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New Alumni Kick-Off 2021: Graduating this year? Learn how to get the most out of Rotman

January 21, 2021

When David St. Bernard (JD/MBA ’17) graduated with a JD/MBA degree in 2017, he knew that he wasn’t quite finished with Rotman.

David St. Bernard

David St. Bernard, JD/MBA '17

Though he had moved out of the Toronto area — after graduation, he relocated to New York City where he now works as an associate at Weil, Gotshal & Manges, LLP — he maintains close ties to the School as an alumnus. Despite his busy schedule, he regularly attends Rotman events in New York. He continues to connect with fellow alumni and is an active alumni member of the Leadership Development Lab (which, among other things, helps to continually improve its members’ soft skills after business school). And he offers time to new JD/MBA grads seeking advice on whether to pursue a career in law or business.

What drives him to stay connected with the Rotman network?

“My motivation is two-fold. First, I think it's important to reach out to new grads and usher them into the alumni community,” he says. “Second, I can’t deny that there’s a lot in it for me. It’s fun to connect with new grads and hear what they’re working on and thinking about. In a few years, I’ll definitely be reaching out to them for insights and advice, as well as new opportunities.”


“I think most grads will find that their Rotman experience will come full circle. As your network expands, you’ll find connections eager to help you. Remember, it’s just as important to pay that support forward when the time comes.”

—David St. Bernard


Many graduating students will find themselves in similar situations soon enough.

Before they go on to pursue careers across all industries and sectors, the Rotman School wants to make sure they are aware of the many benefits offered to them as alumni and are introduced to the alumni network they will soon be a part of.

Patti ShugartWith this in mind, the School is excited to host the New Alumni Kick-Off on Monday, February 8. The evening, which will be emceed by St. Bernard, will feature remarks from Interim Dean Kenneth S. Corts and alumna Patti Shugart (MBA ’88) (at left), who is managing director and head of global corporate banking at RBC Capital Markets.

Students from the classes of 2020 and 2021 will also get the chance to participate in smaller breakout sessions, moderated by Rotman alumni who graduated from a range of Rotman programs and now work in various industries.

Ultimately, the evening will go over the many benefits offered to Rotman grads. For instance, Rotman alumni are invited to audit elective courses for free (space permitting), and they can also look forward to attending many School traditions and events, including Reunite at Rotman, Family Day at Rotman and the Lifelong Learning Conference, in the years to come. They might also find themselves back at the School delivering a guest lecture for a class, attending student industry nights or contributing to projects led by Rotman research centres.

Hands down, the best thing about being a Rotman grad is being able to connect to a vast network. No matter where their careers take them, grads can count on the alumni network to help them gain insights on different industries, uncover new career opportunities, and find mentors. Throughout the evening event, alumni volunteers will speak about how the Rotman community has supported them.

St. Bernard is eager to impart lessons he learned along the way, too.

“I think most grads will find that their Rotman experience will come full circle,” he says. “As your network expands, you’ll find connections eager to help you. Remember, it’s just as important to pay that support forward when the time comes.”

He hopes that those graduating this year make the most of these next few months.

“If there’s a student or professor you wanted to work with but never had the chance, now’s the time to ask them for a (virtual) coffee and make a connection,” says St. Bernard. “It all goes by so quickly. Tie up loose ends and put a bow on your time at Rotman.”


Written by Rebecca Cheung | More Student Stories »


New Alumni Kick-Off

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