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Real Humans of Rotman’s MBA Class of 2020

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Sofia Gomez de Silva Sosa, Rotman MBA Class of 2020

Sofia Gomez de Silva Sosa, Rotman MBA Class of 2020

Age: 28
Hometown: Mexico City, Mexico
Undergraduate Institution and Major Tecnologico de Monterrey, B.S. in Business Informatics
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 3.5 years in Government/Pension Funds

Why business school? Why now?
After working in two large-scale technology projects in the Pension Industry, I recognized the potential of fintech to promote financial inclusion and restore trust of consumers in their financial institutions. However, I needed to gain some tools to make the transition from a government regulator of technology to a promoter of innovation; mainly by being surrounded by a community that enables learning, collaboration and innovation. Business school was the optimal choice.

Why Rotman? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
Location was a decisive factor. Canada has had a long reputation of financial stability and Toronto is the commercial and financial capital of the country with headquarters of the largest banks; furthermore, Toronto has become a hub for top-of-the-art technology in big data, AI and mobility.

Due to my interest in fintech, all of this made it the ideal city to prototype fintech solutions, and Rotman was a natural choice, with initiatives like its Rotman FinHub and the Creative Destruction Lab both providing entrepreneurs and scholars the tools for collaboration in business technology ventures.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2020?
In a section of 70 people, sometimes it takes one person to ask an odd question or offer a controversial opinion to start a lively discussion, and that has been my main contribution so far.

Fun fact that didn’t get included on your application?
I have a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and this fact came out in my interview, to which the recruiter strongly argued I should have put it in my résumé. I dismissed the comment answering that I got it so long ago I didn’t think it was relevant. She disagreed and wrote it on her notes of my application.

Post-MBA career interests?
For now, I want to build financial technology in the banking industry; in the long term, I believe much work can be done using collaborative business models with blockchain technologies.

Advice to current prospective applicants:

–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
You have to be authentic, whether you have a clear career path or you have no idea what you want to do, but truly believe a Rotman MBA is the way to go, you have to be authentic. You have to show it in your essays, in your video, and in your interview. So be sure to get to know yourself, don’t try to think about what Rotman wants; know who you are and that is what you can offer to the Rotman community.

–One thing you would change or do differently?
While I was awaiting my offer of admission, I talked to some students about their experience and I was extremely grateful that they would take time from their busy schedules to answer some of my questions about the program.

I wish I had talked with them more often, but I felt they were doing it as a favor to the recruitment team and had nothing to gain from it, so I would just be wasting their time. Yet, since day one, I’ve been hearing all around the Rotman building, second-years offering their contact information to help out first years in any questions they have no matter their busy schedule.

–Part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
The video I prepared and prepared for every possible question I could be asked and, at the moment of recording, I was so focused on my facial expressions, tone of voice, keeping up with the time… now I can’t remember what was the question asked or even if I answered it or not.

What is your initial impression of Rotman’s students/culture/community?
People will go out of their way to help out. When you ask for directions they don’t signal where to go, they will walk you there. Second-years and alumni will offer their contact information to a room of 350 people, and they truly hope that you will call them for a coffee chat.

One thing you have learned about Rotman that has surprised you?
I should have known it before, but I didn’t realized how important this was until I came to Rotman. This is not a ‘business school,’ it is a management school. This is a guiding value that you won’t find in the Rotman website, but it is immersive in every class, every lesson, and every interaction with the Rotman community.

I realized this in our orientation, where instead of a case competition, we had a case learning experience where, in collaboration with McKinsey & the city of Toronto, we came up with strategies to reduce poverty while working with non-profit clients.

Thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
Recruiting for internships. Companies are coming up so fast you feel like you are already behind from day one. But we have a great support team, from our classmates, second-years and coaches, everyone is there to make reassure you.

Thing you are most excited about in your first year?
I’m excited about the club events! We just started kick-off events, hearing about all the great activities the second-year students have planned for us including treks, panels, and case competitions. For the next two years, I think no two days will be the same!

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.