The University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management was ranked third among Canadian MBA programs by the Financial Times in 2020. 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 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, Rotman MBA students are given the option to choose from 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 90 elective courses.
Meanwhile, only 170 miles away but across the border, the full-time MBA program at the Simon Business School at the University of Rochester offers a broadly finance-oriented general management curriculum featuring particular strengths in analytics and accounting. Simon’s program is built on a foundation of 12 core courses, including “Managerial Economics,” “Capital Budgeting and Corporate Objectives,” and “Marketing Management.” Students complete their core with an assigned study team before exploring more specialized professional interests.
The school’s elective courses represent a variety of industries and functions, such as entrepreneurship, consulting, and real estate. Students may choose from ten career specializations, which are divided into three tracks: Finance, which includes such topics as Banking, Corporate Finance, and Asset Management; Consulting, which includes Pricing, Strategy, Technology, and Operations; and Marketing, which includes Product Management and Brand Management. Students also have ten available minors, which are divided into cross-functional and functional and include Analytics, Global Business, and Leadership. In addition, the Simon MBA EDGE Program provides students with opportunities for personal development in such areas as problem solving, communication, and leadership through involvement in activities including clubs, advisory boards, and other groups on campus, as well as case competitions and projects with area companies. The program, which the school’s website says was “developed to focus on key competencies [that] today’s employers demand in graduate business students,” aims to complement knowledge learned in the classroom and increase students’ value to potential employers.
Simon’s Ain Center for Entrepreneurship and Center for Pricing offer curricular and research support to supplement the specific career concentrations. Simon is also home to more than 20 professional and social student-run organizations aimed at coordinating networking events and professional development resources to assist students in advancing their careers.