Meet the MBA Class of 2023: Renad Elshaer, University of Toronto (Rotman)

Renad Elshaer

Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

“Lively and humorous, I like to make jokes. Yet, my ambition to attain the picture I had painted of myself instilled a more serious attitude to life; one that is focused on delivering upon commitments.”

Hometown: Tough question! I am Canadian but I am also a lot of other things.

Fun Fact About Yourself:

  • I am an amateur poet
  • I am an avid traveler despite my fear of flying
  • I enjoy watersports
  • Netflix is my sleeping pill

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Ottawa – Honours BA with a Specialization in Psychology and a Minor in Business Administration

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Saudi Arabia – Senior Manager

Integrative thinking is one of the cornerstones of the Rotman MBA experience. What does integrative thinking mean to you and how have you been able to apply it thus far? Integrative thinking is not an outcome, it is a process. I have been adopting it gradually in contexts such as team deliverables and case competitions provided the latter entails crafting a rather innovative solution.

What has been your favorite part of Toronto so far? What has made it such a great place to earn an MBA? Toronto is a very diverse metropolitan city! A vivid experience that I recall is dining at a restaurant in downtown and hearing different languages being spoken around the tables. The diversity of the city extends beyond cultural and ethnic diversity, including cognitive and professional diversity. Not only that – but Toronto serves as the business hub of Canada, being the capital of Ontario.

Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key part of the Rotman MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? Needless to say, Rotman is the number 1 business school in Canada. Enrolling in a nationally and globally celebrated program implied the intention to exploit the offerings and resources of the program, including the long-established industry partnerships. Moreover, my post-MBA objective is to pursue a career in the strategy function, be it internally or externally. Rotman is renowned for its strength in the strategy discipline. I don’t think anyone would dispute the knowledge transferred to students by Professor Silverman.

What course, club or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at Rotman? I enjoyed participating in the Diversity and Inclusion Design Sprint that was powered by the Business Design Club. The sprint opened my eyes to the importance of considering the insights and challenges of the users/customers in designing new products or services. This was further reinforced by our Managing Customer Value professor, Spike Lee. Thanks to his filmmaking skills. Just kidding.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I have worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) – Saudi Arabia – in the consulting Line of Service for almost six years. Given my performance, I was fast-tracked whereby I started off as a consultant and parked my PwC journey at the Senior Manager level.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far: Being among the 4 students in the cohort who successfully attained the Business Design Initiative Fellowship

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into the Rotman MBA program? Admission is only the first step in the process. While Rotman does require applicants to portray their spike factors, such as innovation and resilience, such factors are essential for the success of an MBA student. For instance, innovation in Rotman is transferred through collaboration, exchange of ideas, and open-mindedness – implying the pre-existence of the underlying enabling traits.


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