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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 2024

RSM411H1F – International Entrepreneurship

RSM411H1F – International Entrepreneurship (Not offered in Summer 2024)

Instructor: Rebecca Reuber
Prerequisite: 9.0+ Credits, RSM 392H1
May be applied to the following focuses: International Business (Requirement 2), Strategy & Innovation (Requirement 2), and Requirement 15 of the Management Specialist.

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 around the world 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 2024

RSM310H1F – One-to-One Marketing
RSM314H1F – ESG and Sustainability Accounting
RSM406H1F – Corporation 360
RSM413H1F – Digital and Social Media Marketing
RSM417H1F – Supply Chain Analytics

Winter-Term 2025

RSM210H1S – Communicating for Impact
RSM315H1S – Taxation for Business Professionals
RSM317H1S – Text Mining and Natural Language Processing
RSM415H1S – Strategic Decisions in Operations

RSM210H1S – Communicating for Impact

Instructor: Alexandra Motut
Prerequisite: Completion of the Rotman Commerce Guaranteed Admission requirements.
May be applied to the following focuses: None

Students learn oral communication skills in both casual and formal professional settings (i.e. from coffee chats to boardroom presentations): we cover the core elements of audience, message structure and delivery for a variety of professional communication contexts, both individually and in groups, with visual aids (slides) and without. We will also address aspects of professionalism including email and digital communication, etiquette, and intercultural awareness. Course methods emphasize low-stakes practice, feedback (including peer feedback), and personal reflection. Course format includes lectures and some asynchronous content, with a heavy emphasis on in-class practice and application of learning to promote skill development.

RSM310H1F – One-To-One Marketing

Instructor: Dan Richards
Prerequisite: 9.0+ Credits; RSM250H1 (Please note that this course is open to 3rd and 4th year students)
May be applied to the following Focuses: Marketing Focus

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.

RSM314H1F – ESG and Sustainability Accounting

Instructor: Elisa Zuliani
Prerequisite: 9.0+ Credits; RSM222H1 (Please note that this course is open to 3rd and 4th year students)
May be applied to the following Focuses: Financial Statement Analysis

The course focuses on corporate sustainability accounting and reporting. The course will focus on frameworks for developing corporate environment, social and governance (ESG) performance metrics. Trends and quality assurance of sustainability reporting will be discussed.

Learning outcomes include:

1. Appreciate the evolution of accounting for sustainability

2. Understand how to measure, report, and interpret various ESG factors

3. Identify the material sustainability concerns affecting a business and the adoption of non-financial disclosure.

4. Describe and critically evaluate the methodologies underlying popular corporate sustainability rating systems and the adoption of voluntary disclosure.

RSM315H1S – Taxation for Business Professionals

Instructor: Alexander Edwards
Prerequisite: 9.0+ Credits; RSM219H1, RSM230H1 (Please note that this course is open to 3rd and 4th year students)
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.

RSM317H1S – Text Mining and Natural Language Processing

Instructor: Gerhard Trippen
Prerequisite: 9.0+ Credits (Please note that this course is open to 3rd and 4th year students)
May be applied to the following Focus: Data Science in Business

This course will introduce the students to a diverse collection text mining techniques and natural language processing using machine learning. These techniques are often aimed at identifying and quantifying various structures in the text data to answer business problems and provide managerial insights. Model validation and effective communication of model-based results will be stressed. The course will employ a “white-box” methodology, which emphasizes an understanding of the algorithmic and statistical model structures and how they apply to text analysis. Following leading industry standards, the course will use Python to apply a number of different algorithms to real-world big text data.

RSM406H1F – Corporation 360

Instructor: Stefan Dimitriadis
Prerequisite: 14.0+ Credits; RSM392H1
May be applied to the following Focus: Strategy and Innovation; Managing in Diverse Economies; Leadership in Organizations

Businesses are increasingly called upon to help solve major global challenges like climate change, political polarization, social and income inequality, and global pandemics. How can businesses contribute to tackling these problems while also fulfilling their mission of creating and capturing value for their shareholders? The objective of this course is to use core concepts from strategy and management theory, along with cutting edge research, to explore this question. We will analyze firms from many perspectives (360 degrees), revealing that firms affect a broad range of stakeholders. We will discuss how profits are not always compatible with the interests of those stakeholders and how firms can manage these tensions by making trade-offs. This will lead to discussions of the role of leadership in managing those tensions and groups of stakeholders.

