Quest for Excellence
The TorQuest Scholars Award was created in 2018 by a group of partners at TorQuest, a leading Canadian private equity firm; most are Rotman alumni who want to give back to the School that helped lay the foundations of their success.
“Because many of us earned degrees from the University of Toronto,” says Michael Hollend (JD/MBA ’99), “we know first-hand the value that Rotman provides to the community at large, and to individual students.” Joining Hollend in initiating the new award are fellow TorQuest partners Daniel Sonshine (JD/MBA ’01) and Matt Chapman (MBA ’00), as well as Senior Managing Partner Brent Belzberg, an alumnus of U of T’s Faculty of Law (LLB ’75).
The TorQuest Scholars Award recognizes students who demonstrate academic excellence, strong volunteer commitments, and the intention to pursue a career in private equity.
This year’s recipients are:
Varun Chandak, MBA ’18
In addition to his outstanding academic achievements, Varun Chandak launched the Access to Success Organization, a coalition of graduate business schools focused on access and inclusion for MBA students with disabilities. In its first year, the initiative raised more than $45,000 and convened a two-day national conference. Born in India, where he completed undergraduate commerce studies and earned his chartered accountant designation, Chandak values both the financial and mentorship aspects of the TorQuest scholarship: “Having alumni who are leaders in their industry take an active interest in my professional development strengthened my sense of belonging at Rotman.”
"Having alumni who are leaders in their industry take an active interest in my professional development strengthened my sense of belonging at Rotman."
-Varun Chandak, MBA '18
Thomas Schneider, JD/MBA ’19
“I hope one day to have the opportunity to pay forward the support that you provided me,” Thomas Schneider said in thanking the donors of the TorQuest Scholars Award. The financial component of the scholarship allowed Schneider to focus more intently on his studies — where his efforts earned him first prize in the McKinsey Case Competition, the top individual submission in the Rotman Problem Solving Challenge, and a place on the Dean’s List. At the same time, he found the award’s mentorship component “invaluable” as he sought summer employment between his years of academic study.