Schulich recently announced its participation in a major new initiative alongside the City of Toronto and a team of leading global technology companies to help Toronto’s main street retailers survive the COVID-19 crisis. 

As part of the Digital Main Street project, 100 students from Schulich’s MBA, Masters’ and undergraduate programs will gain summer placements and be assigned to ‘Digital Main Street’ to help Toronto’s small businesses and artists move their businesses online.

MBA candidate Shiven Bhatia is excited to have just received a job offer to join in this initiative. He will begin his role shortly and shares what the experience has been like landing this position.

How did you hear about the Digital Main Street initiative? 

The Career Development Centre at Schulich has been instrumental in my search for the ideal opportunity. Working closely with them, I came across the Digital Main Street initiative, which really resonated with me as an exciting role to take up to complement my MBA journey at Schulich.

What has your experience been in the job landscape during COVID-19? 

COVID-19 has been a testing time for everyone, with the economy and job market barely recognizable today from what it used to be. Despite the current context of rampant unemployment & business impacts, I have always strived to have a positive outlook. This attitude definitely paid off and thanks to Chris, Mark & the CDC who have worked tirelessly with the students and businesses in Toronto during these challenging times to bring the right kind of opportunities our way.

What will your role be this summer? 

For the summer, I am excited to be a part of the Project Management team for the ‘ShopHere’ project as a Solutions Implementation Lead. This is one of the key initiatives by Digital Main street in collaboration with the City of Toronto & Schulich School of Business, where we will strive to help more than 3,000 local businesses in establishing their digital footprint while also focussing on opening online retail stores.

What are you most excited about for this opportunity?

The current context of COVID-19 has had a huge impact on the way companies approach their business. I see tremendous potential in the digital space for businesses to grow and I am excited to be taking such journeys with a breadth of local businesses in Toronto. I believe that working closely and devising strategies along the way for these businesses will be instrumental not only for my career but also for the rest of MBA journey with Schulich.

Will this be your first time working at a job virtually?  

Working in the capacity of a cloud infrastructure specialist at IBM prior to the MBA, I was responsible for supporting clients in over 60 countries. Considering some of the times zones, fortunately I was exposed to the culture of working remotely. Having said that, as this was an occasional experience for me at IBM, I am thrilled to undertake a different experience of pursuing remote working on a full-time basis.

What tips to you have for other students starting a remote job? 

Working remotely or from home can definitely be a challenge for most of us who are used to a physical office environment. The key is to effectively strike a balance between work and personal life. Some of the things I have found useful in my limited experience are:

  • Plan your day just like you would if you were in an office. This will enhance productivity at home and leave less room for distractions.
  • Have a designated workspace at home to stay mentally focussed.
  • Stay connected with your colleagues through chat/video calls etc. effectively & try to be updated on work/current affairs as much as possible
  • Take timely breaks to avoid burning out.
  • Make time for creative activities or physical activities such as taking a walk or working out at home to enhance your mental/physical well-being.