Children’s Education Supervisor, Community Programs at Toronto Botanical Garden
Bachelor in Environmental Studies 2012
"As you start and continue your journey at FES, learn with a purpose because what you learn can be useful beyond your grades. Find ways to prove what you have learned in your classes and build on your learning with volunteer placements and internships. Finally, network and don’t forget to be a good friend to your peers along the way because these friendships may last you a lifetime."
About Broti Kar
How would you describe your years at FES, and did the program prepare you for your career? How?
At FES, I found my love for learning. All thanks to my professors, I left FES with more questions than answers, and also with key skills that helped me kick-start my career. I believe that the courses that I chose during my BES offered me a balance of practical and theoretical knowledge. I am proud to say that I still use some of my undergraduate course materials for the work that I do now at the Toronto Botanical Garden.
What’s your favorite/most memorable memory of your time at York University?
While FES offered me a great education, I gained something more valuable during my time at FES—lasting friendships. These friendships were built during group projects, long GIS lab hours, study sessions, BESSA (Bachelor of Environmental Studies Student Association) meetings and questionable moves on the dance floor!
Describe your post-graduation journey including experiences such as employment, volunteer work, community engagement projects.
When I started my 4th year, like many of my peers, I was confused about the next step. I wanted to build my work experience so I decided to delay my graduation for a year and do an ecological restoration internship with the Great Basin Institute (GBI) in Reno, Nevada. This was one of the best decisions I ever made. This internship experience helped me discover my strengths and weaknesses. I came back home with a newfound focus in environmental education. This laid the path for the rest of my career. Soon after my graduation, I was employed with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority’s (TRCA) Education and Outreach department. My supervisor at the TRCA became my mentor and friend. With her guidance, I was able to navigate the environmental education industry in the GTA. I have been fortunate to have worked with prominent governmental and non-governmental organizations such as the Centre for Urban Ecology, Ecosource, the Peel District School Board, and more recently the Toronto Botanical Garden (TBG) and the Toronto Public Library (TPL).
A major milestone in my career so far has been the opportunity to be TPL’s Spring 2019 Environmentalist in Residence. In this role, I provided lectures, workshops and consultations to library visitors on environmental topics connected to the community’s needs and City of Toronto’s Live Green initiatives. I also attended community events and produced blogs for the TPL to connect with a wider population of Torontonians.
What is your current job title, or project you are working on, and how would you describe the work you do in a typical day?
Growing up, I did not have a dream job, but if you were to ask me now, I would say that I have my dream job. I am the Children’s Education Supervisor of Community Programs at the Toronto Botanical Garden. A career in environmental education is a fitting choice for anyone who is committed to environmental protection and learning, enjoys working with people, and has strong problem-solving, verbal and written communication skills.
My work weeks are divided into teaching hours and non-teaching hours. When I am teaching, I am focused on delivering environmental education programs to children and families. When I am not delivering programs, I am working on a range of tasks related to my programs which include planning, promotion, grant writing, forecasting and tracking budgets, and supervising interns and seasonal hires.
If you could leave current students with a piece of advice, what would it be?
As you start and continue your journey at FES, learn with a purpose because what you learn can be useful beyond your grades. Find ways to prove what you have learned in your classes and build on your learning with volunteer placements and internships. Finally, network and don’t forget to be a good friend to your peers along the way because these friendships may last you a lifetime.