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Why study business at the Rotman School - Q & A with Prof. Macklem

Prof. Tiff Macklem, Dean of Rotman School of Management, spoke to BrainGain Magazine about why the School is a great choice for business students.
BY Uma Asher |   04-08-2017
Rotman School of Management - University of Toronto

Prof. Tiff Macklem is the Dean of the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, Canada. Earlier this year, he spoke to BrainGain Magazine about the business studies programs at Rotman. He also discussed financial aid, scholarships and internship opportunities for students as well as the advantages of studying in a city like Toronto.

Edited excerpts from the conversation are below:

  • Could you tell us a bit about the full-time MBA at the Rotman School?

    Our full-time MBA program is very popular with Indian students. Just to give you a number – it’s a two-year program, each year we have 350 students. So, in this year’s MBA class, we have 64 students from India. That’s the biggest cohort, from a single country, of international students.

    In terms of the diversity of the classroom, it is a very international classroom. In this year’s class, 51% are international students. They come from 34 countries around the world.

    What they go on to do? Well, they go on to do all sorts of things. We’re a strong school in finance. We’re sitting in Toronto, which is a major financial centre. So, not surprisingly, a significant number move on to careers in finance. We place a lot of students also in consulting - McKinsey, BCG, KPMG, Deloitte, E&Y.

    We’re also placing increasing numbers of students in new ventures, new startups. Also in larger companies looking to create more innovation.

    The last thing I’d say though is that one of the things we’re seeing in the MBA program [is] the breadth of students coming in is increasing – engineering, life sciences, commerce, economics, social sciences. And with that broadening of intake, you’re also seeing a broader set of careers as people graduate.
  • How is the 8-month master’s degree in financial risk management different from the MBA?

    We’re very excited about this program. It’s off to a tremendously strong start. It takes about 50 students a year. And it’s an intense 8-month program on all the elements of financial risk management: credit risk, market risk, liquidity risk, operational risk. It also includes a two-month project with a financial institution on a risk management project.

    And what differentiates it from the MBA is – our MBA students, we require that they have a number of years of work experience. Our typical MBA students would have 4 years, 4-5 years, work experience.

    The Masters in Financial Risk Management is really designed for strong students coming straight out of their undergraduate education who want a further enriched experience. Some of them do have experience and we certainly will take students with some experience but it’s not a requirement in the same way it is for the MBA.
  • Do you offer financial support to international students?

    We have merit based scholarships. We have a couple that are full-freight and then it moves down from there. And I’ll be honest, it’s a competitive process. The very best students get the best scholarships.

    An important part of the program is [students] have an internship, they work at a company, they get well-paid. I can tell you employers love the opportunity to test out our students. And in many cases, it leads to a full-time job when they graduate.
  • Could you tell us a bit about the undergraduate program?

    We have a four-year Rotman Commerce program. A few things of note: first of all, Rotman is, for now 11 years in a row, Canada’s top-ranked business school. And it’s in Canada’s top-ranked university, the University of Toronto. One of the real strengths of the Rotman Commerce program is that students get the professional training of the Rotman business courses: accounting, finance, marketing, strategy.

    They also have the opportunity to get rich educational opportunities across the full range of the University of Toronto areas. So, you could supplement that with courses in computer science & psychology & creative arts. And often what you see in business is when you put together a couple of things – that’s when you can really create value and have an exciting career.

    The other thing I would stress about the program is that it is very international classroom, again, like our full-time MBA. Roughly 30% of the students are international students. They come from something like 37 countries around the world. And our faculty is very international – 70% of the faculty at Rotman has a non-Canadian dual passport. So, the faculty also comes from around the world.
  • How does the Rotman School help students find internships and jobs?

    A very important part of the value proposition of coming to a great business school is ending up with a very successful career. And your first job, your first internship is a part of that. So, we do have a dedicated career services, each program has a career services office. And, we certainly help students find internships, find full-time employment once they leave. And I’m pleased to say that UofT’s placement rate is very good.
  • Could you tell us a bit about the benefits of studying in Toronto?

    There are two elements of Toronto I’d really stress: the first one is that Toronto is a leading global city. And importantly, it is one of the most diverse, safest, most inclusive, multicultural cities in the world. And UofT is even more multicultural than Toronto. So, it is a very welcoming environment for international students. In fact, we have a large Indo-Canadian community in the greater Toronto area. Roughly half of Canada’s Indo-Canadian community is in the Greater Toronto area. That diversity we see as a real strength. It’s a strength for Canada. It’s a strength for University of Toronto. It’s a strength for Rotman.

    The second thing I would stress is that the Rotman School, UofT, is really very much at the centre of the city. And for a business school that’s tremendously valuable. Because the business is all around the university, it’s very easy to get businesses to come in, talk about their businesses, talk about their challenges, or just talk about their opportunities. That enriches the student experience.

    It also makes it easier to connect students with those internships and with those permanent jobs upon graduation. So, being at the heart of Canada’s leading city is a real advantage for our students.

Related stories:
'Almost one-third of our applications are from international students'  
8 Simple Steps to Obtaining a Canadian Study Permit
Rotman Makes the MBA Application Smarter



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