The month of August was to be the most exciting month of 2021 – it would mark the start of the Rotman Master of Management Analytics program for the Class of 2022.
Summer Preparation and Travel
I started preparations for the program early in the summer after the MMA Program Services team compiled a list of online resources incoming students could consult to review mathematics and coding concepts before the start of the program. Courses included refreshers in Python, Statistics, and Linear Algebra, all of which are of direct use in the MMA. I found these courses extremely useful as they not only gave me a chance to revisit concepts I learned years ago during my undergraduate studies but also eased any nervousness I had about not being ready for the academic rigor of the program.
After packing my bags, visiting my favorite restaurants, and saying goodbye to my friends and parents, I made my way to Hong Kong International Airport to board my highly anticipated flight to Toronto. I was filled with excitement for the new chapter lying ahead of me.
It would be remiss of me not to acknowledge that I was equally as nervous for what was to come as I knew that the MMA would be an intensive program, but I was ready to take on the next challenge in my career and boarded my flight with anticipation.
Career Discovery Week
Before the program started, the Rotman Career Services team organized ‘Career Discovery Week’ – a week full of informational panels and interactive workshops for all Rotman Masters students, aimed at exposing us to new industries as well as getting us familiar with the support the Career Services team would offer us during and after our time at Rotman.
A few of the panels I most enjoyed included the Analytics Panel and the Effective Networking Panel. During the Analytics panel, we had the opportunity to hear from and connect with industry professionals who gave us a sense of the latest trends in Analytics and how we can build a career in the area after graduating. In the Effective Networking Panel, I learned the art of the networking process – from initiating a connection to holding coffee chats, to maintaining long-lasting professional relationships.
Career Discovery Week confirmed my confidence in choosing Rotman for my graduate degree. The care and attention the Career Services team gives students to ensure their job search is effective and fruitful only heightened my excitement for the year to come.
Although we were unable to start the program in person due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Program Services team and Professors organized a virtual two-day orientation packed with informative sessions about the Program and team-building activities.
In the Intro Term, we took the courses ‘Analytics in Management’ and ‘Data-Based Management Decisions’, bootcamps in R, SQL, JMP, and Statistics, and Colloquia in Computer Science with Python and Responsible AI.
The combination of courses served to put us all on a level playing field as we started the program and acted as a mini-MBA for many of us who did not come from a business background. I found the Analytics in Management class the most interesting, as it covered Accounting, Operations, Finance, Strategy, Marketing, and Organizational Behavior & Human Resource Management. The course introduced the key functional areas of business and where data and analytics may be employed in solving their managerial problems.
Building Relationships Outside the Classroom
Picture of MMA Group Hangout
One thing I was most excited about was meeting my classmates. Despite our first month being online, there were plenty of opportunities for the MMA Class of 2022 to meet and develop relationships offline, outside of the classroom. On the night of orientation, the students who were in Toronto met in Coronation Park for the very first time. It was a surreal experience seeing my classmates who, throughout the summer pre-program meetings, I had only seen through my computer screen on Zoom!
On the weekends, we would explore the campus and surrounding areas in Toronto, such as the Distillery District. Although we were not allowed to go inside many UofT buildings at the time due to COVID-19, we had a chance to view the beautiful architecture from the outside. Many of the UofT buildings are some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen on a University campus!
The month of August marked the start of a new and exciting chapter in my life. With the help of the MMA Program and Careers staff as well as my classmates, I was eager to experience what September would bring.
The Master of Management Analytics is designed to give students the advanced data management, analytics and communication skills needed to become an analytics professional.