Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

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Change, Leadership and the Rotman-SDA Bocconi Global Executive MBA

Zeenat Zahir (GEMBA ’21) is a firm believer in working hard towards change.

Based in Bangladesh, Zeenat spent most of her career working in human resources and strategy, taking on multiple roles over the last 15 years at a telecommunications company.

In fall 2019, she started the 18-month Rotman-SDA Bocconi Global Executive MBA  program to hone her leadership and strategy skills. At the dawn of a new decade in 2020, with the skills she picked up just two modules into the program, she was selected for a senior role with a management consulting firm.

Ready for change

A lot has changed since she enrolled in the Rotman-SDA Bocconi Global Executive MBA program.

Zeenat is an expert on organizational design and development, operational processes, and employee relations. Her focus at work is to improve the satisfaction and performance of organizations. On a personal level, she is interested in advancing her career by improving her leadership and analytical skills. In order to advance to her desired position, she had to further expand her knowledge on measuring an organization’s financial health and strategizing the future of firms.

“Rotman has developed me both as a person and as a professional. ‘Change’ actually happens at the best business school in Canada.” – Zeenat Zahir, GEMBA ‘21

She demonstrated those skills immediately upon starting her new position, using the opportunity to lead high impact projects from the start.

“I must say the program played a vital role in getting selected in such a senior role. The value of being attached to two of the leading business schools in North America and Europe is astounding. The knowledge I have obtained in just two modules helped me to really stand out in the new company.”

Rotman Experience

For Zeenat, the Rotman-SDA Bocconi Global Executive MBA program has many highlights of note.

“The teaching and student services are exceptional. The sheer respect towards diversity - culture, religion, background – is exemplary. From the quality of class participation, you can tell that the program worked hard to put together a class of students who are leaders in their field. Everyone, from the professors, the dean to the program services team are thoughtful and there to help you to succeed.”

Zeenat also started working with a dedicated career coach in the program, who helped her to extend her professional network and increase the quality of her CV.

The program has provided Zeenat with a wide range of skills on a more global scale.

“Before the program, I was afraid of numbers throughout all my academic and career. I can now tell a company’s health in detail just by looking at a few numbers in the annual report. I’m able to talk about different industries and economies.”

“Give your best when you are at Rotman and believe that the program will take care of the rest. The return on investment is big.” – Zeenat Zahir, GEMBA ‘21

Zeenat is eager for the changes both professional and personal that will take place by the end of her Rotman-SDA Bocconi Global Executive MBA journey.

“Believe in your dreams and never ever give up” – Zeenat Zahir, GEMBA ‘21


The Rotman-SDA Bocconi Global Executive MBA is an 18-month intensive program designed for working professionals who are looking to expand global understanding and business skills. Develop personal horizons as a future leader with this unique program spanning seven cities on four continents.

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