Alumnus - Class of 2015


Current position: Clean and Green Coordinator, City of Hamilton
Co-op experience: Assistant Environmental Planner, City of Hamilton
Academic background: ​Political Science, ​McMaster University 

Why did you choose Waterloo's Master of Public Service Program?

I chose the Master of Public Service program because, after working for a municipal government for one year, I wanted to develop my skills further and gain a stronger theoretical understanding of the Canadian political system and policy making environment. The program provides a unique combination of academic style learning, career training and professional development, networking opportunities and hands on work experience. After completing the program, MPS graduates have a very strong set of skills that allow them to pursue a wide variety of career opportunities in many different policy areas within the public service. 

Why do you want to work in the public service?

Public service careers are challenging but rewarding. As a public servant, you have the ability to shape society and affect individual lives through policy development. Even though the public service can be a stressful career, I would like to be involved in the public sector decision-making process in order to be part of a collective attempt to address issues facing Canadian society today. I hope to use my skills and knowledge to help build strong and sustainable communities where people can enjoy prosperity and are able to take advantage of opportunities. 

What is your dream public service career?

My dream public service career is any position where I can be proud of my achievements and feel that I’ve made a positive contribution to society. I believe that a strong local community has a large impact on the quality of life that individuals enjoy. I hope that I can be involved with local economic development projects, community development and municipal strategic planning. 

What was it like to be a Waterloo MPS student?

Overall, the program experience is very positive as you see yourself succeed academically and grow as an individual. The program is designed to challenge and encourage students to become critical thinkers with a strong ability to analyze complex political, social and economic issues from multiple perspectives. The coursework can be intimidating at times when you are asked to explore unfamiliar and complex topics. 

What are your favourite MPS moments?

Meeting and being inspired by my classmates, professors, the program administrators and guest speakers, the MPS mixer, MPSA events and all of Prof. Henstra’s lectures. 

What did you learn about yourself in the last six months?

I was surprised to discover my own ability to rise to the challenges of the program. I’ve learned to embrace the moments when answers aren’t immediately obvious because they encourage me to dig deeper and broaden my own understanding of the issue. 

What advice would you give to someone who is interested in the program?

Don’t underestimate yourself and your own abilities to do the work! Each new concept you learn builds on another and it’s a really great feeling when what you’ve learned in one course helps to inform your understanding of a problem you encounter in another. Even if you have no previous background in one subject (for most of us in MPS15 that subject was government finance), it will all come together in the end. 

What other wisdom do you wish to impart onto others?

Take advantage of every opportunity the program offers – you never know how it could help you later on in your career. 

University of Waterloo