Members from the TRMC 2020 team had the opportunity to interview Ganesh Thavarajah, a TRMC 2015-2016 Alumni, to discuss his conference experience, thoughts on networking, and other advice for current students.
Ganesh is currently employed as a Manager, Programs at York Region Arts Council.
What made you want to apply to be a part of TRMC? What was your overall take away from the experience?
In my first year at Ryerson, I was involved with Enactus and the Tamil Student Association. In my second year, I started working as an Academic Link for Ryerson Residence. Through this position I realized I loved being in a leadership role, working in teams, and being a part of something that creates impact. In my search for new leadership opportunities, the VP of marketing role for TRMC was posted, so I applied! Even though I had not attended the conference previously, I was able to impress the chair during my interview with a fresh perspective and innovative ideas. Being a part of TRMC made me understand that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. This is especially true at Ryerson, because all the resources and support systems are available to you. If you want to do something, all the support you need is within arm’s length, it’s just a matter of going out and getting it.
How would you describe TRMC in three words?
The first word would be Collaborative. When I stepped into the position, I was a student leader in the making. I had an idea of who I was, what I was capable of, and what I wanted to do, but by the end of the year, I was in a totally different place. This growth happened because of the relationships I had built collaborating with other executives, my committee, and the TRSM support staff. An example of the collaborative nature of TRMC was our CR3ATE boxes, created together with the DMZ and the Design Fabrication Zone. This collaboration showed the delegates that TRMC’s not just a business conference, it’s so much more.
Diverse would definitely be one of the words I would use to describe TRMC. The conference brings a diverse range of students together to create meaningful dialogue. The year I was a delegate, I loved learning about other delegates’ traditions, cultures, identities, and ways of life. Uniqueness was celebrated and there was never a point where you felt like being different was a bad thing.
The last word would be a launchpad. Had it not been for TRMC, I definitely would not be the person I am today. I did TRMC because I knew that it would be valuable for my career and university experience. As I progressed through life, I realized that there were so many more takeaways than I expected. I was able to develop my creative portfolio, my networks, and leadership skills. Every takeaway from TRMC has led to my career development.
Do you have any final words of advice you would like to share with current students?
I’ve realized two important lessons since graduating. Firstly, unpopular opinion, but I’m over the word “networking”. Throughout my entire undergraduate experience, I have been told to network. I don’t think networking really builds sustainable relationships. I feel like the word has lost all its meaning. I would tell students to start building meaningful connections with like-minded people and people that challenge you. Surrounding yourself with these people and having a genuine connection with them allows for amazing outcomes.
Secondly, I know everyone says this, but get involved! You don’t have to be involved with TRMC, or TRSS, or any other business association. Even if you are a business student, join the fashion show or volunteer with your cultural association! My point is: get involved with anything that piques your interest. In order to excel, you need to find your people and build a positive community for yourself.
You can check out Ganesh Thavarajah on LinkedIn.