Canada has great schools. Students from Canada and from all around the world choose to further their education by studying at Canadian universities and colleges. But how do you select the best school for you? How can you be sure which school is the right choice for you? Will your school live up to your expectations?
SchoolMatch Canada was born out of the idea that matching — not searching — is the simplest and most effective way to answer some of these questions. SchoolMatch takes a student’s individual characteristics and uses them to identify the best possible schools for that student. Students are given unbiased results about which schools would fit them best and why. It’s an entirely new way to think about finding the right school.
SchoolMatch was a CSI member for five years, but have decided to work from home during COVID-19. We chatted with SchoolMatch’s Anthony Di Monte to say farewell (for the time being!) and share a little more about being part of the CSI community these past years.
What first brought you to CSI? What did you need? What were you looking for?
We had just launched our website and were working out of a small space above a store further West on Bloor St. We were starting to transition from part-time to full-time work and needed a bit more space. We had hosted an event at CSI a few months earlier, and it just kept popping up as a collaborative hub where these interesting things were happening. There were these neat small and growing companies, and interesting events all in this eclectic space. It seemed like the perfect fit for us, so we applied and moved in a few months later.
Can you tell us about a few of the relationships you built with other members?
GoodFoot was in the office beside us when we moved in. They impressed us right from the start. It was great to see an organization bring so much to the community, and to get to know their hard-working staff. They offered us a great, new perspective on work, and challenged our concept of what it takes to succeed. They really showed us that everyone has abilities, these just may be different from our own pre-existing ideas. GoodFoot gave us daily proof that with the right tools and support anyone can thrive.
How did working in a space with a shared set of values benefit your work?
One thing that we took away was the sense that the initiatives all around you start to sneak into your thoughts. When I first learned about the work that OceanWise does, I thought it was great… but that it was in a different sphere from my focus. Then, over time, as we chatted more, and spent more time with their organization, I started to think a little more about small things that I could do to personally help improve the fate of marine life. With repeated exposure, what seemed like a disconnected and monumental objective became personal and doable. Something as simple as asking for no straws at a restaurant is painless and can have a huge impact if everyone does it. That then translated into “are we using other plastics that could be reduced or eliminated?” These daily interactions with other organizations peppered our thoughts with their efforts. That made their efforts more salient, and helped us reflect on how we can integrate their causes into what we do personally and professionally.
What’s a memorable moment from your time at CSI?
When we first moved in, OceanWise was in the office immediately to our right. At the time their team lead was a friend of a friend of mine. That was a total coincidence and completely unplanned. We were both like, “You work right beside us every day? That’s crazy — what are the odds?” It was a great start to our time at CSI.
What’s happened for you in your time at CSI? We want to share your successes!
We started out focused on students locally, Torontonians and Canadians. At CSI though, we learned about Canada’s strong standing around the world for post-secondary education. Our time at CSI helped us understand the benefits of reaching an international demographic, something we had not originally considered when we set out to help students choose the best university/college. That helped us grow to where we are today.
What’s next for you and your team? What are your hopes for the post-COVID-19 world?
Though international travel has slowed down with Covid-19 we’re hopeful that students from across the world can continue to see what a great place Canada is to study and to live.
How can CSI members (or anyone!) support you?
We’re still operating (from home!) and we’re hoping to continue helping future university/college students for years to come! SchoolMatch can be a valuable resource for these prospective students who need a little help in selecting the best post-secondary school for them.