MPS students find success at Canadian Heritage

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Canadian Heritage team

Since 2011, students from various MPS cohorts have earned continued success working at the Department of Canadian Heritage. Starting their career journeys as co-op students, these MPSers gathered top-notch policy experience that helped them acquire post-graduation employment with the federal public service.

Canadian Heritage supports programs and provides policy advice on culture, arts, sport, copyright regime and official languages through direct and indirect initiatives. The books we read, music we listen to, and the movies, television shows and sports that we watch are all impacted by this department.

“The knowledge gained from uWaterloo’s MPS program helped them understand the work that needed to be done more quickly,” says Karyn Wichers, Manager of Policy and Research at Sport Canada, who has hired two MPS graduates and is impressed with their knowledge of the public service. “They are good team players. It is important that we are able to work well together and create a pleasant environment.”

Myriam Brochu, Manager of Film and Video Policies and Programs, agrees that MPS students demonstrate an advantage during the interview process. “Maturity, knowledge, experience and skills were the reasons for our decision,” she says and adds that “they also demonstrated their curiosity to learn and explore new avenues, as well as a sense of initiative.”

With the creative Waterloo spirit, our MPS alumni have expressed their fondness of the department’s diverse portfolio and atmosphere, which is reflected in the work that they do.

BenBen Schnitzer, Policy Analyst, Film and Video Policy and Programs, MPS 2012

As a trained classical singer with noteworthy policy analysis skills, Canadian Heritage is a perfect fit for Ben. “Contributing to policies that promote culture and create conditions for the arts to flourish is very meaningful to me,” he says.

Ben presently works on a team that negotiates audiovisual coproduction treaties between Canada and foreign partners. “This provides opportunities to expand audiences for Canadian film and television projects, and creates jobs by attracting foreign investment. I get to be creative and am encouraged to look at the issues from different angles which really appeals to me.”

KeithKeith Chau, Policy Analyst, Copyright and International Trade Policy, MPS 2013

Keith’s previous nonprofit experience working with at-risk youth in arts and cultural programs sparked his interest in contributing to the department. “I was able to see that arts and culture can provide a tangible purpose of employment for youth and are important aspects of the Canadian identity.”

Keith presently works on copyright policy development in anticipation of the five-year review of the Copyright Act, and took part in the legislative process that passed the Copyright Modernization Act, which brought Canada in line with today’s technological changes. He also conducts economic research for senior management on various domestic and international copyright issues. In addition to his regular work, Keith is responsible for the bilingual public correspondence portfolio. “I get to respond to Canadians on a daily basis regarding copyright. Knowing that you are able to directly assist them is a good feeling and the reason why I entered the public service.”

BelqiesBelqies Hamidzada, Policy Officer, Sport Canada Policy and Planning, MPS 2013

Belqies is interested in new methods of social financing which she analyzed during her MPS Major Team Project. “My background in this area ties in with the mission of Sport Canada, which drew me to the organization,” she says. “Social financing is a tool that can be used to increase opportunities for Canadians to participate and excel in sport. It is an up and coming topic in Canada, and I am excited to be a part of its development”

In addition to researching current and emerging issues in sport, Belqies works with a team to develop, align and implement policies, programs, and strategies.  For example, the team is responsible for monitoring and leveraging policies to enable opportunities for underrepresented groups to participate in sport.

AshishAshish Sharma, Student Data Analyst, Periodical Publishing Policy, MPS 2014

Combining his background in Business Administration, and the skills learned from the MPS program, Ashish was able to evaluate federal programs that affect the cultural sector of the economy. “Supporting cultural industries provides economic value in addition to the social benefits we tend to consider.”

Ashish provided statistical analysis for the Canada Periodical Fund which financially assists Canadian print magazines, non-daily newspapers and digital periodicals. “One of the most rewarding experiences was my presentation of the annual report. My work helped senior management make decisions about how to continue providing value for tax-payers’ money.”


Congratulations to our graduates in Ottawa!  We look forward to hearing about your continued success in the federal public service. 

- Written by Kayla McKinnon

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