Rotman School of Management

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Flexible Internship Program

As a professional school, career preparation for employment is part of the core academic mission at Rotman. The Flexible Internship Program (FIP) increases the number of available work placement opportunities and enhances the learning experience for Full-Time MBA students by integrating the work placement into a formal course.

The Flexible Internship Program allows students to put theory into practice by deepening their foundational knowledge in management and business concepts through thoughtful reflection, coaching, and feedback. Students learn to apply core management ideas, models, data, and theories learned in the classroom during their first year core MBA curriculum in real time during their work replacement. 

Flexible Work Placement Terms

Traditionally, the majority of Rotman Full-Time MBA students have completed their degree by taking two terms of courses, followed by a summer internship, and then two more terms of courses. The Flexible Internship Program expands the flexibility of internship work placement and the new associated course to be undertaken at any time after the first year during the summer, fall, or winter terms. The total time to complete the program remains the same as before. The responsibility for finding an internship opportunity and successfully securing employment lies with each student.

Required Work Placement Course

The Flexible Internship Program requires students to complete a work placement course in conjunction with their internship. Assessment and feedback takes place during and after the work placement course. It is preceded by introductory lectures to prepare students for their experience and followed by individual and group de-briefs. Because of the academic requirements associated with the new work placement course, students will take one elective less. The new course, which includes some in-class lectures and coursework assessments, will normally be completed in conjunction with a full-time work internship placement.

Work placement alternative

Any student who still does not find a suitable work placement during their time at Rotman will engage in a research based independent study course that also teaches the application of foundational management knowledge to real life managerial work problems. The course will study a real world firm/institution, again under the supervision of management faculty. The learning outcome goals are the same as the work placement course.

Joint Programs

The Skoll Engineering BASc/MBA and the PharmD/MBA programs are “sequential” programs. Students first finish one degree (Engineering BASc and PharmD, respectively) and then begin the Full-Time MBA degree program. Students of these programs follow the same academic requirements for the Flexible Internship Program as all other Full-Time MBA students.

Students enrolled in the MGA/MBA with the Faculty of Arts and Sciences through the Munk school, and the JD/MBA program with the Law school are not required to participate in the work replacement course. However, they may elect to do so as an extra elective that does not reduce the required number of other electives.

Program Benefits

The Flexible Internship Program increases the number of available work placement opportunities and enhances the learning experience for students by integrating the work placement into a formal course structure to deepen classroom learning through experiential opportunities and more formal feedback and coaching. Students will benefit from good communications with their host employers, careful tracking of their deliverables and feedback from faculty, as well as constant sourcing of new opportunities for new types of work placements. Faculty and administrative support will now directly aid the deepening and effectiveness of the learning that is associated with the work placement.

Course Goals

The Flexible Internship Program has been designed to develop better communication skills , enhance coaching and feedback, and reinforce the importance of individual reflection in personal development.

There are two main goals of the course:

  1. Students observe and analyze the business practices of an organization and develop suggestions for improvement. They develop a plan for communicating these suggestions. All along, students use core management frameworks learned during the MBA core curriculum to guide them. 

  2. Students reflect on the situation of a professional manager in an organization and endeavor to improve it. It results in the development of a framework and tools and practices that support professional growth of a manager throughout their entire career.

Learning Outcomes

Students are expected to achieve the following MBA learning outcomes through classroom work and experiential learning via internship work placements:

  • Connect a specific idea, model, concept, or theory from the core MBA curriculum to actual management practice in a real company.
  • Observe, analyze, reflect on, and offer suggestions to improve the value proposition of an organization.
  • Observe, analyze, and reflect on the situation of a manager within an organization and develop a framework for professional growth throughout their career.
  • Seek, accept and internalize feedback.
  • Engage in professional, timely, regular, purposeful communications.
  • Discuss insights, observations, and ideas on an ongoing and regular basis with a mentor in order to achieve reflection, progressive understanding, and professional growth.

Feedback and Coaching

Instructors are guides and coaches, but they are not necessarily functional experts on individual management concepts. They assess the ability of the student to analyze and reflect and communicate. The instructor provides feedback on clarity of thought, consistency of reflection and engagement, professionalism and quality of communications. Instructors act as a sounding board for the process of creating a path for professional growth for a manager.

Effective Date

The Flexible Internship Program is effective as of May 1, 2016. The new program requirements apply to students beginning the Full-Time MBA program in Fall of 2016. Students who are currently enrolled can choose to complete their degree under the existing requirements under which they entered the program, or “opt in” to the program change if they prefer the new program requirements.


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