The day I entered the Strategic Initiatives and External Relations (SIER) Room no. C3-04, I was hell scared. I saw Shelly and Jess sitting at the table. They were busy doing something. The moment they saw me, they stood up and welcomed me with there real smiles which made me comfortable. Then came, Charlene, followed by Carolyn (my supervisor). Carolyn and Charlene heartily greeted me, and they walked me through the work. The first day included meetings with Carolyn, Charlene, and Shelly.
Within a week I got adjusted in this environment as it was friendly, energetic and full of life. The morning started with greetings, followed by meetings, discussions and brainstorming sections. Apart from these, I got a chance to meet Manjeet, Tas, Andrew, and Samantha. Mondays used to start with a discussion about the weekend, health tips n tricks and then with the work.
We used to have traffic meetings bi-weekly and every other Thursday we had salad lunches. This post will be incomplete without introducing you guys my mentors who added another level of confidence in me and made me a stronger person.
Meet the Director of SIER Department: Andrew Petrou
I met Andrew during my third week of Internship as he was away with his family for vacation. When I met him, I never felt like I was meeting him for the first time. His smile and the never-ending energy to handle back to back meetings inspired me all the time. He has always appreciated my presence and made me feel like home. Andrew loves Davids Tea and making coffee for everyone. He takes health seriously, and because of him, I could learn some of the stretches.
Meet my Supervisor: Carolyn Ritchie
If Andrew is energetic, then Carolyn is the vibe behind that energy. She is a perfect epitome of ‘Beauty with Brains.’ She has given her heart and soul to this office, and I have been lucky to have her as my mentor. She helped me achieve my learning plan objectives. She made me feel comfortable and taught me how I can channelize my energy and excitement. She is a staunch follower of diet, and she never compromises with that, even though the Naan tempts her nerves out. She has exceptional presentation skills, and she can handle meetings the whole day. I admire her hairstyles the most.
Meet my Savior: Charlene D’ Costa
Charlene is a ‘Salad Queen,’ ‘Yoga Enthusiast’ and my savior. She is an alumnus of PR course, and she walked me through everything, be it Hootsuite, scheduling of posts, editing them or guiding me for my personal growth, social media plans or the Brandbook. She always listened and respected my thoughts. She made learn how can I put forward my thoughts. I learned to be organized from her and honestly speaking, her diary and bag make me admire her. She loves to give cards, and she gave me a fantastic card on birthday which brought a big smile on my face. Charlene became my confidante in this 8-week journey.
Meet the voice of SIER: Shelly Gupta
Shelly is the mouthpiece of Solv. service where we act as a catalyst between the industry and the college to bring the best out of them. She handles the internal as well as external relations. Since she is the mouthpiece, henceforth, she is always busy over the phone. I learned how to sell yourself in front of the internal and external team. She walked me through the entire partnership process. She gave me feedback on my social media plan as she was the one who could tell about the partners which I recommended to work with.
Meet the SIER Nightingale: Jessica Vella
Jess seems to be an inspirational figure who makes the office environment musical and exciting with her humming, and her hunger pangs can make anyone laugh. She is the first person who comes to the office. She is cute, sweet and adorable. She loved my pasta salad, and for the first time, I felt proud of cooking. She is excellent with multi-tasking, be it admin work, writing minutes during meetings or handling excel sheet during traffic meetings. You say, and she will do it. She is a go-getter, and I will surely miss her Indian food stories. I had never seen anyone so proud of the fact that she looks like an Indian. I feel super pumped up around her.
Meet our Heartthrob: Manjeet Kang
If you ever need to know Funding Opportunities, then you should go to Manjeet. She is just like that matchmaker who will make you meet your soulmate. But in technical words, she finds the funding opportunity for your firm and suggests you apply for it. While I was working on the Brandbook, she was the one who came to my rescue. She gave me a brief tutorial about her work and the way she explained, she nailed it. She is meant to a career coach, guide. She gave me so many pieces of advice which have been carved in my heart, and I have started implementing them already. She adds lots of Indian touch with her food, and I love the way she makes you feel loved by her Shahi Paneer. You say you miss home, she will bring food for you and pamper you like a kid.
