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The Life of an MBA

5 ways to engage the Millennial Workforce

One of the most pressing talent issues, organizations are facing today is the retention of top talent. It has become increasingly challenging to hold on to your best performers in an evolving workplace. Given the increasing number of millennials in the workforce, it becomes critical to understand the Millennial Mindset.

As employees, millennials have been called spoiled and entitled. Most have been raised to never experience failure. Some are even described as selfish with absurdly high expectations and constantly living in the moment, in search of instant gratification.

Despite all this, they need more than money to stay motivated. They need to feel the impact of their contributions. I have my own personal experiences, training extremely talented employees who could not understand their own significance or purpose in a project. An organization will thrive when it builds a foundation around these passionate individuals.

The term “resource” has become so overused that it has lost its value. In fact, it is not uncommon to see project managers asking for “bodies” to be thrown into a project. A Millennial doesn’t just want to be another “resource” or a “body”. They want to be valuable contributors working towards a shared goal with the organization. So here are five ways to engage and motivate your millennial workforce:

  1. Mentors — Millennials prefer to be mentored rather than managed. They seek feedback and need advice. This also helps build trust and shows that they are valuable members of a team.
  2. Purpose — Knowing what they do is important, but know why they do it is even more imperative to millennials.
  3. Learning and Development — They respond positively to opportunities for both personal and professional development. They expect results and look to acquire a diverse skillset to accomplish this.
  4. Flexibility — Clocked working hours and stagnant locations are thing of the past. Telecommuting is slowly being more widely accepted in many companies and is a great option to provide flexibility.
  5. Responsibility — They love a sense of ownership. Taking on big challenges motivate them to be more productive. Fluffy titles are meaningless without substance.

5 Ways to engage your millennial workforce


How to understand the Millennial Mindset

At almost every HR conference that I attend, one of the most pressing talent issues that are discussed is the retention of top talent, specifically in the millennial workforce. As a greater proportion of the workforce is replaced by millennials, it becomes crucial to understand their mindset, in order to solve this problem.

Growing up in a digital world, Millennials have been, for the most part, always connected. This is a major factor in understanding their mindset. Many have been using electronic gadgets since a young age. This has led to the development of certain attitudes and lifestyles:

  1. Connected all the time – Computers, cell phones and other gadgets are perfectly normal, necessary parts of life, not just technologies or privileges. They are part of being connected.
  2. Purpose – For the average millennial, information is constantly evolving and the things they do become more significant than what they know.
  3. Trial and Error – The Trial and Error method is perfectly acceptable to find both passions and careers.
  4. Multitasking – Multitasking is embedded in everyday life. They can text, surf the internet and listen to music while creating a report.
  5. Sense of Urgency – Delays are not tolerated. The immediacy of the Internet through e-mails, social media and instant messaging has made the Millennials impatient, with short attention spans.

As an employer, understanding why Millennials act the way they do becomes key to motivating them. To develop action plans around engagement and motivation, take a look at strategies to engage and motivate your millennial workforce.

Compared to the work culture of previous generations, there is a clear difference that is leading to cultural revolutions at the workplace. There are still business managers out there who resist these changes and fail to see the cultural evolutions created by millennials as positive. We need to embrace this in order to prepare the millennials, the future leaders of the workforce.

Millennial Mindset - Infographic


Capstone and the End of the First Year

The Capstone term, aka the last term of the first year, begins immediately after the Term 2 exams. You get one weekend to breath.


  1. Finance II
  2. Managerial Accounting
  3. Managerial Negotiations
  4. The Practice of Model Based Decision Making (Capstone)

This is a short term and the major highlight is the “Capstone” Project where you get to work on real world problems and present a solution. This year we had 3 companies sharing their business cases : i) P&G ii) Cineplex and iii) The Canadian Coalition for Good Governance (CCGG)

Having secured an internship in February, this term was more relaxed for me. This term is perfect for self-reflection and observing changes after one year of the MBA program. It’s been an incredible journey and it is hard to imagine how quickly time has flown.


How are you going to make the most of this summer? You have to option to take summer courses, focus on your summer internship and hope to convert it to a full-time offer, network a little more, take a break and go on a holiday, or a combination of these things.



Term 2 – Getting through Internship Recruitment

Term 2 begins explosively – with On-Campus Recruitment

The first few weeks of January are packed with companies coming on campus for info-sessions. Suit up and network away. This continues even after classes begin.

So how do you spend you time in Term 2? Well, there are the usual classes of course


  1. Operations Management
  2. Managing Customer Value (aka Marketing)
  3. Leading People in Organizations
  4. Economic Environment of Business (Macroeconomics)

Term 2 is relatively lighter than Term 1. It has to be, because in addition to managing your regular classes, you are also going through internship recruitment. This means tweaking your resume and customizing your cover letter for different job applications. Everyday.


The whole process can be broken into 2 phases :

Phase I : Getting an interview call

Factors that could contribute to getting an interview call (In no particular order)

  • Grades – Mostly important for Consulting and Finance
  • Networking – Varying results
  • Cover Letter
  • Resume
  • Luck?

Getting your first interview call is a a huge confidence boost. Until you learn that an interview means nothing if you can’t convert it. Use every interview as a learning process. People go through multiple interviews without proceeding to the next round. Or worse, clear multiple rounds and then get rejected. Of course, you are in no position to complain. Some people haven’t got a single interview call.


Phase II : Getting that converted into an offer

Depending on the industry and job description, there will be multiple rounds of behavioral and case interviews. This is where you hope that your prep pays off. Soldier on through the process and eventually you land an offer ! Or Multiple offers !! or nothing at all. Once again, learn from each round. This stamp is the mark of a veteran.

