Jasper Paredes Finds a New Path
June 4, 2019 | By Piali Roy |
The MPP 2019 student came to U of T thinking he would be a health policy specialist and proudly left as a public policy generalist.
Jasper Paredes credits the Munk School’s annual Ottawa networking trip with helping him land his dream job. When the trip opportunity came in February, the 2019 Master of Public Policy (MPP) candidate had already been chosen to participate in the Recruitment and Development Program at Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) but hadn’t yet been assigned to a division. The networking trip gave Paredes the opportunity to meet one-on-one with the Director General of NRCan’s Land and Minerals branch, where he was subsequently placed as a policy analyst in April.
Paredes came to the MPP program with a Bachelor of Health Studies from York University. He originally intended to become a health policy analyst. “As soon as I got to the Munk School, I started to learn about a variety of different policy areas that were all very interesting to me,” says Paredes. “Now I consider myself as more of a generalist who chooses to take a quantitative focus in my work.”
The shift from specialist to generalist didn’t come only through in-class exposure to the world of policy. The MPP program’s extra-curricular offerings, from case competitions to student leadership initiatives like the Public Policy Governance Review and Behind the Headlines, the MPP program’s current affairs radio show, were also key factors to Paredes’ change in focus. His perspective was also shaped by an internship at Consumer Protection Ontario in the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, where he worked on a data visualization atlas of consumer protection data.
Though he found the MPP program to be challenging, particularly in the areas of economics and statistics, Paredes says that the collegial nature of the Munk School helped him throughout his studies.
“The major things that helped me get through this program were learning from my fellow students and working as a team,” he says. “I was able to learn from a bunch of people within my cohort and that sense of collaboration and teaching really helped me.”
Paredes is proud of his time in the MPP program. “Munk School was the greatest experience of my life,” he says. “I am so grateful.”