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Rotman Commerce - Special Topics Courses


  • Content in any given year will depend on the instructor.
  • Enrolment is restricted to Rotman Commerce students.
  • To take a 400-series course, 14.0+ credits are required; and for a 300-series, 9.0+ credits are required; except when otherwise indicated in the course descriptions below
  • Course descriptions may be found following the listings


Summer 2022

RSM411H1F – International Entrepreneurship

RSM411H1F – International Entrepreneurship

Instructor: Rebecca Reuber
Prerequisite: 9.0+ Credits, RSM 392H1
May be applied to the following focuses: International Business (Requirement 2), and Strategy & Innovation (Requirement 2)

Pursuing international opportunities is essential to the growth of entrepreneurial ventures, particularly in Canada and other countries with a small domestic market. However, internationalization is challenging for the leaders of young high-growth firms because of their financial and managerial resource constraints. This course highlights the challenges they face in internationalizing and the mechanisms they use to overcome them. It differs from a traditional international business course because it focuses on the early internationalization issues of young firms, rather than the issues of managing established multinational corporations. The course material is highly international, with most cases featuring the internationalization of young companies started outside North America. Students will have the opportunity to work collaboratively in teams to apply the course concepts to the development of an internationalization plan for a real-world company that is located in Canada or in another country.

The course is intended for students who are interested in growing an entrepreneurial venture internationally, or working with internationally-active entrepreneurs as a manager, partner, consultant or investor. It is also relevant for students who want to lead the pursuit of new international opportunities in existing organizations. The course emphasizes the development of professional skills, such as discussions in groups, presentations, researching real companies, and teamwork.

Fall-Term 2022

RSM310H1F – One-to-One Marketing
RSM311H1F – Data-Based Decision Making
RSM315H1F – Taxation for Business Professionals
RSM410H1F – Sustainability Strategy
RSM412H1F – Analytics for Service and Health Care Management
RSM415H1F – BEAR Laboratory (Cancelled for Fall 2022)
RSM416H1F – Technology Product Management
RSM419H1F – Chinese Markets and Investments

Winter-Term 2023

RSM312H1S – Data and Information Management for Business Analytics
RSM418H1S – Investment Banking and Mergers and Acquisitions

RSM310H1F – One-To-One Marketing

Instructor: Dan Richards
Prerequisite: 9.0+ Credits; RSM250H1 (Updated June 8, 2022)
May be applied to the following Focuses: Marketing Focus (Updated June 6, 2022)

In One to One Marketing, you’ll learn how to market yourself and how to succeed in face to face and written communication with classmates, with employers and with customers. This course does this in two ways. First it will help you understand the most current research and best practices on common forms of communication:

• Business writing – emails, memos, proposals and reports

• Formal stand-up presentations, including responding to questions

• One on one and small group conversations

• Networking – how to build and maintain a robust network that will help you get the right job and then get things done on the job and advance your career

• One you start working full time, how to build and improve relationships with colleagues and managers

Second, One to One Marketing will help you apply the class concepts about effective persuasion to your day to day interactions, by helping you create new habits to communicate more effectively. To help you learn, each class will discuss lessons from videos of successful CEOs and we’ll also use role plays, individual and group presentations and biweekly journals. You’ll also have weekly meetings with a small group of classmates with whom you’ll complete short weekly assignments and practice the concepts you learn in class. One to One Marketing was developed for Rotman’s MBA program by Dan Richards, who this year was voted Best Professor by the graduating MBA class. The course emerged when he saw some of his MBA students who were extremely strong technically but who struggled to communicate effectively. Since it was first offered in 2018, One to One Marketing has received outstanding feedback in student evaluations.

