Making an impact in finance
May 25, 2017
When Satwik Sharma (MBA ’16) came to the Rotman School of Management, he aspired for a future where he could shape financial trends, rather than just observe them
Sharma started his Rotman MBA after working for several years as an analyst for various financial institutions, including Goldman Sachs and Standard Chartered Bank. In these roles, which took him to the UK, Dubai, India and other parts of Asia, Sharma studied market behaviours and predicted future market directions so that clients could make wise investment decisions.
“As an analyst, I watched senior bankers make fascinating transactions. They were guiding large corporations in their strategic decision making. In doing so, they were shaping competitive dynamics in the industry. I wanted to have that same impact.”
-Satwik Sharma (MBA ’16), Mergers and Acquisitions Associate, BMO Capital Markets
Currently working as a mergers and acquisitions associate with BMO Capital Markets, Sharma has achieved his goal. He credits the school’s strong curriculum and internship program with giving him the skills to succeed in his new role.
Excellence in finance education
During the time he was deciding between business schools, Sharma was based in India, working for Goldman Sachs as a senior equity analyst. Though he was open to uprooting his life and studying in a new country, Sharma was only willing to do so for the right opportunity.
“My first priority was finding a school with a strong finance program,” explains Sharma. “To me, Rotman seemed to be so ahead of other schools in Canada. When I looked at what I was trying to achieve, Rotman was the school that could give it to me.”
The decision paid off. The school’s finance and accounting classes filled in the gaps in Sharma’s financial knowledge and made him a better investor.
“Accounting seems like such a dry subject, but the way it was taught at Rotman was fantastic and engaging,” says Sharma. “I really believe that we have the finest accounting faculty in the world at Rotman.”
Sharma’s financial training was further enhanced by a hands-on summer internship at RBC Capital Markets, following his first year at Rotman.
“It was great preparation for working in Canadian finance. I was studying so many different sectors — energy, forestry, insurance,” recalls Sharma. “It was great exposure to understanding the main drivers and industries of this economy.”
Community at Rotman
Outside of class, Sharma fondly credits the collaborative and supportive student and alumni network at Rotman for making his time at the School so memorable.
“You can feel the warmth in the people here,” says Sharma. “It was a very smooth transition into the country and the Canadian way of life.”
Sharma is particularly grateful to the many members of the alumni network who took time to speak with him about their experiences working in finance and provided tips for breaking into the industry. As well, he appreciated the workshops organized by the Career Centre on interview preparation and tips for landing internships and full-time opportunities.
Looking to pay this goodwill forward, Sharma served as the vice-president of internal operations for the Rotman Finance Association during his second year at the School. In addition to organizing logistics for competitions, he explored ways for students to increase their interaction with alumni and broaden their thinking about career opportunities in the financial sector.
“I reflect back on how difficult it was to make that decision to leave my job, move halfway across the globe and make this two-year commitment to the MBA,” recalls Sharma. “It was worth it. It’s a special feeling to be a part of Rotman.”