Work Experience

Economist and Policy Analyst. Department of Finance Canada, Sectoral Policy Analysis Division. November 2021 - Present

After two years working at ISED, I figured it was time for a change. I had been applying here and there to a couple of jobs that interested me and happened to land a job at the Department of Finance Canada. This job was quite a change from the pure front-line type of industrial policy work I had at ISED, where we would interact directly with stakeholders. At Finance Canada, we worked on what the government calls the "challenge function" which is essentially to analyze the requests for funding from other departments and determine their merit. There's a lot of breadth of work and you are definitely introduced to many different files. Unlike at ISED where my files would be only one specific area of outer space, I am immersed in files ranging from infrastructure to marine to rail transport here, which helps a lot in understanding the big picture of government.

My understanding is that this is a really good experience to have. Generally, central agencies like Finance Canada are well known across federal government and people here advance quickly in their careers. I'm pretty happy to get this opportunity and for sure look forward to continuing to work at Finance Canada.

Analyst. Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada, Space and Marine Directorate. August 2019 - November 2021

I guess this was the goal I had all along - all the work I put in for the past four years had added up to this position. I had finally landed a permanent position in government with all the associated benefits and job stability, after months of looking. This position is what I would consider to be a "traditional" policy role. I worked on tasks such as researching current trends within the space sector, writing briefing notes and other reports as necessary, and gathering intelligence on space companies in order to brief my superiors on issues. Before the pandemic, there were also lots of opportunities to travel to industry conferences and to visit company sites. 

Overall, this was a fantastic start to my career in the Federal Government and my team was very supportive and helpful in my transition to full-time work as well as accommodating my Master's courses. It was definitely a rewarding experience and a strong first foray into the industrial policy world. I had hoped to stay here longer, but after two years, another opportunity had come up that I just couldn't turn down.

Analyst (Contract). Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada, Clean Growth Hub. June 2019 - August 2019

After graduating, I ended up picking up a contract position here. I was actually very lucky - I had originally been given two verbal offers for other positions, but they fell through at the last moment. Luckily for me, I had made a bunch of good networking contacts during my time working at Environment and Climate Change Canada and one of the Managers here was looking for hire someone for a short-term contract, with the possibility of turning into something more permanent. 

My time here was spent in mostly a data analyst capacity. I worked to provide data on our clients and ensure that requests for data and numbers were being sent out. One of the first things I had to do when coming here was to revamp their whole spreadsheet of client data and turn all the previous formulas into pivot tables - that way, it would be much easier to conduct analysis and get the right numbers out. I must say that this experience, although short, was one of my favourites. The work was good, but the team was much better. My Manager here was very supportive of my career goals and also ensured that I always had meaningful work to do.

Policy Analyst (Co-op). Environment and Climate Change Canada, Low Carbon Economy Fund Directorate. September 2018 - December 2018

For my last Co-op term, I decided to go with the Federal Government this time around. I had previously worked all Provincial, but I felt that I wanted a change. Furthermore, the recent Ontario election meant that the Ontario government wasn't really hiring full-time employees anymore. Thus, I decided to make the move to Ottawa to try my luck here. 

During my time here, I worked mostly in a programs role, which helped me understand better the differences between programs and policy. I worked on correspondence with stakeholders, provincial-federal relations, and compiling and analyzing data from various program submissions. This one Federal experience helped a lot, as it allowed me to branch out my network and find a whole new world of employment possibilities out there after graduation. The policy area was also really cool - we worked on some of the most cutting-edge climate change programs, and it felt good knowing that the work I was doing was being done to support reducing GHG emissions. 

Junior Policy Analyst (Co-op). Ontario Ministry of Education, Capital Policy Branch. January 2018 - April 2018

Working at the Ministry of Education has always been something that I had hoped to do in the future, and my hopes were realized when I landed this position with the Capital Policy Branch. After working at the Treasury Board, I had wanted to expand my government experience and decided to work in a social policy related area this time around. Similar to my past experience, I found my time at the Ministry of Education quite rewarding and my team was awesome too. The atmosphere was quieter and more relaxed than the super busy Treasury Board, but there was always work to be done. 

During my time here, I worked on a couple more technical things. I first helped create a GIS mapping tool using our child care program data and data from Statistics Canada. I also worked with financial data and did some financial modelling for funding programs. In addition, I was given the opportunity to work with municipal and community stakeholders on our various capital projects. This experience helped me a lot as it allowed me to build a stronger set of technical skills, especially with spreadsheets and other important software applications. 

