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CESA Times

2010-2011 Issue 2

The Truth about PEY Outlook: The endless possibilities

Life After Graduation: MASc or MBA?

Opinion: Economy through an Engineer’s Eyes Tips: Dressing for Success

A Glance at Professionalism Recycle me!


The Possibilities are Endless What’s in Store for You? - Landy Cheung + WIlson Ma

ISSUE NO. 2 - testimonials from current and past students will give you a full picture of the PEY experience

Editors Landy Cheung Vincent Kan Design + Layout Landy Cheung Vincent Kan

Photoshoot Direction Alice Han Vincent Kan Models Irene Bai Jeremy Sin Photography Ella Bao Fang Su

Printed by CCT Printing

The Art of Shooting Yourself in the Foot - Edwin Wang - tips and insider accounts on life as a MASc student from Henry Pong and Jingwen Wang

editor’s note Dear Reader,

Thank you for picking up the spring issue of CESA Times 2010 - 2011! As the semester is coming to an end, it is time to reflect upon your past SkuleTM year and start thinking about your next steps. You will find this issue filled with tips and insights by current and past SkuleTM students on the PEY experience, life after graduation and an opinion piece on the current economy. Also included is a hard-to-miss photoshoot feature, modeled and photographed by our own execs, giving you tips on dressing for success! You will also find a quiz to give you a head start in thinking about your next steps and to give a sense of the numerous paths that lays before you. The ultimate goal of this issue is to give you a glance at what’s in store for you after graduation and tools to help your explore the endless possibilities. But in the end, it is up to you to explore your potentials to make the best out of the opportunities in front of you. With that, we hope we have provided you with both an intriguing and insightful read. Good luck with your exams! Landy Cheung + Vincent Kan CESA Times Editors


Contributors Irene Bai Ella Bao Landy Cheung Simon Guan Alice Han Vincent Kan Wilson Ma Henry Pong Jeremy Sin Fang Su Edwin Wang Jingwen Wang David Zhu

A $ix-Figure Leap of Faith - Wilson Ma Life at Rotman - Simon Guan

showcase: dressing for SUCCESS - a gallery of the latest smart styles for business and casual occassions

How the World Economy Really Works, and Why It Really Doesn’t

contents - David Zhu

The Possibilities Are Endless - What’s in Store for You? Think back to when you were in Grade 12, frantically sending out applications to OUAC and eagerly awaiting a response. Some of us may have known then and there exactly what to become upon graduation, while others remained unsure of which direction to head into. Regardless, we all tried finding a program that best suited our interests as well as financial goals. In the end, you have chosen to pursue engineering - but hopefully you didn’t do it just for the money.

As a SkuleTM student, there are a few options you can consider. Add up your score to see what you’re likely going to do!

Five years (4 + PEY) and $40,000 (tuition) later, you are waiting to graduate and receive your Iron Ring. Just like in Grade 12, there is once again another important fork in the road - a decision about what to do with your life after convocation. Take this quiz to see what your outlook is likely going to be!

Find full time engineering employment.

1. At what time of the day do you think you are most productive? a. From 400 am to 730 am (0 points) b. From 730 am to 930 am (4 points) c. From 930 am to 430 pm (3 points) d. From 430 pm to 930 pm (2 points) e. From 930 pm to 400 am (5 points) f. I don’t know (1 point)

4. What did you want to be when you were a kid? a. Doctor/Lawyer (3 points) b. Policeman/Fireman (1 point) c. Engineer (5 points) d. Work at McDonald’s (4 points) e. Architect (2 points) f. Teacher (3 points)

8. Which was your favourite SkuleTM year? a. 1st year (1 point) b. 2nd year (1 point) c. 3rd year (3 points) d. PEY (5 points) e. 4th year (3 points) f. None of the above (0 point)

2. You have to do two hours of hard physical workout. Your are entirely free to plan your day. Which of the following times would choose most to do stuff? a. 800 am to 1000 am (3 points) b. 1100 am to 100 pm (2 points) c. 300 pm to 500 pm (1 point) d. 700 pm to 900 pm (4 points) e. 900 pm to 1100pm (5 points)

5. Do you know the true definition of engineering? a. Yes (5 points) b. No (3 points) c. Maybe (1 point)

9. What extracurricular activities did you join while at SkuleTM? a. Student Council (3 points) b. Cultural (3 points) c. Sports (3 points) d. Publications (3 points) e. Design (5 points) f. Social (3 points) g. Clubs outside of SkuleTM (3 points) h. None (0 point)

