Why did you choose to study in the School of the Environment?
After an internship with a renewable energy company in the summer following my first year at U of T, I realized I was passionate about sustainability and I wanted to pursue a career in it. More specifically, I chose to study at the School of the Environment because I believe climate change is the most pressing issue of our time, and I wanted to make sure I was addressing it through my undergraduate studies and my career. Doing a major in Environmental Studies also complemented my other major, Political Science. It helped me place environmental issues, particularly climate change, in the context of systems of power and wealth, so that I can better understand how to develop and frame solutions to climate change and related issues.
What are some highlights from your studies (classes, memories, clubs, etc.)?
In general, the School of the Environment has been a great space for me, and I'm really grateful for all the experiences I had at the School. Administrative staff and faculty were incredibly supportive, and I enjoyed being around so many like-minded students. Working to contribute a sense of community through my involvement with the Environmental Students' Union (ENSU) was definitely one of the best parts of my undergraduate career. I enjoyed most of my classes, especially the discussion-based ones like ENV451. I also enjoyed learning about sustainable design and urban sustainability. Perhaps one of the most formative classes I took was ENV440, where I had the opportunity to intern at the Canadian Urban Institute. That internship drove me to learn more about the role of cities in addressing climate change as well as other structural issues that we face, and ultimately led me to become more interested in pursuing a career in city-building.
What are your plans upon graduation? Is there anything else you would like to share?
After graduation, I will spend a few months traveling around with my family. I'm looking to work for about a year, ideally in an environment or politics-related field, and then begin a Masters degree in the fall of 2020 in Community Planning/Urban Design. I'd like to make sure the cities we live in are more sustainable, equitable, and inclusive - not just in a buzzword way, but in a tangible and meaningful way.
Finally, I'd like to say that my experience at the School of the Environment was overwhelmingly positive. I'm sad to leave it behind, but I'm grateful for all the experiences I had within the School and the people I met. I hope that as more people become aware of how urgently we need to act on climate change, the School of the Environment becomes an even larger space for knowledge-sharing, discussion, and action.