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The Internship hunt continues until March when the number companies coming on campus start reducing. If you still don’t have an internship, it’s time to look off-campus. This process could still continue into the next term. The only advice here is to focus on your goals and be relentless. It takes time and effort to land an internship.

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Also remember, you still have to finish Term 2 Exams. Since you were busy with recruitment you probably missed a few(?) classes and have to catch up. Once you finish Term 2, you either want to relax and celebrate landing an internship or relax and continue your internship search. Either way,







Quarter MBA Complete – 5 Tips to Remember

With the End of Term 1, we have completed 25% of our MBA.

Celebrations continue through the winter break, peppered with prep for the upcoming Recruiting season for Internships.


  1. Finance I – Capital Markets and Valuation
  2. Financial Accounting
  3. Statistics for Management
  4. Fundamentals of Strategic Management

Spread out over 2 months, Term 1 tests your grit. With quant heavy subjects, individual and group assignments, presentations and critiques, this term makes the foundation term seem like a breeze. Add case competitions and club events to the mix and you have a typical day in the life of an MBA student at Rotman.




The course is demanding. It demands your time. It demands your energy. Be prepared to devote yourself to the program.



Everyone is Brilliant. You may be good at something. There is always someone better. Stay humble. Help each other.



Contribution is important. Participate in Class. Get to know your classmates. Get to know your professors.



People are nice. For the most part. I, personally had an amazing team that always had my back. Ask for help. There are always people willing to help.



Focus is Key. This means you have to make sacrifices to get what you want. Prioritize and Manage your time well. Dean’s List? Social Butterfly? Case Competition Specialist?



Wishing everyone an amazing 2016.

Onward to Term 2 !



Rotman Foundation Term

Congratulations !

You have completed this brief one month term at Rotman. A Term designed to be the foundation for Business Education.


  1. Business Ethics
  2. Model Based Decision Making
  3. Integrated Models and Data
  4. Managerial Economics

One Month. Four Subjects. Presentations. Homework .Group work. Case Studies. Class Participation. MBA in full swing.


Tips from the Foundation Term*  :

  1. Campaign and be an elected representative of the Graduate Business Council (GBC)
  2. Clubs – Join some Clubs. The ones you really like. Try not to spread yourself too thin by joining too many clubs because you really won’t have much time to devote to each club individually.
  3. Campaign and be an elected representative of a club for your section
  4. Socialize – Go to some Tipsy Tuesdays
  5. Love your Team – Seriously, you are going to spend a lot of time with your team doing group work. Get to know them. Work with them. Be a good teammate and contribute. Oh, and the team remains the same for the next term as well.

*NOTE : Optional

Well, that’s it for the Foundation Term. Strive onward to TERM 1 !!!



The Rotman Pre-MBA Program

The Pre-MBA classes were specifically designed to get us back into an academic environment and learn/refresh our basics.

Even though the courses were completely optional, they did add a lot of value, especially to people without a business/finance/engineering background.

Here is a brief description of the main courses (in no particular order) :

Self Development

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Basic Courses on personal development including Voicing Yourself and Self Management.

Business Math


A quant-intensive course covering equations, logs, exponents and probability.



A fine refresher on statistical probability and its importance in a business environment.

Data Analysis and Business Modelling 


All about Microsoft Excel. In 3 Levels of increasing complexity.



Balance Sheet. Income Statements. Cash Flows.

Concepts of Finance


Understanding stocks and bonds and analyzing market trends.

Finance Methods

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Calculating the present and future values of Money. Using Excel.

This was just a glimpse of an MBA class environment.

The Pre-MBA is over.

Now it is time for the real Program to begin…

Rotman Treks – Taylor Creek

Another Rotman Trek just after International Student Orientation.

A dedicated group gathered on Saturday morning:


We started off from the Victoria Park Station



It began with a simple trail and but we wavered off the beaten path to explore.


We even came across a sleek jet – black German Shepherd (some GoT fans insisted that it was a Direwolf)


And of course, some of us had to go pet it.


Overall a short and sweet trek.


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International Student Orientation Week

Four days of action packed learning, networking, research and presentations. The ISOW has just given us a glimpse of what lies ahead.

Day 1 : 

The first day was all about meeting new people, learning about Canada, networking and socializing.

Highlights included a Toronto Trivia Quiz and a tour of the Rotman building.

The day closed with a networking social with the upper year students.



Day 2 : 

This day was primarily dedicated for exploring and learning about the Canadian Workplace and Career Options.

The career center gave interesting insights on networking and “connecting with a purpose”.

We also learnt from the personal experiences of upper year students and about post MBA employment through employer panels in the afternoon.

Another highlight of this day was the Toronto Lunch tour where we were divided into groups to cover the following areas :

  • Kensington Market
  • Chinatown
  • The Annex


The day closed with a reception at the Duke of Devon on Bay street. Again, there was an emphasis on networking and making connections. (Strategy Guide)

Day 3 : 

The whole day was focussed on teamwork. Teams had to use a combination of speaking, acting and drawing skills to decipher messages.

After lunch we began The Great Canadian Research Competition to give us a glimpse of how case competitions would be like. This was a great opportunity for us to learn about achieving a common goal by working in diverse international groups.

We managed to catch a few groups here :




Day 4 :

All the groups had to present before alumni judges. Another great platform to receive constructive feedback and improve our presentation skills.


This was followed by a final set of presentations giving us a taste of the Rotman environment. Congratulations to all the winners !


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