Alumnus - Class of 2016


Current position: Senior Policy Advisor, Ontario Ministry of Government & Consumer Services
Co-op position: Project Coordinator, Ericsson Canada  
Academic background: Gender Studies & Political Science, Queen's University

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

I chose Waterloo's Master of Public Service program because it offered relevant courses and professional development training that complements a career in the public service. Moreover, the small class sizes and professional environment seemed to be a perfect way to transition from school to a work environment.

Tell us about your current position working for Ericsson Canada.

I am currently on an 8-month co-op work term as a Project Coordinator at Ericsson Canada. In this position, I am involved in several multi-million dollar emerging technology projects. My experience in MPS provided me with strong project management and analytical skills to succeed.

My employers encourage me to hone my public service skills from MPS to better understand public-private relationship in the telecommunications industry. As a result of their encouragement, I was able to share and present my MPS cost benefit analysis paper on the introduction of foreign direct investment in the Canadian telecommunications industry, to my colleagues.

In addition, my co-op experience thus far, has given me the freedom to learn and take courses on software such as Chronos; which is relevant to project governance, and SAP; which guides project financials. I have polished off my Excel and MS Project skills to an advanced level. These newfound skills in project management are what I hope to carry over to a career in project management in the public sector.

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

As a Gender Studies and Political Science graduate, I was terrified of the statistics and economics courses. With the guidance of my professors as the courses unfolded, I became comfortable with statistics, economic theory and formulas. Now (while in my co-op experience), I am able to apply my knowledge to resolve issues in financial reports.

This experience has taught me that the fear of trying something outside of your comfort zone can often prevent you from success. In the MPS program this fear can prevent you from learning new skills and most importantly enjoying what you have learned. Once you get over that fear, you can only move up.

What are your favourite MPS moments?

My favourite MPS moment was when mysterious turtles began to appear on white boards throughout the MPS space. During a busy time of assignments and midterms, it was nice to see a creative doodle of a turtle in Paris or even a turtle sky-diving. Another favourite MPS moment is going to Vincenzo's to grab a meal after a long, but hilarious study session with my cohort.

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

My advice for students in the MPS program is to never shy away from opportunities offered by the program and the university at large. Take advantage of the MPS course experience because it only lasts 8 months. 

Just like most experiences, there will be challenges. Just remember that the program has 3 amazing staff members that are able to support you and brighten your day.

University of Waterloo