Janet Standen

Alumnus - Class of 2015


Current position: Records Clerk, City of Waterloo
Co-op experience: Junior Research/Policy Analyst, City of Waterloo
Academic background: Philosophy and Leadership Studies, University of New Brunswick

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

I want to pursue a career in the public service and Waterloo offered a great program to equip me for this path. I learn well through hands-on experience, so the co-op component played a large role in my choice. I like the well-rounded courses, learning about communication, leadership, finance, and public policy. 

Why do you want to work in the public service?

I realize that for social transformation to occur, there often needs to be change at the policy level. I want to be a part of that change, ensuring the wellbeing of Canadian citizens. I also think in Canada we have the capacity to support many individuals in achieving their dreams, whether Canadian-born or not. I hope that throughout this career path, I can continuously develop my own skills and abilities.

What is your dream public service career?

I want to be a part of the policy development process, preferably within Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. I enjoy researching and communicating directly with stakeholders and hope to have a position that allows me to do this. 

What was it like to be a Waterloo MPS student?

I really enjoy being an MPS student. Since we study with a small cohort and we attend classes in our own space, we have developed a strong support system for each other. We do many team projects together and help each other develop the skills needed to pursue a career in the public service. We work hard, but it is fun because we are all in it together. 

What are your favourite MPS moments?

I love all the numerous times I chat with classmates between classes or while working on assignments. Everyone knows everyone and it creates such a warm and welcoming atmosphere. 

What are your favourite MPS spots?

In the kitchen, people take the time to relax, eat, talk, and laugh together before getting back to their studies. It is a very positive atmosphere revolving around community. 

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

I learned that there is so much I still don’t know; but because I love learning my dreams are not out of reach. Everyone around me (classmates, professors, coworkers) want to help me reach my full potential.

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

Be prepared to work hard, be prepared to work independently and in teams, and be prepared to make the most of yourself so that you can also support others in their journey to becoming who they want to be. 

What other wisdom do you wish to impart onto others?

Invest in the people around you – in the end it is not your marks that matter or how well you can answer a question. What matters are the positive changes you make that impact others and yourself.