RSM311H1F – Data-Based Decision Making

Instructor: David Soberman
Prerequisite: 9.0+ Credits; RSM250H1
May be applied to the following Focuses: Marketing; Data Science in Business

The objectives of this course is to introduce the upper year students to key ideas about data-intensive business decision-making. The ideas explored in the course include:

• Understanding that the questions a business needs answered precedes the collection and analysis of data
• The difference between what the data “say” and what the data “mean”
• Understanding and measuring randomness and its implications. Different sources of randomness (inherently random outcomes vs measurement errors)
• Introduction to standard questions and analyses that businesses need to address
• Understanding traps and biases in the data and their implications on the analysis
• Difference between various modelling approaches

You can find a video introduction here:

RSM312H1S – Data and Information Management for Business Analytics

Instructor: Gerhard Trippen
Prerequisite: 9.0+ Credits
May be applied to the following Focuses: Finance, Financial Statement Analysis, International Business, Leadership in Organizations, Marketing and Strategy and Innovation, Data Science in Business

This course focuses on the fundamentals of data management for the purposes of producing information and supporting advanced techniques of business analytics. This applied learning course will expose the learner to a broad range of technical skills that are required to access, prepare and visualize data for advanced analysis. The course introduces the fundamental skills that form the foundation in the development of advanced business analytics. Following leading industry standards, the course will use SQL and Python.

RSM315H1F – Taxation for Business Professionals

Instructor: Alexander Edwards
Prerequisite: 9.0+ Credits; RSM 219H1, RSM 230H1
May be applied to the following Focus: Financial Statement Analysis; Finance

Description: Taxes are a compulsory fee imposed by governments on individuals and businesses. All business professionals can benefit from understanding the tax system so that they can considered taxes in their decisions and maximize after tax returns. This course is designed to develop your ability to identify, understand, and evaluate tax-planning opportunities. The course will provide a high-level overview of the income tax system and how it impacts business and investment decisions. The material will focus on tax planning concepts and the effect of taxes on decision making, rather than detailed tax rules and legal research (i.e., this is a class designed for all business professionals, not simply future tax professionals). We will begin by developing a conceptual framework for evaluating how tax rules affect financial decisions. We will then apply the framework to various types of financial decisions. Specific topics include investing, registered savings vehicles, compensation planning, international tax issues, capital structure, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, and financial statement analysis.

What past students have said in course evaluations:

The instruction was extremely clear and made tax something that could be studied by non–accounting majors.

The best class…. I don’t like accounting at all, but this class was interesting, engaging, helpful, and exciting to attend.

I would highly recommend taking this course to my peers.

RSM410H1F – Sustainability Strategy

Instructor: Kenneth Corts
Prerequisite: 9.0+ Credits; Co-Requisite: RSM 392H1 (Please note that this course is open to 3rd and 4th year students)
May be applied to the following Focus: Strategy and Innovation

The environmental and social impact and context of business matter like never before. Diverse stakeholders—from shareholders and lenders to workers and consumers to governments and activists—are raising their voices to ensure that these considerations are given their due in business decision-making and that firms are being transparent and accountable for performance in diverse dimensions well beyond short-term financial performance. This course takes an economics and strategy lens to consider how business leaders can and should respond to the rise of these concerns in pursuing long-run sustainable growth and prosperity.

RSM412H1F – Analytics for Service and Health Care Management

Instructor: Akram Khaleghei
Prerequisite: 9.0+ Credits; ECO220Y1 or equivalent
May be applied to the following Focuses: Finance, Financial Statement Analysis, International Business, Leadership in Organizations, Marketing and Strategy and Innovation; Data Science in Business

This course teaches how to use advanced data-driven analytics to solve important real-world business problems in the service sector, with a focus on healthcare. Examples include predicting and improving hospital readmission rates, kidney transplant wait times, and appointment no-shows; planning bike sharing expansion; and improving retail merchandising. Students will learn to develop predictive models and apply machine learning techniques to solve such problems through data-driven case studies. This course emphasizes hands-on learning in Python: It not only covers concepts and techniques, but also requires students to develop analytics solutions that implement these techniques and extract insights from data using cutting-edge computer languages.

