Rotman students are spoiled with choices when it comes to finding student groups. Rotman clubs cover a variety of topics, from fashion to trading, and from clubs focused on career development to clubs that cater to skill-building such as Rotman Commerce Toastmasters. With these many options, it seems as though there is a club for everyone. But with the options so diverse, how should students go about finding the club that is right for them?
Today, I am a professional development manager at the Rotman Commerce Consulting Association and the Rotman Commerce Fintech Association. As an aspiring consultant, I feel at home in these clubs and find that they have been extremely useful on my career journey. Here is how I went about finding my place.
Utilizing the Rotman Commerce Portal
As a Rotman Commerce student myself, there are two things that I check every day — Outlook and the Rotman Commerce Portal. I consider these tools to be an essential part of any successful Rotman student’s toolkit. Every October, intern positions for over 30 Rotman student organizations are posted in the job postings, and you can look through these to see which one best suits your interests.
All you require to apply to be part of these clubs is a résumé, cover letter, and seed of interest in the club’s mission. You are also not limited to a certain number of clubs that you can apply to be part of. However, since these are competitive applications, I would suggest tailoring your application to each club to best express your candidacy.
Even if you miss out on the original postings for club internships, you can still apply to be a committee member or director for a specific club portfolio, such as events, corporate relations and marketing, in the February hiring phase.
Using Instagram to find out more
Each club is unique and caters to a different passion that you may possess. For that reason, it could be tempting to want to join many. However, each club also requires a commitment, and balancing multiple clubs with schoolwork would become a mammoth-like task. I find that the best way to find the few clubs that truly speak to me is by going through their Instagram accounts.
Instagram is a great way to find out more about clubs’ missions and the types of people that they are hiring. By following a club’s page, you will also be able to find out instantly when they are hiring or hosting professional and social events. My trick was to follow all the 30 club pages at once. From there, I found the links to their websites which helped me understand their culture at a deeper level.
Membership versus leadership
Even if you do not hold an executive position in these clubs, you are not restricted from attending their events. Many clubs have already hosted their public orientations and are now planning their flagship events throughout the year. I appreciate that these events push students out of the traditional classroom setting and connect them with real industry experience, which is especially valuable for students trying to figure out the right career paths for themselves.
That being said, I would recommend that you try to run for an executive position. Brayden Ning is the president of the University of Toronto Consulting Association. In an interview with The Varsity, he shared: “I knew nothing about consulting for a bank. And through talking to my team members and the previous president last year… they taught me everything I knew about consulting. And that’s something I wouldn’t have got just attending events. Because you’re in a club [with] like-minded individuals with similar career goals, it really fast forwards your personal development. And that’s a pretty unique aspect of being part of a team rather than just attending events.”
If you are afraid of not standing out, do not worry. Becoming a club executive member is not like applying to actual internships or jobs. We are all just students looking for opportunities, and I find that recruiting for clubs is a great dry run for internship or job recruitment.
“We’re looking for someone who has an interest in the industry but perhaps has not decided on their career. I’m looking for someone with a passion,” said Jeff Xia, the president of Rotman Commerce Fintech Association.
Alternatives for non-Rotman students
Unfortunately, Rotman clubs are open to Rotman students only, but there are also options for students who are not in Rotman Commerce but would also like to break into finance, consulting, banking, and other such fields. These clubs are a great way to gain informal experience and find out more about potential career paths.
Some of these clubs also offer very specific experiential programs, such as the University of Toronto Consulting Association’s pro-bono consulting program, Rational Capital Investment Fund’s analyst candidate program, and the U of T Machine Intelligence Team’s programming project.
These clubs also have Instagram accounts that you could use to find out about their events and executive positions. They tend to be more inclusive in terms of their targeted audiences, and can also be great for professional networking and career development. Their recruitment timelines may be a bit different from the Rotman timelines, so you would have to keep an eye out for the clubs that you are interested in.