Alumnus - Class of 2014

Khanh Dang

Current position: Advisor (Health Planning and Performance), Region of Peel
Co-op experience: Health Promotion Assistant, Region of Peel
Academic background: Political Science and Health Studies, McMaster University 

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

The co-op opportunity was a big incentive for me to pursue this program. The University of Waterloo links students with exciting employers to partake in co-operative learning. MPS is also a professional program that provided classroom learning and ongoing career training coupled with many opportunities to meet and greet with distinguished professionals from the industry. The program was the perfect mix between theoretical-based learning drawing on the fundamentals of Canadian public administration and the policymaking process to project management and economic-based scenarios we would find ourselves facing in our careers.

Why do you want to work in the public service?

I wish to take advantage of all the networks and stakeholders the public service holds in order to help forward the interests of the common good towards building strong, sustainable, and equitable social welfare systems for my friends, family, and community. I believe the public service continually needs strong leadership and expertise in order to continue delivering public goods and services with a lens that strives to exhibit clear decision-making. In particular, I am drawn to the health care industry and believe I will have a vital role in helping form health policy and programs to keep Canadians being active, eating well, and living happy.

What was it like to be a Waterloo MPS student?

As a graduate student, your colleagues and professors have different expectations of you. Being an MPS student was a different experience from undergrad. There's lots of hard work but never without the time to have some fun.

What are your favourite MPS moments?

Late night policy writes for Dr. Henstra, cost-benefit analyses for Prof Sen, leadership presentations for Dr. Bird, political debates for Dr. Carter, Aboriginal issues with Dr. Macfarlane, what-would-you-do as a project manager moments with Dr. McGowan, early morning critical thinking sessions with Dr. Richards, and creative genre report writing with Dr. Dolmage jammed in eight months, and held together by the glue known as Sheila, led to a recipe commonly known as MPS.

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

Life is what you make of it. If you work hard, you will do well. If you look forward to each day, you will enjoy it. Having a positive attitude makes hard work seem effortless. So keep on smiling!

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

The practicality and applicability of the skills you will inherit from the MPS program is the top reason why you should consider enrolling.

What other wisdom do you wish to impart onto others?

Work hard. Play harder! Sometimes life takes us for a crazy ride. Don't forget to enjoy it.

University of Waterloo