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Geek of the Week – Anyka Camps-Roach

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Anyka Camps-Roach

“Trini 2 de Bone”

Resplendent in a green and purple costume adorned with beads and feathers, Anyka Camps-Roach marched down Toronto’s Lakeshore Drive last August in the city’s Caribana Parade. To the raucous sound of calypso and soca music, she danced and twirled a flag, stopping occasionally to dance with an appreciative young man from the crowd—“but only if he was cute,” she says. And bold. In her feathered headpiece, the normally 5’3” Anyka stood nearly 6’ tall.

Trinidad-born Anyka never misses a chance to participate in the annual festival celebrating Caribbean culture. “The parade is just one part of Carnival, but Carnival is a huge aspect of Trinidadian culture,” she says. “Adults and children get to play ‘mas,’ which is short for masquerade, a wild party before the start of Lent. And people come from all over the world because Toronto’s Caribbean community is one of the largest in Canada.” And Anyka takes her celebrating seriously: “The Caribana bands compete for prizes and the judges don’t just look at the costumes,” she notes. “You have to bring a lot of enthusiasm to win.”

Anyka brings the same level of energy to her role as Data Coordinator at Environics Analytics, minus the skimpy costume and feathers of course. In her freewheeling position, she produces trade area reports and maps for customers of SiteScapes.ca, conducts tests of ENVISION, EA’s popular micromarketing tool, and helps create marketing materials and client fulfillment packages. “I like the variety of working with all the departments,” she says. “I’m always learning something new, which is great, because I don’t like monotony. This job keeps your brain going.”

“I’m always learning something new, which is great, because I don’t like monotony.”

A young Anyka Camps-Roach at the Kiddies Carnival

Even before her arrival at EA two years ago, Anyka’s life was anything but monotonous. She grew up in middle-class Trinidad, the daughter of a pilot father and a mother who moved from flight attendant to a financial advisor. Although Anyka initially wanted to be a flight attendant as well, her mother opposed the idea. “I thought it was amazing that you could fly all over the world and see new places,” says Anyka. “My mother thought it was just a glorified waitress job.” A dutiful Anyka listened to her mother.

With an interest in business, Anyka spent several years taking college and university courses in math, programming and business, never quite deciding on what career she wanted to pursue. “I knew that I didn’t want to sit in front of a computer and just program for the next ten years,” she says. “It wasn’t my cup of tea.” At 23, she moved to Canada to take advantage of more job opportunities and, after settling in London, Ont., she started studying marketing at Fanshawe College. “It was a bit scary because I was pretty much starting over,” she recalls. “I didn’t know anybody and had to make friends. And London wasn’t as diverse as Toronto.”

Anyka transferred to Ryerson University, where she earned a bachelor’s of commerce degree in business management in 2010. She’d already started working at EA, originally hired as a software developer and ENVISION tester. With her wide-ranging academic background, she was a natural for user testing the recently developed micromarketing tool.

These days, Anyka serves as a kind of traffic cop, making sure clients receive their licenses for data products like Demographic Estimates and Projections and tracking EA’s client fulfillment orders for the practice teams. She handles orders for SiteScapes.ca, the overnight service that allows users to order ad hoc reports and maps of customers and markets without a long-term license. “I like it because it offers easy access for clients to pick whatever report they want without having to buy a large number of reports,” she explains. “They purchase it and it’s done.”  As soon as EA’s new CRM system is operational—with its database of contacts, product purchases and licenses—Anyka will manage that initiative as well.

Caribana 2011

Anyka Camps-Roach at the 2011 Caribana Parade

Away from work, Anyka likes to hang out—or “lime” in the Trinidad vernacular—with Trinidad-born EA colleagues like Sasha Ramroop; the two often go shopping or out to dinner together. Anyka usually reserves Sundays for Skyping with her boyfriend in Holland; they met while he was an exchange student at Ryerson and is currently working towards a master’s degree in international business studies and entrepreneurship. She lives in the same apartment building as another colleague and Trinidad ex-patriot, Joseph Ng Chow, in downtown Toronto near Yonge and College streets. PRIZM C2 classifies the area as Rooms with a View: young, ethnic singles in urban high-rises who have a fondness for bars, Pilates, Facebook and organic foods. And Anyka attests to the accuracy of the textbook description—“except the part about organic foods for me,” she says.

While Anyka has embraced her new Canadian identitylast July on Canada Day, she became a Canadian citizen—she will never abandon her Trinidadian roots. “I’m proud of who I am and where I come from,” she says, “but I love being a Canadian citizen, too.” When describing the similarities between Canada and Trinidad, she’s quick to mention their shared multicultural societies. “Both countries celebrate people from all the different races, religions and backgrounds,” she says. And then there’s the beer. “I always liked beer so it was easy to feel at home here,” she adds with a laugh. “When you’re from Trinidad, you don’t take yourself too seriously,” Anyka continues. “We do love to enjoy ourselves.”

–Michael J. Weiss

Anyka’s Guide to Trinidadian (Trini) Slang

Trinidadian Slang Meaning
Bacchanal Scandal, heavy quarreling, confusion
Fete A party with loud music, lots to eat and drink, dancing to early hours of the morning
Harden Disobedient
Hoss A friend, e.g., “Wah happen Hoss?” (How are you my friend?)
Jus’so Out of the blue, totally unexpected
Licks A beating, physical punishment
Lime To hang out in a casual atmosphere, loafing, e.g. , “I feeling to lime”; a pre-arranged activity, such as hanging out
Stickin’ When a person or group keeps back progress on something important, e.g., “Man, you real stickin’, hurry up!”
Wine/Wining The style of dancing to soca, calypso and chutney: circular movement of the waist, or Trini term for rolling your waist provocatively
Mamaguy To make fun of, to ridicule
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Written by Environics Analytics

December 13, 2012 at 10:43 am

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