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The rotational program at Metrolinx allows new graduates to solve real-life work challenges.Supplied

In the midst of her two-year new-grad program at Metrolinx focused on finance and information technology, Simran Ghumaan got to work on a real-life work issue facing her team. It was while she took part in the organization’s Lean Training Program, which focuses on continuous improvement.

“I was able to come up with a solution by the end of that training,” says the 26-year-old, who has a BA in business economics, “and that wasn’t showcased just within my team, but my manager also showed it to my director, and everyone knows about it. These little accomplishments are recognized, and that gives me encouragement. I feel like they respect and value me as a team member.”

Toronto-based Ghumaan, who has been with the organization since June 2022, adds that she feels incredibly lucky to have landed at Metrolinx, which manages and integrates road and public transportation in the Greater Golden Horseshoe area.

“I have loved every second of working here,” says Ghumaan, who will have completed rotations in four departments by the end of her new-grad program. “I have been so involved since day one, and the support I’ve received has been incredible. A big part of Metrolinx culture is its commitment to create development opportunities for employees.”

President and CEO Phil Verster notes that in the past year, Metrolinx has welcomed 170 young people into its early-talent programs, which “help students and recent graduates build a professional network within their group of peers, mentors and leaders. They develop the necessary critical skills to launch their careers.”

“Young people are assigned to different areas of the organization and experience a variety of different things,” Verster says. “We have a range of roles from lawyers and accountants through to engineers, with lots of opportunities for young people to participate.”

With the extent and pace of growth at Metrolinx come tremendous opportunities across all areas of its business, and this has inspired young people to want to be part of it, Vertster adds. “People are exposed to really interesting things. I think it matters to young people that they deal with interesting, novel challenges, and novel fixes, in a company where they can see the impact of their work.”

Verster notes that in addition to the finance and IT program Ghumaan is involved in, summer-student, co-op and internship opportunities are also available.

In 2023 Metrolinx launched its first engineering-development program for recent graduates in its Operations-Rapid Transit division, and it looks to expand this program in 2024 to include its Capital Projects Group. Verster explains that the organization “has a vested interest in building capabilities to support our growth. These rotational programs focus on the components and complexity of building a large transit system.”

Ghumaan, meanwhile, praises the formal and informal mentorship that’s been available to her. “Honestly, every single person on the team has supported me. If I have a question, they’ll say, ‘Let’s talk about it,’ and I have weekly check-ins with my manager,” she says.

She also values the employee resource groups at Metrolinx and joined its emerging leaders ERG. Thanks to the organization’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, Ghumaan – who is of South Asian descent – helped establish an ERG for people who share her background.

Overall, Ghumaan says she feels Metrolinx is a place where she can fulfill her ambition to be a leader one day. “I can’t see myself being anywhere else.”

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Advertising feature produced by Canada’s Top 100 Employers, a division of Mediacorp Canada Inc. The Globe and Mail’s editorial department was not involved.

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