RSM413H1F – Digital and Social Media Marketing

Instructor: Aleem Visram
Prerequisite: 9.0+ Credits; RSM250H1 (Please note that this course is open to 3rd and 4th year students)
May be applied to the following Focus: Marketing

Social media and digital marketing is changing society, changing the nature of marketing, and changing the way that business is conducted and managed. In this course, students explore the role of digital marketing in the life of the marketer and business manager. It begins with a detailed understanding of the origins, forms, and uses of social media. It expands into an examination and hands-on methods for researching and understanding social and digital media. The course then overviews the various uses and forms of digital marketing, ranging from consumer advocacy and word of mouth to content marketing to the effective and ineffective use of different social media platforms for business. The course features an applied student final group project where the students will prepare and present their social and digital media recommendations and plan to company representatives.

In this course, we explore the strategic role of social media and digital marketing in business and management. The learning objectives of this course are: (1) to introduce Rotman Commerce students to the managerial use of social media, and digital marketing (2) to explore the principles of its strategic use (3) to learn through case study and exercise how to face the strategic and tactical challenges involved in applications of social media and digital marketing.

By the end of the course, students will:

  • be able to leverage digital advertising and social media to better communicate with customers
  • know how to respond to customers through new digital marketing tools as they arise
  • measure how digital marketing activities affect company performance
  • be able to leverage Google SEO & Analytics, Facebook/ Instagram, LinkedIn, Tik Tok, YouTube and other online advertising platforms
  • understand how trends like social and mobile media affect company strategies
  • develop marketing plans for new products and services that take advantage of social media and digital marketing tools

RSM415H1S – Strategic Decisions in Operations

Instructor: Susan Lu
Prerequisite: 9.0+ Credits; and RSM270H1 (Please note that this course is open to 3rd and 4th year students) 
May be applied to the following Focus: TBA

This course provides a framework and multiple analytic tools to analyze, evaluate, and optimize the strategic asset and process decisions involved in configuring the “Operating System” of a firm. The focus is on making value-creating decisions that are grounded in operational reality. Students will learn that a firm’s Operating System is composed of “Assets” and “Processes” and that the Operating System of a firm is uniquely designed to support a firm’s business and competitive strategy. Asset decisions include capacity sizing, expansion, flexibility, and location. Process decisions include strategic and global sourcing (supply management), dynamic pricing and revenue (demand) management, smart technology and digital automation, innovation management, and risk management.

RSM417H1F – Supply Chain Analytics 

Instructor: Paul Jan
Prerequisite: 9.0+ Credits;
Corequisite: RSM370H1 (Please note that ECO220Y, CSC108H/CSC148H, and data science related courses would help you prepare for this course.) (Please note that this course is open to 3rd and 4th year students)
May be applied to the following Focus: Strategy and Innovation; Data Science in Business

RSM417 is a practicum (consulting-like) course. You can think of this as a mini-consulting supply chain course where you will get to sole real-world problems with real data and talk with stakeholders from the partnering company. This year, we will work with Maple Leaf Food to study/investigate the supply chain for a few product categories. As students, you will interact with people working at Maple Leaf to learn about their supply chain, investigate potential issues, perform analysis on their supply chain data, and propose recommendations based on analytic insights. There is the possibility for you to present the final recommendation to the VP of supply chain! 

This is an excellent opportunity to see how a supply chain is run at a world-class company, how to conduct a consulting project, and, best of all, to have a substantial real-world experience you can share with prospective employers in your interviews! 

Please email me ( if you have any questions about this course, and I look forward to seeing you this fall! 

You can find a video about the course here: Course Promotional Video

Course Info Graphic: RSM417H1 Infographic

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