Owner and Director of Lotus Yoga Centre
What was your career path after graduation?
After graduation I traveled and worked in India. Working with the non-profit Under the Mango Tree, I started the first urban beekeeping training program in Mumbai. When I returned to Toronto I started my own beekeeping business, Hogtown Honey. Every neighbourhood has different flowers, enabling the production of different types of honey. It was a great experience, however it just wasn’t a viable business model. After two years I closed the business and took over as Owner and Director of Lotus Yoga Centre which my parents opened 26 years ago. I still have a passion for bees, only now it’s a hobby, not a job.
How did the Environmental Studies program influence your career?
The program helped me figure out what I did and didn’t want to do. I was part of the U of T student delegation that participated in the UN Climate Change Negotiations in Copenhagen in 2009. It was great opportunity, but I came to the realization that I didn’t want to work at the international level on environmental policies. One-on-one and community level interaction makes me happier.
What types of experiences are essential?
Getting involved in extra-curricular activities was the most rewarding experiences and helped me to hone in on what I was passionate about. I co-founded the University of Toronto Beekeeping Education Enthusiast Society (U of T B.E.E.S.), a student run club which focuses on educating people about the importance of urban beekeeping. I also did a lot of volunteering, including helping out at Hot Yam, a student-run vegan initiative with a goal to advocate for eating seasonally, organically, and locally. Additionally, I volunteered with the Dig In! Campus Agricultural Network (DICAN), where I assisted in planting an urban garden on campus.
Any other advice or comments that you would like to provide?
Get out of your room. Get off Netflix. Get outside! It’s so important to try new things and meet new people in order to figure out what you like. I am very fortunate to have found something I love and love to continue learning about. Also, the lasting friendships I made during my undergraduate years are invaluable.