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Full-Time MBA ’19 students get to know Rotman

For Full-Time MBA students, some of their most memorable days at Rotman happen before classes even begin.

Every year, during Program Kickoff days, students are introduced to their fellow classmates, the Rotman community and Toronto. This year, the Full-Time MBA Class of 2019 found themselves running around the city on a scavenger hunt, enjoying a boat cruise and trying their hand at cooking at the community kitchen at Scadding Court Community Centre — before setting off for a weekend at Rotman Orientation Camp in the Muskoka region.

In addition to the fun and games, many of which were organized by a team of second-year MBA students, these students also completed a course on ethics, as well as sessions on how to orient teams for success and facilitate diversity and inclusion.

And the MBA ’19 students were up for all of it.

“This is a remarkable class,” says Niki da Silva, Managing Director of the Full-Time MBA program. “They’ve really gone above and beyond to reach out to one another over the summer and create a community, even before setting foot on campus. It’s exciting to welcome such an engaged and talented group to Rotman.”

The Class of 2019 also knows how to get things done. This incoming class is comprised of professional athletes, aeronautical engineers, physicians, lawyers, finance professionals and specialists from various other industries. Many of the 350 students have established or managed companies or served on boards. They’ve come to Toronto from all over the world — including the U.S., the Philippines, Brazil and Russia. And women make up 40 per cent of this class.


"At some of the other business schools I’ve visited, you can sense the feeling of competition upfront. At Rotman, it’s a bit different. Everyone has been willing to contribute and work together."

-Shan Huang (MBA ’19)


The diversity and immediate sense of community struck Shan Huang (MBA’19), who hails from New York, where she was working in film production. During her next two years at Rotman, she’s hoping to strengthen her skills and knowledge in business modeling and management.

“At some of the other business schools I’ve visited, you can sense the feeling of competition upfront. At Rotman, it’s a bit different. Everyone has been willing to contribute and work together,” she says.

In addition to bonding with their classmates, MBA ’19 students were also introduced to the numerous supports available to them at the School. The students met with their career coaches and learned more about the resume and interview preparation resources available to them through the Career Centre. Professors Maja Djikic and Mihnea Moldoveanu spoke about how the School’s Self-Development Lab could teach students how to handle difficult conversations and improve their overall communications skills.

“Even though we’ve just heard a bit about the Lab, I’ve already learned so much and I know that their services will be extremely helpful,” says Sarah Badun (MBA ’19).

Badun, who was the overall winner of the 2017 Rotman Problem Solving Challenge — an annual event where incoming Full-Time MBA candidates must use model-based approaches to solving a real-world challenge — has worked in financial services for the past five years. She’s interested in improving her financial acumen and leadership skills through the MBA.


"For our incoming students, this is just the beginning of a life-changing journey…Everyone at Rotman is looking forward to seeing them through these next two years and the years after."

-Neel Joshi, Director of Student Life and International Experience at Rotman


Hala Sharkas

“I know that the School is going to offer a transformative experience,” she says. “I think we’re all excited and anxious to start the program and get the ball rolling.” Fellow student Hala Sharkas (MBA ’19) is also looking forward to starting classes.

Sharkas, who has worked in management consulting for the past four past years, moved from Dubai to pursue her MBA at Rotman. She’s excited about further developing her communications skills and expanding her knowledge of emerging trends in business over the next two years.

She’s also eager to explore the city.

“When I was applying to business schools, I knew that I needed to consider the city I’d be moving to,” says Sharkas. “Toronto made sense. There are so many different industries and professional opportunities here. And it’s been easy to settle into such a diverse and friendly place.”

These new Rotman students also had a chance to meet with other members of the Rotman community, including recent graduates, older alumni, faculty and the Program Services Office.

“For our incoming students, this is just the beginning of a life-changing journey,” Neel Joshi, Director of Student Life and International Experience at Rotman. “Everyone at Rotman is looking forward to seeing them through these next two years and the years after.”


Written by Rebecca Cheung

Learn more about the Full-Time MBA program
Class profile 2019
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