Ottawa / Federal Government Networking Trip Recap


Exploring the Public Service!

On behalf of CaPS, PGSS and the participating students, we would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to Patrick Brennan (Executive Director of McGill's Institute for the Study of International Development) for his ongoing effort and commitment to organizing the Ottawa/Federal Networking Trip. We thank you, once again, for another successful year!

In January, CaPS and PGSS took a group of 40 students to Ottawa for the annual Federal Government Career Tour, where students had the opportunity to hear about career paths in the public sector, as well as network with hiring managers and McGill Alumni working in Ottawa. Various presentations, tours and discussions occurred over two days at the following four departments: Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, Economic and Social Development Canada, Foreign Affairs and Health Canada. After two days of touring federal offices, the message became clear: There is a place for everyone in the public service, regardless of your degree. This came as welcome news to our soon-to-be graduates! More than anything, employers are on the lookout for candidates who demonstrate a soft-skillset which includes curiosity and passion, exceptional interpersonal skills, a keen sense of judgement, willingness to learn and grow, and an ability to think on your toes. In the end, students were encouraged to keep an open mind while exploring career options as to not limit opportunities for growth and success!

Student Quotes:

Yash Nanda (Bachelor of Arts, Political Science)

The CaPS and PGSS Federal Career and Networking Trip to Ottawa was a once in a lifetime experience. For me, it was an opportunity to speak with public sector officials in order to get an in-depth perspective of their work and contributions to the federal government. The ability to meet senior officials from organizations such as Global Affairs Canada and Employment and Social Development Canada is a unique opportunity one should not pass on. Moreover, the Alumni Cocktail hosted in Ottawa allowed me to personally engage with McGill graduates and learn about their career paths in the public sector. All in all, this was an enjoyable experience enriching my personal and career development and I highly recommend other students to take part in the trip.                       

Lidoly Chávez Guerra (Ph.D. candidate, Hispanic Studies)

The Federal Government Networking trip was a great experience to widen our vision about how many profiles and unimaginable jobs one can find among the different departments of the government. After the trip, I have felt more confident about the relevance of soft skills such as curiosity, analytical abilities and innovative attitude gained in careers not strictly linked to political sciences. The experience certainly exceeded my expectations since I went to Ottawa with the idea that I might be interested in just one federal department and at the end, I found incredible opportunities and jobs that I would love in many of them. The networking meeting was also useful to understand basic notions such as the difference between public service positions and the political ones. I think that both the networking preparation and the logistics were excellent and reflect the great job done by CaPS and PGSS. Thanks again!                        -