Alumnus - Class of 2013

Alumnus Ashley Dean.

Current career: Modern and Foreign Language Coordinator/Teacher, England
Co-op experience: Junior Program Officer, Environmental Stewardship Branch, Environment Canada; Student Leadership Program Assistant, Organizational and Human Development, University of Waterloo
Academic background: French, University of Waterloo

Upon graduation from the MPS Class of 2013, Ashley continued her studies with a Bachelor of Education degree in Intermediate/Senior (French as a Second Language, English) at Nipissing University in North Bay, and was named Valedictorian of the Intermediate/Senior Class of 2014. Ashley spent a year studying at l'Université du Québec à Chicoutimi. She was the youngest member of the 2010-2012 City of Kitchener Arts and Culture Advisory Committee and is a graduate of Leadership Waterloo Region's Youth On Board program. She was also the co-chair of KW's 2013 Ovarian Cancer Walk of Hope and was a presenter for Ovarian Cancer Canada. In October 2014 Ashley moved to London, UK to teach full-time; she is now a Class Teacher in an East London primary school, where she is also the Modern and Foreign Language Co-ordinator.


Without any sort of financial background, I was incredibly worried about taking economics courses. However, I found these to be the most valuable in terms of real-world application and I came to more fully understand the link between social policy and service delivery, and the differences between cost and social value. The cost-benefit analysis I did really prepared me to do the same for our major team project. In addition, the research skills I developed through writing papers for various courses, as well as the publication examples we worked on in the communications course, were instrumental in helping me get a job with the federal government.


I had an absolutely wonderful experience at both placements. Living and working in Ottawa was like nothing I had ever experienced. I really began to understand how government works on a federal level and what being a public servant is like. I was mentored by a senior public servant and this helped me get a more well-rounded idea of working at the federal level as well. My term as the Student Leadership Program Assistant at uWaterloo honed my leadership and facilitation skills, and only further cemented my desire to work with people and see the impact of my work on an everyday, in-person basis - and it led me into my a role as Master of Public Service program assistant.

Major team project

My major team project experience was very unique. Our group focused on a very local issue and had the opportunity to conduct research interviews with people all over the Waterloo Region. Not only did I make invaluable contacts, but I learned more than I imagined about municipal government and the various stakeholder relationships that are entrenched in local policy and service delivery. Because of the major team project, I developed a desire to work at a municipal level, and I enjoy seeing how my arts, culture and language background has helped me to move towards that goal.

University of Waterloo