One of Canada’s top-ranked business schools for finance—the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management—benefits from the leadership of a foremost figure in the nation’s financial sector. After Roger Martin stepped down as the school’s dean, Tiff Macklem, the former senior deputy governor of the Bank of Canada, assumed the role in 2014 for a five-year term and was reappointed for a second term, beginning in July 2019.
Rotman, which was ranked first among Canadian MBA programs by the Financial Times in 2019 and 22nd among programs outside the United States by Bloomberg Businessweek in 2017, underwent significant growth under Martin’s deanship, in both campus size and endowment. Macklem’s appointment as dean suggested a continued rise in Rotman’s academic profile and its reputation for financial education.
In addition to its finance-related strengths, Rotman offers a rather unique approach to core business pedagogy. Relying on what it terms “integrative thinking,” Rotman’s teaching model challenges the compartmentalization of traditional functional areas. Students complete a series of core courses in their first year that emphasize generalized business skills and the ability to think across functional disciplines. The Rotman Self-Developmental Lab, which offers feedback on the students’ communication style and behavioral performance via group workshops and personalized sessions with psychologists and management consultants, is also part of the first year of studies. The mission of the lab program, according to the school’s site, is to “develop and nurture [the students’] self-awareness and the interpersonal skills that are key to becoming an effective collaborative problem-solver.”
In their second year, students are given the option to choose from among 16 different major areas, including Global Management, Sustainability, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Funds Management, while supplementing their focus with a broader array of more than 100 elective courses.
Approximately 125 miles from Rotman, at the University of Western Ontario, stands Ivey Business School, which Bloomberg Businessweek ranked as the best Canadian MBA program in 2018. The Ivey MBA program runs over the course of one year and is, according to the school’s website, designed for “high-achieving leaders who are ready to accelerate their career success.”
At Ivey, MBA students take part in real-world projects and can benefit from optional global learning opportunities and career management guidance, in addition to taking such core courses as “Leveraging Information Technology,” “Managing Financial Resources,” and “Communicating Effectively.” Study trips are available to Asia and South America during the electives period, while the Ivey Field Project allows students to form teams and work with real companies to find a solution for an issue or an opportunity before presenting their findings to the company. Students also have the option of developing an idea for a New Venture Ivey Field Project, creating a business plan for the idea, and presenting the pitch to a panel of external reviewers.