Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Rohini Sharma, University of Toronto (Rotman)

Rohini Sharma

Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

“I worked in consulting at Bain & Company, I was a concert pianist, and director at a pharmaceutical company in India.”

Hometown: Mumbai, India

Fun Fact About Yourself: I have studied played classical piano from the age of 5 but my recreational choice of music is techno.

Undergraduate School and Major: St Xavier’s College, Mumbai. BA in Economics and Literature

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Acinta Pharmaeuticals, Pvt Ltd. Director Marketing

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? My non-traditional education and career choices have been fueled by my belief that disciplines studied in isolation are incomplete. Integrative thinking, to me, is solution finding while solving for ambiguity through different and untested approaches. At Rotman my classmates apply diversity of thought and experience, bringing different perspectives. Blending different ways of thinking to come up with innovative solutions is woven into every part of life at Rotman – from group projects, to class discussions.

What has been your favorite part of Toronto so far? Why? My favourite part of Toronto is the diversity. I have felt at home from the moment I landed, and I’ve met people from all over the world and tried food from all over the world too.

Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key part of Toronto Rotman’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? Rotman creates opportunities for growth and development outside the classroom, through facilities such as the Self-Development Lab. An important reason for me to do the MBA program was to develop soft skills, improve my functioning in dynamic team settings, as well as my leadership. The Business Design Club offers tremendous growth and helps apply new ways of thinking to problem solving. Finally, the stellar faculty at Rotman, and the courses designed to study and solve real world problems.

What course, club or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at Toronto Rotman? I loved the Strategy course in my second term. Professor Bryan Silverman conducted the most fun and challenging class discussions, which helped fine-tune our problem-solving skills and pushed me to think creatively in business settings. However, the biggest surprise personally was how much I enjoyed my Finance course. As someone with no background, I dreaded the course. Professor Mike made it easy to understand, and dare I say it- fun!

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I quit consulting to pursue my passion and make a career in music. I came second in a national piano competition in Mumbai, I completed my ARSM diploma with the highest score that year, I also taught 30+ students, and performed with the Symphony Orchestra of India. I performed an unpublished sonata by a 19th Century Swedish female composer Laura Valborg Aulin, using a hand-written manuscript gifted to me by the Swedish Music Society. It personally meant a lot to me to be able to play her music as a female pianist in India! Being able to do this was my biggest personal achievement in my career.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far? Coming into the MBA after nearly a decade of being out of school was daunting. I was adjusting with moving continents, and balancing academics with events. Right from the start, the friends I made, along with the supportive school and cohort, helped me sail through two terms with relative ease, and made the adjustment very smooth. My team also won a case competition with the Healthcare Management Association and the Business Design Club! I learnt as much from my classmates and teams as from my classes.

What has been your best memory as an MBA so far? My best memory is the end-of-year party organized by the Rotman Pride Club.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Toronto Rotman’s MBA program? Do not be afraid to be different. Rotman is a place that accepts and celebrates who you are. Take time to introspect and understand what drives you. The application process helped me articulate my goals which I carried with me beyond the MBA.


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