Mika Castaldo | BBA 2017
Program: Management, Minor in History
Previous Work Terms: Corporate Strategy Analyst at Samsung, Policy Analyst at the Ontario Financing Authority, Consulting Analyst at McLean & Company
Why did you choose UTSC Management? I chose UTSC because of its ability to combine a co-op experience with the numerous University of Toronto’s resources. As Canada’s premier research university, the professors teaching the courses are world class – this translates into deeper learning, more opportunities, and international recognition. At the same time, UTSC offers something unique over UofT as a whole – co-op. Through co-op, I sharpened my career preferences, acquired valuable experience, and increased my skill level through entering the workforce.
What has been the highlight of your experience so far? Getting to go to Harvard’s international consulting case competition in 2015 was probably the highlight of my university experience. Aside from the competition itself, just getting there was fun – our flights were cancelled at the last minute, so we made the (crazy) decision to rent a car and drive to Boston, arriving at 3AM. We crashed in a dorm, woke up at 8AM the next morning, and competed. The fact that I got to compete with some of my best friends at UTSC made the experience even more memorable.
What are your goals after this program and how is this program helping you to achieve them? After this program, I’ll be joining the Boston Consulting Group as an Associate. Therefore, my immediate goals involve performing strongly in my role there. As for longer-term, I’m interested in pursuing my MBA. Right after graduation, I’ll be travelling throughout South America for two months, heading through Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, and Ecuador – I’ve been learning Spanish over the past year, so I look forward to the opportunity to practice.
What are your achievements to date? I’m fairly proud of my performance in case competitions. Throughout my undergrad, I’ve won 15+ case competitions as a member of TAG, UTSC’s case competition club. In my first two years at UTSC, I won LIVE competition, one of Canada’s most rigorous case competitions. At the same time, I’ve had the chance to represent UTSC in competitions at Harvard and Wharton. I’m also fairly proud of securing the University of Toronto Excellence Award in first year, a $6000 research grant that allows students to undertake an original research project.
What is the biggest hidden gem about the UTSC campus location? The valley! It’s gorgeous, especially during the fall. It is an excellent place to go to think – I’ll miss it.
What are some of your favourite Management courses that you have taken? "Special Topics in Marketing" was incredible; the discussion-based structure, the fascinating papers we read, and the Professor’s brilliance as a lecturer made the course extremely memorable. I also thoroughly enjoyed "Corporate Strategy". The case-based structure, and the Professor made the course particularly enjoyable.