Emma Weel

Alumnus - Class of 2016


Current position: Senior Policy Advisor, Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development 
Co-op position: Junior Policy Analyst, Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities
Academic background: Philosophy, Western University

Why did you choose Waterloo’s Master of Public Service program?

I chose Waterloo’s Master of Public Service program because it offers practical courses that are directly relevant to a career in public service, and the opportunity to gain work experience in the public sector. I also like that the program accepts students from a multitude of disciplines. I think that having people in the class from a variety of different educational backgrounds enriches class discussion. 

Tell us about your current position as a Junior Policy Analyst.

I am currently working at the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, where I have had the opportunity to contribute to the development of new provincial legislation, monitor labour relations at post-secondary institutions, and draft correspondence on behalf of the Assistant Deputy Minister and other staff.  So far I have really enjoyed my experience working for this Ministry, and I have learned a lot about the inner workings of the Ontario public service.  

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

My most exciting experience has been the opportunity to help draft legislation, and attend stakeholder consultations to hear feedback about the proposed legislation. I have found it really interesting to hear input from those who will be directly impacted by the new legislation, and see how their insights help shape the ultimate result. These consultations have helped me appreciate the direct impact of the work that we do in the public service.

What are your favourite MPS moments?

My favourite MPS moments were the late night study sessions in the program space. In particular, the communal and supportive atmosphere that the program space promoted made those study sessions both fun and productive. I love that the MPS program has its own dedicated space, because there is always a place to study and people to study with. It is also really convenient to have all of our classes in one place.

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

 My advice for someone interested in taking the MPS program is not to shy away from the program if you do not have a background in public policy. The professors in the program know that everyone is coming from different backgrounds with different levels of experience, and the courses are designed in a way that accounts for this. I would also say to try not to get overwhelmed by the workload. It can seem difficult at first, but with everyone working on the same projects, I found that there was a strong support system, allowing everyone to succeed.