Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

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Every day, people with diverse backgrounds, education and skills come to the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto to become tomorrow’s business leaders. Rotman helps makes this dream a reality through our generous system of Entrance Awards, of which over $1 million is awarded to incoming students each year for the Morning/Evening MBA program alone. 

This was the case for Shannon Townsend (Morning ‘21), who received one of the prestigious Rotman Morning Entrance Awards. We sat down with Shannon to get an idea of why she chose Rotman, to learn her favourite (and most challenging) aspects of the program, and to get some insight as to why the Rotman community is so special. 

Why Rotman?

Shannon started thinking about doing her MBA almost as soon as she finished her undergraduate degree in biomedical science. She felt that she needed to have a stronger financial and operational background to do the best work in her sector. She finally made the decision after a friend who had done the program encouraged her to apply.

Given that I live and work in downtown Toronto and that my role is largely based on relationships, Rotman was the clear choice. Not working was simply not an option for me. The Morning MBA at Rotman was by far the most accommodating of any of the programs that I looked into.

“It’s truly amazing how you can adapt to the workload.”

For Shannon, the hardest part of the program is learning about content that she was previously unfamiliar with. Although it has taken her longer to fully master new topics than some of her classmates, the Morning MBA has been an incredibly rewarding experience. 

“It’s truly amazing how you can adapt to the workload. Completing each course and coming away with new knowledge and perspectives that I can apply at my next meeting or strategy session – that makes it all worth it.”

Shannon was also honoured to be one of the winners of the Rotman Morning Entrance Award. For her, having Rotman’s support at this period in her career made the burden of being a student and working at the same time much more manageable. 

The highlight of her Rotman experience?

Shannon considers the supportive nature of her peers and the Rotman community to be her favourite part of the experience.

My classmates, professors and staff are all there to lift me up in any way possible – no (wo)man gets left behind. A lot of people have reached out to me who may be interested in doing their MBA, and I’m so proud to be an ambassador.

Shannon had this to say for others interested in enrolling in an MBA program at Rotman: 

“What are you waiting for!? There’s never a good time and you are good enough. Everyone here is rooting for you.” 


To learn more about the Morning & Evening MBA, contact me-mba@rotman.utoronto.ca.
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