Adviser, Policy and Operations, Office of the President of the Treasury Board of Ontario
While in Ottawa in 2011 to participate in an internship with the Conservative Party of Canada, Alexandra Valcour fell in love with the capital city and knew she wanted a career in politics. Valcour enrolled in the Clayton H. Riddell Graduate Program in Political Management.
“I wanted to learn the fundamentals of how the Hill works,” says Valcour. “There are things that you don’t get taught when you’re thrown into a role in any political office. You’re supposed to learn it as you go as a staffer, but it’s nice to have somebody sit down across from you and really explain the rules. At the Riddell Program, you get to have those nitty gritty conversations.”
Valcour says the program exceeded all her expectations. “Inevitably, you become good friends with someone who sees every political decision and activity in a polar opposite way from your own views and it’s really helpful,” she says. “It never changed my political ideology, but it opened me up to thinking about things in a new way.”
Valcour did her internship working for the president of the Treasury Board, and today works as a senior policy advisor in the Office of the Minister of Status of Women. “The internship is pivotal. It gave me an opportunity to translate what I had been learning in school and apply it to the job.”
For any future students considering the program, Valcour has one word: “apply”. “I don’t think I would be where I am if I hadn’t done this program,” she says. “I can put the letters behind my name, but I think the bigger part of it is the confidence I now have.”
Last Revision: July 27, 2017