Academic background: Bachelor of Arts, Double Major in Political Science & History, University of Toronto
Co-op position: Research Analyst, Economic Infrastructure Policy, Treasury Board Secretariat
Why did you choose Waterloo’s MPS program?
I chose Waterloo’s MPS program because of the way the program is structured and because of the courses offered. Having two co-operative work terms, (8 months) allows you to gain valuable professional experience while exploring various roles/units within the public sector. I also chose the program because of the unique selection of courses. The economics and statistics course were especially appealing to me, as I did not have an undergraduate background in either disciplines.
Tell us about your current co-op position.
Currently, I am a research analyst in the Ontario Treasury Board Secretariat’s Economic Infrastructure Policy Unit. This unit is responsible for analyzing and recommending infrastructure investments through the Province's annual budget process; monitoring and reporting on outcomes and progress on the 10-year infrastructure plan; and analyzing and implementing appropriate infrastructure investment strategies. I have the opportunity to develop tracking tools that will help the Treasury Board monitor ministry expenditures and ensure ministry compliance for capital funding.
How did the MPS program, including your co-op experiences prepare you for a career?
I have a social sciences background, and the MPS program gave me the necessary financial and analytical tools to thrive in my current role. The economics and statistics courses have equipped me with a strong analytical framework that I now build upon every day in my co-op position. In addition, the public policy and Canadian government courses gave me a helpful understanding and overview into the budgeting and decision making process, which is something the Treasury Board is continuously aims to improve.
What are your favourite MPS moments?
My favourite MPS moments include spending time with my friends at different social events, spending late nights studying at the program space, and attending the annual Mixer held in Toronto during the fall.
What have you learned about yourself as a result of the program and your career?
The MPS program has taught me that I am capable of using various analytical tools that I have learned in the past year and am able to apply them in my everyday life. Working in the Office of the Treasury Board requires acute analytical skills, which the MPS program has provided me with. There have been several instances where I have looked back at my assignments and lecture notes to refresh my memory while working as a co-op student.
What has been your most interesting experience working in the public service?
Working with the Office of the Treasury Board means that you are working in the “nucleolus” of the government, and as such, my most interesting experience has been direct exposure to the decision making process through cabinet submissions. I have also had the opportunity to create a system that will support my unit in tracking various compliance fulfilments from line ministries, which has been extremely interesting and engaging.
What advice do you have for someone interested in taking the MPS program?
Reach out to the staff, alumni, or current cohort to determine how the program may be a perfect fit for you. The MPS program has so much to offer, but will require a lot of hard work and effort. Remember to have fun, ask questions, participate, and network!