If I was asked to use one word to describe October, I think it would be “explore”. October has been a busy month, not only did we have our first exam, but there were also many group projects, presentations, variety of workshops, and industry events we actively participated in.
Careers in Risk Panel organized by Rotman Risk Management Association (RRMA) provided us a good opportunity to explore roles in risk management. Five MBA students from across big five banks working in risk field were invited as panel speakers to share their experience. They all had different stories about how they landed a job, the challenges they were facing, and what they’ve learned from work.
One thing I learned was that spending time to explore your real passion is definitely worthwhile, and non-stop efforts will pay off, sooner or later.
Another interesting event we had was with RBC Risk Innovation team. If you are one of the team members, imagine how would you incorporate interactive thinking and innovations into this one of most rigid and highly regulated over 100-year-old bank. In the interactive session, we participated in the brainstorm and creatively solved a real business case. The hiring process simulation was fun in which we pictured ourselves as recruiters and experienced how their day would be like. Tips were learned in making a piece of eye-catching resume to help us stand out from hundreds of applications from the perspective of recruiters.
If you ever ask a MFRM student how’s the course load in this program, you’ll probably never get an answer of “easy”. However, when I look back, I am surprised by how much skillset I have built in this learning journey. I enjoyed a lot from group projects and here are two of favorite ones. One was Rotman portfolio management, which we acted as a fund manager to invest ten million and compete with other teams based on the end-of-day asset value. Another was banking simulation, in which we ran our own community bank with strategies decision making on deposit, loan, treasury and security departments based on macro-economic trend and bank’s objective. Both of them greatly stimulated our interest to keep eyes on the market, led us to explore and fully employ our capabilities.
I am very confident that we will be well equipped with technical skills at the end of the MFRM program, but that is not sufficient in today’s workplace. At the end of the day, it is all about working with different people. The SDL gave us the opportunity to explore and develop our soft skills, in an interactive and interesting way. Each of the participants were given a character to play, you could be a creative teammate who is way too talkative in meetings or a thinker who enjoys figuring out solutions quietly. You may be asked to have a conversation with someone to shorten the amount of time they speak in meetings, in a nice and peaceful way. There were cameras videotaping the whole conversation. This allows you and your classmates to spot the micro expressions showed up during the play and discuss what we can do to improve our communication and better solve problems.
October has been a month filled with new knowledge, challenges, great events which enabled us to explore our full potentials and different possibilities.
Looking forward to more valuable experience in MFRM program in the following months!
The Master of Financial Risk Management is a full time program designed to prepare ambitious young professionals for careers in risk management and finance.