Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Patrick Mooney, University of Toronto (Rotman)

Patrick Mooney

Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

“Former collegiate hockey player who worked for a private equity placement agency in New York.”

Hometown: Toronto, Ontario

Fun Fact About Yourself: I got really into mixology during the COVID shutdowns as a fun way to express my creativity and love having friends over to try out my cocktails.

Undergraduate School and Major:

Undergraduate School: Amherst College (MA)

Major: Economics

Most Recent Employer and Job Title:

Employer: M2O Private Fund Advisors

Job Title: Associate

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 a process that starts with being open to the ideas of others, regardless of whether those ideas may appear contradictory. The process allows the group to confront the true complexities of a business problem by bringing in more perspectives. Integrative thinking is embedded into the Rotman experience. The school makes a concerted effort to recruit students from a diverse range of backgrounds, which serves to enrich the learning experience of all students. Regardless of the subject, classroom lectures are rife with discussion where students draw on their unique experiences to add nuance and layers to the educational material. Students are also placed in academic teams where integrative thinking is truly put into practice. The teams work together on several projects where they utilize each other’s strengths, challenge each other’s perspectives, and ultimately offer a solution that combines the team’s best ideas.

What has been your favorite part of Toronto so far? Why? Having grown up in the Toronto suburbs but only recently moving downtown, I was never familiar with Toronto’s neighbourhood culture. There are so many distinct neighbourhoods in downtown Toronto, each having its own personality. The diversity amongst the neighbourhoods is really a celebration of the multiculturalism of the city itself. I love being able to explore different areas of the city and feeling completely transported to new places.

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? One aspect of Rotman’s curriculum that I think is quite unique is the Self Development Lab. The Self Development Lab, or “SDL”, is designed to help students develop their communication, presentation, and interpersonal skills, all traits that are crucial to being a business leader. The SDL offered my teammates and I the opportunity to participate in modules throughout the term, where we were paired with faculty and walked through exercises together. The exercises are filmed and played back for us, where we reflect with the coach on what we did, how we did it, why we chose to do that, and what we could have done differently. As an optional and ungraded offering, the SDL provided me a low-pressure opportunity to see how others perceive me, from my choice of language to tone, to body language, to overall presence. It gave me real insights into my communication style, as well as the communication style of my teammates, which helped us work more effectively together going forward. I’m excited to continue participating in these modules in the next two terms.

What course, club or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at Toronto Rotman? One activity that I really enjoyed during out orientation was the Reciprocity Ring activity. After being placed into groups, each student wrote down a problem they were facing or something that they needed help with.  Students then presented their request to the group, and other students volunteered to help them with their request.

The exercise not only gave us a chance to get to know our fellow classmates, but it was a great way to build a sense of community and support very early in the program. While the program can feel challenging or stressful at times, that culture of support amongst the class has remained, as students are always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone who needs it.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: One of my biggest professional accomplishments to date was my role in the successful fundraise of over $500 million for one of our private equity clients. I began working with this client when I first joined M2O as an analyst and continued with them over the next two years as I grew to be an associate. In many ways I developed professionally alongside this client, and I was able to take on more of a leadership role as I built a better rapport with the client. I played an integral role in defining the marketing strategy for the client and developed all of the firm’s marketing materials. While we faced some challenges, especially due to the global pandemic, we were ultimately able to exceed the client’s fundraising goals and deliver a great result.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far? I think my biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far has been embracing the feeling of being pushed out of my comfort zone and getting involved in new things. There are so many opportunities to develop new skills and meet new people, both inside and outside the classroom, that it’s difficult to decide where to spend your time.  Despite the time constraints, I’ve participated in a couple of case competitions, joined the Rotman intramural hockey team, and currently serve as a first-year executive for the Rotman Negotiations Club.  Taking advantage of these opportunities has allowed me to extend my learning beyond the classroom and meet so many great people along the way.

What has been your best memory as an MBA so far? To cap off our orientation, our class enjoyed a boat cruise around the Toronto Harbourfront. It was a great way to unwind while taking in breathtaking views of the Toronto skyline. At one point, students gathered in a circle to witness an epic dance-off.

While we had spent the previous two weeks getting to know each other and making connections, I loved being able to have fun with my new friends in a more informal setting.  The party may or may not have continued once we returned to shore.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Toronto Rotman’s MBA program? My advice to prospective Rotman students is to tell your story.  It’s a given that Rotman student will be smart, but what elevates the learning are the unique experiences that each student brings to the conversation. Your life experiences are what make you unique – take time to understand how those experiences have shaped who you are today and how you can leverage those experiences to elevate the experiences of the Rotman community. There is no prototypical Rotman student, so focus on what makes you you.


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