Student - Class of 2019

Professional headshot of class of 2019 student Jack Arnott

Academic background: Bachelor of Arts, major in Political Science & minor in French, Carleton University 
Co-op position: Policy Analyst, at Innovation, Manufacturing and Life Sciences Branch, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED)

Why did you choose Waterloo’s MPS program?

I chose Waterloo’s MPS program for a number of reasons. Firstly, after talking to current students and alumni, it seemed like the program was focused on building and maintaining a strong community and network. Secondly, the course content seemed very practical; many courses were designed to impart specific, technical, transferable skills. Ultimately, I chose the MPS program because I believed it was the program that would best set me up for success in my career and post-graduate life.

Tell us about your current co-op position.

I’m currently working at Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) as a Policy Analyst. I research and analyze various policy and economic issues, specifically regarding the Canadian steel industry. In that capacity, I create presentations; write backgrounders, position papers, and briefing notes for senior management. In particular, I’ve been involved in planning and analyzing different aspects of ongoing trade developments with the United States. 

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

The MPS program equipped me with skills and tools that I have used in my job and has helped significantly flatten my learning curve during co-op.  For example, because I was taught how to write concise briefing notes as part of the MPS coursework, I have been able to better synthesize and break down information for senior management at ISED.

What are your favourite MPS moments?

My favourite MPS moments have definitely been the practical jokes that transpired over the months, and the sense of community that is created by the program.  The program is designed to establish a network, and help build friendships along the way.

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

The program and my co-op position have really opened my eyes as to how interesting and rewarding working with the government and policy can be.  After enrolling in the MPS program I can safely say there are many unique and exciting experiences available in the government. For example, at ISED I’ve had the opportunity to work with and analyze issues and decisions that affect thousands of people.

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

My most interesting experience working in the public service so far has been working on the steel and aluminum file as part of ISED; specifically in the context of participating in and planning for developing trade situations. In fact, when the United States announced it would be imposing tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum on May 31, I was a member of the team that worked to handle the situation.

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

Think about where you want to be in 3 years, 5 years, 10 years, but more importantly, consider what skills and knowledge will help you get there. If you don’t know where you want to be, don’t worry! Just consider what skills might contribute to your professional success.  Those are the steps I followed, and ultimately they led me to enrol in the MPS program.  Please feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn or Facebook, if you have any questions.

University of Waterloo