Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

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As the first valedictorians of the MFRM program, Jabir and Jacky are proud to look back on a year of highlights, including the time they cleaned up at a Canada-wide case competition.

In preparation for their graduating ceremony taking place in June, the first class of the MFRM program has nominated two valedictorians to represent them at Convocation. Along with the other Rotman 2017 valedictorians, Jabir Sandhu and Jacky Chen had a Q&A session with our team, and their answers provide amazing insights into the MFRM student experience.

You can read the full conversation on our website, or take a look at some of the snippets we have chosen below:

Any highlights from the program?

Jabir: Our class had some real high points that we plan to share in our speech. We won the TD Risk Management Case Competition. And at the PRMIA case competition our class took home four of the five awards, and came in first and second place.

It’s nice to get this sort of recognition, coming from a new program. We’re competing against all the other universities in Ontario, other universities in Canada too. It was the first time that we were able to come out and say, yes, we’re actually doing something right. And that maybe the MFRM program teaches you more than the programs at other schools. Because we were able to outperform those teams.

Jacky: In terms of the caliber of the class, you just need to look at my fellow students and what they’re doing now. They’re working in some prestigious institutions – the major banks, the central bank and insurance companies. They’re all covered. I hope to talk about that in the speech too, and what the students will be doing in the future.

It’s about more than just improving your quant skills

Jabir: There are other programs that teach you just the quant skills. For example, you can do a degree in mathematics and learn that part. The nice thing about Rotman is, you get the quant side but you also get the application. For example, we had a course in the financial lab where you actually use real-life trading software and that’s where you’re evaluated. You actually do a trading simulation. It’s very similar to what you’ll be doing at your day to day job if you’re a trader.

Another thing is that the program focuses on your presentation skills, your communication skills. Every week in our Operational Risk course, we had to do a five minute presentation to the class. That really helped us and it was something we got to use later on in our industry project presentation.

Jacky: Because the MFRM is offered by Rotman, it also gives you access to industry professions. Our program was sponsored by the Global Risk Institute. Almost every week we had a GRI speaker come to our class. These were senior executives working at banks or funds. Having exposure to these people in very senior positions is something that you could only get at a leading business school like Rotman.

Your completed the program, and Convocation is nearly here, how are you feeling?

Jacky: I actually had my undergraduate Convocation last year at the exact same spot, but it was so different because I was worrying about my future. Now I have a full-time job that I really like, and I’m starting my career. There’s a lot more certainty in my life. And after such an intensive program, there’s going to be a great feeling of relief. Finally getting the certificate, and being able to show it to my parents sitting there.

Jabir: Definitely there will be a feeling of accomplishment because, for all of us, we worked very hard over the past eight months. It will be great to mark the end of that journey. Getting the diploma and making the transition to the next phase of our lives. That is definitely a moment of excitement and pride.

We wish all of our 2017 graduating students continued success in their future careers, and thank them for the hard work and dedication that helped make the first year of the MFRM program such a triumph.

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

© Rotman School of ManagementThe Rotman School of Management is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AASCB)