CFA, Director of Structuring and Credit Risk, BMO Corporate Finance took the time to share his wide ranging insights as an MFin alumni.

So, it’s been two years! How does it feel?
It feels great! I feel grounded in my career in finance since completing the Master of Finance (MFin); the program has a lot to do with my current success.

Michael Hayes MFin '14, CFA, Director of Structuring and Credit Risk , BMO Corporate Finance

Michael Hayes MFin ’14, CFA, Director of Structuring and Credit Risk, BMO Corporate Finance

Why did you choose to do the MFin instead of an MBA?
I’ve always been a big believer that credentials are ever more important in mature industries like banking. As I wanted to remain in this sector, I knew that I needed highly qualified credentials to my name in order to advance significantly and remove any potential future career barriers. I already had a Bachelors of Commerce and my CFA, but knew that it wouldn’t be enough.

When you realize that, you need to ask yourself: why am I going back to school? Is it to further develop skills necessary in my current field or to move industries and land a job in a different area?

If your answer is like mine, and you are looking to become an expert in your field, then your best bet is to stay in your job and complete the MFin. With my work experience and previous education, for me, it simply didn’t make sense to do an MBA. I was more interested in the technical skills and depth of finance knowledge that could best be obtained through the MFin.

What would you say have been the immediate impacts of being part of the MFin community?
When I first joined the MFin program, I was managing a book of commercial clients in Toronto as a Relationship Manager. I needed a change and starting the MFin program gave me the confidence to reach out to executive leaders and to talk about my career goals. This was a great decision, as just two months after joining the program I was promoted with an opportunity to work as an Associate in Investment & Corporate Banking in Chicago, USA.

Since then, I’ve advanced another two times within the same institution, with my most recent promotion in June 2016 when I became the Director of Structuring and Credit Risk for BMO’s Corporate Finance Division. I can certainly say that joining the Master of Finance was a catalyst for my first upward move.

What does it mean to you and your career to be an MFin alumni?
I am exceptionally proud not only of being a Rotman alumnus, but also of being a graduate of the MFin program. I take a lot of pride in being part of the highly-skilled and experienced community that is made up of MFin alumni. The Rotman MFin is a challenging program that admits students with work experience in finance. Many of my classmates already possessed designations such as the CFA or CPA.

What we learn and the networks that we build are extremely valuable to our professional and even our personal life.

How has this network impacted your life?
I have worked with some of my classmates at BMO, and there’ve been times when we leaned on each other for career advice. More importantly, some of my best friends today are from the MFin program.

You’ have to realize that in the program you not only meet people who share your passion for finance; you also meet people who share similar life experiences, whether it means being a working professional and part-time student, or having kids for the first time. In fact, aside from the intellectual stimulation present in the program, getting together with my classmates during our lunch break or after class is probably what I miss the most from the program.

How do you foresee getting involved with the MFin community as an alumni going forward?
I think it’s very important to stay connected. Every single graduate of the MFin program can give back and increase your scope. For example, working in a bank for quite sometime, I hadn’t been exposed to the perspectives of finance leaders who are non-bankers. During the MFin program, I met several classmates working in insurance companies and pension funds, which made me recognize the bigger world outside of banking.

As alumni, we have a responsibility to pay it forward and connect with current students looking to learn about our work and opportunities in our field.

What advice would you give to someone considering starting the program now?
First, recognize the importance of your community of classmates who will be your connections for life. Make connections with as many people as you can. As a tip, the easiest way to do that is to never sit in the same seat twice.

Second, remember that going back to school is a family decision. As a working professional and part-time student you’ll be sacrificing some of the time you spend with your family. Recognize their importance, and ensure they are on board with your plans.

Third, challenge the status quo. As a graduate student, you are here to learn and push the boundaries, so don’t just settle for what’s in the textbook. The best classes take place when students challenge the concepts reviewed in class and put them to the test.


Interested to learn more about what our students and alumni have to say about the program? Our upcoming Open House on November 6 is the perfect time to speak with students and alumni. Or, sign up for an upcoming admissions events.