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Rotman MBA (Toronto, Canada) beckons Indian students

Written by Sameer Kamat

Rotman MBA

The Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto is the best (#1) business school in Canada. The Rotman MBA is ranks among the top 10 finance programs globally (according to Financial Times).

Apart from these globally relevant reasons, there are a few India specific ones too. Devashish Khatwani shares those reasons that helped him choose the Rotman MBA over many other top MBA offers in hand.


How I got into the Rotman MBA (Canada)
by Devashish Khatwani

I graduated from IIT Roorkee in 2007 and joined PricewaterhouseCooper’s (PwC) consulting division straight out of college. I worked in the consulting space for five years. Throughout my professional career I faced a steep learning curve and this in part motivated me to go for a MBA.

I also wanted to change track from consulting to private equity (PE) as I consider PE industry to be an ideal mix of consulting expertise and investment acumen. I know it is not an easy industry to break into but an MBA eases the path to a PE role.

I wrote my GMAT in late 2009 and applied to B-Schools in 2010 admission cycle. Unfortunately, I was not able to secure admission to any of the schools.

In hindsight I would attribute this to unfocussed essays and nervousness during interviews. I got back to applying to B-Schools with vengeance in 2011 admission cycle. I chose not to apply to any of the US B Schools, this is because I do not consider my profile (GMAT 720, IIT, 5 yrs. management consulting) to be competitive at the schools I wanted to go to (The M7).

I applied to Tier 1 B Schools in Europe and Canada (Oxbridge, IESE, ESADE, Rotman) and ISB. I got interview invites from all the schools except Cambridge (still no clue why?) and was able to secure admission to ISB and Rotman.

Why I chose the Rotman MBA in Canada

– I wanted to global career which to me seemed more likely at Rotman than at ISB.

– I have been through education system at an elite Indian institution (IIT) and wanted to try out the education system at a top tier global institution.

– Canada is a much more stable economy than either US or Europe at the moment.

– Canada is much more immigrant friendly than either US or Europe.

– I did the ROI calculation for both ISB and Rotman and found both ISB and Rotman were at parity if I took a time frame of >7 years.

Key takeaways from my Rotman MBA admission journey

– Know what you want from your MBA. I wanted to broaden my business knowledge and hopefully be looked upon more favorably by the recruiters in my target industry.

– Know which colleges you want to go to and judge whether your profile will be competitive there.

– The essays should have a sharp focus: read advice from Precision Essay, The Essay Snark ad The MBA Mission and if you have the dough go ahead and hire a good MBA consultant.

– Do mock interviews with your friends and ask them to poke holes into your story. Read the questions provided on Clear Admit wiki, they are representative of the questions you normally get asked.

– Decide which college to attend logically and don’t be swayed by brand reputations.

My Rotman MBA experience so far

I am loving it! The diversity of the class is truly amazing. We have regular (too regular!) interactions with business and thought leaders from across North America.

What I like the most about the course so far is that it is not just about rot learning but really LEARNING (‘3 Idiots’ movie style learning). The professors are doing a wonderful job and the infrastructure is world class.


If you have questions for Devashish about the Rotman MBA or opportunities in Canada, please post them below as a comment. Speaking of Canadian MBA programs, another one that you may want to check out is the Ivey MBA. Also, don’t miss this interview with Rotman School of Management – MBA Admissions Team

If you have an interesting story to share, write for us.


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Sameer Kamat

About Sameer Kamat

Founder of MBA Crystal Ball | Author of Beyond The MBA Hype & Business Doctors Connect with me on Google+ | Twitter @mba_cb | Facebook


43 Comments

  1. amit ganguly   |  Wednesday, 14 November 2012 at 8:41 am

    Congratulations to Devashish. His story is certainly an interesting read. As far as Canadian schools are concerned I would like to know that which all schools have a strong Focus towards Sustainability and Green Consulting. ?

  2. Sameer Kamat   |  Sunday, 18 November 2012 at 5:31 pm

    Most of the top MBA programs offer specialisations for Sustainability.

    In Canada, two programs you can check out are Schulich and Sauder (University of British Columbia).

    If you want to expand the list, two more Canadian schools which are lesser known – University of Calgary (Haskayne) and Concordia.

  3. Pawan   |  Wednesday, 12 December 2012 at 9:58 am

    Why are salaries, on an average, post MBA from Rotman are way lesser than avg salaries from contemporary US colleges, like Kenan-Flagler or Georgetown university. Do employers in Canada pay less to MBA’s ?

