Toronto Life: Week 1

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By: Naoimh O’Keefe

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On 4th January 2016, I packed my bags for New York City to kick-off FD’s North American campus recruitment campaign. Calling NYC home for the next few months, I was able to travel to some of the most iconic Universities in the U.S.A to source some of the brightest ‘college’ kids: NYU, Columbia, Northeastern, Northwestern, Penn State, Virginia Tech and University of Michigan to name a few. After an amazing few months in NYC it was time to give some TLC to America’s polite and undoubtedly more attractive neighbour—Canada.

After refuelling in the Newry HQ over the summer (and welcoming some new U.S hires to the team) I headed off to Toronto to enjoy the last few weeks of sun before Canada’s infamous winter hit (queue GOT references).

First stop on my Canadian adventure was Ottawa for U of O’s Engineering and High Tech fair, catching a 6am flight there and a 6pm return that evening. Even the free coffee in Porter’s Business Lounge (who do I think I am?) couldn’t prevent the frequent airplane and airport naps. Needless to say, sleep was welcomed that evening after scoffing some delicious Thai cuisine on FD (research shows that food tastes better when on FD expenses). Thursday saw another 6am start as I bussed it out to Hamilton with my trusty travel companion, the FD pop-up stand (to the right—best buds).

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Sun belting down walking through McMaster’s picturesque campus in 30 degree heat, streets lined with quirky cottage-like student digs with clichéd porches. A productive 5 hours were spent on campus meeting some top-talent from McMaster’s STEM community – we hope to welcome some to the team next summer! The week drew to a close with The University of Toronto’s seasonal STEM fair in their downtown St. George campus. Armed with brochures, flyers and other freebies, myself and Mazin (a U of T alumni and FD Data Scientist) set up stand at 10am and prepared for another hectic day on campus. Grabbing an obligatory coffee before the student stampede, some important matters were discussed – what students we hoped to meet that day, Mazin’s feeling towards being back on campus, where are the FD Toronto crew congregating that evening for dinner and drinks, etc. 5pm hit: FD was branded, talent was recruited, pop-up was dissembled and we were on route to Copa Cabana for some (free) bottomless Brazilian food and drinks to welcome some new FDers to the city.

Overall successful week: 10/10 (would live again?) Stay tuned for next week’s blogs where it’s 10 degrees colder and you can laugh at my travel mishaps and Canadians trying to spell my name. Yup, even my initials don’t work here —>initials