Meet Rajbalinder. He is working on researching how an equitable dashboard to city impacts on social and environmental changes could be possibly developed. The highlight from his experience is being able to work with students from several other faculties, all those who have the same aim. In the future, Rajbalinder wants to work in a leadership position within the environmental sector, such as the governmental offices.
Why did you choose York University?
I chose York University because of its unique and one of a kind BES program. There was no other Environmental Studies program offered by other universities that allowed students to branch off to streams like Environmental Politics, Environmental Management and Cities, Regions, Planning. York University is also known for having great experiential learning opportunities for students, which attracted me to the possibility of learning and gaining professional skills at the same time.
What project are you focusing on during your time in the Capstone course?
My project question is “How might we develop an equitable dashboard of city impacts on social and environmental challenges?” Through this question, our team hopes to dive into the prominent social and environmental challenges that exist in our community and produce a dashboard to educate residents and community members of these impacts.
How does your project align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals?
The UN Sustainable Development Goals provides an excellent framework of challenges that communities around the world are facing. Our dashboard aims to raise awareness about local issues that have a large scale impact such as transportation, housing and other concerns in the Region of Peel. Our team understands that a sustainable vision is attainable through small actions beginning by resting a well informed and aware community.
Can you tell me one highlight about your experience in the Capstone course?
A major highlight of my Capstone course experience has definitely been the opportunity to work with students from different disciplines. This has been a very unique experience for myself as I never took courses with students from areas like computer science, drama, psychology, etc. Despite belonging to different disciplines, our team has the same aim of creating change in our community.
Can you share some skills you have acquired through the course that will help you in your career?
Through the capstone course, I’ve got the opportunity to work on a lot of professional skills that are key for career development. Firstly, maintaining a professional relationship with our team partners has improved my communication and presentation skills. Collaborating with not only my team members, but other teams, teaching staff and community organizations has taught me to effectively network and gain valuable connections.
How have you integrated your knowledge from the ENVS courses into the Capstone project?
My specific project has a great focus on social and environmental challenges in our local community. Through my background in environmental management I took various courses that would help me identify the most prominent issues in my community, the impact of these issues and the root causes. I took the lead on this area of the project and worked with other team members to integrate what they had to offer.
What is the biggest takeaway from your experience?
The biggest takeaway from my C4 experience includes seeing the potential one team of dedicated students has and how by working together they can leave a long lasting impact through their project. The students have full control of their project and can truly obtain their objectives and better their local community through this once course.
What advice would you give to a student who would like to enroll in the Capstone course in the future?
I will definitely encourage students to enrol into the Capstone course as it is unlike other courses and provides a tremendous amount of experiential education opportunities. I would advise students to not be shy, communicate with others as much as possible and believe in your project. Your passion will drive your project to success and your project plan is in your hands, so enjoy!
What career are you thinking about for the future?
I definitely see myself working in the environmental sector in a leadership or management role in the future. There are many opportunities with nonprofit organizations and the government to explore. I’m looking forward to seeing in what ways I can contribute towards the fight against climate change.