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How networking helped this MFRM ’19 grad gain clarity on her career and make the move to Shanghai

November 20, 2020

In her final weeks of the Master of Financial Risk Management (MFRM) program, during the spring of 2019, Windy Weng (MFRM ’19) faced a difficult decision. Where should she go next?

Windy Weng (MFRM ’19)

Through networking and a rigorous job search, she had attracted offers from firms based in Toronto and China. Now was the time to decide which path to take.

“I sympathize with graduating MFRM students because I remember feeling anxious about the future,” explains Weng. “I think it’s important for them to remember that there are lots of opportunities open to them.”

“It might take a bit of work, but every MFRM student can find a career path that feels right.”

In many ways, the MFRM degree is a gateway to work almost anywhere. MFRM grads can be found in the world’s major financial centres, including Toronto, New York and Shanghai. While most students maintain a strong interest in risk management, a few, like Weng, earn spots in competitive rotational programs or take on general finance roles.

Luckily, throughout the career planning process — which can be overwhelming — students can rely on career resources and a strong network at the Rotman School to help them think through where to take their careers.

In Weng’s case, after careful reflection and a series of coffee chats, she accepted PwC’s offer to join its competitive rotational program. She’s now based in Shanghai, where she’s exploring various aspects of finance and consulting, and making connections across the industry.

Acquiring a foundation in financial risk

After graduating from the Rotman Commerce undergraduate program, Weng was eager to start her career. However, she recognized that she could benefit from further education and a stronger foundation in financial risk.

The Master of Financial Risk Management program at Rotman seemed like an obvious choice: she knew that the highly-ranked and internationally-recognized program could set her up for opportunities on Bay Street and abroad. As well, the program’s 10-month format seemed like the ideal length of time.

“On the one hand, I wanted to launch my career as soon as possible, but I also wanted time to study risk and finance in depth,” she explains.

She was able to dive deep into the subject matter with the Rotman risk management project. For eight weeks, she contributed to the development of a credit losses model with TD Bank.

“The risk management project isn’t a typical university co-op or internship where you might find yourself filing or doing busy work,” she says of the experience. “As an MFRM student, you are working on developing real solutions for a real problem.”

“It might take a bit of work, but every MFRM student can find a career path that feels right.”

—Windy Weng, MFRM ‘19

Thinking about life after graduation

Beyond providing students with a strong technical foundation, the MFRM program also helps them figure out next steps.

During Weng's days as an MFRM student, she wasn’t clear on where to go next.

While she enjoyed the program, she wanted to know more about the possibilities outside of financial risk and banking. She had been presented with a few offers, but wanted to consider them all thoroughly before accepting one. Though she was happy in Toronto, she wondered about opportunities beyond Bay Street.

She turned to her network at the Rotman School for answers.

She started by reconnecting with contacts from her Rotman Commerce days. Later, she began approaching speakers that attended MFRM industry events. Soon, she was in the habit of holding two coffee chats a week with various contacts.

“It was surprisingly easy. I found that simple questions — about career paths, roles and past projects — tended to generate a lot of discussion.”

In some cases, these conversations led to requests for her resume or a formal interview. More importantly for Weng, the chats gave her much-needed perspective.

She began to realize that there were several opportunities open to her in China, where she had been born and raised. Many Chinese companies, like Huawei and PwC, actively recruited from North American universities every year. In China, there were several opportunities for her to jump into general finance roles.

“Many of the people I met through coffee chats became friends and mentors. They listened to my concerns and offered encouragement. They really helped me make important career decisions.”

She made the move to bustling Shanghai. Her first placement — working in quality assurance — proved to be as dynamic and as fast-paced as the city. Right now, Weng is completing a rotation with the firm’s U.S. tax consulting division. She’s not sure where she’ll navigate next.

“There are just so many possibilities and I’m having fun figuring out where it will all lead,” she says. “It’s not too different from being an MFRM student.”

Written by Rebecca Cheung | More Student Stories »

Windy Weng

Class year

MFRM '19


Zhejiang, China

Current position

Rotational Associate
Shanghai, China

Rotman risk management project

TD Retail Risk Management
Toronto, Ontario

Previous education

Bachelor of Commerce
Rotman Commerce
University of Toronto

Master of
Financial Risk
Learn more»