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Real Humans of Rotman’s MBA Class of 2020

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“The need for change is real, and the blueprints are already in process. One of the most distinctive blueprints being developed is at the Rotman School.” – Lane Wallace, The New York Times

The University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management has staked a claim as one of Canada’s top-tier business schools with a diverse student population that reflects Toronto’s mélange of global cultures.

As a world-renowned institution that has cultivated business leaders since 1950, one might expect Rotman’s programs to have a rarefied air around them—keen to preserve the past at the expense of finding new ways to address today’s most pressing business challenges. Quite the contrary—Rotman is a hub for innovation that trains students how to take risks and think in terms of the big picture.

Rotman aims to equip its students with the skills and experiences they need to accelerate their careers as high-value decision makers and business leaders. Two cornerstones of the program are the Self-Development Lab, which helps student develop self-awareness and interpersonal skills, and the Flexible Internship program, which offers work placement opportunities for students to apply those skills during the second year of their MBAs.

Rotman has also cultivated a reputation as a school at the vanguard of diversity and inclusion in the field. The Behavioural Economics in Action at Rotman (BEAR) Center examines social and economic issues using a behavioral science lens, researching biases in order to develop better products, designs, and programs that benefit people. Rotman’s Institute for Gender and the Economy (GATE) seeks to advance student understanding of gender dynamics in the economy by training students to use gender analysis to identify opportunities in the field.

Rotman’s personalized approach has attracted candidates from across the world and its study abroad opportunities are an opportunity to return the favor. Rotman currently offers exchange programs at 24 partner universities in 17 countries, including China, Germany, and Switzerland.

Rotman seeks creativity and diversity in its applicants. Each year, the school requests applicant videos and asks candidates to share their “spike factor” or what have you done in your life that demonstrates Passion, Grit, Resilience, Innovation, Drive, Ambition and more.

There are 334 students who make up the Class of 2020, which is just a hair shy of the 350 in the Class of 2019. Fifty-one percent of the student body is comprised of international students who represent 39 countries and 23 different languages. One of the major selling points for international applicants is the fact that MBA graduates are eligible for three-year Canadian work visas. The student body is 36 percent female, which represents a four percent decline from the previous year.

In terms of preparation, the largest percentage of students—32 percent—previously studied engineering and applied science. Business/commerce was second in terms of undergraduate majors at 27 percent. The next three largest fields of previous study were economics at 12 percent, social sciences at 11 percent, and life sciences at nine percent.

Regarding professional experience, the average student in the Class of 2020 arrived at Rotman with 4.6 years of prior experience in their field. In terms of field, the largest percentage come from the financial services field. The next largest field is consulting at 10 percent.

Rotman students arrive primed for success, with plenty of real-world experience they can apply to their education. Rotman 2018 Employment Report shows 91 percent of Full-time MBA graduates were employed within six months of graduation, earning a mean base salary of $92,734. While every student has their own reasons for moving to Toronto, we got a chance to chat with five unique individuals from the Class of 2020 to learn about their “spike factor” and what led them to choose Rotman.

Jonathan Pfeffer
Jonathan Pfeffer joined the Clear Admit and MetroMBA teams in 2015 after spending several years as an arts/culture writer, editor, and radio producer. In addition to his role as Contributing Writer at MetroMBA and Contributing Editor at Clear Admit, he was also a co-founder of the Clear Admit MBA Admissions Podcast. He holds a BA in Film/Video, Ethnomusicology, and Media Studies from Oberlin College.