Rotman School of Management

Main Content

Showing young women and girls that they belong in finance

December 13, 2017

Ashley Warburton, MFin 2017On a recent November day at the Rotman School, Ashley Warburton (MFin ’17) felt inspired. Around her were more than 350 young women, students from high schools across the city, who had come for the Women in Capital Markets (WCM) 2017 SheBiz Toronto conference.

That day, Warburton, who co-hosted the event on behalf of WCM, saw students chat with professionals in finance and STEM fields, as well as MBA and female undergraduate students. The young women competed in trading and capital markets games and engaged in discussions about opportunities in engineering, finance and business.


“Girls need to be fully aware of the opportunities that are open to them. They can achieve success in their careers if they speak up for what they want, have a direction and aren’t afraid to go after opportunities.”

— Ashley Warburton (MFin ’17), Senior Manager, RBC Global Asset Management


It was uplifting to watch. And it seemed like Warburton, who is a senior manager of portfolio solutions at RBC Global Asset Management and a recent graduate of the Master of Finance (MFin) program, had come full circle.

“I’ve had some phenomenal managers, mentors and professors who have really pushed me to strive for the next level,” she describes. “I wanted to share some of the lessons I’d learned and pay forward some of the support I had received.”

“Girls need to be fully aware of the opportunities that are open to them. They can achieve success in their careers if they speak up for what they want, have a direction and aren’t afraid to go after opportunities.”

Leading by example

Warburton lives by the same advice she provides to others. After earning her CFA charter and steadily progressing into senior roles in finance, she set her sights on an MFin degree.

“The world of finance is rapidly evolving and I understood that an academic program would give me the deeper knowledge I craved as well as the confidence to engage in richer conversations on different areas of finance and investing,” says Warburton.

The program at Rotman was an ideal fit. The classes helped fill in the gaps with the more technical aspects of her work, especially around investment strategies and risk management. The regular class presentations also helped her refine how she communicated those concepts.


“Looking back on these past few years, they have been busy and exhausting and challenging — but this experience has given me a chance to see what I was capable of.”

— Ashley Warburton (MFin ’17), Senior Manager, RBC Global Asset Management


Outside the classroom, she welcomed other professional development opportunities offered at the School. She was one of two MFin students selected for the Rotman Mentoring Program for Financial Service Professionals, and was paired with the vice chairman of investment banking at RBC Capital Markets as her mentor. As the MFin student representative on the Rotman Financial Services Advisory Board, she had the opportunity to sit down with several senior executives from various financial institutions, and listen to their insights on the future of finance and factors driving the industry.

During this busy time, she did not lose sight of her personal priorities. While completing the program, she also gave birth to her first son, Anders. With time management and childrearing support from her husband, she was able to continue her studies without interruption.

“Looking back on these past few years, they have been busy and exhausting and challenging — but this experience has given me a chance to see what I was capable of,” she says.

“My advice for anyone who might be concerned about juggling work, life and school: do not hold back. Life is short and there’s so much that you can accomplish.”

Paying it forward

Now, having graduated from the MFin program and having returned back to work full-time, she’s thinking a bit more about how she can share all that she’s learned.


“Do not hold back. Life is short and there’s so much that you can accomplish.”

— Ashley Warburton (MFin ’17), Senior Manager, RBC Global Asset Management


Through her work with WCM, as co-chair of the high school liaison committee and a member of their steering committee, she plans to help young women learn about the opportunities available to them. Her efforts include helping organize a buddy program that pairs high school students with female undergraduates. This way, young girls can learn more about how to pursue studies in STEM and finance fields. Additionally, she and others are busy organizing a case competition in 2018 that will teach young women about finance and markets.

“I think it helps having someone tap you on the shoulder, encouraging you to think about your next steps,” she says. “I want to be someone that can support younger people and give them the confidence to drive their careers forward.”


By Rebecca Cheung | More Student Stories »

About Ashley WarburtonMFin 2017

Hometown

Hometown

Toronto, Ontario

Class

Class year

MFin ’17

Industry

Industry

Finance/Banking

Job Title

Current Position

Senior Manager, Portfolio Solutions, RBC Global Asset Management

Previous Work Experience

Previous Employment

  • Senior Product Manager, Dynamic Funds
  • Senior Analyst, TD Wealth Management
  • Manager, Sales Support and Reward & Recognition, TD Canada Trust
Previous Education

Previous Education

Bachelor of Arts Honours (Applied Economics)
Queen’s University
Kingston, ON


Master of Finance - click here to learn more
© Rotman School of ManagementAASCB