Meet our SIER mom: Samantha Corway
I guess most of the people these days know her because of her super adorable daughter, Delia, who is a star. She is classy, cute and has all the British features one could ever ask for. I met her during my last 2 weeks of internship. I never felt that I was meeting her for the first time. She has that aura in her which makes you intrigued to know her. Our mornings used to start asking about Delia, her picture on the camera. She is a fancy person who brings her super awesome bowls, cutlery and I have been inspired by her teal water bottle. She has given me mesmerizing gifts on my farewell.
Meet the SIER magical cook: Tasnuva Hasan
Tas is known for her khus khus and super fantastic Chicken. She loves to cook and can make any dish out of the given ingredients. I love the way she handles her work and life. When she is around, you always feel elated.
The last day of my internship reminded me of all the sweet memories that we guys shared, be it laughing at jokes, getting sad at my sickness, cheering me up on birthday, appreciating me for juggling internship and security job, making teas, birthday lunch, or potluck. I cannot forget the time I had spent with them, and I am going to miss them a lot.
Love you SIER family (my second home)
(Social Media Intern at SIER)
What goes round comes back
I know I am writing after 2 months which is insane. Honestly speaking, I didn’t felt like writing anything during that time. I was so busy in inhaling the activities and events that took place in my life. All were good but time in Canada, I feel runs faster than anything.
Till last time, I was in Brampton. I have moved again to Scarborough now and again back to the same place where I had come from. I got an internship in Centennial College and things got again busy and crazy with internship and my Security Guard job.
The major event being my cousin Varun’s grand wedding. The wedding, my assignments were side by side. It was a roller coaster ride from college to attending functions, managing things. The events were amazing. I enjoyed the time. It was a nostalgic feeling. I was the only one representing paternal side and I was missing my parents there. Here are some of the pictures of the wedding functions.
I have learnt cooking. I knew cooking but now with some enhanced tips and tricks. Thanks to my auntie who taught me those life skills. We learn so many things but life skills is something we learn from implementing and observing. I am glad that I got the chance to learn all that. I can say that now I am an expert in making Bhindi Masala, Veg Biryani, Butter Chicken, Poha, Paneer Butter Masala, Dals, Pasta (red and white), Rajma and many more. But I eat less spicy so my food will not be that spicy. No offense, thats my choice and I love it.
My studies are almost over and internship is going amazing. This is my third week here and I am already learning so many things about social media. My position here is of a Social Media Intern. Working in an office is fantastic where you different set of people who appreciate your work and inspire you at every step.
Coming to job, I am doing Events Security which is an interesting job. Here you not only work but also get a chance to attend the events, though in your break. Previously, I got a chance to cover Taylor Swift’s, Ed Sheeran’s event which was breathtaking. I was mesmerised to see the star and the live event had always been in my bucket list. The locations are different so you don’t feel bored. I got a chance to visit University of Toronto, attend Canadian Fitness Pro Gala, Canadian National Exhibition, Pablo Alto Conference, Zac Brown Event. I met many different people while working and mostly all are different during shifts. Mostly, I work Friday, Saturday and Sundays. But at times, I do weekdays too after my internship. Life is super hectic and I hardly get time to write.
But there are some shifts which are not that hectic where I grab chances to read books. So, far I read four books in this two weeks of my shifts. When you get your paycheck, the feeling is undescribable. You guys would relate to me as I have always updated about my job search, failed attempts, issues and now when things are finally falling to place, I feel contented, motivated. I feel proud that finally I am heading towards positivity and road to happiness.
The happiest segment has been Saloni’s visit this Friendships Day. Though she came 2 days after the friendships day yet it was an amazing feeling. I feel she is a person of promises. Whenever she promise me something, maybe God does some magic that she actually keep thta promise and comes here. I feel Saloni and Surbhi are meant to be together forever. Lol. Sounds so Filmy.
I so want to come back to India once I get a good job here. I just can’t wait to come back and meet everyone out there. I am a part of this country and I don’t want to be treated like a visitor in India. India is where I belong and Canada is where I am now, learning parts and parcel of life. Well, thats me: your Surbhi, signing off. Will be back soon with another amazing life update. See ya!
365 days Theory
I had thought before that I won’t be there at one place for a long time. I had a plan for 180 days theory just like Sachin Garg’s book. But all went in vain. I felt a strong ephemeral connection with the place I was living that whenever I plan to move out, I end up moving in again in that same place. This has happened thrice. And finally, I am leaving the place. Technically, it’s been 358 days since I have been living in this house.