3. What brand of laptop or computer do you use? a. Apple (3 points) b. Lenovo (5 points) c. HP (4 points) d. Dell (2 points) e. Sony VAIO (2 points) f. Other (1 point)

6. If you were given the chance to choose your degree again, would you pick engineering? a. Yes (5 points) b. No (1 point) c. Maybe (3 points) 7. Would you recommend “ engineering” to students who are applying for their undergrad? a. Yes (5 points) b. No (0 point) c. Maybe (3 point)

10. The best part about SkuleTM is: a. Class (5 points) b. Friends (4 points) c. Extracurriculars (3 points) d. Two or more of the above (5 points) e. Nothing, it’s been hell overall (0 point)

Score 40 to 30 Pursue an advanced engineering degree via a Masters of Applied Science (MASc) or Masters in Engineering (MEng).

Score 30 to 20 Leave SkuleTM for another professional degree such as Law (JD), Medicine (MD) or Business Administration (MBA).

You’ve had enough of school and crave for that industry exeprience. This gives you a chance to explore where your true passion lies. After working for a few years, you might go back to school to get an advanced engineering degree or enter another profession altogether. Meanwhile you can pay back your OSAP and save money for more education and credentials.

You know that engineering is what you want to do. Getting the extra education and credentials before working full-time will give more insight on the topic you’re specializing in. Or, you just love learning and school in general. You are interested in the academic perspective of engineering and can further specialize in that topic by pursuing a PhD!

Engineering was not really what you had imagined. You’re ready to move on and pursue a different career path. Those SkuleTM years have prepared you well: you’ve been taught the smart way of thinking and approaching those complex problems and trained you to work under any kind of stress. You will excel in whichever professional degree you choose!

Score 20 to 15

Score 15 to 10 Be an entrepeneur and start your our business.

Score 10 to 5 Other - go figure! The opportunities are endless.

You’re a creative person who doesn’t like being bossed around. You don’t have business at home waiting for you to take over, but why not just start up your own business? You’ve got all the ideas, it’s time to implement them and find the right people to apprecieate them. The sky’s the limit, you’re still young, take those risks!

So even after your 4-5 years of exploration, you still haven’t figured out what you want to do yet. No need to worry! GIve yourself a bit more time to explore. Go travel, challenge yourself, do something out of the ordinary, take risks! You’ll find your passion eventually.

Score 50 to 40

Help out at a family business. During times of recession, you don’t have to worry about not being hired because you have a family business waiting for you to take over. Apply those engineering skills you’ve gained and bring new colours and direction to your family business!

Disclaimer: Use with caution - this quiz should not be taken seriously. It is not a correct reflection of what you will actually pursue and the scores assigned to each option do no reflect the preference of the options. The purpose is to outline the possible options/paths you have after graduation.

written by Landy Cheung + WIlson Ma


Score results:

Quiz Outlook


-- Industrial Engineering Intern at Thales Rail Signalling Solutions. This position is relevant to CIV, ECE & INDY students. Daily responsibilities: Troubleshooting technical component issues, providing hardware engineers with advice on product supportability and maintaining the component database. Projects include streamlining internal processes and validating new parts. --- Program Manager (Hardware Development) at AMD (Advanced Micro Devices Inc.) This position is relevant to ECE, MECH & INDY students. Daily responsiblities: Oversee the development of graphics products from Marketing Requirement Definition through Product Development, Prototyping, Testing and Production Release. Execute the development schedules of a family of products. Manage the production of prototype products in the in-house facility; includes supply chain management, production scheduling, manufacture, testing and logistics.

What are the best things about PEY? -- “$$$... well, not really. It’s the experience that comes with it. In my case, Working at a unionized factory instead of a high-tech R&D company brings me closer to the real world, with the majority of the population, which is good as you end up looking at how engineering is applied in reality, rather than theory. It shows the difficulties in bringing new ideas to the real world.” -- “Time and money. Engineering takes a lot out of your life, PEY is the time to get it all back.” -- - “Working collaboratively with a variety of internal and external teams (based in the USA, China and India) to drive aggressively towards a common goal. Flexible working hours (8-4 or 9-5 or 10-6). Great chance to apply APS 111/ APS 112 knowledge and follow the development of a product from inception to completion.” What are the worst things about PEY? - “Working 8:30-4:30 and commuting 2 hours each day to and from work. It makes school feel like a vacation. In addition, working in an unionized factory with people without post secondary education, getting paid twice as much as you do makes you wonder why you’re going through engineering in the first place.” - “Falling behind in studies - there is one more year to complete.” --- “Full time employees sometimes view students as people who have less abilities to contribute high-quality, high-impact work. It takes a lot of effort for you to overcome/ break away from that stigma.”

