In May I arrived at Nordicity as a Masters of Urban Planning student with a strong interest in cultural policy but little practical understanding of terms like "KPI" or "ROI." I now feel confident doing f/u on any PPL but embracing abbreviations was not the only thing I learned at Nordicity this summer.
At Nordicity each intern is given ownership over a specific project in addition to contributing to various other projects. My task was to construct an editorial calendar and style guide that would inform a blog component of the Nordicity website. I was challenged to find a format that would represent each of Nordicity’s areas of expertise and play around with the look and feel of posts. After receiving an enthusiastic response to possible blog topics, I am hopeful that the blog will become a place for Nordicity to share stories big and small.
After presenting at the Canadian Institute of Planners conference in Saskatoon, I was keen to share what I had learned about urban planning with the rest of the Nordicity Team. Preparing to give a Lunch’n’Learn not only helped me to consolidate what I had learned as part of my Masters program but also allowed me to investigate how planning decisions are made in the United Kingdom. In conversation with everyone during the Lunch’n’Learn it was amazing to see the connections between urban planning, economic development and the creative industries that we were able to find.
Interviewing top industry stakeholders is part of everyday life at Nordicity. Switching to another language may seem obvious in a bilingual country like Canada but while calling organizations, experts and industry associations in Quebec I was surprised by how positively people reacted when I spoke French.
I never thought that my internship would take me to the offices of Google Canada or to far flung corners of the Greater Toronto Area. From lining up for food at an Indian buffet to attending Shakespeare in High Park, trips beyond the tea kettle were invaluable opportunities to get to know the Nordicity team and exchange ideas on topics ranging from the changing shape of Toronto’s skyline to alternative performance venues.
Emily Macrae is a student in the Master’s of Urban Planning program at the University of Toronto. Since joining Nordicity she has discovered unexpected opportunities to use Excel spreadsheets in daily life and she is delighted to continue as a Research Analyst with Nordicity as she completes her studies.