Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Alp Cinar, University of Toronto (Rotman)

Alp Cinar

Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

“An adventure seeker looking for meaningful ways to contribute to the world.” 

Hometown: Ankara, Turkey

Fun Fact About Yourself: I teach at Udemy and have 2,000+ students!

Undergraduate School and Major:  M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and B.S. in Civil Engineering from the Middle East Technical University

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Sanko Holding – Project Control Engineer

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? To me, integrative thinking is the essential block for solving a complex problem. The complex problems we face today cannot be solved by traditional methods that were developed decades ago. Integrative thinking, on the other hand, lets me construct a problem-solving toolkit that attacks the problem from different angles. In all projects or case studies we cover at Rotman, I intuitively reconcile my quantitative and qualitative skills together with my academic team to come up with a comprehensive solution with the help of integrative thinking.

What has been your favorite part of Toronto so far? Why? The best part of Toronto has been the wide range of opportunities that it offers to meet people from all over the world. You can hear many different languages being spoken in the street and this helps me to realize that I’m living in a culturally diverse city.

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? The key reason I’ve chosen Rotman was the flexibility that the program offered in terms of the variety of courses that you can take based on your personal and professional interests. For example, starting from the second semester, we are given the option of choosing elective courses which I believe helps a lot in focusing my effort on the areas that I’m most interested in.

What course, club or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at Toronto Rotman? I love the opportunities offered by the Management Consulting Association, the club for students interested in a career in management consulting. The Management Consulting Association helped me to develop a recruitment strategy for management consulting while at the same time providing a great support network that guides you in all possible areas including academics or tips and tricks for networking and interview case preparation.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I was responsible for five different major-scale industrial projects during the COVID-19 lockdowns and my biggest accomplishment was to be able to deliver all of them on time and within budget despite all the Covid-related psychological and technical difficulties.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far.  Especially during the months of November and December, recruiting and academics start to push the bar for the difficulty of life. During those times, I was able to stay calm and self-motivate myself toward my goal. As an MBA student, I would say that that has been my greatest accomplishment because that mentality helped me to stay on course and continue walking towards my target.

What has been your best memory as an MBA so far? My wife and I landed in Toronto 10 hours before the start time of the program orientation. Although I had a chance to have only two hours of sleep that night due to jetlag, my classmates were extremely supportive, caring, and welcoming the following morning such that I was one of the most energetic students at the orientation. That is my best memory because it marks the point that I started to develop strong and tight-knight relationships with my classmates.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Toronto Rotman’s MBA program? The applicants should take advantage of the Rotman Student Ambassadors. Ambassadors are current MBA students that dedicate their time to help answer questions about admissions, life in Toronto, or in general about the career prospects that the program offers.


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