RSM415H1F – BEAR Laboratory (Cancelled for Fall 2022)

Instructor: Bing Feng
Prerequisite: 14.0+ Credits; RSM250H1
May be applied to the following Focus: Marketing

Every organization – be it government, private companies or welfare agencies – is in the business of changing somebody’s behaviour. In this course, students will learn to apply insights from behavioural economics to help Behavioural Economics in Action at Rotman (BEAR’s) partner organization effectively produce behaviour change in their stakeholders. Student will be working in teams to approach real-time challenges using a behavioural lens, tapping into tools from economics, psychology, marketing, and other related disciplines. This course is suitable for students pursuing careers in any field, including strategy, sales and marketing, product development, and policy and program design.

RSM416H1F – Technology Product Management

Instructor: Omkar Chetty
Prerequisite: 14.0+ Credits; RSM250H1
May be applied to the following Focus: Marketing

Product Managers are responsible for owning a product at every stage of its life cycle, bringing it from ideation to market and ensuring success. TPM Course is designed to introduce the very latest product management concepts and techniques. Students will learn to develop product ideas – from modeling and testing market opportunities with an MVP, to leading design and development teams with an agile workflow.

This goal of this course is to demystify technology product management and reduce the barrier of entry into the profession. This course will provide the foundational knowledge of technology product management, and cover the following topics (with real world examples/cases) –

1. What is a PM? Why are they crucial both in large tech organizations and start-ups?
2. What does a PM do and with whom do they work at different stages of the product life cycle? What are the attributes of successful PMs?
3. What techniques do PMs use to understand customer needs and validate demand for a product?
4. What does a PM need to know about user experience design?
5. What is the difference between waterfall and agile software development methods, and when/why would one chose one over the other?
6. Does a PM need to know about technology, e.g., tech stacks, APIs, databases? If so, to what extent?
8. What are the next steps one could take to continue the product journey?

RSM418H1S – Investment Banking and Mergers and Acquisitions

Instructor: Wayne Adlam
Prerequisite: 14.0+ Credits; RSM433H1
This course may be applied to the following:
Focus in Finance (Req 2)
F&E specialist: at least 2.0 credits of 400-level Finance courses (Req15)

This course will focus on understanding the drivers of value creation in mergers & acquisitions and to develop the skills necessary in the design, evaluation, and negotiation of these transactions. The practice of mergers & acquisitions covers many value creation strategies including spin-offs, carve-outs, strategic acquisitions, leveraged buyouts and going private transactions. Familiarity with mergers & acquisitions is a foundation for effective work in a wide range of fields including investment banking, private equity, consulting, corporate development, and advising senior management. This case-based course will focus in particular on how investment bankers assist companies by advising them on strategic initiatives and arranging the necessary financing for the transaction, as well as fostering an understanding of the overall deal making process.

RSM419H1F – Chinese Markets and Investments

Instructor: Hai Lu
Prerequisite: 9.0+ Credits
May be applied to the following Focus: Diverse Economies, Financial Statement Analysis, International Business

This course is designed for the students who are interested in Chinese institutions and markets that can facilitate investment decisions in China, the second largest economy in the world. Understanding institutional environment in Chinese capital markets is important because it exhibits significant differences from shareholder-driven Western economies. The course begins by introducing a stakeholder approach to understanding the Chinese eco-system and highlighting the major differences relative to the capital markets in developed countries. Subsequent classes are devoted to the behaviors and incentives of important market participants such as government, managers, investors, and analysts. The course is largely based on the instructor’s own field research related to China (please check Topics include information quality in China, market transparency and efficiency, financial frauds, high speed railway investment, AI investment, digital economy and metaverse, carbon strategies and ESG, and joint ventures in China. While the course focuses on Chinese institutions and a few specific industries, a broad objective of this course is to raise awareness for a thorough understanding of the relevant institutions when engaging in international investment decisions.

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