How did PEY contribute towards your professional and personal development? - “PEY gave me a first hand look at what obstacles lie ahead for new ideas in the real world. By working at a factory, you actually see things get implemented, and you get to see first hand how making a minute change to the system can take incredibe effort, simply in terms of management, paperwork, and training.” -- “PEY introduced flexibility into my life that allowed me to pursue many new interests. It has also opened my eyes with respect to becoming integrated with and contributing in a real world work environment.” -- “Above all, PEY has taught me that the industry (and the world) is changing at an alarming rate. Engineering lectures at school are essentially a ”history” lesson; they are teaching us material that previous generations of engineers have been well accustomed to. In the workplace, everyday is something new; your fellow colleagues are contributing to the growth and proliferation of a specific field in many different directions. Though they leverage the understanding of a specific field, they are taking roads that none have traveled before.” What similarities and differences did you find between school and work environments? -- “NO similarities! During school, all we did was analyze, analyze and solve. At my placement, despite my attempts to try to get more analysis done, over

95% of the effort was spent in management, paperwork, and training. In the real world, knowing what to do is only 5% of the job, whereas in school, knowing what to do is pretty much everything.” -- “The greatest similarity is the need for time management. Work tasks and objectives are just like problem sets and projects, with set due dates and milestones. The greatest difference is the vast world you are exposed to knowing how to apply the concepts and principles learned in school are just the tip of the iceberg.” -- “The knowledge part of the workplace (non-operations/production) is essentially a school. Everyone is constantly learning and discovering new things about the technologies they are working on, and are solving problems that have real world impact.” If you could rewind time and choose again, would you do PEY? Is there anything you would do differently? -- “If I could rewind time, I would still do PEY at the same company, and I would probably not do anything differently, because if we all spent our times thinking about what we could have done differently in the past, we’d all be too busy thinking to do anything in the present.” -- “Definitely.” -- “Hands down I would do PEY all over again. AMD has been a great place to work, and I would not have done anything different.” What are some important factors to consider before applying for PEY?

-- “1. Do you want to do it? 2. How badly do you want to do it? 3. Are you sure you want to do it? 4. Do you have a car and a valid driver’s license if the place is too ******* far from your house? 5. You should move to a location closer to your job.” -- “Have your own reason for choosing PEY. The worst thing to do is to go along with a choice because others are, especially when the decision decides the next year of your life.” -- “Look at your strengths, weaknesses and capabilities; ask yourself, can you do the work (intellectually, physically, etc) and be honest with yourself, because you’ll be doing it for 16 months. Always have an exit strategy; if you do not have any job offers, or are offered positions you don’t want, you should already be finding a summer job (4 months) and continue on with school the following September. Even if you are considering grad school, a year of real-world working experience is still a valuable asset to your development.”

After your PEY experience, do you want to go and work in the industry or continue your studies in graduate school, etc? -- “I will apply for grad school and look for employment at the same time, and I will take the first decent offer.” -- “Both. There is no rush to join the work force, and conversely, it’s never too late to pursue graduate studies. PEY has given me a taste of both options so that I can make a more informed decision when the time comes.” -- “Graduate School.”

How did you spend your earnings? -- “My first priority was to pay off student loan and save enough for next year. After having accomplished that, I spent a portion of my earning on photography equipment.” -- “Carefully. The satisfaction of spending one’s own money is unparalleled, but there is one more year to pay for.” -- “Paying for tuition, gas and car maintenance.”

Do you have any additional suggestions for potential PEY students? -- “Buy a car if the place is too ******* far from your house. Or move: your parents want you out of the house anyways. I mean, follow your dreams... and you’ll eventually land... somewhere else... but that somewhere else isn’t probably too bad, so you’ll probably come to like it, unless you’re stubborn and won’t accept change. So the moral of the story is: keep an open mind and all of the decisions you make will be a lot better.” -- “Make sure you factor in transportation to and from your workplace, Don’t be afraid to take international opportunities. PEY is one of the few opportunities you can have to ‘test drive’ a job - and potentially a country.” -- “Speak with previous PEY students to get a truthful perspective of the job/ company. Talk to Alumni/industry representatives and ask them about their experiences supervising students and what type of projects/levels of responsibility they gave them. Get your cover letter and resume up to date and edited early, continuously improving it.”