    I compared the salary reports of Rotman and Kenan-flagler.

    Thanks

  4. Sameer Kamat   |  Friday, 14 December 2012 at 7:39 am

    Pawan,

    It’s a little tricky to compare average MBA salaries across two schools

    Check out this article: MBA Jobs: Average salaries & what they mean

    A lot depends on parameters such as the dominant industry offering MBA jobs at that schools, the class profile (age, work experience) and the demand for MBA grads within the country.

    As an approach, you might want to dig deeper into the profiles that have an overlap with your background and aspirations and see where their bschools got them.

  5. Manohar   |  Sunday, 27 January 2013 at 9:45 pm

    Hi Sameer,

    I got an admit in Queen’s MBA(Canada). I am from IT background with 9 yrs exp , 700 gmat and 1 yr international exp. The reason I chose Queen’s was for its focus on personal development, Team work, 1yr course and brand name in canada. I chose canada for the ease of getting work permit post-mba.

    I am a little worried as canadian salaries are generally lower compared to US and due to the high cost of the program. Your website has not reviewed Queen’s MBA. Any Insights on the program and its international brand value / relevance are deeply appreciated. I am also worried by the idea that I maybe settling for something less paying big bucks.

  6. Sameer Kamat   |  Thursday, 31 January 2013 at 5:09 pm

    Manohar,

    I’ve shared some thoughts on the US vs Canda salary disparity in the comment just above yours.

    We helped a candidate get into Queen’s this season (your future classmate!). We’ve requested him to post his story, but seems like he’s been busy. Apart from that unfortunately there’s no first hand data I can share with you at this stage.

    Maybe you could check on other MBA forums that have an active Queen’s MBA thread.

  7. Mohit   |  Saturday, 02 February 2013 at 9:26 am

    I have an offer from Rotman but I am very reluctant to accept it now. It would be great if you could help me with points below:

    (1) I want some help with ROI calculation. How did you find ROI of Rotman and ISB same in 7 yrs period. The current MBA fees at Rotman is extremely high. I believe the new building is in part the reason for increased fee. Considering that I am financing my MBA with loan, I am very nervous about paying such a high fee.

    (2) After reading a lot about Rotman and talking to people, I am not very convinced that it is a top program. It may have attracted some good students in past due to stardom of dean Roger Martin (his integrative thinking brand) and easier visa norms of Canada but with current fee structure I doubt many good students will find it attractive. I have feeling Rotman is just more marketing and less substance. Moreover, from what I have seen everyone who was interview by Rotman this year has been accepted (there is not even a single person who reported reject on forums such as pagalguy). This hardly true for any top program.

    I am in serious doubt and I have to decide quickly. Any suggestion?

  8. Sameer Kamat   |  Saturday, 02 February 2013 at 10:16 am

    Mohit,

    Devashish may not be checking this post for follow-up comments as this is an old post.

    We also don’t have a Rotman thread on our forum yet, where you could’ve got other perspectives.

    Maybe you contact current students at Rotman or alumni who’d be active on Pagalguy or the other forums.

    Though I can’t speak for Devashish, I’m guessing he considered the payback period for Rotman by considering Canadian fees vs Canadian salary. Ditto for ISB. Which is probably how he has arrived at the 7 year number.

    Any other offers in hand?

  9. Mohit   |  Saturday, 02 February 2013 at 10:33 am

    Thanks Sameer. Do you have any insight into the Rotman program, on whether it is at par with some of the best US schools? It is really difficult to see through all the nice picture that schools paint.

    At the moment I have a waitlist at Tepper and interview invite from Kelley. I have also applied to NUS.

  10. Sameer Kamat   |  Saturday, 02 February 2013 at 10:41 am

    Mohit,

    I’ve been hoping to interview the Rotman admissions team to get some direct information that’s not available on their website. But the team has been travelling, so it’s getting delayed.

    They’d have more information on how many folks get accepted/rejected after the interview. So I don’t have that data to share. But from my interactions with the team, it appeared as if they are committed to improving the quality of profiles that they accept.

    But your concerns are justified. For Indians it’s a lot of money. And it does get very confusing because most schools start appear more or less the same after you’ve seen 15-20 websites.

    So always good to get feedback from multiple sources – website, adcom, fairs, current students, alumni – so you can form your own perception in the end.

