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The Life of an MBA

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Rotman MBA

The MBA Program at the Rotman School of Management

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.

THE SUBJECTS :

  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.

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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

THE SUBJECTS :

  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.

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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.

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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,

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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.

THE SUBJECTS :

  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.

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5 TIPS TO REMEMBER

1.COMMITMENT

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

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2.HUMILITY

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

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3.CONTRIBUTION

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

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4.TEAMWORK

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.

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5. FOCUS

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 !

 

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Rotman Foundation Term

Congratulations !

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

THE SUBJECTS :

  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.

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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

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

Statistics

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

Data Analysis and Business Modelling 

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

Accounting

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Balance Sheet. Income Statements. Cash Flows.

Concepts of Finance

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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:

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We started off from the Victoria Park Station

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

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

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

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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.

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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

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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 :

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Day 4 :

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

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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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The Rotman Patio Party – A Strategy Guide to Large Meetups

At last, a major Rotman event right here in Toronto with over 45 people from at least 10 different countries.

As I walked in, I was met with a fine assortment of people i knew from from previous meetups, from online interactions and complete strangers. Of course, at the end of the event, almost everyone was a familiar face.

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It can be intimidating meeting so many new people at once, so here is a quick strategy guide if you feel overwhelmed at large events :

  1. Look for the familiar faces first – They will help you get started and ease yourself as more introductions are made.
  2. Keep Moving – Sometimes you may get too comfortable in one spot around familiar people that you forget to meet anybody new. Step outside your comfort zone once in a while.
  3. Be approachable – Easier said than done. Remember, a genuine smile simply melts barriers.Standing in a corner with folded arms wont make it easy for people to talk to you.
  4. Break into groups – Getting into a smaller group of people in the midst of an engaging conversation is easier than it sounds. Make an effort to listen and people will automatically include you.
  5. Connect with people – These meetups are all about making connections and building relationships with your classmates.Have meaningful conversations to make lifelong friends.

As we draw closer to the Pre MBA courses, we will be sure to have more meetups and socials. We really do need them if we have to get to know all 350 (approximately) people in our batch.

More Socials – Iftar

One of our second years, Ahmed Assem organized an Iftar dinner on the 15th of July.

Another brilliant social event where the incoming batch got to learn more about Ramadan, meet with upper years and enjoy some delicious food.

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