Even a worldwide pandemic can’t break the Master of Public Service’s 8-year record for 100% co-op employment for all their determined students.
“Give them a long round of applause and celebrate their accomplishment,” says program director Professor Anindya Sen. “This was the most challenging round of coop matches ever. Quite a few positions were cancelled and delayed. And it was so stressful for the cohort. However, they went with the flow, kept applying, and with some help from our network, coop positions came through and people have employment.”
With more than 400 alumni working all throughout the public and private sector, the Master of Service (MPS) program is known for employers recognizing the value that these students bring to the workforce and continue to hire their co-op students year after year. Many program alumni are now an integral part of this network.
Melvin Christopher, a MPS graduate from the class of 2019 and now a Business Advisor for the Ontario Digital Service, is one of these alumni who gratefully shared a position with MPS for the fall term.
“I am always thinking about MPS and how I can give back to the community that was able to put me in the position I am today,” he says, adding that the program’s new digital government course really aligns perfectly with the advertised Digital Policy position.
And the new additions don’t stop with their Digital Government course. The Master of Public Service program recently developed a data analytics and coding course specialized for government employees. This course has become popular with students and has also attracted strong interest from prospective employers.
“We are always looking to the future of the public service, anticipating governmental challenges, partnering with agencies to further understand their needs, and incorporating ongoing changes to our program to ensure that our students are prepared for everything that comes their way,” says Sen, adding that incorporating Ottawa-based policy jams with multiple government agencies and a university-wide datafest have really prepared students to think on their feet and communicate complex ideas succinctly with a lot of time pressure.
Nicholas Johnston, President of the MPS Student Association, says that these innovative programs and high-pressure events gave students the confidence to boldly move forward during this pandemic and the ability to add value in rapidly evolving work environments.
“While the government has really stepped up to help us all out in this time of need, it feels good to be able to contribute to the cause and hopefully reduce the after effects of this crisis as a result of our own self-reliance right now,” says Johnston.
And Prof Sen says that this cohort is more than ready to take on this challenge.
“Without a doubt, this cohort is simply amazing. Professional, hard-working and incredible tenacity in the face of difficult challenges.”