Wednesday, November 13, 2013

8 things you MUST DO as a Rotman student

The other day I was at Rotman for an event hosted by the Rotman Finance Association. Several first-year students mentioned to me that they found my blog very helpful in deciding to study at Rotman. Their comments were very humbling, especially since the primary purpose of my blog was to help people learn more about the school and ease their decision-making by chronicling my own experiences.

It also occurred to me that I never did write a wrap-up post after I graduated. The first-year students’ comments inspired me to do so. Plus, I was feeling a little nostalgic. C'mon! The student life is ideal, in so many ways!

Since list-based articles and blog posts are racking up the views these days (e.g., 19 ways to tell you’re an MBA student, 41 things that millennials need to learn before entering the work force, 30 things I wish I’d known when I was in my 20s, etc), I thought I’d capture your attention and title this blog post similarly.

And so, ladies and gentlemen, here it is: The 8 things you MUST DO as a Rotman student.

1.     Attend a SABA Party: There’s no doubt: The South Asian Business Association (SABA) knows how to throw down! At SABA’s 2013 end of year party, the DJ was amazing, the food and drink were delicious, and the dancing lasted all night long. If you’re not busy, go to a SABA party. Even if you are very busy, go to a SABA party.

2.     Go to (or better yet, participate in) No Talent Night: This is by far one of the biggest and most enjoyed nights of the year, but I may be biased. In first year, two of my classmates and I performed a beat-boxed and Rotmanized version of “Drinking in LA”, which won us the night’s first prize. And in second year, our encore performance won us first prize again. To my knowledge, the same performers have never won first prize two years in a row. And if it ever happens again, you will want to be there to witness it.

Temi Kolarinwa, pictured in the middle, is now pursuing a career as a rapper. His first music video can be seen here. See? You can do ANYTHING with a Rotman MBA!

3.     Volunteer at Orientation Camp: As I mentioned before in one of my first posts, camp is not to be missed as a first-year student. It is the origin of many friendships, laughter and legendary stories. And if you have the chance, go to camp as a second-year volunteer. You will be in charge of some small aspect of camp, such as security or organizing an activity, and some of this may involve some sort of preparation ahead of time. It is a really fun way to reunite with your Rotman pals and meet the incoming class. It’s definitely not all work! Many 2013 grads (including myself) will tell you that camp was more fun as a volunteer. If you don’t believe us, you will have to see for yourself!

Rotman's 2012 Orientation Camp volunteers before the full moon party.

4.     Run around Toronto in the Rotman Amazing Race: Running. Costumes. Smartphones. Running. Asking strangers to take pictures and videos of your team acting like fools. Making obscure demands of fast food employees. Running. Applying for jobs at local businesses that may or may not exist. And some more running. This full day event accounts for some very hilarious pictures and stories. And yes, maybe a very sore body the next day, but it is worth it. Find some friends who can run, whip up a costume and team name, and have fun!

The Rainbow Pandas!

5.     Play dodgeball with Outreach Dodgeball: Why would you pass up the opportunity to play dodgeball against your professors? Seek some revenge!

6.     Participate in at least one case competition: Everyone will do a case competition as part of the core strategy course in first year. I would recommend stepping out of your comfort zone a little bit and participating in at least one more. No, they are not always “fun”, but you will learn a lot, work with like-minded students and meet many people who work in your industries of interest.

7.     Join the Rotman Dragon Boat Team: During the summer between first and second year, a number of us joined the Rotman Dragon Boat Team. I think only one person on the team had ever rowed competitively before, so nearly everyone was a complete beginner. This didn’t stop us from having tons of fun though! Our season consisted of 5 or 6 practices on Sunday mornings and one weekend-long regatta on Toronto Island. Sure, we weren’t the best team there, but we had consistent improvements to our race time and enjoyed being out in the sun all day. Make sure this happens, even if you have to be the one to organize it!

Still smiling, even after a grueling race!

8.     Be a member of the MBA Games team: This is the biggest gathering of MBA students in the country, with inter-school athletic, academic and spirit competitions held all weekend long. Try not to miss out on this. Get on Rotman’s team by impressing the executive with your superior athletic abilities, case competition inclined brain or unmatched Rotman spirit. You will not regret the experience, especially since only a select few from Rotman participate. BONUS: You get lots of Rotman swag – t-shirts, hoodies, sweat pants, bags, and, if you’re lucky, sunglasses.

The Rotman MBA Games dodgeball team has been undefeated for two years in a row now. Will there be a three-peat in 2014? GO ROTMAN GO!
There is no doubt that I sincerely enjoyed my days at Rotman. I am so grateful to have had this opportunity - to have studied with some of the best business professors in the world, to have developed personally and professionally, and to have met some life-long friends.

This will officially conclude "Adventures at the Rotman School of Management" blog. I hope you have all enjoyed reading, as much as I have enjoyed writing. I wish you all the best, whatever your future endeavours! If you have questions about being a Rotman student, feel free to reach out to me! I am always happy to help!

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