Over the past week I attended some of the pre-program courses offered at Rotman for incoming students. The purpose of these courses is to ensure that everyone is up to speed on the basics of major topic areas before classes officially start in September. They are completely optional – you can sign up for all of them, some of them or none of them. In order to determine whether you should attend a class or not, you can complete a self-assessment on the topic area. If you do well, then you may not find the class helpful at all. If you do poorly, it is recommended you take the class.
I decided to sign up for three classes.
- Spreadsheet Modeling: No matter how many Microsoft Excel classes you take, there are always a few new tricks you are going to learn that will make your excel-ing much easier.
- Self-Management: Developing a Leader’s Instincts: I have never taken a course that didn’t involve equations or numbers. The material involved a lot of psychology and is very interesting!
- Foundations of Accounting: Although I took a couple of accounting classes in high school and it was a major topic area in the CFA curriculum, I didn’t do as well on the assessment as I thought I would. I thought maybe a class would be a good refresher. This class starts next week.
The most valuable thing I am getting out of the pre-program courses, however, is meeting a lot of my new classmates. There are so many international students! It’s sometimes funny to ask someone where they are from and hear them answer “Dubai”, but when I am asked the same question, all I can really say is “Oh, I am just, you know, from Toronto. Nothing special…”
However, despite being a seemingly less interesting person, there are advantages to being a domestic student:
- My family lives in the city, so going home for things like Thanksgiving and Christmas is easy-peasy;
- I don’t need to move. This is obvious, but after reflecting on moving in and out of residence and my house in Kingston, I am especially grateful to be staying put;
- Fewer administrative headaches. Whenever I see “for international students only” on any e-mail, to-do list, or paperwork, I know I can safely ignore it;
- I have already acquired a taste for Tim Hortons*;
- I already know the rules of hockey*; and
- I already own a winter coat.*
*Yes, these things are important!
I will try to report back in a timely fashion on next week’s events, including the Accounting class and meeting my upper year buddy Su.