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Together, at last: Rotman celebrates the Class of 2022 at Convocation Hall

June 23, 2022

For the first time in two years, it was time to roll out the Rotman pink carpet outside of Convocation Hall.

Rotman Staff cheeting

Rotman staff cheer on the graduating class of 2022

Rotman students had the opportunity to celebrate their convocation in-person this week with classmates, faculty, staff, family and friends by their side. This spring, 503 students graduated from the Full-Time MBA, Morning/Evening MBA, Executive MBA, Master of Finance, PhD and Global Executive MBA for Healthcare and the Life Sciences programs.

“Your class will be remembered for your engagement, inclusive spirit and the grace with which you adapted to rapidly changing learning environments,” said Dean Susan Christoffersen to the new graduates.

“All of us in the Rotman community will be cheering you on as you take the world by storm.”

Vera Chai (MFin ’22) started the program just three months after she gave birth to her child.

Vera Chai (MFin ’22)

“Being a working mom is hard, but being a working mom while pursuing a master’s degree is even harder. It requires endurance, stamina and a strong work ethic,” said Chai, who was chosen by her class as this year’s Master of Finance valedictorian.

Beyond immersing herself in new courses — her favourite being the applied portfolio management course — it was learning her classmates’ life stories and cultivating new friendships that inspired her the most.

“This program changed my attitude towards networking. I now welcome it as a great opportunity to learn, to meet new friends and to embrace diversity,” said Chai.

“The MFin class of 2022 are warriors and pioneers. We were one of the first groups to test out the dual channel course delivery mode, host online industry events, case competitions and networking sessions. In this virtual environment, we were still able to build a strong and cohesive community.”

For Bilal Habib (Morning/Evening MBA ’22), self-confidence is the greatest thing he’s gained from his MBA experience.

Bilal Habib (Morning/Evening MBA ’22)

“My classmates helped me learn a lot about myself, what I’m good at, what I need to work on and how to strive for more,” says Habib, this year’s valedictorian for the Morning/Evening MBA class.

“They’ve empowered me as a leader and given me the room to make and correct my mistakes. When you’re entrusted to lead by highly intelligent and talented people, it’s hard for that to not affect the confidence you have in yourself and your abilities.”

He recalls being taken aback by how welcoming and non-judgmental the class was, instead fostering a community that celebrates vulnerability.

“When I first started the program, I was worried I wouldn’t be able to fully be myself — that I’d have to present a reduced version of myself to fit in. This couldn’t have been further from the truth,” Habib said.

“We shared things about ourselves that got at the core of who we are as people, and where we want to be in the future. It made us see each other in a different light and I’m grateful to have been a part of it.”

No, you’re not seeing double. Nishul and Nakul Juneja (MBA ’22) are identical twins graduating together this year from the Full-Time MBA program. Earlier this month, they shared how they’re paving their own paths after graduation, with Nishul joining Amazon full-time while Nakul explores a career in consulting.

Nishul and Nakul Juneja (MBA ’22)

“We’re now entering a world where everything has changed, and we have the right skillset to succeed in this new world,” said Nishul. For Nakul, it's the warm and welcoming community he found in Toronto and at Rotman that made an impact on him as an international student.

“It’s the most familiar unfamiliar place you’ll ever see. Your classmates are there for you. The school is there for you,” he says.

“It might take some time to get used to things, especially for folks who are more reserved, but once you’re here, you’ll see that there are opportunities for everyone.”

Just in time for convocation, more than 50 Rotman alumni shared personal messages to the Class of 2022.

Here are some of their notes of inspiration:

“Managing your time, new subjects, so much reading, many new friends and activities is no easy feat — but what a privilege. Take what you've gotten out of the program and keep looking for ways to give back to make the world a better place. You'll be repaid for your kindness 100x over in so many ways.”

Joanna Kirke (MBA ’08), President and Leadership Developer, Kirke Leadership Inc. 

“Congratulations to you all on this significant milestone. The journey towards positively changing the world occurs over many steps. You’ve just completed a significant one, upwards and onwards!”

Dan Lamothe (EMBA ’17), Senior Manager, Scotiabank

“Congrats Class of 2022! I would like to recognize particularly those who may have struggled (perhaps you had to repeat a course, as I did), those still unsure of their final destination, or those still wondering if they belong among these ranks. You did it! Your story and success are far from over.”

Spencer Yasui (MBA ’08), Consultant, Deloitte