A millennial’s first experience working in Toronto

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Urbashi Das with a friend after work

Urbashi Das is in her fourth year of the honours Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) program at Wilfred Laurier University. She is also the Residence Life Don, welcoming and helping first year students make that transition into university as easily as possible. This summer, Urbashi stepped out into the real world and took up a summer job. In an interview with Can-India, she talks about her experience working in downtown Toronto.

“Glamorous. Skyscrapers. Class. Diversity. Important. These would probably be the first 5 words that come to mind when one hears the term “Financial District”. As a fourth year BBA student, working in Financial District is not only a dream but a goal as it is for numerous other undergraduate students.

This past summer, from May 10th until August 19th, I had the opportunity to work for PRESTO (Metrolinx) as a Business Development Summer Student. My office was at the intersection of York and Adelaide which is quite the prime location.

I remember my first week of work, I would walk from Union Station to my office building and just look around in awe. Every single person around me looked like models who had just walked out of a fashion magazine catalogue. They looked amazing in their branded clothes and strutted along briskly with a swaggering confidence I admired.

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Now let me tell you something about myself, I am someone usually very confident and very self aware. However, as I walked everyday from Union to work and the walk back at 5:30 pm, I couldn’t help look down at my own clothes and feel inadequate. But the good news is, by the end of these four months, my fashion sense improved tremendously and might I add without breaking the bank.

Soon I began to made friends at work and started to get much better acquainted with my colleagues. And that’s how I began to learn more about the downtown work culture.

Drinks after work on weekdays is normal. Especially over the summer, when it’s patio season. As a completely shameless millennial, I know how important #patioszn is during the summer, so I’d find myself attending every event after work just to satisfy my need to explore and make the most of working in downtown for the summer. Next thing I knew, I was going out nearly every day of the week, coming home super late much to my parents’ surprise and pretty much spending most of what I earned on alcohol and finger foods. As soon as I realized this, I began to cut back on the number of evenings nursing drinks and went out once a week instead.

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Why couldn’t I cut it down completely? It’s because of another phenomenon that I’m sure you’ll recognize, it’s called FOMO, also known as fear of missing out. I’d see my co-worker’s snapchats or instagrams and see how much fun they were having while I was on the train/bus home and I couldn’t help but ache to be a part of it.

I started to understand the corporate culture. At bars, pubs and patios, I would interact with people from various walks of life. Even though everyone seems friendly ( of course there’s a fair share of douchebags), however one can’t help but notice the constant stress that surrounds people. I’ve met married professionals who choose to stay out until 2 am and get drunk, young chain smoking professionals who can be described as functional alcoholics, however, there are also a fair amount of ambitious and confident individuals that are inspiring because of their near perfect work and social life balance.

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All in all, it’s been a phenomenal summer, it’s been eye opening in terms of culture, fashion but tremendous in terms of learning. It’s been a pleasure to work for an inspiring company that is trying to do big things and to be able to be a part of it even in a little way is something I’m never going to forget. Goodbye #SummerSixteen as I rush headlong into fourth year and the adulthood that seems to hurtle towards me at the speed of light.” – CINEWS

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