Glendon - English

Glendon Magazine (Volume 12, Issue 1)

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28 GLENDON MAGAZINE 2015-2016 I LA REVUE DE GLENDON 2015-2016 GSPIA ALUMNI By Eric Samba and Zoey Millar M ichelle Collins worked for a few years as a poli- tical reporter, a job that sparked her interest in learning and understanding the workings of the Canadian government and of foreign policy. Since she wanted to deepen her knowledge in these areas, her choice of the GSPIA seemed appropriate, particularly since the School prepares students, in a bilingual setting, for a career in the public service, whether in the media or in government/non-governmental organizations. Michelle currently works as a political analyst at the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Her work involves carrying out research and policy assessment and producing briefing notes. The GSPIA taught her about the inner workings of public institutions and of the federal and provincial govern- ments. She now appreciates the importance of providing good advice to political decision-makers and of distin- guishing between partisan interest and the public interest. After entering the working world, Michelle says her grea- test surprise was discovering the importance of the role of research in developing public policy. Michelle recalls especially enjoying the seminar because the visiting speakers were of such high calibre. In her view, the strength of the GSPIA lies in the calibre, proximity and availability of faculty and staff. The opportunity to do an internship, to go on an exchange and to mix with students from various academic backgrounds are all, undoubtedly, a major program asset. S teven Parker is a Policy Advisor at GTHA Transit Poli cy Office, Ministry of Transportation. He provides res- earch, analysis and strategic planning to support Ontario's transit policy in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) and works with Metrolinx, municipa- lities and other stakeholders to implement the Big Move and Moving Ontario Forward. Prior to that, he was a Policy Analyst at Provincial-Territorial Secretariat, Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration where he Developed strategic policy to implement the Secretariat's goals and monitored and reported on immigration policy across provincial, federal, and international jurisdictions. Steven feels strongly that his MPIA gave him an excellent foundation for his current work particularly the opportunity he had to complete two International Relations internships. One internship was a summer placement at the Canadian Embassy in Madrid; the other was a part-time spring place- ment at the Consulate General of the United States. Thanks to the MPIA and to his internship experience and academic training, Steven was able to adapt quite easily to the working world. In his view, research and writing were among the valuable skills that he further honed in the MPIA program – skills which he uses in his work on a daily basis. He still has good memories of his Political Philosophy course, as well of as of the Civil Liberties and Canadian and Ontario Political Structure courses. Michelle Collins (2009-2011) Steven Parker (2011-2013) Interview with NOTE: Additional Interviews with other GSPIA Alumni can be viewed on the Glendon Alumni & Visitors website (

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