Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

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Building connections: An Executive MBA on empowering and showcasing powerful women in her industry

13 months to transform your career. Innovative courses. Globally recognized faculty. And the stimulating environment of Canada’s leading business school, in the heart of downtown Toronto.

Taya Cook, EMBA '20

  • Current job title: Director of Development, Urban Capital
  • Previous education: Honours Bachelor Science in Psychology, University of Toronto
  • Graduating Year: 2020

For Taya Cook, building connections was a highlight of her Executive MBA journey.


She had no doubt that by sharing such a transformational experience with a diverse cohort, she would leave the one-year program with a different view of the world than when she went in.


“One of the greatest gifts of the MBA is the opportunity to learn from your peers to gain a fresh perspective. The diversity in thought, circumstance, and life experiences that the cohort brings to the table will be as beneficial to your learning as anything else.”


“Take advantage of this dynamic, and engage in personal conversations as much as you can. This will serve you during your year at Rotman and for years to come.”

Rotman’s reputation as a globally recognized school, with a centrally located campus, was also a key decision-making factor for her when choosing a school from which to pursue her Executive MBA.


For Taya, one of the best things about Rotman was the focus on merging core academic foundations with extensive support for implementation in her career. Having worked in her profession for 16 years, she gained valuable insight from career services through one-on-one coaching this being the bright spot of her year.


“The one-on-one coaching helps everyone, whether you are seeking a career change, or satisfied in your current position.”

As the first employee hired at Urban Capital 16 years ago, Taya grew with a company that has become one of Canada’s top residential developers. Through this time, she was involved in every step of development including overseeing land acquisition, due diligence, legal, planning, sales, construction, and of course, delivery.


Rotman’s career services provided her with personalized insights and eye-opening advice. She knew that there was always someone who she could talk to and someone who was rooting for her.


Working as the company’s Director of Development, Taya spent her career in an industry surrounded by many great men, but noticeably few women. As a strong supporter of women in senior positions, her keen interest is to shake up the industry’s status quo.


While completing her Rotman Executive MBA, she announced the launch of Reina, the first project being designed and developed by an all-star team of women, with the goal of creating a platform to showcase women in development and to actively encourage others to enter the field.


“The weeks are long but the year is short. Enjoy every moment as it is over faster than you would believe.“

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