Research Analyst (Co-op). Ontario Treasury Board Secretariat, Capital Planning Division. January 2017 - August 2017

After working for the University of Waterloo, I managed to get enough experience and skills to be a competitive applicant for an analyst position at the government of Ontario. Being the first job that was directly relevant to my future career goals, this was an important step for me and I tried my best to learn as much as I can from this experience. Luckily, my team was quite supportive of my learning and skills goals. They let me work on many varied tasks regarding supporting the planning and capital policy of major infrastructure projects in Ontario.

During my time here, I was able to write briefing notes, edit and support the production of PowerPoint decks, and analyze fiscal data tables in Excel. Lastly, I was also given the opportunity to present to various senior executives in the government, advising them on key infrastructure initiatives. My time at the Treasury Board was so amazing I decided to extend my Co-op here for another four months. By the end of August, I had learned a lot from the team here and was ready to continue my studies. 

Research Assistant (Co-op). University of Waterloo Secretariat & Office of General Counsel. May 2016 - August 2016

This position was the first Co-op job that I found, and it was certainly an amazing experience to work with the University of Waterloo. While working here, my main goal was to create a comparative framework for analyzing the University of Waterloo Act, which is a piece of government legislation that dictates how the University is run and governed as well as the purpose of the University. I also got to work on a few research projects involving risk management and legal compliance. 

This was one of my first real "professional" jobs and by the end of my term, I managed to learn a lot of stuff from my time here. Overall, this position was a really great introduction to the types of positions that the University offers in the Co-op program and very convenient too as it was located right on campus. My supervisor was amazing and provided meaningful work that supported my career objectives. The rest of the team was also very friendly and came by to chat with me once in a while. 

Team Lead. Canada's Wonderland, Food & Beverage Department. May 2015 - September 2015

I spent the summer after my first year at the University working at Canada's Wonderland again as a service associate. This time, however, I was given the responsibilities of a Team Lead after a bit. Being a Team Lead allowed me to gain some experience managing and supervising a small team of people, as well as complete some administrative duties such as scheduling, ordering goods, and analyzing revenue and profits for that day. 

What I really liked about this position was how close-knit our team was. Most of us were students from university or high school and we all bonded together really well. We oftentimes went out together after work and I still talk to a few of them. The position was really demanding, as we were out in the sun up to 12 hours a day, but time passed quickly due to the fun work environment. As an added bonus, employees got free unlimited admissions to the park, so I was able to enjoy the rides whenever I was not on a work shift. 

Service Associate. Fresh Burger. September 2013 - August 2014

I took this job in Grade 12 in order to earn some pocket money and also save a bit for University. This job was much like any regular fast food job. I would prepare the food, serve customers, address complaints, open and close up the shop, and other related tasks. One thing I enjoyed about the job itself was the flexibility it offered. I was given pretty flexible shifts and was able to move my schedule around when school demands were high.

The best thing though was not the job, but rather the food they served. This was the only place I have worked at in which I would actually come back and eat their food regularly because it was just that good. The burgers were made from fresh ground beef (never frozen!) and the fries were hand cut. There was also the benefit of having a half price discounted meal each shift, and I took advantage of that by making myself a new burger concoction all the time.

Data Entry Clerk. Empire Safe Depot. June 2013 - September 2013

This job was something that I happened to find online via Kijiji. I was pretty lucky to have found this randomly for the summer, because it allowed me to gain my first "office" experience. My job was pretty basic - the owner of the business was transitioning some data from various online sources to a central website and needed someone to do the data entry work. After a quick informal interview, he brought me on and I started the work. The job was pretty informal compared to Wonderland. I worked 25 hours a week, was paid cash at the end of the week, and that went on for two months. 

The work was pretty mundane as any data entry work would have been, but it was a learning experience and I would realize that it would help me a lot in the future when I would be looking for office-type jobs. The owner was a real friendly guy and we had some great chats with each other while I worked there. This was for sure one of the places that I missed a lot due to the flexibility of the work plus the relaxed atmosphere when compared to Wonderland. 

Service Associate. Canada's Wonderland, Food & Beverage Department. June 2012 - September 2012

This was really the first job I ever held, apart from a pretty casual paper delivery job that I had done as a child. The work itself was nothing fancy - just frying up funnel cakes, serving up ice cream, running the cash register, and occasionally serving up some corn dogs for the customers. However, the experience was brand new and it was a learning experience to be put into the "real world" and having to earn your money.

I very much enjoyed the summer working here, because it opened my eyes to a lot of things in the world and gave me a fresh perspective on what working a difficult and stressful job is like. The atmosphere was great too - I had a lot of fun with my coworkers and some of us still talk to this day.