  11. shiv kumar   |  Friday, 22 February 2013 at 8:53 am

    Hi sameer ,

    Do you have any knowledge abt Sobey school of business,St Mary’s university ? As it is AASCB accrediated , i assume it to be a good bschool as i am planning to apply once i complete 2 years of professional experience.

  12. Sameer Kamat   |  Saturday, 23 February 2013 at 8:44 am

    Shiv, I haven’t heard about this program.

  13. Johansenn   |  Wednesday, 20 March 2013 at 5:17 pm

    I’m an older student (in my early 30’s) looking at MBA programs. Do you know if age plays a big part in the admissions process?

    Thanks

  14. Sameer Kamat   |  Thursday, 21 March 2013 at 7:31 am

    Johansenn,

    Age does play a role in the admissions process. The further away you are from the median for the school, the stronger your ‘Why MBA’ rationale should be.

  15. Amrendr   |  Friday, 29 March 2013 at 9:02 am

    Hi Sameer,
    I have got admits from Haskayne School of business,University of Calgary(with $10k scholarship) and McMaster University for full time MBA program but I am unable to decide between the two. It would be really helpful if you could share your views about the reputation of the programs,post mba job prospects?
    My Profile:
    Btech :Mech engg
    work ex: 3.5 years IT consulting
    post mba career goal: to work in management consulting

    Regards
    Amrendra

  16. Sameer Kamat   |  Tuesday, 02 April 2013 at 1:03 pm

    @Amrendra: Congrats on the admits. I’m afraid I can’t help you choose between them, as I do not have insights about either of them. Try getting in touch with current students to get some perspectives.

  17. jasanmeet   |  Tuesday, 09 April 2013 at 9:42 am

    Amrender,

    What was your GMAT score

  18. Vignesh S.   |  Thursday, 18 April 2013 at 6:19 am

    Hi Sameer,
    I am having a GMAT score of 680 and 3 years of work exp in IT consulting.which are the best universities in Canada that offers MBA in IT and Consulting. Pls given your suggestion for choosing the univ for my field.

  19. Sameer Kamat   |  Sunday, 21 April 2013 at 6:59 am

    @Vignesh: Unlike the U.S., there aren’t too many options in Canada. Apart from Rotman, there’s – Queen’s, Schulich, Ivey.

  20. Raguraman   |  Saturday, 27 April 2013 at 2:30 pm

    HI Sameer,

    Is the job oppourtunities good in canada .If i do my MBA will i be able to find a good job…

  21. Sameer Kamat   |  Thursday, 02 May 2013 at 8:19 am

    @Raguraman: Both questions are too broad and generic. So apologies in advance if you find this response also generic.

    – Yes, there are plenty of job opportunities for the right people with the right skills.

    – You will get a job after your MBA, provided your pre-MBA experience is good, your bschool is good and your post-MBA goals are practical.

  22. Rohit   |  Friday, 03 May 2013 at 7:23 pm

    I can give you a good snapshot of Rotman, as I graduated last year.

    At Rotman, you will find get an education that really is among the very finest. The intellectual capital, research and program design are exceptional. Rotman is particularly exceptional in areas of finance and business design, and is emerging entrepreneurship with it’s new venture lab.

    Employers also rate an exceptional satisfaction rate with Rotman grads as well. Even though the bottom 10% of the class is somewhat questionable talent.

    All the best jobs (ie. investment banking and top tier consulting) are nearby in downtown, but only about 20-25% of the class are going to get those positions in recruiting. For the rest, you are on your own in you’re job search.

    The career services department is substandard. Rotman has increased its class size over the years, but they probably still only place the same number of students that they always have. Meaning they have not scaled their staff accordingly nor incentified the staff to place you.

    Outside of Canada, Rotman is not a player, although if you mention University of Toronto you will get some recognition. Within Canada, Rotman and Ivey are the only 2 MBAs worth doing. I wouldn’t put any other program in the same breathe.

  23. shams   |  Wednesday, 22 May 2013 at 9:30 am

    hi, good to read views and opinions on some canadian mba programs. can someone pls guide on financing these programs as i see the cost for most of the top-ranked programs exceed 70k cdn$. (western 77k, rotman 88k etc.0. thanks

  24. Sandeep   |  Saturday, 25 May 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Hi Sameer,

    I already have Masters in Fashion Management from NIFT with 3 years of work-ex in retail sector and before that BE in biotech. I am not satisfied with my current opportunities in my sector. I want to go for another Masters(MBA) degree to enhance my career. Do you think that I will face challenges in justifying doing another Masters course? Are there any 1 year MBA courses available?

