The Pioneering MBAs In The Class Of 2019

Ronald Replan 

University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management 

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: I am an Education advocate. I founded three education ventures, all of them still active.

Hometown: Nueva Ecija, Philippines

Fun Fact About Yourself: I could qualify as an extremophile. I grew up in the hottest area in the Philippines where heat index reaches 52 deg C but surprisingly, I enjoy winter hiking in the Canadian Rockies.

Undergraduate School and Major:

University of the Philippines, Business Administration

Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Japanese Language and Business Culture

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

NutriAsia, Finance Business Partner (New Businesses)

Globe Telecom, Product Manager (Broadband)

Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines, Senior Analyst (Capital Investments)

Mitchell Madison Group, Analyst

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: With thorough analysis, I recommended investments in machinery that minimized Coca-Cola’s CO2 footprint, significantly cutting down the company’s costs and greenhouse emissions. Who knew you could save money and save the environment with the same initiative?

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? At first, I felt embarrassed to reach out to people from my target schools because I hardly knew anyone from the MBA circle; it turned out to be the best decision I have ever made. Although combing through websites and reading books helped, talking with these people unearthed valuable insights and inside information that made my application materials coherent, well-researched, and polished. Not available on brochures and ranking websites, information from alumni/students will let you know the school more deeply and will let you assess better how you will fit with the institution. In your application, it’s imperative that you relay this “fit” convincingly.

At information sessions, do not be shy to ask for their e-mail address or to contact them on LinkedIn. You will be surprised at how eager they are to answer questions even if they don’t know you very well. Some of them would go as far as helping you check your resume and essays.

What was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? Rotman’s most striking features are its curriculum and teaching pedagogy. Instead of teaching only the traditional business courses through case studies, Rotman teaches Self-Development, Integrative Thinking and Business Design (more relevant in today’s world), and does so through “mental frameworks.” Based on experience, mental frameworks make seemingly complicated business concepts simple and straightforward and as a result, the concepts become more memorable and useful. Mental frameworks also make the concepts more universal so they can be applied to problems in other industries, or functions.

Rotman’s curriculum and teaching pedagogy are most helpful to those like me who are exploring and/or switching careers.

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? After talking to most of my classmates, I was amazed that there were almost no two people with the same background. A great advantage of studying in a top school is that you can forge lifelong friendships with such brilliant and inspiring people who have proven themselves in their respective and unique fields.