Job Descriptions -- Warehouse and logistics intern. This position is relevant to CIV, COMP & INDY students. Daily responsibilities: maintaining a plant’s inbound and outbound traffic and assisting the warehouse team with technical issues. There are usually 1-2 projects that are taking place, ex: writing a program to assist the warehousing team with inventory and the factory’s demands, analyzing inbound/outbound strategy to minimize storage cost.


The Art of Shooting Yourself in the Foot


The application process can be a little tedious. Every department is a little different, but typically, you’ll need at least an 80% average in your last two years to be considered. The application requires two academic references (I got away with one academic and one PEY reference), so if you’re still a few years away from graduation, be sure to do some Summer research and a 4th year thesis. A reference from a prof you only took a course with won’t look very good! Next, you’ll want to research profs you’re interesting in working with and contact them for an interview. If you’re lucky, they may contact you. Just like any other job, prepare for the interview by understanding their areas of research, and having intelligent questions ready. Your goal is to impress them

with your vast knowledge and apparent undying love for their areas of research. Applying for an NSERC or OGS research grant (typically due in October of the previous year) is recommended and will greatly improve you chances of getting accepted. Best of luck to all future applicants!

“that class smart-ass?” Also, check out the prof’s labs and offices - are there dozens of students crammed into a little closet space? Are there blinding lasers and dangerous chemicals scattered around the lab? Make sure it’s a space you can comfortably spend 12+ hours in.

A little bit of advice so you don’t end up wasting two more years on top of the four years you’ve already wasted:

3. Know whether you want to do experimental, numerical or theoretical research and choose your options accordingly. Some people like to build and play with big machines, some people want to write intricate programs to solve the world ‘s problems, and others want to sit comfortably, pondering the purpose of our existence. Make sure you know which of these people you are. Personally, I like experimental research. Who doesn’t like big giant machines?

1. Make sure the area of research you want to get into interests you and that you already possess a good amount of knowledge in that area. The last thing you want is to get stuck researching topics that bore you to no end and reading journal papers that push the limits of human understanding that you can’t understand. Pick something you know you like and won’t get tired of two years down the road. 2. Pick a prof that you can work with. Throughout your undergrad experience, you’ve dealt with a lot of profs and should know their personalities quite well. Ask yourself: can I work with this prof, who failed half the class, shows up to lectures drunk and once beat up

If you can follow these points, you should have a smooth and fun Masters experience. Personally, I have noticed I get more interviews when it says Master somewhere in my resume ;)

Edwin “that Mad Fluid TA” Wang M.A.Sc. Candidate Mech 0T8 + PEY


was a MEng student in the first semester then transferred to MASc, so I did not went through the standard MASc application process. Applying for MEng was relatively straight forward but I remember finding my two required reference letters took longer than expected so be sure to have those ready way before deadline. My research thesis requires me to travel and work at my industry partner’s facility for most of the week which I felt so far it has been quite rewarding. Personally I would not have switched to MASc if it wasn’t for the opportunity to do research at the company. I felt it has given me professional experiences similar to the time I was at PEY. Unless you have an extreme interest in certain field/industry, having an industry partner for your thesis is a must because you become much more engaged as your research work is actually something useful and can be applied in the real world. However, there is trade-offs working away from school as I had to spend considerable amount of time traveling back and forth for lectures and meetings. Also, I missed a lot of school events during the day so I couldn’t meet as many people as I wanted to. Before you decide if graduate school is right for you, keep in mind that MEng and MASc are very different programs. If you decided MEng is right for you because you plan on working and study at the same time, I highly recommend doing a project and take four APS courses to get the ELITE certificate. If you choose MASc, ask your supervisor if there are opportunities to do the research with an industry partner.” Henry Pong M.A.Sc. Candidate, University of Toronto Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering


applied to grad school because the job market sucked in 2009, so I figured that having a Master’s degree wouldn’t be too bad, especially with the society becoming more and more competitive every day. As you probably already know, there is MEng and MASc. The former is 1 year course based and the latter is 2 year research based. It really depends on what you like, if you like research and would like to pursue further education, MASc is the way to go. To note, research can be stressful especially with experimental work. Experiments may sound more appealing than modeling or programming (I’m not a modeling type of person myself), but the countless hours you spend in the lab and the anticipation of a somewhat useful outcome can build up to a lot of frustration. (But if you do happen to discovery something super cool, it’s all worth it at the end. You may become a millionaire, who knows!) Finding the right project is also very important, if you don’t like what you are doing, 2 years can be dreadful. So be careful when you are looking for professors/projects. I know quite a few people who have a full time job and also doing a part time MEng program. If working in the industry is what you like, this can be a good option for you.” Jingwen Wang M.A.Sc. candidate, University of Toronto Microscale Energy Systems Transport Phenomena Laboratory Smart & Adaptive Polymer Laboratory President, Association of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Graduate Students (AMIGAS)


