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Sebastian Gomez

Sebastian Gomez

Permits and Approvals Coordinator at Toronto Transit Commission

Bachelor in Environmental Studies, 2017

A piece of advice I would give to incoming students would be to immerse yourself in the program and allow yourself to become passionate about what you want to do, you never know where you it will take you.

About Sebastian

How would you describe your years at FES, and did the program prepare you for your career? How?

My time at FES was eye opening, the inter-disciplinary approach of the program helped me to learn about a multitude of different issues and theories within my undergraduate degree. Not only did my education give me a great base of planning knowledge within the Urban and Regional Environments stream but I was also exposed to environmental politics and management which shape the way I look at planning and the world today. When I entered the program, I was interested in Urban Planning but was not sure that was what I wanted to do for a career. The knowledge, passion and personalities of professors such as Roger Keil, Ute Lehrer, Abidin Kusno and professors I was exposed to outside of the faculty such as Douglas Young helped to solidify my interest and dedication to the practice.

What’s your favorite/most memorable memory of your time at York University?

One of my favorite memories from my time at York University was working on a project that involved researching a few condominium developments around the city. This research project was part of ENVS4800Q which was directed by Prof. Ute Lehrer. It involved visiting the development sites and researching the importance of location and the techniques developers use to try and persuade people to purchase units.

Describe your post-graduation journey including experiences such as employment, volunteer work, community engagement projects.

My post-graduation journey began during the summer prior to my last semester. One of my professors had recommended me for a summer student role working on the Toronto York-Spadina Subway Expansion Project (TYSSE). I was hired to work as part of the Third Party Permits and Approvals group which provided me with experience in interacting with a multitude of private and public-sector agents. I began work on the project during the summer of 2017 which was very fast paced and exciting time as the project had an opening date of December 17, 2017. I continued to work on the project in a part time capacity as I completed the final semester of my undergraduate degree and returned to full time work on the project afterwards. In August 2018 I became a full-time planner for WSP and conducted some preliminary work on the RER project before being offered my current role at TTC.

What is your current job title, or project you are working on, and how would you describe the work you do in a typical day?

My current role is Permits and Approvals Coordinator with the Toronto Transit Commission. This involves advising on, seeking and obtaining Building Permits, Right of Way Permits, TRCA Permits, Site Plan Approvals, Minor Variances, By-Law Amendments and so forth from various municipal and provincial agencies. I work on a wide variety of projects at the TTC from small to large which can be time sensitive however it is highly rewarding to see a project you’ve worked on come to fruition and be used by the public.

If you could leave current students with a piece of advice, what would it be?

A piece of advice I would give to incoming students would be to immerse yourself in the program and allow yourself to become passionate about what you want to do, you never know where you it will take you.