"There is an array of work available to policy analysts ranging from comparative policy analysis to research and modelling options on federal programs to supporting ministers through the organization of committee meetings. The public service truly offers a lot to new professionals who want to try their hand at different types of work."
"The Program provides great opportunities to work with different managers, and policy files, and in various work environments. These experiences helped me learn about my own strengths and weaknesses."
Marian Campbell Jarvis
"I think even now, more than 10 years after I graduated, I see how the Program provided me with an excellent foundation and career in government because it exposed me to a whole array of public policy issues—environment, social, economic and international—and provided me with a network of people and experiences that have positioned me very well for the future and the challenges I am facing now."
"As a hiring manager, I am always interested in looking at Program participants, both because the Program has a reputation for recruiting top-notch students, and looking back on the experiences I had I feel that participants are really well positioned both in terms of analytics and how to approach public policy questions, as well as some of the softer skilled competencies, whether it's presentation or framing an issue, or even just adapting to a changing environment."
"I remember during my first assignment in the Program, I was working at the Canadian International Development Agency, and I was asked to attend a World Bank conference on poverty, and it was a real honour and a thrill to be a Canadian government representative so early in my career at such an important meeting."
"I chose to participate in the Program because I saw it as a unique way to start my career in the federal government. I was someone who was interested in a large variety of policy issues and I really wanted a program that would challenge me to explore a variety of topics that affect the Canadian policy landscape."
"I think that the Program has really helped me in my current position. For one, it has built a really solid network of people in government that I can call on if I have any questions. A lot of working in the federal government is really relying on networks, because so many policy issues are very interconnected with one another so having people you know that work in central agencies and in departments across government is very helpful."
"If I could give one piece of advice to somebody who is thinking about starting their career in the federal government, it would be to go for it!"
"The Program gave me two years to experience what it is like to work in the federal government. It gave me the opportunity to see the inner workings of decision-making by Cabinet. I saw a number of issues, economic, social, from a variety of perspectives, and I was able to make my mind up about where I wanted to spend the remainder of my career."
"During the Program you are meeting a lot of people both in terms of possible mentors in terms of possible mentors and also as potential bosses–you're exposed to different leadership styles, you know what kind of a boss you like, you've seen different policy areas and that gives you a good basis to judge what kind of job you would like to get coming out of the Program"
"As a hiring manager, I think that program graduates have many assets that bode well for their progression in the public service. They have knowledge about decision-making processes that very few others in government have, and that is experience that is very useful that people work in my area, in health care policy."
"At the Privy Council Office I worked in the secretariat for the Operations Cabinet Committee, which makes decisions on issues management, communications, and overall government strategy. I found that to be valuable experience in how policy is developed as well as how government sets priorities and acts on those"
"The Program has given me a solid understanding of the processes involved in federal government policy and programs. I feel that from working in central agencies I understand the challenge function, I understand how, why and when policies can get held up in the Cabinet process, and I understand what Treasury Board is looking for when they give their final stamp of approval."
"The most important thing I have learned in the Program is how to be adaptable. By beginning four jobs within two years, I learned how to integrate myself into a team, how to adapt to new roles and responsibilities, reporting structures and challenges. The only constant is change, and the Program teaches you to deal with change gracefully, in an optimistic way, and productively."
"I chose to participate in the Program because I thought it would give me an opportunity like no other development program out there. You get the opportunity to work in all three central agencies as well as one line department, and having the opportunity to work within a central agency as a policy analyst is a fantastic experience."
"You get to work on files that are priorities, that are high profile, and that actually move and move very quickly, so participating in the Program gives you access to a wealth of information that is invaluable as a policy analyst."
"Within the two years of the Program you really learn how government functions and going back to your home department you are really able to contribute to policy work and you understand how the processes work so if you are asked to write a Memorandum to Cabinet you know exactly what that entails–you know who to contact in which department and you know exactly what has to be done."
"I chose to participate in the Program because it offers a unique opportunity–by that I mean that it offers the opportunity to work in all three central agencies and it is very rare that someone has experience in even one central agency, so having experience in all three central agencies so early in my career was a real opportunity."
"I remember at the Department of Finance I was working in a shop responsible for international issues, so one of my files was dealing with the International Monetary Fund. So I really learned that they are responsible for a lot more than just putting the budget together–it was a great opportunity to learn about Canada's role in the international community"
"The Program is an experience you share with 14 other people, and in the process you gain valuable insights into management styles, policy issues, and government processes—and above all after trying 4 different placements, you get a sense of what you excel at, and what would be a good fit for you. "Throughout the Program, participants forge lasting relationships that they can utilize later in their careers to seek advice and insight on files, on job opportunities and on continuous learning activities."