ime, dedication and energy: all these things you must give in abundance to survive the soul sucking rigors of the Masters program. But hey, that’s no different from just another day in undergrad! The MASc program will require a lot of hard work but it can be quite rewarding. You get to work on your own schedule, conduct your own experiments in the most cutting edge areas of research and get paid doing it!


A $ix-Figure Leap of Faith


ne of the many options you have at the end of engineering is to directly pursue a graduate Master’s Degree in Business Administration at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management (via the Jeffrey Skoll BASc/ MBA Program). Though the application is open to all engineering students who are currently on, or have recently completed PEY, the actual planning process for this should begin as early as possible. Below is an account of a 4th year Mechanical Engineering student who has recently accepted an offer of admission for the Rotman MBA. What keeps you motivated to work hard? During my PEY term, I worked very closely with engineers and managers based in Shanghai (China) and Hyderabad (India). My colleagues overseas were in their late-twenties and working in excess of 12-16 hours every day. I came to realize that they were willing to sacrifice a lot of personal time just to prove that they were worthy to compete with their North American counterparts (who worked and complained of 8 hour days). In reality, they are just as good if not better than us. The difference is that they have the determination to give up almost anything for the hope of success. If they can do it, why can’t I? That was a very inspirational experience. It is important to remind yourself that it takes sacrifice, hard work and perseverance to get what you want. Can you discuss the general components and your approach to the application? The major components that need

to be addressed in the application package include: writing the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT), gathering three credible references, composing three essays, having a strong resume and excelling during the interview. A lot of the requirements mentioned above require a long time to build up or develop, and so it is important for you to begin as early as possible. If you are any bit interested, I highly recommend that you check out Rotman’s admission guidelines and lay out a 3-5 year game plan on how exactly and specifically you want to achieve each of the criteria. There are a lot of formidable competitors vying for the up-to 25 spots in the program. Note that these seats are not a quota that the university has to fill. In past years, there have been as few as 2 qualified candidates that were admitted. In general, you need to remain very focused on the action plan that you have developed and focus on executing it one step at a time.

written by Wilson Ma

What are some steps prospective students can take now to increase their competitiveness? a) The first thing that everyone can begin working on is building up a high-impact resume. First year grades are very important and essentially categorize you into a certain GPA bracket. It is vital to maintain strong, consistent academic performance to meet or beat the entrance grade of at least a B+. Even if you’re not in first year, remember, engineering does not necessarily get easier as the years go by, and so it is best to start off as high as possible. Most resumes by 4th year are 2 pages long and contain a diverse set of work, volunteer and extracurricular/ sports experiences. You don’t necessarily need to be the best at everything, but you should at least be actively engaged and have led a few. It’s never too late to go out and find thing to do outside of class. Go now! b) Although the three references can be your choice, I see a competitive applicant as someone having one academic, one extra-curricular and one work referral. Regarding the academic reference, it is desirable to have worked for a professor during the summer or a work/ study term. c) Writing the three admission es-

says should be the easiest part of the application. There are topics for you to choose from, all based on your personal experiences. d) The Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) is the one thing my colleagues and I were most nervous about. The assessment itself lasts approximately 4 hours and is a mix of writing two essays and answering multiple choice questions (English and Mathematics based). You may take the test most days of the year, but I find there is a lot of preparation work that needs to be done. I spent four months studying and doing practice problems, whereas many of my colleagues have spent anywhere between 2 to 8 months. Practice, practice, practice! And try using as many different study books as you can. Having an engineering background, I found the mathematics to be quite do-able (you should still familiarize yourself with it). Regarding the English component, I had a bit of trouble with their critical reasoning and sentence correction problems (this may sound easy to you, but I am a native speaker and I was still surprised by the little tricks they had). e) Finally, the Interview. As with most interviews, this will make or break your application.

