Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

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A month of finals, events, and industry projects-Mary, MFRM '20

The month of November is a whirlwind of stress, change and fun. November goes by very fast. The first week of November is the last week of classes for the first term and then the following two weeks are our first set of finals. Then finally, the last week of November is the first week of our industry projects. 


Exams will always be stressful but the feeling of relief once you finish them is amazing. We had one final for each course, so five in total. They were spread out over two weeks, and there are no classes during these two weeks. This might seem daunting at first, but the exam schedule is nicely spread out, so it doesn’t feel rushed or crammed. However, that does not mean you can slack off on studying during the two weeks. No matter what time you go to Rotman, you will always see at least one fellow classmate studying. These two intense weeks of studying and exams really form a bond between you and your classmates. After the last exam is over, the entire atmosphere is happiness and celebration.

Events at Rotman

In addition, throughout the course of the year, there are always a multitude of events hosted by Rotman or UofT or clubs. A notable one in November was a talk on “The changing face of risk management and the role of the CRO” with Graham Bird, Executive Vice President and Chief Risk Officer of Great-West Lifeco Inc. This session was a part of the ongoing Global Risk Institute Speaker Series at Rotman. This event provided a great opportunity to hear about what a possible career path in risk management could look like and to learn more about the changing landscape of risk management from a CRO. It’s always worthwhile to keep an eye on the Calendar in the Rotman Hub to never miss out on events.

Industry Projects

Once exams are over, it’s onto the industry projects.

The industry projects are a super exciting time as this is one of the highlights of the program. You are guaranteed a placement and no matter which placement you get, it will be a really great experience. The placements range from financial industry to insurance to government and to start-ups.

The projects themselves are also very diverse to cater to the interests of the students. Some are focused on machine learning, others allow you to build financial models or even conduct research. This year, we had more than 20 placements, including Bank of Canada, BMO, KPMG and more. 

Exploring Toronto

Finally, it can’t be all work and no play. Luckily, November is a great time to explore downtown Toronto. As the city prepares for the holidays, there are many events happening throughout the city. While there are too many to list, one can find them simply with a google search. The best part is that most of the event are free of charge! Nathan Phillips Square transforms into a Holiday Fair with pop-up stalls, a beautiful tree, a skating rink and fun amusement rides. Another super popular event is the Toronto Christmas Market in the Distillery District. Other popular events include the Santa Clause Parade, and the opening of many new ice rinks around downtown such as the one at Union Station, College Park and even under the Gardiner Expressway. All of this is all within the downtown core, there are even more places to explore with many different activities if you get a chance to leave the core.

November was an exciting time of intense studying, transitioning into work and a lot of fun. Cannot wait to see what the rest of the year and the next school term brings. 

The Master of Financial Risk Management is a full time program designed to prepare ambitious young professionals for careers in risk management and finance. 

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