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Getting in to Rotman: How I did it

Advice from a student

When it came to applying to the Rotman MBA program, Nicola Deery worked hard and did her homework. Raised in Dublin, Ireland, Nicola shares her tips for choosing an MBA program and successfully applying, in an interview that originally ran on the Poets and Quants website.

An Interview with Nicola Deery

Hometown: Dublin, Ireland

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Ottawa – MA, Public and International Affairs
Concordia University – BA, Political Science and Communication Studies

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: Government of Canada – Analyst
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe – Intern

Recalling your own experience, what advice do you have for applicants who are preparing for either the GMAT or the GRE?

Designing a tailored study schedule and taking a number of practice tests in the weeks leading up to the exam were both very helpful. A detailed schedule will help you organize your time and focus on the sections of the test that need the most attention. And the practice exams will allow you to get comfortable with timing and provide you with additional insight into your strengths and areas for improvement.


“Start by reflecting on what you value most in an MBA program, and find a school that aligns with your interests and goals.”

- Nicola Deery, Rotman MBA Student, in an interview with Poets and Quants


Based on your own selection process, what advice do you have for applicants who are trying to draw up a list of target schools to which to apply?

Start by reflecting on what you value most in an MBA program. By identifying the elements that matter most to you, such as a specialized curriculum or opportunities for international projects, you can start to find a school that aligns with your interests and goals. A campus visit is a great way to get a feel for a school’s culture through chatting with current students and sitting in on a class.

What advice do you have for applicants in actually applying to a school, writing essays, doing admission interviews, and getting recommenders to write letters on your behalf?

One piece of advice that I received and found very valuable was to take some time early on to develop and write your story. By taking the time at the beginning of the application process to reflect on and articulate your accomplishments, interests, and goals, your authentic self will shine through once you begin writing your essays and doing admission interviews.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA?

I chose the Rotman School of Management for its strengths in strategy and finance, incredible faculty and research, and unique approach to problem-solving through integrative thinking. My background is in political science and international relations and I was also drawn to Rotman’s interdisciplinary philosophy and global perspective.

What would you ultimately like to achieve before you graduate?

Over the next two years, I want to build strong leadership and creative problem-solving skills, explore entrepreneurship in frontier markets, and collaborate with my classmates to have a positive social impact on the Rotman community and beyond.

Read the full interview in Poets and Quants.

Nicola Deery

Ready to Apply? Six Things You Need to Know

Sheldon Dookeran of the Rotman Admissions Team breaks down the application process into easy-to-follow steps.

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