The Rotman Onboard Fellowship Program
Make a Real-World Difference
Rotman Onboard is an exciting new program that matches talented upper-year MBA candidates with Toronto-based non-profit boards and charities for a 6-8 month fellowship. Potential candidates act as non-voting board members, serve on advisory committees, and complete a strategic governance project based on each organization’s needs.
Onboard Fellows get access to the highest level of decision makers within a non-profit organization and learn about board governance while completing a project that is of strategic importance to the organization. Rotman Fellows are paired with a board mentor, assigned a faculty advisor and in most cases also work directly with the organization’s senior management team. For resource-constrained organizations, Rotman Onboard provides a unique way to access valuable business skills in Accounting, Consulting, Finance, Marketing, HR and other functional areas from some of Canada’s top MBA talent.
"Innovative programs like this are the future of business school."
- Richard Nesbitt, former COO of CIBC and Rotman Adjunct Professor
The program pairs students with seasoned professionals, including staff at the Clarkson Centre for Business Ethics and Board Effectiveness, Rotman faculty advisors, industry experts and a board mentor. In the process of contributing your time and talent to non-profit organizations, you'll get the real-world opportunity to develop your governance and leadership skills. While a lot of valuable learning happens in the classroom, the most transformational experiences happen in the field, which is why Rotman Fellows work directly with host organizations to tackle real challenges with real impact.
Examples of recent Onboard projects include:
- Improving the nomination process for board selection for the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
- Working with SickKid’s Foundation to reach multicultural donors, improve transparency of financial reporting and beef up exposure on social media.
- Helping the National Ballet School of Canada benchmark itself against other ballet schools around the world. while documenting trends in corporate giving to cultural organizations.
During the first year of the Rotman Onboard Fellowship Program, 10 leading non-profit organizations were selected as host partners, based on student interest, industry profile, and the size and complexity of their board.
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In the media
Read more in the Globe and Mail: Rotman students take a seat at the boardroom table
In their words
“This has been highlight of my second year, bar none. What other opportunity would I have to get access to people like this?”
- Tariq Nanji, MBA and Board Fellow
“I never imagined I would have access to a board this early in my career. I have benefited greatly from this program, I gained the confidence and skills required to interact with senior leaders of an organization.”
- Deepak Parsa, MBA and Board Fellow
“The work that our Rotman fellow did for CAMH will have a long lasting impact on our board.”
- Kristin Taylor, CAMH Board Mentor
Meet our fellows