Meet the MBA Class of 2025: Sepide Saeid Monajemian, University of Toronto (Rotman)

Sepide Saeid Monajemian

University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management

“A persistent entrepreneur who leverages technology to make the world a better place to live.”

Hometown: Tehran, Iran

Fun Fact About Yourself: My favorite video game is The Sims, which I still play when I feel nervous.

Undergraduate School and Major: Business Administration, Faculty of Management, University of Tehran

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Senior Marketing Performance Analyst, Snapp (Rocket Internet SE)

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 knowing that conflicting ideas and different perspectives are the primary features of an innovative and practical solution. In the dynamic world of Rotman, I have interacted with individuals from diverse backgrounds, each bringing a unique set of skills and viewpoints to the table. This collaborative and cross-disciplinary approach has enabled me to integrate concepts from various aspects, such as finance, strategy, and technology, fostering a holistic understanding of complex business challenges.

Furthermore, Rotman’s case-based learning methodology has sharpened my ability to integrate ideas. It has become second nature to analyze business cases from multiple angles, consider stakeholder perspectives, and synthesize information to make informed decisions. I am confident that as I progress in my MBA journey and beyond, these integrative thinking skills will help me make better decisions not only in a professional setting but in my personal life as well.

What has been your favorite part of Toronto so far? Why? When you enter a new city as an immigrant, finding the people with common interests and building your own specific network from scratch is very challenging. What surprised me the most about Toronto was that there are various events held in the city that allow you to engage with diverse individuals in various fields and take part in activities that you enjoy the most. For example, so far, I have had the opportunity to participate in many startup and technology events, even some dance and music events, which made my days in Toronto more colorful, and were significant help to build my own network again.

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? It was critical for me to study somewhere that could equip me with the necessary toolkit to take the next step in my career. In my opinion, an MBA is not just a degree; it is an opportunity to reach bigger professional and personal goals that may have been harder to reach in the past. My most significant reason for choosing Rotman was Creative Destruction Lab (CDL), which I successfully secured its fellowship.

My primary goal in coming to Toronto and pursuing an MBA was to enhance my business acumen and have access to the latest technologies and startups, enabling me to launch my own tech-oriented business in the near future. Rotman was the only school in Toronto that offered the CDL program, providing me with the opportunity to engage in the innovative and fast-paced world of technology-centric startups, and learn how they are formed and grow.

What course, club or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at Toronto Rotman? Most of what Rotman offers are enjoyable, but if I have to choose one, I will pick the courses. Although I hold a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and have gained relevant work experience, I have never had the opportunity to explore so deeply the various aspects of business, from Strategy Management and Financial Management to People Leadership.

The topics I learn in class are of such high quality that I am always able to reflect on my past experiences and think about what better decisions I might make if I were in the same situation again. Additionally, it has redefined my understanding of business and changed my perspective on the future. It used to be difficult for me to sit in class or study, but now these are my favorite parts of the MBA because I know I am improving.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I believe it might be a very typical answer that everyone might refer to, but for me, a pivotal point in my career was pursuing an MBA at Rotman, one of the world’s top business schools. I had always aspired to launch my own technology business, and my home country lacked the necessary resources for this endeavor. Rotman provided me with the tools I needed to pursue my aspirations, making it the most significant career investment for me so far. During the application process, coming from a third-world country in the Middle East with a background not comparable to many candidates from top global companies, I was unsure about getting accepted. However, embracing diversity at Rotman proved to be more than just a slogan, and I learned that every potential candidate actually stands a chance here. Therefore, I take pride in being here today, and I think of it as the biggest achievement in my career.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far? This is an excellent question that prompted me to take a step back from my MBA journey and reflect on what I’ve accomplished so far. It may not be a very tangible achievement, but for me, adapting to recent major changes in my life has been my greatest accomplishment so far. I have been attending a program in a different language, which required dedicating much more time to each course, networking in a different environment with new people and a new culture, making friends, and more. All have been very challenging. There were many grey days when I felt down, and there were many more colorful days when I was full of hope and eagerness to keep pushing forward. Therefore, in my opinion, my most significant success so far has been the ability to persevere, adapt, and develop a habit of exploring different paths. This has transformed me into a new person who has much more confidence in herself.

What has been your best memory as an MBA so far? For me, the happiest memory so far is the day the program began. Seeing the university’s building and logo that says, “Here’s where it changes,” I realized it was actually happening! There I was, pursuing my favorite major at one of the best business schools in the world.

When I entered the building, I heard the buzz of the crowd and was surprised to see many new classmates with diverse backgrounds and achievements. When we were given our name tags, I felt proud of myself that all the efforts I had put in had finally paid off. That day was when I became certain that I had made the right decision and saw myself one step closer to my dreams.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Toronto Rotman’s MBA program? The most important factor that helped me secure admission was ensuring not only that getting an MBA at that point in my life was the right path, but also that Rotman was the only school I was interested in attending. Therefore, I was able to convey this certainty, as well as my passion for studying at Rotman, in my application and interview.

My advice to potential applicants is to remember that it’s not only the university that chooses you; you also choose the university. Therefore, take the time to explore and make sure Rotman is the most suitable option for you. This can be done by connecting with current students or graduates to learn about Rotman’s impact on their lives, and exploring university’s social media, website and events to learn about what it has to offer. Once you can identify some compelling reasons that make you want to come to Rotman from the bottom of your heart, apply, and be sure to highlight those reasons in your application and interview.


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