Can you elaborate more on the interview process? Upon receiving an invitation to their interview, you will be speaking with the Director of Admissions at Rotman and the Faculty of Engineering’s Vice-Dean of Graduate Studies. No doubt does the prospect of this panel sound threatening - but it actually wasn’t that bad. They know you’ve worked so hard to get to this point, and you have essentially proven yourself to have most of the right work habits to be successful in the MBA program. Consider this 30 minute interview a quick chat. Be prepared to discuss: 1) Your experiences and specific contributions you made on PEY, 2) Why the MBA? 3) Why the MBA at Rotman? 4) What are your career plans following graduation? 5) and you guessed it - a bunch of Behavioral Questions There are no tricks or traps... at this point, you are fully in control of your fate! Have there been instances where excelling in all aspects except for the interview prevented candidates from proceeding in the process? Absolutely. The entire few years of hard work now converges on a sin-


What mindset did you have during your undergrad years? I was quite unsure of what to do after graduation. During my almost five years in university (4+PEY), I tried teaching, coaching sports, design work, research and industry. Taking on leadership roles in each of the above and in engineering courses including APS 111/ 112 greatly contributed to the discovery that management might be a suitable path down the road. I learned of the Jeffrey Skoll BASc/ MBA Program during a Frosh Friday seminar back in 2006, and have kept that as an option in the back of my mind. To keep that door open, I read the admissions criteria (found at skoll/) and worked towards meeting them in case I would one day decide to go ahead with it. My mindset was and is constantly: “am I completing the right actions today that are necessary to build a competitive foundation to proliferate off of tomorrow”.

MBA Rotman



What is the current tuition for the MBA Program? The confirmed tuition (including incidental fees) for students entering in September 2011 is just shy of $43,000 per year. This does not include a laptop, text books, and supplies. What other factors should I consider? In the graduating 1T0 + PEY/ 1T1 class, I have seen colleagues securing $50,000-65,000/year offers, with an average of $55,000/year. Factoring in the opportunity costs of taking the MBA, you are set back $196,000 (2x$43,000 + 2x$55,000avg) upon graduation. question

Are you willing to take this six-figure leap of faith into a different field that could change your life?

ver wonder what it’s like to be at the Rotman? This past September, I started the Full-Time MBA program at Rotman. From the state-of-the art facilities to the world-class professors and classmates, here’s everything you need to know about studying at Rotman. Getting In The application process for the Jeffrey Skoll program is quite rigorous. You need good grades, three references, a PEY internship, 3 essays, a good GMAT score, and finally, some oomph. I want to focus on this last item. Although the GMAT score is very important (the average MBA candidate has a GMAT score of 650), I have a lot of classmates that were in the high 500’s and low 600’s. The reason? Oomph. If you have passion to be in the program and bring a little extra something that makes you different, they know they are surely better off taking you - so be cognisant about that and find some way to make yourself stand out. Orientation Once accepted, you’ll be swiftly and warmly welcomed to the program. The program has an elaborate pre-program that takes place in the summer designed to gear you up to be ready for the

real thing, as well as opportunities to meet and bond with your classmates. In August, I took over 40 hours of pre-program classes and sessions ranging from public speaking, business case analysis, presentation workshops, to teambuilding events such as Orientation Camp. It is here where you meet your amazing classmates. People Speaking of your classmates, this is really what separates Rotman from many of the other business schools. Rotman and Ivey are the best business schools in the country, so naturally they attract the best and the brightest. All, and I mean ALL, of your classmates are extremely intelligent, talented, and amazing people. Each and every one brings something unique to the classroom discussions and outside of class chats. Be sure to chat with them as much as you can. You will learn a lot. Classes The classes are like nothing I have ever seen. As an engineer, I was used to the lecture-style classes where the professor does all the teaching. However, very few classes are like that in Rotman. Most classes are discussion styled, where all the learning is done interactively. I’ve found a lot of the

groundbreaking insight that I’ve learned is actually from my fellow classmates! After a while, you’ll be comfortable enough to participate in each and every class! It’s a great way to share your point of view, see if you are right or wrong about it, and work on your public speaking skills. Homework Finally, when it comes to homework, you will surely have more than you do in Engineering. For me, having never prepared before class in Engineering, I have found that it is a must for many of the classes because otherwise you will have no idea what is happening and end up hindering your learning. Although there is more work, the work is a lot easier to do and also much more interesting because it is applicable to real life. Instead of studying how heat transfers in a perfectly insulated rectangular slab, I am learning about interactive reasoning, hedging financial risks and what Wal-Mart should do next! If you want to try it yourself first hand, I encourage you to sit in a class. Go email the Program Services Office at Rotman and ask for permission to attend a class. I’m sure it’ll be nothing like you’ve seen before!

