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Convocation 2018: the Rotman School’s newest grads on new careers, confidence and making life-long connections

June 18, 2018

Master of Financial Risk Management Grad Rae WangWhether they are embarking on new careers or starting their first full-time roles, the graduating class of 2018 is enjoying a warm and celebratory send-off by the Rotman community.

In total, 600 students (including 295 from the Full-Time MBA program, 22 from the JD/MBA, four from the MGA/MBA, four from the Skoll BASc/MBA, 48 from the Morning MBA, 48 from the Evening MBA, 64 from the EMBA, 21 from the GEMBA, 34 from the MFin, 59 from the MFRM, and finally, one PhD student) officially graduated on June 18, 2018. Many of these grads are headed off to exciting roles at major institutions, including Amazon, Bain, CIBC, Deloitte, Estée Lauder, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft Foods, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble and RBC.

A good portion of the graduating class was on hand at the ceremony where honorary degree recipient Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England and former Governor of the Bank of Canada, offered some advice to the School’s newest graduates.

“Be flexible and adventurous in your career choices, particularly as you begin. Pick opportunities that give you a chance to learn new things and grow as a person,” advised Carney. “Think of every job or opportunity as a potential investment in yourself.”

Leaving with life-long connections and confidence

For most Rotman graduates, convocation is a bittersweet occasion. Though there is a definite sense of pride and relief resonating throughout the day’s festivities — which includes a Rotman-wide breakfast, the convocation ceremony and other program-specific receptions — graduates know that this day is one of the last times they will be gathering with their classmates and professors in one space.

A grateful Alanna Rodgers (MBA ’18) reflects on the number of connections and friendships she made during her time in the Full-Time MBA program.

“I’m leaving here knowing that there is a cohort of people who I can count on and who can count on me.”

-Alanna Rodgers, MBA ’18

“I’m still a bit surprised by the depth of the connections that I formed as a student here,” explains Rodgers. “I’m leaving here knowing that there is a cohort of people who I can count on and who can count on me. It’s not even something any of us would question.”

Rodgers, who came to Rotman with a strong professional record of operating a successful tourism company in the Bahamas, is excited to hit the ground running in management consulting when she starts a new role at Bain in the Fall.

“I’m hoping to keep the momentum of the Rotman experience going,” she says. “The School has prepared us for how to think through challenges in the world through models and frameworks and apply them in very dynamic and meaningful settings.”

Starting out for the first time

While many students are excited about embarking on a new career, several Rotman grads are eager to make their mark in finance and business for the first time.

Since completing the Master of Financial Risk Management program at Rotman last month, Rae Wang (MFRM ’18) has been working as an investment risk analyst with OPTrust, a pension fund based in Toronto.

“My advice to the next class is to get to know everyone and take a moment to really enjoy the time.”

-Rae Wang, MFRM ’18

“I’m becoming much more knowledgeable about capital markets and different risk instruments. It’s been very exciting,” says Wang.

The transition from student to working professional has been smooth for her. It helps that Wang was familiar with her employer before starting the job. She worked with OPTrust for her industry project — an eight week component of the MFRM program, where students step out of the classroom and into an organization to tackle a real-world financial risk management problem.

Convocation day, and finishing the MFRM in general, has been a much-anticipated moment for Wang and her classmates.

“It has been an intense eight months,” says Wang. “But in those months I met and worked with so many new people, including classmates, professors, career advisors and academic advisors. My advice for the next class is to get to know everyone and take a moment to really enjoy the time.” Trust Book Cover

By Rebecca Cheung | Photos by Yana Kaz