Toronto and Region Conservation Authorities - Sachin Fernando
Like any kid, deciding on just one thing to be when I grew up was almost impossible. Once I realized my passion in the environment however, there was no turning back. It is this passion that led me to an internship with Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), and this passion that their staff had an opportunity to rekindle every day. From first glance there was something special, from the electric car charging stations, to the green forest-themed café, to desk-plants that blurred the lines between forest and office. What struck me as most interesting however were their countless initiatives, ranging from monitoring wildlife, to moving towards a retrofitted greener city.
I could honestly look back on the first day and say I had the slightest clue of what mywork would entail. With a deeper understanding of their work, I could not even imagine fitting in to such a seemingly complex, but well-oiled ‘machine’ of an organization- especially when I found out my job involved programs from all across the region. Basically, I had the chance to use Excel in tandem with software known as Gephi for the purposes of data collection and mapping. This exposed me to countless initiatives for programs all around the organization. Today for example I got a chance to go on a ‘field trip’ to the Living City campus, a test-field / educational center of sorts for up and coming technologies that will shape the future of living green, from a multitude of solar technologies to the most environmentally friendly house I’ve ever seen!
What’s especially encouraging is the experience I gained over the course of the month that will be practical moving forward. Gephi itself was a new program I found remarkable and will definitely serve as a tool in the future. In addition I received in depth analysis and help with resume Do’s and Don’ts, an invaluable benefit moving on to university. One of the more memorable and impactful things however was getting the chance to talk to experts from an array of paths in the environmental field. It gave me an in-depth view of the opportunities that were available for me too, and insights that have changed my views about future career paths.
Thanks to Stephanie and Jessica for making this month an invaluable experience!