Alumnus - Class of 2018

professional headshot of class of 2018 alumnus Anusha MalikCurrent Position: Policy Analyst, Ontario Ministry of Education
Co-op Position: Business Analyst, eHealth Ontario & Research Analyst, Ontario Ministry of Infrastructure
Academic Background: Honours Bachelor of Arts, Major in Political Science and Religious Studies, McMaster University

Why did you choose Waterloo’s MPS program?

I was drawn to the MPS program due to the professional experience that it offered. Coming out of a four-year undergraduate degree that was mainly focused on theory and looking to build a career as soon as possible led me to search for a graduate program that offered me a balance in specialized education and professional experience. MPS offered the best chance at achieving this with 8 months of co-op experience while also preparing me with the foundational skills I needed to succeed in the public sector. 

Tell us about your co-op experience.

I had the opportunity to work at three different placements during my time at MPS. I started at eHealth Ontario as a Business Analyst, then made the choice to move to the Ontario Public Service (OPS), where I started as a Research Analyst at the Ministry of Infrastructure. During my capstone project, which I was able to complete outside of class, I landed a placement at the Ministry of Education as a Policy Analyst. My co-op experiences offered me the practical experience necessary to build a career in the public service. They offered me the opportunity to build great connections with mentors and seniors that have supported me as I look to move forward and have opened more doors for me to build professional and leadership experience.

Tell us about your current job.

I was actually hired right after my co-op placement at the Ministry of Education. I’m now a Policy Analyst at the Student Achievement Division, supporting the new government with implementing a strategy for fundamental mathematics. Being a student for my whole life made the learning ministries the easiest for me to relate to and working at the ministry with this perspective has really helped me to advance in my role. I’m really glad to be a part of the mathematics strategy and I’m excited to see the impact that it will have in empowering students across Ontario with the confidence and skills they need to succeed in their futures.

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

The MPS program offers specialized courses that provided me with the background and skills I needed to build a career in the public service. I was expected to achieve an understanding of key tools that are frequently used in the public sector and I was familiarized with the art of providing strong advice in the public sector. This specialized training with a professional lens provided exactly what I needed to succeed in my co-op placements, where I was able to practically employ these tools in the workplace.

What are your favourite MPS moments?

My favourite moments have been at the MPS mixers – hearing the stories and career paths of other MPSers is so inspiring! And also, getting the news about my first co-op placement. That was probably the most exciting moment! Seeing months of my hard work and patience pay off through getting my first role was so worthwhile :)

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

I’m so thankful for all the lessons from MPS (personal, professional and academic) that have definitely contributed to my growth as a person. I learned that I have the resilience to push through tough situations and come out as a better, stronger version of myself. I learned that the only thing that can really hold me back is my own self-doubt – all I have to do is dig up the confidence in myself to see that I’m able to do whatever I set my mind to and success, more often than not, is going to follow.

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

I advise you to go for it! I genuinely believe that there no better program out there to prepare you for a career in the public service; MPS will ensure that you are well-equipped with the content knowledge, specialized skills and professional experience that is necessary to build your career. Come into the program with an open mind, be ready to learn from your peers, and be sure to push yourself outside of your comfort zone to learn new things (e.g., new policy areas, or focus on economics, etc.). Most importantly though, I advise you to build a support system and make lasting friendships both in and outside of your cohort because it will truly make your graduate experience worthwhile.

University of Waterloo