By Dylan Freeman-Grist
Gerald MacDonald had a reputation for being the quintessential Ted Rogers School of Management (TRSM) bro. He held simultaneous student leadership positions, almost won Ryerson’s Next Top Speaker, headed up a project with Enactus and possessed an on-fleek case computer game.
“He only had three looks,” noted his one-time colleague and friend, Stacy Adams. “The Bay and Dundas Hoodie, the TRSM standard Ryerson program hoodie and various, miscellaneous suits.”
Adam recalls meeting him at her day trading club’s finance technology (fintech) panel while he was campaigning to be a business management director with the Ted Rogers Students’ Society (TRSS).
Once an eminent figure in the hallways above Canadian Tire and at industry mixers hosted in Cara Commons, MacDonald has been reported missing for three weeks. While his exact location has yet to be determined, his LinkedIn account is still active and lists him now as attending the Ivey Business School at Western University.
Each year, students from “lesser” business schools, like Rye High, are asked to apply to Western University’s Ivey League program if they think they are worthy. The school only teaches third and fourth year undergraduate business and, given its refusal to partake in the filthy peasantry of the freshman and sophomore years, relies on sub-par institutions like York’s Schulich, U of T’s Rotman, McMaster’s DeGroote and TRSM to vett their students for them.
While no one knows exactly when it occurred, at some point MacDonald walked out on all his obligations, committee appointments, executive roles, case comp groups and courses after he received a golden ticket and an all expenses paid for an Uber Black ride to London, Ont.
“It’s an issue for us yes,” said TRSM Dean Ashley Reichard-Blackburn. “How the hell do we compete with a school that basically has the mystery and allure of some weird elite cult? If there’s a formula to mess with business student’s heads, they’ve have cracked it.”
MacDonald is just one of many top business students from across the country who pack up and leave their friends and family to attend Ivey League schools each year. While most resurface on the front cover of the Financial Post, or a top 30-under-30 list a few years later, they are never seen or heard by their former classmates again. It’s unclear what exactly is different about Ivey’s senior years but the Canadian business world’s reliance on them to supply a steady stream of Elites™ is unquestionable.
“Listen, an Ivey kid could show up to a job interview with us, say nothing, take a dump on my desk, leave, and I’ll still hire them over literally anyone else,” said Axel J. Hammersoft of Hammersoft, Tickle and Spectral, one of Canada’s top consulting firms. “I can’t really get into why, it’s just how the world works.”
While most of MacDonald’s former friends and associates understand why he left them for job security and the promised land, his sudden departure leaves a disappointing tone in his once energetic and optimized network.
“It’s kind of disheartening. Like, yesterday the guy was helping develop the TRSM Versus. Everyone campaign and now if I email him I get an auto-reply saying he’s out of the office forever,” noted Jonny Greggs who had been friends with MacDonald through kindergarten, middle school, high school and their first two years in TRSM’s business management program.
“I guess he’s handing out business cards in a better place so we can find some comfort in that.”
Neither MacDonald nor Ivey could be reached for comment in time for publication.
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