We thank our many collaborators in the Canadian federal government as well as PGSS, CaPS, and University Advancement for helping make McGill’s Annual Federal Careers and Networking Trip to Ottawa a smashing success.
In January, CaPS and PGSS led a group of 40 graduate and undergraduate students to Ottawa where students had the opportunity to learn about career paths in the public sector as well as network with hiring managers and McGill Alumni working in the national capital region. Various presentations, tours, speed networking activities, and discussions occurred over two days at Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs & Indigenous Services, Global Affairs, Transport Canada, and Health Canada.
Our students learned a great deal about the public service, and were offered invaluable insight and advice for considering government careers. Among the top values highlighted: open mindedness to various career options and paths in the federal government, many of which offer occasions to work with various agencies and specialists, as well as opportunities in departments you may not typically think of applying for within your academic field. Curiosity to learn, and a willingness and enthusiasm to collaborate will serve a graduate well as soft skills in federal careers. Finally, and most important, public servants frequently highlighted the values of integrity and loyalty with regard to their service to the Canadian population, regardless of the administration in place.
After two days of learning and networking, our students now have a head start on planning their careers in the Canadian federal government. The CaPS team look forward to seeing them all through their next steps!
It was very exciting to meet with policy analysts, diplomats and many other accomplished McGill alumnis during the cocktail event! Learning about their career paths and ongoing projects has truly inspired me.
- Sofya Voloshina, BA International Development
CAPS did a magnificent job organizing and preparing students for this networking trip. Pre- and post-trip meetings were held to adequately equip students (i.e., info regarding business cards, tips on networking and following up, food and transport options in Ottawa, etc.). By maximizing our networking opportunities with Ottawa’s public servants, we were able to obtain insightful knowledge on what government officials and departments look for in their employees.
- Konstantinos Zaphiropoulos , MA Educational Psychology
The trip came at exactly the right time for me (in terms of being ready to look for employment opportunities) and was incredibly helpful. All of the departmental visits were valuable: both from the perspective of promoting specific work opportunities and from the perspective of offering insight and advice about how to prepare for a career in the public service. On a personal note, you were brilliant at managing a difficult schedule with tight deadlines (to say the least!) and at supporting and encouraging students to seek feedback, ask questions and put themselves forward in group meetings. I know it’s not easy to coordinate a large group of students with extremely diverse interests, but you managed it with kindness, efficiency and humour. Everyone I spoke to in the group was impressed with the management of the event and the opportunities it offered them. Thanks again for coordinating this trip- it was one of the most valuable career services I have engaged with at McGill.
- Eliza Bateman, PhD, Faculty of Law
My favourite part of the trip was learning about the different functions and cultures of each of the Federal departments we visited. Not only did we get a sense of how to find employment with the Canadian government, but we learned a bit more about how our government works. The mantra and values of the civil service also stuck with me: "Fearless Advice, Loyal Implementation.
- John Aspler, PhD Candidate, Neuroscience