  25. Sameer Kamat   |  Saturday, 01 June 2013 at 8:14 pm

    @Rohit: Thanks for the perspective.

    @Shams: Some articles related to MBA financing.

    @Sandeep: A little off-topic for this post. But the short answer is don’t jump into another Masters degree before you are completely convinced that you won’t end up in the same situation in a few more years after completing the second Masters.

  26. Abhishek   |  Tuesday, 25 June 2013 at 5:33 pm

    Hi Sameer,

    I have no available option other than Rotman for 2013 session. I have a technology background of 7.5 years with below average GPA in engineering degree. I’m not looking to be in Finance post my MBA and would love to work in the business side of Technology. I’m 30.5 years old as of now and looking Rotman’s offer quiet seriously. Kindly suggest if Rotman will be the right choice for me.

    Regards,
    Abhishek

  27. Sameer Kamat   |  Saturday, 29 June 2013 at 7:26 pm

    Abhishek, with no other bschool admits in hand, we aren’t in a very strong position here. Check out the feedback from the current student (Rohit) in the comments above, talk to other current students and recent alumni and take a call.

  28. Varun   |  Saturday, 06 July 2013 at 5:22 pm

    Hey Sameer,

    Do you know if Rotman and Schulich make an exception on the Bachelors + Masters rule in their admission criteria? I have only a Bachelors degree with 3 yrs Investment banking / Finance exp in India and Brazil + leadership experience in Brazil and now im running my own business since the beginning of this year. I was looking at applying to Rotman & Schulich but unfortunately both need 3yrs bachelors + masters so its a little frustrating to think i might be wasting a year on Mcom.
    I have already emailed both bschools with the same question but i havent received a reply yet

    Thanks!

  29. Sameer Kamat   |  Sunday, 07 July 2013 at 8:57 am

    @Varun: Rather than depending on a third party’s response, you’d better wait for the official admissions teams to get back. More authentic answers that you can depend on, when it comes to technicalities such as this.

  30. Binoy   |  Sunday, 22 September 2013 at 1:30 pm

    Dear Sir
    I just completed my graduation in engineering and i am looking forward to do MBA in Canada. So without any previous work experience will i get a good job with good salary? and if i will then how much will it be around?

  31. Ram   |  Sunday, 29 September 2013 at 3:54 pm

    Hi Sameer ,

    I currently have 1.5 years of wrk ex(Standard Chartered Scope international) and aiming to pursue MBA in Canada.Kindly suggest me universities in Canada in all the three tiers/levels or top univs and medium univs worth pursuing MBA.

  32. Rahat   |  Friday, 04 October 2013 at 2:04 pm

    Hello sir
    Am in the merchant navy sailing as a third officer and want a change in profession
    And pursue my MBA in Canada .Please advise if there may be any problems
    I would face .But one thing is certain,I really want to do this

  33. Pulkit   |  Tuesday, 08 October 2013 at 6:02 pm

    Hi Sameer,

    I have done a 5 year dual degree programme from Narsee Monjee and have a 2.5 years of work ex in product management and financial controller in mid size firms. I have recently cleared CFA level 3 and the admission criteria says that a CFA level 3 would waive off the GMAT requirements. my gpa stands at 3.06/4. Should I take the GMAT and then apply to Rotman , what are the career prospects of a CFA plus Rotman MBA in Canada post the graduate programme?

    Cheers,
    Pulkit

  34. Sameer Kamat   |  Thursday, 10 October 2013 at 9:06 am

    @Binoy: Very unlikely that you’ll get a fantastic international job with no prior experience.

    @Ram: Check out Rotman, Ivey, Schulich, Sauder, Queens.

    @Rahat: The biggest problem (if you want to call it that) would be to convince that you have the skills and potential to transition to shore jobs in a corporate setting after you graduate.

    @Pulkit: It’s a little surprising to hear that any school would consider CFA as an alternative to GMAT score. The two are different as chalk and cheese. But if that’s what schools accept, more power to them. Opens up more options for you. But if you ask me, you should take the GMAT as it is the industry standard.

