Rotman grad pursues social affect in actual property growth

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If anybody had instructed Fatima Saya 4 years in the past that she’d work in actual property growth after finishing her MBA on the Rotman College of Administration, she most likely wouldn’t have believed them.

With a ardour for constructing neighborhood, creating social and international affect and advancing fairness, variety and inclusion (EDI) wherever she goes, Saya was acknowledged in her second yr for creating and main a variety training program for the incoming MBA class in partnership with the college’s Workplace of Scholar Engagement and her friends.

At this time, she is a senior supervisor of social affect at The Daniels Company, a Toronto-based actual property growth firm – and says the hyperlink between the 2 isn’t as uncommon as it would initially sound.

“With out cultural, financial or social infrastructure, buildings are simply buildings,” says Saya. “State-of-the-art building is an enormous a part of what we do at Daniels, however what we’re actually centered on is constructing inclusive and sustainable communities by way of actual property growth.”

Saya’s work falls below three predominant classes: social infrastructure growth, native financial growth and neighborhood engagement. One of many largest tasks she’s concerned in is the Regent Park revitalization challenge, the place Daniels has been the event associate for its first three phases since 2006.

Because the challenge started, the bodily infrastructure in Regent Park has been fully reworked for its residents, together with the constructing of a brand new youth centre, neighborhood arts and tradition hub and award-winning athletic services. The revitalization challenge has additionally helped to attach greater than 1,600 folks with employment alternatives by way of the brand new Regent Park Employment Centre.

“No two days are the identical in my world,” says Saya. “Sooner or later, I would meet with the employment neighborhood group in Regent Park about creating new jobs for residents, then I would meet with Artscape on artistic placemaking that we’re making an attempt to carry to one of many communities.”

Rotman grad pursues social affect in actual property growth

The Daniels Company has been a growth associate for 3 phases of the Regent Park revitalization challenge (picture by Steve Russell/Toronto Star by way of Getty Photos)

A typical afternoon entails assembly with the Faculty of Carpenters and Allied Trades and the YMCA about CRAFT, the youth employment program Daniels runs in Regent Park and Scarborough. And to cap off the day, an inner assembly on EDI –one other key portfolio in her position.

“I am persistently juggling about two dozen tasks, they usually’re all completely different,” says Saya. “I grew to become used to that at Rotman, and it has additionally been a standard thread all through my tutorial expertise and now at work – I’m at all times on the lookout for that multidisciplinary method.”

After working within the training sector in Montreal following her undergraduate research, Saya recollects noticing a administration hole within the non-profit sector. Coming from a world growth and political science background, she figured enterprise college could be largely uncharted territory, however took the plunge anyway.

“I needed to achieve these administration abilities and problem myself in a brand new approach,” she says. “I like to drag from completely different disciplines when in search of out options to issues, so I used to be drawn to how inherently interdisciplinary the MBA program was. That’s additionally why I pursued a dual-degree program, finishing my grasp of world affairs diploma from the Munk College of International Affairs [& Public Policy] on the similar time.”

Following her commencement, Saya looked for a task that may permit her to use her MBA abilities within the social sector, with a concentrate on EDI. Within the meantime, she labored as a contract guide utilizing the abilities she gained from working at NeXus Consulting Group throughout her second yr. NeXus is an in-house consulting agency comprising Rotman MBA college students and not-for-profit organizations, which merged with the Affect Consulting Group at Rotman in 2022.

“I used to be on the lookout for one thing very particular, and I used to be comfy with the truth that it was going to take a while to seek out no matter that’s,” she says.

Now in her superb position, she says the most effective half is getting to make use of her various abilities on tasks that affect hundreds of individuals within the Higher Toronto Space.

“On the finish of the day, actual property growth is inevitable as we develop quickly as a metropolis and a rustic,” says Saya. “It provides me hope that extra individuals are embracing that growth can occur in ways in which construct the social, cultural and financial infrastructure of our cities and our communities.”

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