Elective courses at Rotman

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Elective courses

Elective course selection is a bidding process. This is same across most MBA. few elective courses are application based.  For example there are global consulting projects (where you work on a problem statement defined by a company mostly located outside Canada), Independent study project (where you work with professors on consulting engagements), and the best of all newly introduced this year is the Board of directors program ( where you will be serving in the board of a non-profit during the course).I applied for the board of directors program, got interviewed but sadly didn’t get it. But my friend who got it , said that it was a fantastic experience.

Elective courses are offered over summer and winter break as well as intesive format. You get to complete a course in 2 weeks. It might sound easy but its almost 8 hours everyday class on same topic with assignments (where you will spend rest of your day’s time -if you have). So its truly intensive.

I took 2 intensive courses because i knew i will be continuing at P&G part time. Also i wanted less course load in sep as my club activities get busier and on-campus job search kicks in. So when i started in sep 2014, i had just 3 courses (2 hrs on monday, 2 hrs on tuesday and 2 hrs on friday). P&G was really supportive of my course load and let me work during my own schedule.That’s how you make it possible to spend time with kids, attend classes, work part time and run a club.

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Summer internship

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wow, its been a year since i posted and guess what i am done with my MBA 🙂

This 2nd year has been truly fascinating and even more exciting. This was the time when i reflected on the learning , started thinking deep and put my learning into practice.

What more exciting can it be when my family was here with me, I was working part time, learning a lot from my favourite elective courses and also executing fantastic events at the BTG club.

Yeah you might have realised it, thats the main reason why i didnt have time to blog. Now that i have few more days before i begin my full time job, here you go. a series of blog post to follow

 

Summer internship

Not sure if i had mentioned before, I interned at P&G in their “simply put” tech innovation team. It was a great learning with them. A great company and the first company that i have ever seen where employees loved their company. over the summer i had seen 5 retirement parties and yes they all started as interns some 25-30 years ago. Wow, i can never imagine a company nowadays that can keep its employees that happy for such a long time. The best part of my internship was my manager let me explore. What more best environment you can get where you get paid working on your passions. I explored IoT strategies, Data analytics proposals, POCs, ran internal innovation forum, connected P&G to 5 different external innovation organisations, put in a proposal for UX strategy and finally now kickstarted machine learning project proposals.

Sounds like i had a fantastic time right? Yes thats true. I continued my work from summer till this month end in part time mode.

Thats one good thing about such internship. Few of my friends who worked at RBC did that too. As in continued working in part time mode till they finished the course. Few companies are ok with that , but you need to be convincing enough. School work in 2nd year is manageable if you pick right courses.

Wait, lets talk about internship scene first, many prospective students have dropped me mails regarding that and its good to clarify it here

1) Getting an internship is harder that getting a full time job. PERIOD. Reason being that , most employers dont have a clear internship startegy and hence 4 month internship isnt considered necessarily a value add for the company. its worth to mention here that UG programs have year long internship called co-op and hence most employers prefer that. My view is that this co-op thing might be one reason why employers dont value 4 month internship. Having said that most financial institutions, consulting firms have a clear internship strategy and hire at school. So those who come to campus for full time also come for internship. Almost 30-40% of the class got internship on-campus in our batch. Rotman site might have exact figures. Rest of them go offcampus and search on their own. few of them decide to complete course offered during summer and few go on international study tours

2) Not doing an internship isnt a negative sign for employers. If you are a career changer, then  yes internship definitely matters. How else would you convince an employer that you know finance when you background is in software development. If you are not a career changer, its still good to have a internship. My advise is to look for a gap in your resume and try to fill it or explore an area that you never did before. My junior year friend, did offcampus search, figure out she like data analysis, networked and finally now got an offer as data analyst for the summer. Offcampus search isnt that easy when it comes to internship. If companies dont have plan for internship, you need to have skills to convince them. Few of my friends worked for free with startups instead of doing nothing. Such experience is greatly valued. You might now have been confused, as i began this point stating it isnt a negative sign not to do an internship. Stating it again, employers dont call it a negative sign but if you had done some internship , that is a positive sign. So if on the table there are 2 resumes where you did say even a free internship and the other just didnt do anything over summer, in my opinion,( from what i have seen) , your resume will be picked first for review. So its not a “make or break deal” here but just gives a “little more” preference

Capstone project- the best learning so far

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And I am back!. Toronto looks really beautiful. Watching black and white colors of nature like in 1940s  movies for past several months, it feels bliss to see colorful Toronto. I have been told that this was the worst and longest winter in past 20 years. And that feels encouraging because it means it cant get worse than this.

See that for yourself. view outside my window ( and that building nearby is Robarts Library)

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Entrepreneurship at Rotman

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Finally a post on entrepreneurship. One of the main reasons to do my MBA was to learn skills , build friendship with like minded people and one day, make my entrepreneurial dream into reality . My career started in a startup, working literally in a garage. We failed and then I moved on. But that dream still remains. Having reached at cross roads where one needs to make choice of the future, a wise decision I made was to do MBA. Many had asked me , how would an MBA teach  entrepreneurship? You cant learn entrepreneurship in class, rather you need to learn it by doing it. Here is this post for those dreamers who want to make a dent in the universe and not sure if an MBA would help them. Continue reading

Got into Rotman, now what?

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I have had few chats, emails from the admitted batch of International students . Thought I would share my perspective

I have been admitted. As an International student what should I be prepared for?
Congrats. Welcome to Rotman.
One common pitfall is that international students dont research well about the job market. Focus on what you wanted to do after MBA and start researching in Canadian jobsites on where is the right job, pay, market size etc.
Some people think that 2 yrs is a good time to decide what to do. That I see as completely wrong in our context. Canadian job market is small compared to US, also your peers are highly competitive as well. So if one isn’t focused on what you want to do, they will feel lost during intern-ship season.