With the first intensive practicum sprint ending and all of us completely indulged in presenting our progress on our projects in an in-depth fashion through internal presentations with the host companies and a brief 5-minute version of the same for the external presentation day, we get a message from Rotman titled "New Alumni Kick-off" and it hits us—we're already past the halfway checkpoint in the program! Was it exciting that we were headed into the last term of the program and would be applying the knowledge acquired in the tools term to real-world business scenarios? Yes. Was it scary that we were closer to finishing the program and had just been in person at Rotman for a mere three months? Also, yes.
The Managerial Uses of Analytics term
This term began with a fun sports analytics case competition organized to allow us to bond with our new team members. We got back to class to start the term with amazing Rotman merch on our tables, and this collection was further augmented by more merch given out by the Graduate Business Council. They call it the Applications Term because we apply the tools to real-world scenarios through four courses: Optimizing Supply Chain Management, Analytics for Marketing Strategy, Leveraging AI in Marketing, and Analytical Insights using Accounting and Financial Data. The way Professor Andre is now practically best friends with each MMA student, having in-person speaker sessions with industry leaders such as Pamela Steer and David Adams and learning Hadoop and Customer Relationship Management from professionals who are at the top of their field as a part of the Management Analytics colloquia—this term is jam-packed with fun learning!
Personally, I believe there's much more to the entire grad school experience than just academics; extracurriculars are precisely where I invest most of my time.
What is it like being the Social Rep and an MMA Ambassador?
Facilitating and conducting events is my primary responsibility as the Social Representative of the MMA 2022 cohort, and the months of February and March witnessed many events. The MMA and MFRM programs work closely together, primarily because both programs are shorter than other graduate programs at Rotman. The MMA x MFRM Virtual Casino Night was one of the joint events organized by both program services, and the experience was just as good as playing Blackjack in person in a casino with your friends. If you're lucky and gamble well, you might also win gift cards as I did!
The class visited the Aga Khan Museum in early March to learn about other cultures and promote inclusion and diversity. This initiative was the ODI Rep's idea, and we could not have asked for a better outreach and diversity event!
Mid-March, the MMAs turned in their assignments before breathing a sigh of relief during the MMA days—two additional days sandwiching a weekend where we get to relax before we begin the second intensive practicum sprint for the remainder of the month. I knew I had to organize a social before we went back to school in April, and the weekend falling mid-sprint was just the right time! I appreciated people taking the time to meet their peers, talk (read as 'rant') about their practicums, and eat their problems away:
During this period all program ambassadors, including myself, attended MMA Interview Day to welcome the prospective MMA students. We talk to them about our personal experiences in the program and help them to clear their doubts and make an informed decision by bringing to light everything that Rotman has to offer. Picking the right program and the right grad school is a pivotal decision in an individual's life—financially, academically, professionally. The idea of taking time out to help others, especially to give back to this community that has helped me grow, has always resonated with me. In the same way that past MMA students helped me before my matriculation, I welcomed additional virtual coffee chats with a few candidates who had gotten their offer but still had questions.
The highlight of my grad school experience: Rotman clubs!
The primary reason I chose the MMA program at Rotman was that it was a technical program but offered by a business school, and every business school experience is incomplete without active participation in student clubs.
Joining student clubs at Rotman has been the best thing about attending grad school, and my heart ached a little during these months seeing all club events and activities coming to an end for this academic year.
The final industry night of the year, organized by the Entertainment and Media Association and Rotman Sports Business Association, came in February. It was surreal that I got to converse with people working in the entertainment and media industry that I have revered for a very long time, including industry professionals working at Walk Disney and Sony Pictures. The clubs mentioned above also hosted the Evolution of Sports and Entertainment Conference that covered topics including Effective Marketing Tactics in Sports and Entertainment and Leveraging Analytics in the World of Sports. They ended the academic year with a bang!
I don't generally do favourites, but I have to make an exception for the Rotman Marketing Association (RMA). Alongside the Rotman Beer Association and Rotman Sales Club, the RMA had a case competition in March for a local brewery. Working on a real-world case for a company established by a Rotman alum in Toronto gave me great insights into what working in consulting and brand management would look like. These case comps are also an excellent opportunity to connect with fellow students from other programs and expand your network. If this weren't enough, all competition participants were given free beer cans in school to get us in the right spirit and I had never thought that I would be tasting beer for the first time because of a business school competition! Another thing about the RMA is the workshops they conduct throughout the year, the last one being a 4-hour Brand Management Bootcamp organized with CPG Camp (spoiler: they also gave out DoorDash vouchers to the attendees).
In March, many other clubs also had case competitions before the MBAs finished their term.
Networking and the job hunt
Early in the program, while I was exploring potential career pathways, I fell in love with consulting, and through the workshops and industry night chats by the Management Consulting Association (MCA), I realized I could also be good at it. I understood that I would be the happiest in a consulting practice that has more to do with marketing analytics and less to do with coding. Hence, I started doing what they'll ask you to do from day one and repeat it ad infinitum: networking. A few pieces of advice I'll hold on to forever that I received while talking to people include "Network efficiently, not aggressively" and "People look for good people because skills can be taught, but you cannot teach someone to have an amiable personality." During my Gibbens-Lassonde dinner with Mona Shah, I asked about dealing with trepidation while taking the road less taken, to which I was told that everything would fall into place provided I stay true to who I am and what I want. I did just that.
I connected with an alum to talk about his work and team at Omnia AI at Deloitte, which is a natural fit for all MMAs because our AI program is recognized by the Vector Institute. However, he felt that my interests strongly resonated with the work being done by another team at Deloitte and helped me connect with them. A few coffee chats and interviews later, I landed a full-time position as an Analyst in the Advertising, Marketing & Commerce practice at Deloitte Consulting, and this role checked all the boxes! But, none of this would have materialized had I not spoken to the alumni working at Deloitte who gave me a referral, had I not been vocal about my interests and kept my mind open to options other than data science roles which most of my peers are interested in, had I not joined the clubs that genuinely helped me understand my passion. Receiving case prep material and support from the MCA and RMA, practicing cases and polishing behavioural interview questions with club execs and friends from the MMA and the MBA programs, and troubling Diana (our MMA Career Consultant) every week to update her about everything I do and to get her views on my approach helped me massively along with constant self-practice and studying. Do you see one common thing binding all these factors together?
At every step I had people to support and help me—that is the very essence of Rotman, a robust and supportive community of people. It's why I strongly believe in staying active and contributing to the community: to give back.
It's the first week of April and submissions are waiting to greet us on campus. With only a month of classes remaining before we appear for our finals and wind up the academic part of the MMA program, the finish line is almost visible. This is when the program's intensity goes up. We have another colloquium, the speaker series continues, we finish certifications as a part of the Certification Reimbursement program, have another social, and we keep having coffee chats to expand our networks. Sound like a lot? That is Rotman and the Master of Management Analytics program, and we're in the endgame now.
The Master of Management Analytics is designed to give students the advanced data management, analytics, and communication skills needed to become an analytics professional.