Our alumni community is over 14,000 members strong. From Toronto to New York City to Hong Kong and beyond, our graduates are making their marks in businesses and communities around the globe. We are exceptionally proud of all of our grads and are excited to share their stories.
Featured Alumni Profile
Danièle Bertrand, BCom ’82
Rotman Commerce graduate Danièle Bertrand (B.Com. 1982) has the sweetest job! As President and Partner of the Dufflet Group – purveyors of fine pastries, desserts and confections – Danièle is the expert in the best ingredients for business success and personal growth.
Coming from a small town in Quebec and speaking only French, Danièle arrived at the University of Toronto in 1978, and after renting and painting a new apartment arrived on campus for her first day only to discover that she had not been admitted. With limited English, she did not realize that what she thought was an acceptance letter from the university was actually a rejection letter. Well, she wasn’t going to give in that easily. She camped out at the registrar’s office and was finally admitted to Woodsworth College for part time and mature students.
After settling in, Danièle was impressed with the diversity of culture in the student body and the knowledge and business experience of the faculty. “The teachers and students helped me to develop my language, inter-personal and leadership skills while giving me a solid foundation in business and the desire to get into a top tier marketing company.”
Upon graduation Danièle held several jobs for companies including General Foods, Ault Foods, and Unilever before joining the Dufflet Group as a partner almost four years ago. “The opportunities for women in business today are unlimited and the Rotman Commerce program is the perfect place to start.”
When Danièle was asked to become involved a mentor, she jumped at the opportunity. “I was very fortunate to have professors and students who helped me in so many ways while I was a student and I wanted to give back,” she says.
Danièle was paired with Anna Bramnik (B.Com 2005) and has mentored her since her time as a student and they are still in touch today. The relationship involved discussions about Anna’s skill set and how it would apply in the real world, the type of career and environment that would be best suited for Anna and the pros and cons of small versus large business settings.
The relationship has been one of personal growth for both parties. Danièle had been very happy with her mentoring experience throughout the process, but it all came into much clearer focus during a dinner with Anna who had brought her mother along. “Anna really wanted me to meet her mother and I was so touched when she introduced me as her business mom.”
When asked what she would say to encourage other alumni to get involved, Danièle says, “If you have ever had a mentor, you know the value and what it meant to you – if you have never had one, you probably envied others who did – so why not take a few hours of your time to share your experience and help someone – you won’t regret it.”