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Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Stacy Arciniega, University of Toronto (Rotman)

“Passionate and disciplined woman, interested in always growing by taking on new challenges.”

Hometown: Lima, Peru

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Fun Fact About Yourself: When I was younger, I was really into music. I even came to think that I wanted to be a singer and a performer for a living. I received my first guitar when I was nine and my second one a few months later. Actually, I used to record voice notes of myself while playing an instrument trying to emulate acoustic sessions.

Undergraduate School and Major: Peruvian University of Applied Science – Economics and Finance

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Superintendency of Banks, Insurance and Private Pension Funds Administrators of Peru – Investment Supervisor of Private Pension Funds II

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? For me, integrative thinking is trying to find the solution to a problem using not only logic but also intuition and creativity in order to get a holistic perspective. I applied this method while working on the Managing Customer Value final project, where we had to choose a specific project from a crowdfunding platform and develop a marketing plan for the project launch after the crowdfunding stage.

What has been your favorite part of Toronto so far? Why? I am very impressed by the variety of events that this city offers. From restaurants with diverse offers of menus to concerts with various local and international artists.

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? One of the critical factors that I analyzed before applying was the scope of the finance courses, especially the electives we will have to choose during the second year of the program. At Rotman, we have the opportunity to specialize by choosing to focus on an emphasis (similar to majors). Courses like portfolio management, machine learning, and value investing caught my attention. Many of those courses are taught by renowned professors with relevant industry experience.

What course, club or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at Toronto Rotman? Every year, Rotman and the Marquee Group organize professional development sessions for the students to complement the core academic courses. Those workshops are focused on financial modeling (DCF, LBO, etc.). I had the opportunity to join two of them on the weekends and learned the step-by-step of valuation models.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I was in my last semester of the university. The internship I had at that time (Research Department of a bank) didn’t have a spot available for a new analyst. Therefore, I was in the search of another opportunity. Throughout all my time at the university, many teachers talked about the certifications that were available on the market. Suddenly, it came to my mind to take the CFA exams. I remember that I studied for three hours every single day for three years; and relied on my resilience and discipline to go the extra mile and push my limits. All this led me to pass all the levels on the first attempt and become the first female in my university class to be a CFA Charterholder.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far. I’ve always been interested in following a finance path, especially asset management. For that reason, I joined the Rotman Asset Management Association (RAMA). Every year, they open applications for a position at the Rotman Student Investment Fund (RSIF), and I was chosen as one of their Equity Research Analyst. The fund supports students in fundamental analysis of companies, and provides training and resources on modeling, valuation, and report writing skills. Therefore, one can gain hands-on portfolio management experience. Furthermore, their speaker series and panel discussions help first-year students to connect with industry professionals.

What has been your best memory as an MBA so far? Moving to another country to start a life all over again has been challenging (and scary) for me since I was leaving everything I have worked for back home. Fortunately, I have been lucky enough to have found a group of classmates with whom I have created such a strong bond and whom I can now call my chosen family. Since we are driven by similar aspirations and going through similar experiences, our differences (backgrounds, nationalities, cultures, and interests) make our bond even stronger. Every moment spent with them, as simple as going out for groceries, studying at the library, or going out for a beer is a valuable memory that just adds to the experience I am living here, so it makes it difficult to only choose one.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Toronto Rotman’s MBA program? I would say to them to focus on their strengths, both soft skills, and technical skills, since the Rotman MBA is one of very few that is very intensive on the academic side. Besides that, I believe the applicants not only need to show they are academically and professionally ready, but they need to effectively articulate their long-term career goals, how the Rotman MBA will help them get there (“knowing the why”), and how are they going to contribute to the learning experience of their peers.


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