Irfan Gova

Alumnus - Class of 2014

Irfan Gova

Current employer: Business Expertise Advisor, Service Canada 
Academic Background: Political Science, Simon Fraser University

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

I was provided with some excellent feedback from a colleague in
my department regarding the specialization and professionalism of this 
program. As a public servant for the past five years, this program has provided the skills and knowledge to help advance my career in the public service.

Why do you want to work in the public service?

The opportunity to represent and serve the public on behalf of the government is self-rewarding and is a great privilege. The diverse career options available within the different levels of government are very appealing. The experiences I have already achieved demonstrate the flexibility and opportunity for progression.

What is your dream public service career?

I aspire to obtain a high level of expertise within my current department to one day hold a position within an executive advisory board where my knowledge and background can be influential to the direction of the department and the entire federal government.

What was it like to be a Waterloo MPS student?

I took this opportunity as a honour and decided to make the most out of my experience. I became a director of the program’s student association as the Director of Academic Affairs. This position provided the outlet to become a strong leader amongst my peers and enhanced a variety of skills from both an academic and professional perspective.

What are your favourite MPS moments?

The atmosphere within the MPS program environment was responsible for many of my favourite moments. It enabled the entire cohort to be a tight-knit group and provided the opportunity for us to perform our best work and also greatest memories.

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

The transition back into academia is never an easy challenge; however the support from fellow students, professors and the program staff made the adjustment smooth and worthwhile. Moreover, the value of knowledge obtained through MPS can be stretched and expanded to as far each student wants. Beyond the success achieved in the classroom, the transferable skills have been very important.

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

An instrumental quality to becoming a successful student and public servant is patience. There are numerous concepts, theories, and strategies to be learned in this program and it will take time and persistence to truly master them. The goal of this program is to prepare you for the public service; from my experience patience has been paramount.

What other wisdom do you wish to impart onto others?

I would suggest everyone to have fun and make the program as interesting as possible. This can be done by tackling subjects and topics within the public service in which you have a genuine interest. The work completed in this program can be an outlet for both academic and professional purposes. Lastly, the connections you make in this program have great potential to last throughout your career - be sure not to forget that!