A few weeks ago I was able to cross a major accomplishment off my list: complete the co-op requirements for my undergraduate program at the University of Waterloo. When I first accepted my offer of admission 5 years ago, I was under the impression that the co-op program would help me choose who I want to work for before I graduate. Boy, was I ever wrong… but in no way is it a bad thing. Turns out I want to work for myself.
For the most part, I have thoroughly enjoyed every single work term at each organization I have had the opportunity to work with. I’m thankful for all the wonderful co-workers I met and developed valuable friendships with, and those I acquired much wisdom from. Of course, I also ran into a lot of frustrations throughout the process. I question the way business gets done. I question whether some people are really in it for the well-being of our society and our environment, or their own personal gain – whether it be money, recognition or self-entitlement. How conscious are we about our own choices and our choices for others?
It’s really discouraging.
When people ask me who I see myself working for when I graduate, I have a very difficult time naming any company or organization in particular. I’m not patient enough to wait for bureaucratic organizations to start adopting new ideas that result in widespread change. Change for widespread social or environmental good is rarely adopted unless there is a significant return on investment or enough funding dollars. I want to work with someone who considers impact the underlying motivation for the organization.
I’m ready to start taking some big leaps. I’m not sure down what avenue I’m headed, but whatever it is, it will ultimately be for the benefit of more than just myself. We need more entrepreneurs that are ready to take on society’s most pressing challenges. Startups are already taking over, and I want to see more doing it for the right reasons.
My first big leap was finally getting this blog up and running. I want to explore social entrepreneurship and what it means for the people behind different organizations making real, measurable, positive impacts.
My next big leap is to make some solid connections at Monday’s Green Jobs Forum at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and turn them into action by the time I graduate, whether it be joining forces on an initiative or finding a prospective, like-minded company to work for. Will you be there on Monday? Drop a comment and we’ll arrange to meet :).
Have an awesome weekend!