Student - Class of 2019

professional head shot of class of 2019 student Alex Pontieri

Academic Background: Honours Double Major in Business & Political Science, University of Waterloo.
Co-op Position: Economic Analyst, Ministry of Finance.

Why did you choose Waterloo’s MPS program?

I specifically chose the MPS program to pursue my education at the graduate level and to improve my opportunities of pursuing a career in the government. I also found the co-op option to be appealing.

Tell us about your current co-op position.

Within my current co-op position as an Economic Analyst at the Ontario Ministry of Finance, I have the opportunity to work on numerous projects, contributing toward the data and economics analysis behind Ontario’s property tax assessment. I use various software such SQL, Excel, Python, and Tableau, which are essential to the work we do on a daily basis within the provincial/local finance division.

How did the MPS program, including your co-op experiences prepare you for a career?

The MPS program courses have helped me tremendously in my current co-op position. As an economic analyst, I am constantly analyzing economic trends and manipulating large data sets, and the MPS economics and statistic courses gave me the fundamental skills to be able to do my job extremely well from the ground running. In addition, the combination between the MPS program mentors, courses, and co-op experience thus far, have all contributed significantly towards my professional development in helping me build the proper work ethic, and mind set to succeed in any aspect of life, especially in my future career goals.

What are your favourite MPS moments?

My favourite MPS moments involved watching my classmates’ creative PRRT presentations, and finding out that we had Fridays off in our schedules…jokes aside, the social events were important, enjoyable, and brought our cohort together.

What have you learned about yourself as a result of the program and your career?

As a result of the MPS program and my career so far, I have learned that I have the capability to become very adaptable in any given situation. The program and my work experiences have equipped me with foundational analytical and social skills, and to be able to successfully apply them in various settings to work well under pressure.

What has been your most interesting experience working in the public service?

The most interesting aspect about working in the public service is seeing and learning how public sector employees think. Coming from a private sector setting, it is refreshing to see how many public servants gear their work toward the community and collective goals rather than their own personal attainments and interests. This is something I’ve grown to respect over the past few months.

What advice do you have for someone interested in taking the MPS program?

Don’t hesitate on applying to the program. MPS offers a multitude of essential assets to pave a successful path for your future. Starting from the program structure, the staff, professors, courses, and most importantly the co-op aspect, all will pay huge dividends to your career even if it’s not in the Public Service. Take advantage of all the resources and great opportunities the MPS program has to offer. 

University of Waterloo