Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

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Q&A with the Academic Director: Professor Opher Baron

In the second of three blog posts with Professor Opher Baron, Academic Director, Master of Management Analytics, we explore the benefits of the Rotman program, and learn more about the types of students that want to study with us.

Read post #1

What are the key strengths of the Rotman program?

There are a few things.

There are the people involved in the program. The staff (recruitment and admissions, program services, careers teams) we have at the program is an immense strength. Their dedication and their desire to improve the program is fantastic. They are always making suggestions as to how we can make the program better for our students.

Then, there is the faculty. We have a great faculty. They are very knowledgeable about their areas and understand the synergy between business and analytics. In each of the courses we offer, we look at the different analytics tools along with the impact to the business. What are the implications? For example, why am I looking at a confidence interval? Ok, I can do it. But, why? What does it mean? Why do I care about it?

We have top faculty at Rotman. You can see that in terms of their publications, their teaching, and their dedication to the Rotman school. They also really care about the program too. They go above and beyond for our students. 

Finally, it’s our students. We recruit the best and the brightest; our students are learning with others who are at their high level. They push each other on to learn more.

Oh, and Dean Susan Christoffersen was involved in the program at its inception -- she, and the other senior leaders care about this program (and the others at the School too of course). It means we can get the resources we need, such as the TD Management Data and Analytics Lab, which is a great resource for the MMA program and the wider School too.

There is so much energy for the program, to make it better and better, it can only be a good thing for our students.

Has there been a change in the type of student who is now coming to the program, in terms of expectations or future career goals?

Yes, there have been some subtle changes. There certainly are more students who are seeking opportunities outside of Canada and North America. Our applicants in recent years have come to us with stronger technical skills, which not only makes them more competitive when applying, but also helps in finding employment after the program. We see more people taking courses like intro to programming, or more quant courses than previously was the case. The starting point from which they will build their skills in the program is a little higher.

There has also been a change in where people would like to work. Reading the application essays, there are definitely students looking at industries other than finance and consulting, where most students tended to focus at the start of the program. There is a lot of interest in healthcare, non-profit and government. I’ve also noticed interest in the renewable energy sector. There are also more and more students who join us with the intention of looking for international employment opportunities.

You can tell through the application process how highly motivated they are. You can see that from day one when they start with us too. 

There is a great vibe in the classrooms -- asking questions, working on the topics together, challenging each other. You can see their growth during the program and that’s really great to see.  

As a school, we are here to help facilitate their growth, push them on, but they really own it. We have relatively young people in our classes, but myself and the rest of the faculty and staff are really impressed with their maturity. 

We are very happy that we are receiving applications from graduates of great programs at great schools. Rather than getting a job, they are seeing the benefits our program can offer their career over the longer-term.

Read post #3

The Master of Management Analytics is designed to give students the advanced data management, analytics and communication skills needed to become an analytics professional. 

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