Rotman MBA - Misconception, Self-Development Lab and Curriculum

Rotman MBA Interview with Admission TeamIn the first part of the Interview with Atul Jose (Editor, F1GMAT), Niki da Silva, the Managing Director of Rotman’s Full-Time MBA Program, shares the common misconception about the full-time MBA program, the motivation behind the self-development Lab and the curriculum structure of Rotman Full-time MBA

What is the biggest misconception about Rotman Full-time MBA?

Our proximity to downtown Toronto provides so many benefits for our students to build their network and connect directly with alumni and organizations.  This may create the misconception that all Rotman grads are “Bay Street bound” for traditional management consulting and investment banking roles.  One of the benefits of a relatively large class size (intake of 350) is that we certainly do have students targeting these highly sought after post-MBA roles, but, we also have students pursuing start-ups, technology, healthcare, innovation, real estate, and many others industries and functions. The diversity of our class definitely shows up with a broad range of post-MBA roles, and the common theme is that our grads have a real desire to make a difference and have an impact wherever their career takes them.  

Self-Development Lab looks interesting. How did the lab come to existence?

The Self-Development Lab (SDL) story is that the Lab was the creation of our current Vice-Dean of Innovation, Professor Mihnea Moldoveanu. His vision was to create a space for MBA students to develop their leadership capabilities and address the gap in ‘leadership presence’ that is difficult to cultivate in traditional classrooms.  He built a number of completely optional labs and launched these as non-credit experiences back in 2011.  Labs include: Voicing Yourself, Self-Management, Business Writing, Presentations, Presence, Integrative Dialogues and Real-Time Business Problem Framing and content is delivered in small teams and feedback is individual, highly personal, specific and timely from both Faculty and peers.

Word of mouth on the tremendous value of this Lab spread quickly, and the SDL has been in such high demand that we have expanded the offering to include a second-year experience, the Weider Leadership Development Lab (LDL).  The LDL follows the same developmental and personalized, feedback-intensive philosophy that exists in the SDL.  The second year Program builds on critical concepts such as accountability, responsibility, initiative, self-discipline, and self-determination.   Both Labs offer tremendous value to our MBA students in supporting their personal leadership development and transformation – a critical part of the MBA journey.   

Finance and Strategy/Consulting seem to be the most popular post-MBA job functions for Rotman MBA students. How is the curriculum designed to help applicants develop the required skills?

These are some of our most popular post-MBA roles, and the entire experience is designed to support skill development for these roles as well as the numerous other interests of our students.  

The support starts at the point of admission where our Career Centre plays an integral role in the admissions process, and we think deeply about whether we believe we can support candidates achieving career success as they define it.  Part of the Admissions interview includes a candid conversation about career goals and what specific challenges/opportunities each candidate may have targeting these industries.  

The Rotman curriculum has a reputation for rigor that is considered very positively as the intellectual horsepower required to be successful in top finance/strategy roles is well aligned with a rigorous Program experience.

Beyond the Core Program, our students can pursue majors in Consulting and Investment Banking furthering their specific industry knowledge and building deep relationships with our Faculty who are not only experts in these fields, but well connected.  

Our unique Flexible Internship structure opens up the possibility of pursuing these roles in either the summer, fall, or winter term of the second year with the additional value offering by an experienced mentor to coach and support the internship experience. Our students received individual career coaching, and they are paired with their coach based on industry expertise (finance or strategy in this case) and work with them prior to starting at Rotman and throughout the duration of the Program.

In addition to this resource, additional coaching and skill development is offered with the support of the Career Centre (i.e. Case prep interviews for consulting or modeling workshops for Finance). The final supporting component that weaves into all of the above is Student Clubs. The Rotman Finance Association and Management Consulting Association are two of our biggest clubs and the support from 2nd-year students, and club resources (including alumni engagement) play an integral role in the careers ecosystem.  

Self-Development Lab
Rotman MBA Curriculum Overview

About Niki da Silva

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