Alumnus - Class of 2016


Current Position: Senior Consultant, Ernst & Young
Co-op Position: Business Intelligence Coordinator, Regional Municipality of Peel 
Academic Background: Political Science, International Relations & Global Governance, University of Waterloo 

Why did you choose Waterloo’s MPS program?

I chose the MPS program because it is an interdisciplinary professional degree with an experiential learning component, which was not offered by many MA programs. The wide range of courses from public economics and statistics to public policy and project management are definitely an asset, in that they provided a balance of skills and knowledge-base for working in the public service.

Tell us about your current co-op position at the Region of Peel working as a Business Intelligence Coordinator.

I am currently working for the Business Intelligence Centre of Excellence within the Service Innovation, Information and Technology department as a Business Intelligence Coordinator. I am fortunate to have this opportunity to work on a wide array of projects in economic analysis, survey design, web auditing and scorecard metrics. I have also had the opportunity to attend delegations with international public service managers and network with non-profits such as the Institute for Citizen-Centred Service (ICCS), as well as sit-in on public policy working groups within the organization. 

In regards to learning opportunities, I have been able to work with new software programs such as Red Dot, which is a web-based content management and publishing tool, and improve my MS Project and SPSS skills. Also, because my unit provides corporate services at an enterprise level, I am learning private-sector practices and skills that will be transferable later in my career.

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

The MPS program provided the opportunity to study and become familiar with a wide range of subject areas pertaining to public policy at different levels of government. I find that I am able to speak on any policy area with a good understanding of government jurisdiction, current policy issues, and the legislation surrounding the issue – because of the numerous research projects and reports that I worked on during my first year in the program. 

The co-op program facilitates experiential learning, and provided us with professional development services. The support from MPS professors and alumni was extremely beneficial to competing in the job market as they offered to carry out mock interviews and resume-critiquing. The sessions with alumni provided invaluable information regarding interviews and on-the-job tips.

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

While I have only been at my co-op placement for a month, I can say that I’ve had quite a number of interesting experiences. Firstly, I am the coordinator of the Region of Peel’s Researchers’ Network which facilitates knowledge-sharing in social science, evaluation, and action and education research. I am enjoying the role as it allows me to interact with various departments and learn more about research tools used.  Additionally, attending ThinkPeel meetings to learn more about the policy aspect of service-delivery has provided me with a wealth of knowledge about the region and its capacity to deliver services efficiently.   

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

First and foremost: It is a challenge, a learning experience, and well worth it!  Take advantage of what is offered in terms of networking opportunities, preparation for co-op, and the French course offered in the second semester.  Secondly, do not panic during the co-op process or on the job, the program will prepare you very well for what is ahead. Finally, have fun – because the eight months will fly by! 

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