written by Simon Guan


The ultimate boils down to:



gle 30 minute interview. Relatively speaking, it is the shortest component of the entire application, but none-the-less the most important. Stay calm. At the bare minimum, you need to convey and maintain a sense of confidence and composure. Before applying, what are some advantages and disadvantages of the Skoll Program? The Skoll Program is essentially a fast track option for students to pursue an MBA. You may consider this to switch fields, for example from engineering into financial services (investment banking, mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, portfolio management, risk engineering), to brand management (related to product marketing), to strategy/ consulting, etc. You may also want to do this early while you still have flexibility in life (no kids, mortgage, etc) and while the tuition fees are lower. In the past few years, they have gone up by about $5,000/ year. A potential disadvantage is that the average age of your classmates is around 27 to 28. This means they will have a lot more real world experience than you. It may be disadvantageous if you can not draw upon detailed and relevant situational experiences during class discussions.

Life at Rotman

[ Exhibit A ]


ART DIRECTION Alice Han Vince Kan

x x x

x x x

MODELS Irene Bai Jeremy Sin

x x x


x x x

x x x

[ Exhibit C ] [ Exhibit D ]

[ Exhibit B ]

[ Exhibit E ]

[ Exhibit F ]


[ Exhibit A ]

[ Exhibit C ]

Professional elegance embod- Simple and casual, single coied in a simple two button suit lours are classic and never out with matching pocket square of style. and tie.

x x x

[ Exhibit B ]

[ Exhibit D ]

Thin ties are sexy - combined A long sleeved dress shirt with with a sharp shirt and confrills exemplifies style and cul- trasting white collar, just lose ture, perfect for the serious the suit and you’re ready for the Friday night party! young professional.

[ Exhibit E ]

A casual red top and tie accentuated with a white sweater are great for holding attention during presentations.

[ Exhibit F ]

Dark coloured outerwear is as trendy as ever - throw in a flared collar and fitted waist to complete the look.


How the World Economy Really Works, and Why It Really Doesn’t


anything to do! If the American were gone, these five Asians would all be unemployed! Wait, really? Okay, maybe it’s not completely fair. After all, real Americans do pay for what they get. Well, how do real Americans pay for all the Asian manufactured goods that they buy (especially since the mid-2000s)? They pay with borrowed money, with IOUs. So now suppose that at the end of the day, the Asians present the American with a bill. The American “pays” for it by giving the Asians a piece of paper, on which he has written a promise to make up for the IOU in future payments of food. But now, are the Asians any better off because they’re accumulating all these IOUs? Considering that it’s the Asians who know how to hunt and fish, and not the American, is the American ever going to repay his IOUs? Who cares if the IOUs would “devalue” tremendously if the American leaves? They never had any value in the first place! The main point here is that China and all the producing nations of the world do not benefit from just being able to export to the U.S., or any other nations that can’t really afford to spend so much anyway. So what if China holds a few trillion U.S. dollars worth of reserves? Those dollars can’t really buy any American products that China wants. Even crazier, the Chinese government is suppressing its own citizens’ purchasing power, by using their currency peg with the U.S. dollar, in order to artificially increase the purchas-

ing power of the Americans! It’s not like the Chinese don’t have the money to pay for the stuff they’re making; the average Chinese saves 30% of his/ her income! (The average American, by comparison, saves almost nothing.) If I could present you with yet another analogy: We all know that during World War II, almost every American adult was employed either fighting the war or working in war factories making weapons. Everyone was earning money. Now, should the U.S. have just kept the war going? Ponder that for a little. The war was what “got us out of the Great Depression”, right? If the war suddenly ended, imagine the unemployment and economic depression that would follow! All the soldiers would be unemployed, now that there’s no one to fight. All the weapons factories would just sit there and rot, since there wouldn’t be any use for weapons anymore. What about all the civilians working in those factories? They would all be laid off, and lose their incomes in an instant! We have to keep the war going indefinitely to support the American economy! I’m sure we all think the idea of prolonging the war to keep Americans employed is pretty crazy, but it’s an almost perfect mirror to China’s current economic situation. It seems that it was China’s export growth that led them to relative prosperity today since 1978. So many Chinese are now employed and earning money working in factories to produce stuff for foreign nations. Now, if China somehow stopped export-

