Success in Canada’s Biggest City

I am now entering my final week here in Toronto. It’s crazy to think about how much time has passed since I arrived back in May. These last two months have gone by quickly and it’s hard for me to believe that this is my last week. This blog also gives me a chance to quickly reflect on my experiences here, both in and out of the office. I have gotten to build great relationships with the other interns at my company and have enjoyed working with them. I also have gotten to know and become friends with students from other Universities who I hope to stay in touch with after the end of this program. With that being said, I still have a busy week ahead including attending a Shark Tank event with my company, as well as a Toronto Blue Jays game in the Rogers Centre. I will do my best to enjoy my last few days here and finish up my experience on a high note. Now sliding into the prompt for this week.

Canada’s definition of success is not all that different from the United States’ perspective. The main goal is to fulfill your obligations at your job and perform the tasks to the best of your ability. The U.S. is a country that prides itself on working hard and taking almost no days off. Compared to the vast majority of other countries around the world, the United States ranks last in days off per year for vacation and holiday time. I believe the country places too much of an emphasis on the amount of time worked rather than the productivity during those hours. Here in Toronto, Canadians seem to place a much higher emphasis on productivity and allow for substantially more time off than Americans. This illustrates that Canadians view success as high productivity rather than grinding every day for long hours.

To be successful in my internship placement and in the venture capital space, several skills and traits are required. To start, working in my role requires a strong willingness to learn. One of my main tasks as a Research Associate is to provide competitor analyses, business modeling, and other advising services for our clients. Our clients can be in any field such as real estate, cryptocurrencies, social media platforms, clean energy, robotics, etc. This extremely wide range of clients means that I need to educate myself on each and every industry that our client is in, in order to provide the best and most relevant direction for the company. I have worked extremely hard to learn about these fields, which allows me to fulfill my clients’ need. A second factor that a successful employee in my placement or field needs to have is strong communication skills and the ability to work in a team. Almost everyday I work with my fellow interns to accomplish our tasks, whether it be brainstorming solutions together or creating financial forecasts for our clients. Meetings with our clients are also quite frequent and it is important to have strong people skills in order to work with people from all different backgrounds and communicate effectively. When advising, you can only offer your advice and opinion and can back it up with facts, but it is ultimately the client’s decision that controls the direction of the company. You have to be able to work through disagreements with superiors and peers and at the end of the day, do what’s best for the company. A final trait that’s important to have in order to be successful working in my position is to have strong time management skills. I am constantly juggling different projects for different clients at the same time and need to keep track of their deadlines independently. As I mentioned before, meetings are pretty frequent and I need to be prepared ahead of time to be successful. Also, because there is a large amount of freedom in this position, it is often up to you to track and monitor your progress and to keep up with your work, even when working from home.

Ultimately, I don’t feel the actions that make you successful here in Canada are different than the actions that make an individual successful back in the United States. I believe that both countries admire hard work, teamwork, and a positive mindset in the work place. If you have the ability to be learn, adapt quickly, and work hard, I believe that you can be successful anywhere.