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How Rotman helped this MFin ’19 thrive during on-campus recruiting season

September 9, 2019

Photo of Julian GuJulian Gu (MFin ’19) entered the 20-month Master of Finance (MFin) program at Rotman without a specific career goal in mind. This decision was intentional. Gu had already worked in investment risk, treasury services and analytics departments at various financial institutions on Bay Street. He was open to exploring other opportunities in the industry — but wasn’t clear on what they might be.

“I didn’t think it was crucial to have a game plan early on, and I knew that I couldn’t lose by completing a specialized finance master’s program. I knew the MFin program would give me perspective on where to go next and position me for a strong future in the industry, wherever it might be,” he explains.

For Gu, the MFin program ultimately served as a career-planning platform. With help from classmates and the career services team, and with new insights acquired from the classroom, he ultimately carved out a new career path and survived the on-campus recruiting process to land an exciting role in a competitive rotational program.

Finding a focus

When he started the program, Gu quickly learned that his classmates would be one of his best resources in helping him understand which areas of finance might interest him most.

“After weeks of seeing each other in classes and working on projects together, the whole class naturally started discussing work,” he explains. “I heard about the projects my classmates were working on and the general challenges and perks of their jobs. It was a great crash course on what it’s like to work in finance.”

“I was finally getting an intense and formal education in all areas of finance.”

—Julian Gu, MFin ’19

At the same time, he was acquiring an in-depth understanding of a range of finance topics — reporting, derivatives, risk management and innovations in financial technology — through classes.

“Before, references to concepts or complex financial products might pop up in conversations, and I wouldn’t have understood the full context of the discussion,” he says. “I was finally getting an intense and formal education in all areas of finance.”

One year into the program, Gu found a direction. After speaking with classmates and reflecting on his past professional experience, he felt he was best suited for a career in risk management.

He was in the right place at the right time to pursue a new opportunity.

Every fall, the School hosts a number of on-campus recruitment sessions where financial institutions, consulting firms and other large organizations come on site to meet with graduating students. Typically, select students are invited to sit for an interview, and the most competitive candidates are invited to participate in a day-long recruitment session at the organization, where they might meet with senior executives, complete a formal interview or present findings on a previously assigned case.

While on-campus recruiting season can be intense, fast-paced and time-consuming, Gu knew he was up for the challenge.

Luckily, he had the support of many at Rotman.

Getting the job

From the start of the program, the Rotman career services team pushed Gu and his classmates to stay on track with their planning. The careers team sets deadlines for students to submit their resumes, which are included in career books that are distributed to potential employers looking for new talent. As well, throughout the year, the team hosts career talks with recent alumni and workshops that cover resume and interview preparation.

During his program, Gu attended a session on what to expect with the recruiting process and worked with a career coach at Rotman to refine his resume.

“She really helped me bring my application up to a new level,” explains Gu. “The resume I initially presented her with was pretty simple. She was great at showing me how to highlight my key strengths and with helping me reformat the whole thing.”

“I look at the program in terms of the return on investment. The work I put in — studying, building a network, preparing for career path — came together and really paid off.”

—Julian Gu, MFin ’19

Eventually, the efforts paid off. Gu was invited to participate in a final interview round with RBC. Shortly after, he accepted an offer to join the bank’s Leadership Development Program, which officially began in July 2019. In the months to come, he’ll be completing various rotations within their group risk management stream.

He’s excited and ready for this new role.

“I feel like I have the vocabulary to keep up in conversations. It also helps that I just finished Professor John Hull’s class on risk management,” says Gu, who graduated from the program in June.

He can’t help summarizing his MFin program in terms that a finance professional would appreciate.

“I look at the program in terms of the return on investment. The work I put in — studying, building a network, preparing for career path — came together and really paid off.”

Written by Rebecca Cheung | More Student Stories »

Julian Gu

Class year

MFin ’19

Current position

Risk Associate, Leadership Development Program
Toronto, ON

Previous employment

Associate, Reporting and Analytics
BMO Financial Group
Toronto, ON

Analyst, Funding Services
CPP Investment Board
Toronto, ON

Previous education

Bachelor of Business Administration
University of Toronto Scarborough

of Finance
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