Student Feature: Diljot Badesha
Environmental Management 4th year at University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM)
The University of Toronto Mississauga’s Environmental Management Program has been accredited by ECO Canada since 2017. The program focuses on the interplay of environment, society, and public policy and its goal is to create future leaders in environmental policy to navigate society through the current environmental challenges. The cornerstone second-year course, ENV201H5 Environmental and Resource Management, provides students with an introduction to the political and socioeconomic framework of environmental management. Students then have the opportunity to develop specialized skills in resource management, environmental assessment and the social, economic and policy aspects of environmental change. In this feature we will meet Diljot Badesha, who is a student in the program in her final semester.
Diljot chose the Environmental Management Program because she was always interested in the environment. She likes how the environmental field is broad and requires a lot of systems thinking. “You need to see how everything is connected in order to understand it fully.”
Diljot interned with the City of Mississauga last summer, where she helped with waste audits in parks across the city. This position involved regular communication with Parks staff, as well as data analysis. – After audits, she looked into the percentage of incorrect and correct sorting done by the public and created data presentations summarizing her findings and providing recommendations to Parks staff. Aside from waste audits, Diljot also helped at community outreach events, leading waste sorting stations with other interns at the Ontario Summer Games. The internship further sparked her interest in a potential career in waste management and participating in circular economy initiatives.
The knowledge Diljot gained from her environmental courses at school and her involvement in extracurricular, helped her secure the internship. Through her involvement with the student society, SAGE (Student Association for Geography and Environment), she developed her leadership skills, making her resume and interview with the City of Mississauga stand out. She has been involved with the department since her second year through SAGE, which helped her to connect with professors and obtain references for her job application. She describes her professors as kind and willing to help.
Diljot chose her program because of the first impression she got during UTM’s open house., She found the professors friendly, and she liked the smaller campus. The size of the campus made it easier to connect with people and get involved with the program as opposed to bigger campuses where it can be harder to figure out who to approach.
The best part of being in her program is the small, tight-knit community, the variety of courses – ranging from water, environmental justice, and waste management—, and the variety of opportunities outside the classroom, such as research programs, and summer abroad field trips.
After graduating this June, Diljot hopes to find an entry-level job or internship in the waste management field to gain hands-on experience in the field and get her “foot in the door.” She is also open to other opportunities in the environmental field outside of waste management because she is eager to improve her current skills and gain new ones in the workplace.
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