Now I have moved to Brampton, the Minnie India. The relocation is the toughest segment in a person’s life. I felt the same here when I was leaving India. The zeal of emotions overpowered me. A connection theory revolves around this. Whenever I used to plan to leave that place, I had always changed the decision but this time the decision turned into an action. I lived there for one year. The memories that hover over my mind are ethereal. The time spent with roommates, trying different restaurants, shopping, showing dresses to each other, sharing emotions and giving endless advice and at times fighting too. All these became parts and parcel of our life. The separation was difficult but still, it was never a goodbye, but always a reason to talk again and again.
Brampton, the new phase sounded ecstatic but came out to be tough. The same thing, finding the routes were a roller coaster ride. I can’t believe that using Mr. Google can also make me lose my way. The reason being, Mr. Google never tells that the area I am going to have a ravine or a construction zone. Mr. Google will be Mr. Google, isn’t it?
There are different modes of transport here. Zum Bus stops at Zum stops only, whereas for reaching other places or interiors of the area, you need Brampton Transit. If you want to travel Mississauga, then Mi-way or Zum comes to your rescue. Further, if you want to go to Toronto then Go Bus or Go Train is the best. These transits actually baffle my mind as in one day sometimes you have to take all the transits. My travel revolves around two cities: Brampton and Downtown henceforth, I take Brampton Transit, Go Train, Subway and TTC Bus. If I make any passes, then they come out to be a wastage of money, so I use Presto which can be used in all the four places. Now I have connected my Presto with student ID so I get 18% discount.
Talking about the Brampton Transit, the frequencies are much lesser here. One bus comes after every 30-40 mins or even after an hour. If you miss your bus, then you are late. So, it is better to plan your journey one day ahead. Should I boost my reaching college half an hour before in spite being living almost 2 hours away! Most of my classes start at 8:30 so I get up at 5:15 and reach my bus stop at 6:10 where my bus comes at 6:19 and by 6:26 I reach the Go station. From there, I take 6:32 Go train and reach at 7:25. Then I take Southbound subway followed by another Eastbound Subway. I reach Pape station at 7:50 and then the final TTC I take. Mortimer Avenue is just 2 stops away. You can walk too but in mornings, you are sleepwalking, so I take that. I reach at 8:05 and I have my breakfast. This is my routine. The journey is tiresome, but I get some sleep in that time. I cannot believe myself that, I do all of this. I am not a morning person and here I am getting up early and managing everything. Sometimes, I like to give myself a thumbs up for being courageous to do that.
Perks of traveling in Go train can be sleeping, reading and writing your thoughts while experiencing them. I met many amazing people while traveling and got to learn so many tricks.
My uncle is my train buddy. I am almost flabbergasted by his tricks, but I feel they are perfect. He takes the third compartment while going and takes the first compartment while coming back. On being asked, he told me his theory of compartments. He says that the third last compartment opens at Bay Street from where he can take the Southbound Subway easily while coming back, the first compartment opens near the parking side. It sounded weird but when I tried it, made some sense to me. Mostly, students and working-class travel on Go train.
Then I had an encounter with an HR Professional who always takes the fourth compartment from the last. I happened to sit there so I met her. She cleared so many notions about the HR field. My previous course was Human Resource Management, so I was curious about this field and her work culture. She told me that this field involves writing too and I was unaware of this fact. Meeting with her came out to be knowledgeable.
Also, I met this Pakistani lady who told me about her experiences in this country. She told me that she had been in Canada for 45 years and I was wondering how she can live here for so many years. She told me about her family and about her languages. She speaks such an amazing Hindi and Urdu. Despite being 75 years old, she likes to travel. She had come to Brampton to meet her daughter and she was going back to her son. She talked about the people of Canada and how beautifully this country accepted her and her family. The Go train experiences had been fabulous, and I feel that my other write-ups would include Subway and train journeys as my most of the time is spent here.
Talking about the bus drivers, they are helpful. I happened to take Zum bus once where I asked about the stop from the driver. I told him that I was new. He welcomed me and told me about the Zum stops and the helpline numbers where can I call if I lost my way. There was another bus driver who helped me a lot. I was running late for my work in Mississauga. I had to catch another bus and I had missed it in front of my eyes. The driver had no passengers to drop, so he helped me catch the bus. He took me from another side and I could catch the bus.
Brampton city has been friendly, helpful and amazing for me. I never felt so positive and lively after coming here. I feel that my decision of coming here, despite the distance has been fruitful. I hope things go positive this way.