I chose to participate in the training program because I thought it would be an experience like no other.
Participants are matched with a home department which pays most of their salary during the program, supports them in training, and also gives them a home base to return to once the program is completed.
For two years you get the opportunity to work in the three central agencies, so at the Privy Council office, at Treasury Board, at Finance as well as one line department.
It gave me an instant network of contacts, of peers, of people that are going through the same sort of experiences I am, of superiors as well.
I've called other participants for advice in placements that I'm occupying that they have just occupied, but more than that, I'm in a book club with some of my fellow participants and a few of them have joined my baseball team.
And then once you come out of the program, that network is incredibly valuable, both in terms of possible mentors to help you make your way forward and as a sounding board, and also as potential bosses.
And having the opportunity to work within a central agency as a policy analyst is a fantastic experience.
This really provides you an opportunity to learn exactly how the government functions, how decision-making occurs and the interplay between the political level and the policy level.
As a hiring manager I think that graduates have many assets that bode well for their progression in the public service. Firstly, they have knowledge about the decision-making process of government that very few others in government have; they've had exposure to the Cabinet decision-making process at PCO, through the budget-making process at the Department of Finance, and then through the Treasury Board assignment exposure to how budgeting gets done at a bit more of a micro level.
I think even now, ten years later, after I've graduated, looking back the program provided me with an excellent foundation and start to a career in government.
I feel that from these placements, I developed a solid understanding of the what, why, how, where, when of policy development in Canada.
If I could give one piece of advice to somebody thats thinking about starting their career in the federal government, it would be to go for it.
So if you have the opportunity I would say apply and take the plunge; you won't regret it.