From PhD to Natural Resources Canada: How Marvin Ferrer Made the Leap into Government

Marvin Ferrer, a policy analyst at Natural Resources Canada (NRC), joined graduate students at an information session about his experience transitioning from a PhD into a career in government.

Marvin completed his PhD in Reproductive Anatomy Laboratory at Queen’s University as health science provided him with a sense of “doing good” – a quality that also aligned with his other interests, government and policy. Deciding to transition into a job within government, he completed a Masters of Public Policy at the University of Toronto before entering the Policy Analyst Recruitment and Development Program (PARDP) with NRC.

The PARDP is a two-year actively open program that helps students transition into the public sector in an integrated, cohesive, and fast-tracked manner. Matriculated applicants work in 1-year rotations, gaining work experience in several areas of public policy, combating international issues, working with teams of various sizes, and alongside several senior Canadian NRC leaders. MSc or PhD students are invited to apply to this program. Please visit their website here for more information.

Marvin pointed out several skills that were highly transferrable from his graduate work into the world of public policy: 1. Understanding causal relationships 2. Critical thinking and problem solving 3. Research and analysis 4. Statistics 5. Writing and presenting data (oral and poster)

Some benefits of working within the public sector include: 1. Advancing the public good 2. Making a big impact for Canadians and others throughout the world 3. The government critically needs people who understand, relay, and summarize scientific findings to the lay public 4. Working for government includes job security, benefits, and opportunities for advancement within your career

Marvin gives the following advice when it comes to filling out your application to the PARDP program online in order to be as competitive as possible: 1. Don’t paraphrase – get straight to the point. Answer the question directly - “spoon feed” information to the reviewer of your application so nothing is ambiguous. 2. Try to use key words that are listed on the website repetitively and look impressive. For example: competitiveness, innovation, climate change, environmental protection, public confidence, indigenous populations 3. Mention time frames clearly when requested to do so

Lastly, reach out to Marvin if you have any questions with respect to the application or life in government.

Marvin Ferrer

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