Hardave Birk headshot

While working for a senator on Parliament Hill, Hardave Birk decided to apply for Carleton’s Master of Political Management (MPM) because of the many alumni he met who had only positive things to say about the program.

“I eventually chose the program because I was interested in continuing my studies in a way that would directly apply to my work—I wasn’t interested in doing a thesis or research-based master’s degree,” he explains.

Birk’s time at Carleton allowed him to learn about politics and acquire the skills he needed to succeed in his career.

“The political management program gave me a foundational knowledge of how Ottawa ticks,” says Birk, who graduated in 2015. “That foundation allows me to understand how and when I can work within the political process to advance the interests of my organisation.”

It also put him in contact with an extensive network of alumni working in politics in Ottawa and across the country. “Tapping into that network has allowed me to build working and personal relationships with people across the political spectrum,” tells Birk.

Looking back, he reflects that the program was “tailor-made for students who want a career in and around politics.”

After completing his master’s, Birk worked as a Government Relations Advisor to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities – a position he secured through the MPM alumni network. This gave him experience working with mayors and city councillors to advance their agendas with the federal government.

Now, Birk works as the Government Relations Director at Shaw Communications and was listed by The Hill Times as one of Ottawa’s Top 100 Lobbyists in 2022. He sits on the Boards of Directors for the Canadian Advocacy Network and Government Relations Institute of Canada, and the organising committee for the annual Writers’ Trust Politics and the Pen Gala.

Birk believes that students interested in politics should strive to understand different points of view and use that knowledge to better their work. “It is important to keep perspective and build relationships with people across the political spectrum who work on different issues,” he explains. “While people may not always agree, everyone in politics is working towards the same thing: they want to improve people’s lives.”

Written by Michelle Hennessy.

Wednesday, January 10, 2024 in , ,
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