#FF Thomas George

Thomas is a student at Ryerson University in the Business Technology Management program. He’s not your typical student since he’s done more in the time I’ve known him than most professionals.

Through the co-op program, he’s worked for CIBC as well as StickerYou. He’s volunteered for the TO Tech Meetup and two of the three years of TEDxRyersonU. For the latest one, held this past Sunday, he was the curator. All this and he still has time to support the ITMSA.

I had the pleasure of meeting his parents at TEDxRyersonU and congratulated them both. I told them they should be very proud, because he is truly a gem. Any company that picks him up after graduation will be lucky to have him on board. I wish him luck in his studies and future endeavours. Whatever he does, it will be truly great. I can bet on it. Follow him @TommyGee.

Tommy George, BTM student at Ryerson University

Tommy George, BTM student at Ryerson University

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#FF Jany Jang

Jany is another great student at Ryerson University in the Business Technology Management program. I push her pretty hard and try to be a good mentor to her, and she always rises to the occasion. I know I owe her a recommendation, so hopefully this will do the trick.

When I met Jany, she was on Women In ITM at Ryerson. The following year, she was President. We had lunch before the year started and she laid out for me all the things she wanted to achieve that year. I was in awe. I said, “You do realize that you have school work on top of this, right? This is a lot for someone doing this full time!” But she was ready for it. And did it she did. She has also been on TEDxRyersonUITMSA and is looking at yet another venture, all while still maintaining her studies. You’ll have to follow her to find out what comes next! Like Thomas, any company would do well to recruit her before she’s out of school. She’s not done yet! Find out what she’s up to @Jany_Jang

Jany Jang, BTM Student at Ryerson University

Jany Jang, BTM Student at Ryerson University

My TTC Ride Today

Seems like a pretty enough title and usually my rides on “The Better Way” in Toronto are pretty uneventful and sometimes enjoyable. But I guess that’s because I always take the same route more or less. Today was not one of those days. I enjoyed the trips well enough, but maybe not the supporting processes (Spoken like a true ITM’er at TRSM)

I went through Finch Station on my way to an interview. I have to give credit to Trip Planner because so far, it has never failed me. The timings are pretty damn accurate, both with when the next vehicle will arrive and estimated time to arrival at the destination. It even gives me a couple of options. I will first say, that I thoroughly enjoyed the rides both there and back home today, especially with the wonderful weather.

There are definitely some improvements I would love to see happen with their planner. What if I don’t know exactly what street I’m on or which transit line I’m on. For example, I took one bus to get to my destination today, but figured I would walk to the other end of the building and get on the bus there since it was a nice day. Someone told me that I could catch one to a closer LRT station than the one planned out. Thought I would give it a try. What I would loved to have seen is how I can somehow plug in my GPS location on my phone to find out where I am AND how I can use this as my starting point and time to plan my trip most efficiently. This is helpful especially if I’m part way through my trip and need to change, because of a re-routing, for example. Just a thought with today’s access to Open Data and mash-ups. There has to be a way to take where I am now and figure out how to get where I’m going, much like Google Maps.

I had to get some tokens when I went back in to Finch Station. I was taking a bus into the station and leaving on another. The shelter there is pretty big and I’m sure that it would be very easy to install one or both of a token machine and metropass machine. I had to go down into the station and out by the turnstiles to purchase tokens. It doesn’t end there.

I had to purchase tokens from one of the two staff people on duty. There were no machines even on the outside of the paid area. I had to take a transfer (waste of paper), come around to one of the staffed booths and purchase them there. Imagine my surprise when I saw an interac machine there! Great, so I can hang onto my cash and use my interac card to purchase my tokens. “Oh, no” says the TTC employee, “cash only”. So I can use my interac card to buy my metropass, but not tokens, when it takes the same amount of time? Does that make sense to anyone else? Please enlighten me.

I hope that the Customer Service Advisory Panel takes a few of these things into account while they are renovating the Finch Station and their overall customer service. Here’s what putting one or both of these machines will do:

1. Saves customers time and energy because they can serve themselves while waiting for their bus rather than wasting time going to the main entrance and missing it.

2. Takes the onus of so many customers in a single area away and reduces the number of people waiting in line to get their purchase. There were always at least 3 in line at any given time.

3. By accepting Interac payments for all of their methods of payment for fares, it reduces the need to keep cash on hand at the booths and potentially reduces the security risks and loss with handling cash.

Some of these seem very simple, especially with the strides that the TTC has made in recent years and hopes to make in the coming years. All it takes is putting a couple of extra machines that you probably will buy anyway in a very strategic place that could potentially boost your sales and improve customer satisfaction. Just sayin’.

Sitting

Finally having a chance to sit outside without dying of heat. There is at least a bit of a breeze. Have school all day today, so it will hopefully be productive.

Starting to come to the realization that these courses aren’t going to be as easy as I first thought. The engineering course (Corporate Networking) promised not to have too much algebra and formulas to remember. The last few classes have been all that. Though today, he looked at me, knowing that I have a business background more than an engineering background and promised to lay off the formulae for a while and focus more on theory. Gives me a chance to catch up.

The database course is working more like a computing course (which it is) but makes it difficult for translation from business. I am now really seeing the difference between business and computers! It’s almost like relearning how to do ERD’s which I used to do really well. Not good.

Then there is the other computing course in networking. I think I’ll do well in that one as long as I keep on top of it. Lastly, (yes, I dropped the Putonghua/Mandarin) the Japanese for Business. He’s moving way too quickly. I asked him the first day if I would have problems with this course, and he said that I would probably do better in some ways because of my English. But I’ve never learned a symbol language before, so I am at a disadvantage. Need to do some studying on those this weekend.

Lastly, was planning to go to Beijing next weekend, then thought we had a presentation and then put it on hold. Then realized, no we didn’t have it until the following weekend. Something is telling me that I should stay close to home, so I think this time since I’ve now made alternate arrangements for that weekend, I will heed that gut feeling. I will have much time to travel, so why not enjoy it close to home. I need some time to myself (since my roommate will be done) and I’ll go hang out with Cheryl for a couple of days on Lamma. I like that plan and I’m sticking to it.

Had a great email from a friend yesterday. Almost brought me to tears. I’m reminded of when he was away in a far off land (more than once) and we support each other when we are far from home (wherever that is at a given point). He’s returned the favour to me and made me remember why I’m here. Yes, I’m here to learn, but also to experience. I won’t try to cram everything in to one small time or space, but I will do the things I was sent here to do.