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Our Resident Fayez Quereshy: Valedictorian of Rotman MBA Class

Quereshy Family
Fayez Quereshy, his wife Nariman Malik, son Faraaz and daughter Raniya

General Surgery resident Fayez Quereshy describes the two years spent completing his MBA at the Rotman School of Management as "a terrific experience that differed by 180 degrees" from his prior education. The first year was an intensive immersion in business management courses and concepts. The second year included more health-related topics such as health economics and a service industry survey course covering Italian hospitals and bottlenecks in patient flow in cardiovascular surgery. Fayez conducted research on organizational decisionmaking with Brendan Calder, who has been a mentor for six months and continues to advise him even now on the clinical services. Brendan is a passionate and inspirational leader who pushes action as well as strategy.

Fayez worked with Brendan and Robert Bell on UHN's "strategy to implementation" project, using the "balanced score card" method to implement the priorities of the institution in places selected as the best targets to focus energy. The score card measures the institution's progress and identifies where attention is required, like MRSA and C. difficile infections. It applies the scientific method to gauging progress: testing hypotheses, finding best practices, setting targets, then measuring and reporting outcomes.

For one summer, Fayez worked with Mike Guerriere, former CIO at UHN, and the "Courtyard Group" on Alan Hudson's wait times project. He looked at the impact of the project on other surgical specialties like General Surgery and Gynaecology and helped identify priority procedures within them. This was a great experience in practical Health Policy Research.

David Beatty, Fayez's teacher in the High Level Managers course, steered him to Brendan Calder. David is "extensively connected to the business community" as a member of 12 boards of trustees. David teaches "the manager's perspective from 5000 feet". Fayez is committed to working on communicating some of these lessons to our clinical services. He has learned that you can't engraft medicine onto a business model, but you can transfect management ideas and skills into medicine. Fayez describes his selection as class valedictorian as a tremendous honour which caught him by surprise. He is currently on the General Surgery service at Toronto Western with Jaime Escallon, Todd Penner and Alan Okrainec. The following is an excerpt from Fayez's valedictory address:

"The experience at Rotman has been life transforming. For many of us, that is what has been so shocking: we expected two years of networking peppered with a few classes and a couple of tests. Talk about your model clash! From the beginning, Rotman has been busy with reading, writing, journals, reflections, cases, exams - it has been busy surviving. However, this program has helped us do more than memorize formulas, learn a few theories, and realize that Harvard Business cases have way too many exhibits. Rather, it has set us on a process of self-development and life-long learning.

Orientation Camp was an incredible 72 hours! The difference between expectation and outcome was staggering! Initially, I inferred that orientation would be sterile with presentations, suits, MBA lingo, and laptops - that could not have been further from reality. Rather, camp was raw, real, and rugged... it was an unparalleled opportunity to get to know people. Moreover, it was the first time that I realized that the next two years could really work out.

Each person seemed successively more impressive than the last - from owning their own businesses to speaking five languages to managing with four kids. I remember asking myself: do I really belong? I would be lying if I said that the first few weeks were not filled with uncertainty and confusion. Specifically, graphs left and right in managerial economics, financial accounting cookie jars, and the TAO model in FIT - what were they all talking about?

My second realization at the MBA program is that business is not about strategy or finance; rather, it is about people. And the corollary, Rotman is not about the curriculum, the four walls, or even about Integrative Thinking (even though all of this may sound sacrilegious). It is about people. It is about struggling through cases with your study group.

As a class, we have been incredibly active: we have successfully competed in case competitions at home and in the United States; we raised unprecedented funds for the United Way; hosted 70 Grade 11 students in She Biz; founded Rotman's Business Design Club; printed the Inaugural edition of Rotman's newspaper Integrate This!; expanded the study tour program to include South Africa in addition to China and India; and supported a record number of students on international exchange. As future leaders, we are committed to social responsibility and promise to strengthen the link between business and society.

So if ever asked the question: "Why did you do an MBA?" feel free to use the following statement containing as many buzz words and acronyms as I could muster: "Well... after deconstructing the macroeconomic environment, conducting a personal SWOT analysis, and completing a Porter's 5-forces on my preferred industry, I realized that I needed something to provide me with a long-term sustainable competitive differentiated advantage. However, I also knew that I needed an ROI that could justify this decision. A DCF analysis yielded a positive NPV with an impressive IRR that suggested that Rotman's IT curriculum was for me. Close to the TTC within the heart of the GTA, Rotman would ultimately make me... an MBA."

Key to acronyms

SWOT - Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats
ROI - Return on Investment
DCF - Discounted Cash Flow
NPV - Net Present Value
IRR - Internal Rate of Return
IT - Information Technology
TTC - Toronto Transit Commission
GTA - Greater Toronto Area
MBA - Master of Business Administration


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