Policy Analyst, Regulatory Policy Division, Public Governance Directorate, OECD
What did you like most about the MPP program?
What I liked most was the strong sense of community built by the program. Unlike my previous degrees, the MPP program immediately emphasized and reinforced its cohort model that began in the first weeks with the math camp and orientation week. From there, taking the majority of courses together provided a lot of opportunities to get to know and work closely with so many smart, amazing people and see policy problems from many different perspectives. This also created an atmosphere where we were all invested in mutual success — whether this was working on a stats assignment, studying for the microeconomics exam, or finishing the Capstone paper, I could always find a table of classmates who welcomed you to sit down and work through coursework together. This was also reinforced by extracurriculars, like the Public Good Initiative or the Ford+Munk case competition, where I got to work closely on practical and applied policy problems, deepening my connection with classmates. As a result, not only did this community help me get through the program, but it also resulted in strong friendships that have lasted years after graduating.
How has the MPP helped you in your career?
The MPP has helped my current career at the OECD in two ways. First, participating in an academic exchange to SciencesPo in Paris, France provided me both with an opportunity to improve my understanding of policy issues from an international perspective, as well as invaluable in-person opportunities to meet and network with OECD staff. Having this knowledge and network helped when I applied for internship positions after I returned to Toronto for my final semester, which I got and have been lucky enough to turn into nearly six years of employment and an official staff position. Second, the practical, policy-oriented communication skills we learned during the program have been an important factor in my tenure at the OECD. Synthesizing policy problems, thinking critically about solutions, identifying practical options, and communicating clear and analytically sound solutions are core parts of my job. Especially early in my career at the OECD, I regularly called on experiences gained from the MPP program, which allowed me to contribute meaningfully to OECD projects and workstreams, giving me opportunities to move upwards in my career.