Good news: many organizations are hiring and Rotman Career Services is here to help
July 14, 2020
Earlier this year, when Amee Choksi (MBA ‘20) was immersed in her post-MBA job search, the outlook seemed bleak. The global pandemic had struck, and many organizations had become hesitant about hiring. The once rich pool of job postings seemed to have dried up.
Amee Choksi (MBA ‘20)
Rather than fixate on the things she couldn’t control, she focused on what she could do.
“I kept reaching out to people in my network to learn more about what they were dealing with, and how I could contribute,” explains Choksi, who was after a role in healthcare strategy.
As it turned out, by asking the right questions, keeping her eyes open to opportunities and leveraging the strength of the Rotman community, she landed a project management position with Thrive Health.
Now, she’s using the strategic thinking and leadership skills she honed at Rotman in her new position. At Thrive, she’s working closely with provincial governments and internal project managers on a new COVID-19 app that will help users track their symptoms and public health departments monitor the situation.
Choksi is one of several new Rotman grads to land a job during the pandemic. Her story is further proof that though COVID-19 had upended much of life as we know it, some things have stayed the same. Organizations are still hungry for new talent, and Rotman students and grads are ready to apply their knowledge and leadership skills.
Though their work has temporarily moved online because of the pandemic, the Career Services team at Rotman is as committed as ever to helping current students and new grads navigate the job market and advance their careers.
“I kept reaching out to people in my network to learn more about what they were dealing with and how I could contribute.”
—Amee Choksi, MBA ‘20
Rotman students and grads are getting hired
“While some industries are slow in hiring, there are other industries that are growing and hiring more than before,” says Lyla Korhani, director of Career Services at the Rotman School. “It’s an uncertain time, but students shouldn’t be anxious. There are jobs out there, and they just need to keep an open mind.”
She points out that some industries — particularly those in the technology and healthcare sectors — are thriving right now. And they are on the hunt for talent.
This proved to be the case for Thrive Health and Choksi. When Thrive partnered with Health Canada to develop a new COVID-19 monitoring app, new opportunities arose. She was ready, thanks to the support of her career consultant.
“It’s just so easy to lose motivation during this time, but regularly checking in with my coach and other students kept me accountable and really helped me stay on track,” she says.
When teaching and student activities shifted online, the Career Services team was determined to offer the same level of attention and support to students as before.
Right now, during the shutdown, students can continue to book one-on-one appointments with career consultants (for advice on resume writing, interviewing and general career planning), take advantage of resume and interview prep and career planning workshops, and reference the online career portal to complement their job search efforts.
As well, industry advisors are working diligently to uncover leads in emerging and growing industries.
The Career Services team has also expanded their offerings to address some of the unique challenges faced by new graduates and current students. These include a weekly drop-in job search group, which students across the School can join virtually to share leads, discuss recent successes and seek advice. Additionally, each week, the Career Services team, with support from the Alumni Engagement team, hosts a virtual alumni coffee chat, where Rotman grads return to share insights and their experiences working in a specific industry. As well, the School has reached out to its vast alumni network about hiring new grads.
Across the School, students have been benefited from these programs.
While job searching, Penny Du (MFin ‘20) — who recently accepted a 12-month internship with Credit Suisse — attended several online careers workshops, alumni coffee chats, and frequently checked in with her career consultant.
She found the virtual job search groups at Rotman especially valuable.
“Searching for a job during a global pandemic is challenging,” says Du. “The weekly check-ins with other grads reminded me that I wasn’t the only one going through this.”
Persistence was key for John Kapageridis (EMBA ‘21), who started his job search months before the pandemic. He kept in touch with his career consultant at Rotman, who helped him customize his resume and coached him throughout the job hunt.
“I learned a lot about how to approach job searching,” says Kapageridis, who recently accepted a new role at Rockwell Automation. “Throughout it all, it was reassuring to know that my career coach was there to help.”
Keep networking and leveraging the Rotman community
As many new grads and students have learned, in good times and bad, the Rotman community is eager to lend a land.
Viveck Panjabi (MBA ‘20) has seen it happen countless times.
Viveck Panjabi (MBA ‘20)
A few weeks into his MBA program, Panjabi knew he wanted to work in finance, and the Rotman community was there to help. When he needed to prepare a written stock pitch for an internship he was up for, many of his classmates offered to look over early drafts and provide tips on how to format and organize his arguments. His professors contributed helpful advice — whether it was on how to build and maintain relationships with new contacts (Professor Dan Richards) or how to craft the perfect presentation for investors (Professor Maureen Stapleton). His career consultant kept tabs on him throughout his job search, encouraging him to keep focused.
“When things get back to normal, you want to be the first person your contacts think of when there’s an opportunity.”
—Viveck Panjabi, MBA ‘20
“All of the advice was valuable. When I met for coffee chats, I could demonstrate my knowledge and foster those relationships effectively,” says Panjabi, who estimates that he met with at least 200 different contacts — from big banks to boutique firms — during his MBA program.
When the pandemic hit, Panjabi didn’t panic. He had been playing the long game, and he was hopeful that his efforts would pay off. They did.
A few weeks into the economic shutdown, he received an unexpected offer. Weeks before, Panjabi had interviewed for a position that hadn’t panned out. However, his interviewer remembered him and offered him a new role at a company he had just joined.
A few days after his final exams, he joined Stifel as an equity research associate in metals and mining. This job checks all the boxes on his list. He’s working for a major organization in equity research, granted a lot of responsibility and learning a lot about an exciting sector.
He doesn’t feel like the exception. He is confident his classmates will find success soon. His advice is simple: tap into the Rotman network and go and keep meeting (virtually) with people.
“It’s important to remember that this is temporary. Keep networking and reaching out to people,” he says. “When things get back to normal, you want to be the first person your contacts think of when there’s an opportunity.”
Written by Rebecca Cheung | More Student Stories »