Ryerson Faculty of Science - 5th Anniversary - 43
"Investing time in RySciMatch
led to engaging sessions of
exchanging ideas, networking
with influencers and learning new
tools and approaches to mark your
footprint in the field of science."
- Paurali Rahevar, Fourth-Year Computer
Preet Kahlon holds a test tube
containing mushroom spores,
part of an experiment sent to the
International Space Station.
Humza Nusrat is one of 20
Physics PhD physics students
in the Industry Insights and
Navigating Networks program.
Students at the SDZ launch party.
From left: Aesha Patel, Alyssa Banaag,
Jelena Madzarevic, Krislyn Mamaril
and Nikol Leshchyshyn.
Industry Insights and
Navigating Networks (IINN)
How can PhD students leverage their
expertise and create their own career
pathways - whether in industry or academia?
In 2016, a partnership initiative formed
between Ryerson's Yeates School of Graduate
Studies, the Ryerson Career Centre and the
Faculty of Science to design a faculty-based
graduate career education series tailored for
graduate programs. From this came a pilot
program last November, led by Rebecca
Dirnfeld, career education specialist for
the Faculty of Science and Ryerson Career
Centre. Initially centred on 20 PhD students
enrolled in Ryerson's Biomedical Physics
program, the program includes invaluable
practical skills, from helping students develop
value pitches, to networking strategies, to
participating in job shadowing opportunities.
Humza Nusrat, a PhD physics student who
had a job shadow opportunity at a Torontobased digital marketing agency, says, "The
professional I was shadowing explained how
you should look ahead to what a company
values, and try to develop those skillsets."
Opened in September 2016, and the
most recent addition to Ryerson's Zone
ecosystem, the SDZ at Ryerson offers space
for students to be innovative and benefit
from mentoring. Using an evidence-based
approach to innovation, the end goal is
experimentation and insight, says Koivisto,
versus launching a new startup. "We've
created a safe place to fail, where students
can go try their idea and follow it through,
test and validate on their own time, an
approach akin to the scientific method."
Zone projects range from cyber security, to
food innovation, to mental wellness - and
everything in between. The zone structure
also includes an entrepreneur-in-residence
- former student and successful technology
entrepreneur Sathish Bala - on-hand
Thursday evenings to chat with students.
RySciMatch is a non-credit, certificate
course offered to Ryerson undergraduate
students who are interested in obtaining
research experience and developing their
soft skills, such as networking and leadership.
The program aims to mix and match
undergraduate students (mentees) with senior
undergraduates, alumni or faculty members
in the Faculty of Science (FoS). Weekly panel
discussions cover everything from career
planning, to communication, mentorship
and research. Dr. Bryan Koivisto, associate
professor and director of the SDZ, says
students sit fascinated as panelists talk frankly
about their science careers. "Many have said
to me 'This is amazing. It's the favourite part
of my week!'"