Meet the MBA Class of 2025: Cristobal Zapata, University of Toronto (Rotman)

Cristobal Zapata

University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management

“Passionate about continuous growth, seeking to push boundaries to excel in all my initiatives.”

Hometown: Santiago, Chile

Fun Fact About Yourself: Until age 18, my ultimate aspiration was to become a professional soccer player. Since childhood, soccer was my primary passion, often leading me to skip school for the game.

Undergraduate School and Major: Universidad Adolfo Ibanez – Commercial Engineering

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: LarrainVial Asset Management – VP of International Trading

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 means leveraging both technical and soft skills to tackle challenges. I’ve employed this approach in case competitions, applying technical know-how alongside critical thinking, public speaking, and team-building.

What has been your favorite part of Toronto so far? Why? The city’s diversity, with people from around the world, creates a truly cosmopolitan atmosphere where you can learn from every corner of the world.

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? I’m passionate about merging finance and technology. After extensive research, Rotman stood out for its strong emphasis on finance and resources like the Finhub Fellowship, offering a unique opportunity to unite my two passions.

What course, club or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at Toronto Rotman? Second-years have organized a Communication Lab, an opportunity to practice public speaking every week. This has been my favorite so far, given that it was something I wasn’t expecting, and it pushed me to improve my public speaking. Also, the Self Development Lab created instances to enhance my soft skills, which I have been finding really helpful in my professional development.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My greatest achievement is leading a team and revolutionizing our approach by harnessing technology. I’m proud to have cultivated a cohesive team fostering mutual success, a hunger for learning, and continuous improvement. We revamped our trading operations by automating processes, providing faster, more reliable information to investment teams, and creating tools for optimal performance.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far? Being elected to join the Finhub Fellowship has been a significant milestone. This society, selected yearly through a rigorous application process, focuses on exploring the evolving landscape where technology intersects with finance. It’s an honor to have been chosen, reflecting my deep interest in being part of this pivotal transformation within the financial industry. I am enthusiastic about further engaging in these conversations and contributing actively to shaping the future of finance through technology.

What has been your best memory as an MBA so far? The diversity I’ve experienced at Rotman and in Canada has been truly remarkable. Meeting people from diverse backgrounds globally has opened my mind to varied perspectives and cultures, which has been incredibly enriching. The connections and shared experiences I’ve had with individuals from around the world have been the standout highlight of my MBA journey. I’m confident these memories and connections will stay with me for a lifetime.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Toronto Rotman’s MBA program? It is vital to have a clear vision of your MBA’s purpose and its role in advancing your career. It not only strengthens your application but also provides personal clarity on why pursuing an MBA is essential at this point. Moreover, academically and professionally, demonstrating readiness is crucial for navigating the rigorous academic demands of programs like Rotman. Showing preparedness to tackle the challenges of the first year showcases your meticulous approach and commitment to excel.


Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.