ing this much (dropping the dollar peg could be a start), many people believe that the Chinese economy would collapse as the factories waste away and people lose their jobs. Let’s go back to World War II and the American situation. Fast forward to a few decades after the end of the war, and now the U.S. postwar period is remembered for a long-term economic boom rather than an economic bust. In fact, the U.S. achieved great manufacturing power in the decades after the war (power that they eventually lost to Germany, Japan, and China, but that’s another rant). But didn’t we predict a massive collapse in the economy upon the war ending? We’ll have to look beneath the surface here. During the war, although American citizens were employed and earning money, their standards of living weren’t really improving. Ordinary consumer goods were rationed, since the war effort took priority and all the factories were making military equipment. Americans found it hard to buy anything with their income. Now in China, we see that standards of living aren’t really that great, and the people don’t seem to be earning much if we compare their incomes to the price range of ordinary consumer goods. In effect, resources in China are currently being rationed to support the export effort. Going back to the Chinese-American currency peg, it basically pushes down the Chinese standard of living in order to increase export viability.

China Article

written by David Zhu

What happened after the war was that the war factories in the U.S. were converted into factories that would actually produce things that ordinary Americans wanted. Ordinary Americans couldn’t make use of weapons, so entrepreneurs had to figure out ways to take over the military factories and convert them to produce consumer goods. Since so many war factories had been built during the war, American manufacturing rose to the top of the world. The same thing could be done in China. In modern times it’s far easier to go into business in China than in the U.S. (sad, isn’t it?), so we could see a massive shift in Chinese manufacturing. Not all the stuff produced in China is really something that the Chinese want, for the time being anyway; I would think that a Chinese person who doesn’t have a stove would rather buy a stove than a Wii. Better yet, the new factories would actually be gaining wealth; after all, their customers would now be Chinese savers with real money and a correctlyvalued Chinese currency, rather than American debtors with credit cards. What about exports? Well, fundamentally there’s only one reason to export, and that’s to import. You only export what you produce but don’t need (a surplus), in order to import what you need but don’t produce (a deficit). Considering that many of China’s export customers (e.g. the U.S.) are broke anyway, it’s not like a lot of foreign nations can meaningfully offer better prices than the Chinese them-

selves. There’s really no such thing as an economy being forced to depend on exports. It’s just like how the Asians on the island produce food solely for the American’s consumption. The Asians aren’t forced to produce food for the American just because they’re receiving IOUs in return. As an Asian in this story, would you rather go hungry for 10 days and lose value on 10 meals’ worth of IOUs, or would you rather go hungry for 100 days and lose value on 100 meals’ worth? Of course, since you’ve already lost 10 days’ worth of food, it’s not a painless solution for you. It’s the same with China. They’ve simply kept their economic imbalance for far too long, and there’s going to be a painful readjustment. It’s a little like quitting smoking, where the addiction introduces a lot of imbalances in your system; it almost seems as though you need to keep smoking to live on. But in the long term, the healthiest solution is for you to quit, even though it involves short-term pain. The U.S. shortly after World War II went through a sharp economic dive as the war factories closed and people lost their weaponproducing jobs, but again, the postwar economic period in the U.S. is still remembered for long-term economic prosperity. Given the world economic situation now, it’s time for China, and the rest of Asia, to take it in.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author alone and do not reflect the opinions of CESA Times.


et’s start off with a rather insightful economic analogy that I once heard about the world economy. Suppose that six people are stranded on an island. Say five of them are Asian, and one is American. Now, because they’re stranded, they have to divide up the tasks needed for survival. So, one of the Asians gets the job of hunting. Another Asian gets the job of fishing. Yet another Asian has to gather firewood for cooking, and so on. We now have five Asians who all have jobs gathering and preparing the food for everyone. But what job should the American be assigned? Well, the American gets the job of eating. He just eats whatever the Asians produce. So every day, the five Asians are all hard at work to prepare a big feast for the American. The American just suns himself on the beach. In effect, the American operates as a service economy, having opened a tanning salon with himself as the only customer. At the end of the day, the Asians put their finishing touches on the meal, and the American would sit down and eat it. But the American knows that he needs the five Asians to repeat this process tomorrow, so he leaves them just enough scraps so that they would have enough to go on. Now that you’ve heard this story, what if I tried to convince you that the American is the engine of the entire island economy? Think about it. Without the appetite, the demand, of this American for the Asians’ production, the Asians wouldn’t have

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CESA Times 2010-2011 Issue 2  

Title: Professionalism

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