Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

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Damani Thomas

Valedictorian, Master of Finance Class of 2018

Damani Thomas - Rotman School of Management Valedictorian of the Master of Finance programHow does it feel to be valedictorian?

Given that this is an elected position, I feel immense pride and enormous gratitude. I’m honored to be chosen as the class valedictorian. This is the culmination of a difficult yet magnificent journey.

Why do you think your classmates chose you for this honour?

One of the beauties of the program is how it gives students an opportunity to work with most of their classmates through various group assignments. There are also opportunities to network and build relationships through social gatherings, case competitions and other events. I should hope that my involvement in these activities, as well as my curiosity about other people and my love of teamwork helped in my selection as valedictorian.

How has the program changed you?

I entered the program with a slight sense of doubt about the professional journey I was on at the time. I made the choice to fully immerse myself into the Rotman lifestyle to get the maximum benefit. Along the way, I developed a supportive network of ambitious professionals, sharpened my practical skills in areas of finance that I’d only previously had theoretical exposure, and found opportunities to draw on my prior experiences to develop my potential in new ways.

The program has also given me a deeper confidence in my capabilities and a sharper clarity about my professional goals. Overall, I leave the program a more complete, confident and well-rounded finance professional.

Describe a highlight of the program.

I’ve experienced so many highpoints over the course of the program that it’s difficult to just choose one. However, I’ll mention my stint as a rogue trader in Tom McCurdy’s class, the social gatherings, learning to play blackjack at the MFin poker night, and creating and managing a hedge fund in our derivatives course as the standout highlights for me in the program. There were also classroom discussions where you always left with a better sense of the limits of your understanding and a greater appreciation for other intellectual perspectives.

What makes your graduating year special?

We’re an eclectic group of personalities with great chemistry who take a genuine interest in each other’s success. Trust Book Cover

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