Meet the MBA Class of 2022: Takura Chinodya, University of Toronto (Rotman)

Takura Chinodya

University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management

“Laid back capitalist committed to socialist causes.”

Hometown: Harare, Zimbabwe (and Johannesburg South Africa)

Fun Fact About Yourself: One thing I’m very afraid of is heights! But somehow, I managed to go skydiving and it was awesome!

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Cape Town, Finance & Economics

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Goldman Sachs, Investment Banking Associate

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of the school’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? Rotman is known as one of the most innovative business schools in the world particularly when it comes to Finance / Investment Management specializations. What really sealed the deal for me was how (at the time) they were one of only two top business schools globally that accepted CFA qualification in place of GMATs. I instantly knew this was the right place for me as a Finance professional who is also a CFA charter holder. I was impressed with Rotman pioneering such a logical move in my eyes and it demonstrated leadership and innovation.

What club or activity excites you most at this school? I am most excited about the Rotman Asset Management Association, which will give me the opportunity to interact with industry professionals, whilst also honing my investment analysis skills by participating in the Rotman Student Investment Fund (RSIF)

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I managed to complete the CFA program whilst working the notorious Investment Banking M&A hours at Goldman Sachs. Fittingly, I got promoted to Associate in the same month in which I passed CFA level 3.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I am looking to pivot away from Investment Banking (which I did for 6 years) and go into Investment Management. Rotman has a highly respected investment management stream which will help me with that transition.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? None, I was only interested in Rotman.

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? I was asked to describe a time in which I had dealt with conflict at work, and how I managed to resolve it. It was a challenging question because I had to dig deep and try and remember my emotions at the time the conflict happened whilst trying to put it into a coherent story in which the interviewer would understand and relate to in a short space of time.

How did you determine your fit at various schools?  I first decided which city and country I would potentially want to live and work in after my MBA and then used that to determine which MBA program would give me the best opportunities in that city. For personal reasons, I decided I wanted to be in Toronto. The next step was quite simple as I looked at the MBA rankings to find out what was the top business school in Canada, and that is how I chose Rotman. I knew it fit well with my career goals (investment management) because of its close proximity to the financial district in Toronto and because they accepted CFA qualification in place of GMATs

What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? My defining moment was during the Investment Banking Associate promotion training held in New York at Goldman Sachs where I had the opportunity to meet a large group of MBA graduates who had recently just joined the firm. Speaking to these MBA graduates, and learning about their journey and experience doing an MBA, really opened my mind to the idea of pursuing an MBA myself. It prepared me for business school because I learnt from my former colleagues how doing an MBA had helped them transition to a different career path whether it be into a new industry or location and that was the catalyst for my own journey.

What is the most important attribute that you are seeking in an MBA employer and why is that so important? A well-defined career progression map. This is important to me because I have worked for companies that have and don’t have this attribute. In my view (and from discussions with colleagues). this is what matters most to young professionals. Knowing what you are working towards, in clearly defined terms and timelines is the easiest way to stay motivated as an employee.