  35. Rahat   |  Saturday, 02 November 2013 at 1:54 pm

    Good day sir,
    thank you for the reply….but realistically speaking do you think i should go ahead with my mba plans

  36. Ashwat Venkatraman   |  Monday, 18 November 2013 at 6:47 pm

    Hi Sameer

    I have got an admission offer from Rotman for the 2014 session and interviews next week currently from Kelley and Emory Goizuetta. I really want to know if Rotman would provide me with an advantage of being best in Canada where jobs are concerned.From Rohit’s post it’s clear that not all students get a job after the course.
    My work experience of 3 yrs(as of Sept 2014) is from Deloitte Consulting. I need to accept the Rotman offer within the next 45 days and am not sure I’ll be clear about any US college till then. Any suggestions?

  37. Hari   |  Sunday, 15 December 2013 at 6:24 pm

    Hi Ashwat,

    Hope you are doing well.

    I am a current student at Rotman and would be graduating in few months. I would not recommend Rotman and Canadian Market over US Schools. Canadian Market is really small and jobs in consulting/other firms are really a few. If you are targeting a consulting job after MBA, then definitely Rotman is not the place for you.

    Most of Consulting firms don’t hire international students due to their emphasis on Social Fit – all international students are on back foot considering their limited exposure to Canadian Social settings. Some firms hire for Tech Advisory but number of those jobs are less than 5-7 every year and about a 100 students are targeting those Tech Advisory Jobs, so one can guess about the competition here.

    I hope your interviews at US schools are going well. I am not sure if I have answered your concern, let me know if you want to know more about Rotman. Thanks!

  38. Mohita   |  Thursday, 09 January 2014 at 12:09 pm

    hello Sameer, would you tell me what are the good courses in MBA in Canada that I can choose after 7 years of experience as a Flight Attendant, currently I am pursuing last year of my under graduation course of BBA from distance learning education. Thank you.

  39. Sameer Kamat   |  Thursday, 30 January 2014 at 6:21 pm

    @Rahat: As I say in my book, if you can avoid an MBA and still get to your goals, that’s the best option.

    @Ashwat: Hari (current student) has posted just below your comment. The risk of getting a job in a foreign country will always be there, irrespective of the brand of the college. So if you decide to take it up, have a backup plan that you can put into action when the going gets tough.

    @Mohita: Check out the 1-year options like Ivey MBA. We worked with someone from the airline industry (ground staff) and she got into a good European college with scholarship. So keep Europe also on your, er, radar screen. More 1 year MBA programs there.

  40. Ashfaq   |  Sunday, 02 February 2014 at 6:54 pm

    Hi Sameer,

    I just got an offer from Rotman w/o any scholarship. I would like to know if putting in this kind of money would be worth it especially if I intend to return back to India or the middle east after graduation.

    Also I have an interview invite from UCLA and Oxford, based on my intentions which school do you think would be the best fit for me?
    Thanks,

  41. Sameer Kamat   |  Tuesday, 25 February 2014 at 6:12 pm

    @Ashfaq: If your aim is to get back to India immediately, then the strongest brand here would be Oxford. Also, as opposed to UCLA and Rotman, it’s a 1 year MBA. So lesser costs and better RoI.

  42. Salil   |  Monday, 07 April 2014 at 11:13 am

    Hey Samir,
    I have just completed my C.A …i am still lookin out for a job ….i am 23 now….my plan is to get into investment consulting as i do not have real prior experience into it it is tough getting into…so i have devised a plan to do my CFA in the next few years and in meanwhile get some experience in investment banking in INDIA and later on i plan on doing an MBA from the US or Canada….any advice that you can offer… ?

  43. Sukhdeep   |  Wednesday, 14 May 2014 at 3:45 pm

    Please consider my profile below.

    Education
    10 th – 90 %
    12 th – 81%
    Graduation – 64 % ( B Tech. Computer Science.. Kurukshetra University)
    GMAT – 730

    Experience.

    15 months work experience with a nationalized bank in retail banking division.

    1 year work experience with a new education start up as a strategy officer..
    help grew them from one location to 3 locations and helped them add more verticals.

    for past 5 months.. managing my own company (sole proprietor ) which provides coaching for competitve exams.

    extracurricular
    Was president of ISTE in the pre final year of my college.
    Started Trekking and reading Clubs at my college.
    Trained skier – Got 3rd prize at Skiing Competition held at Gulmarg By IISM.
    Climbed two peaks — 5000 mtrs height in Sikkim and Uttarakhand.
    Camp leader with Youth Hostel Association of India (YHAI)

    Hobbies – running and badminton.

    Targeting Rotman Richard Ivey..

    Please guide me whether my profile is competitive enough and how can I improve it.

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