What is Involved in the Practicum?

The practicum is an essential component of the Political Management Program.  It allows students an opportunity to work either in a political office or in an office which interacts significantly with political offices so that they may:

  • learn by observation and participation the challenges and complexities of political management first hand;
  • merge the lessons and theoretical insights acquired from MPM classes with experience gained through on the job training in a practical context;
  • reflect critically on the experience, especially through the final analytical paper, in order to better understand the Canadian political system;
  • gain first hand understanding of the practical demands of working in political management, and gain perspective with respect to his or her employment aspirations and motivation for future participation in this field; and
  • gain employment experience and personal contacts.

The practicum is an official course requirement within the MPM program (POLM 5099).  Students must work for a minimum of 10 weeks (defined as 375 hours) in an office setting related to political management, usually from the end of the winter academic semester until the end of June.  This is designed largely to coincide with what is customarily a busy time in political offices leading up to the parliamentary summer recess.

Where Do Students Complete Their Practicums?

Our students have completed their practicums at a wide variety of offices and organizations including:

Political Offices
Alan Hubley, Ottawa City Councillor
Anne Quach, MP
Charlie Watt, Senator
Doug Black, Senator
Francis Scarpaleggia, MP
Geoff Regan, MP, Constituency Office
James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage
John Fraser, MPP, Ontario
Judy Sgro, MP
Justin Trudeau, Liberal Leader
Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
Kellie Leitch, MP
Larry Miller, MP
Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport
Marianne Wilkinson, Ottawa City Councillor
Nathan Cullen, MP
Niki Ashton, MP
Ontario PC Caucus Services
Peter Julian, MP
Peter Julian, NDP House Leader
Rob Portman, United States Senator
Robert Ghiz, Premier of Prince Edward Island
Rona Ambrose, Leader of the Opposition
Scott Simms, MP
Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada
Tobi Nussabaum, Ottawa City Councillor
Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board

BC Liberals Provincial Election Campaign
George Brown NDP Campaign, Ottawa South
Liberal Provincial Campaign, Ottawa South
Michael Chong Leadership Campaign
NDP Provincial Campaign
PC Provincial Campaign, Ottawa Vanier

Communications, Government Relations
and Polling Firms

Abacus Data
Broadview Strategy Group
Capital Hill Group
Earnscliffe Strategy Group
Gandalf Group
Impact Public Affairs
National Public Affairs
Summa Stategies

Organizations and Corporations
Association of Financial Officers
Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada
Canadian Gas Association
Canadian National (CN) Rail, Office of Gov. Affairs
Canadian Urban Transit Association
Council of Canadians
Engineers Canada
Federation of Canadian Municipalities
Heart & Stroke Foundation
Holland Bloorview Hospital, Government Relations
Tourism Industries Association
UN Association Canada
Universities Canada
World Vision Canada

The Hill Times

Frequently Asked Questions

Testimonials from Practicum Supervisors 

“I have had excellent success with two interns from the program.  They were well prepared for the public service world, and they were equally keen to learn new skills and accept direction.  Both of my former interns are thriving with full time jobs in the fields of their choice (including one who still works for me).” 

– Michele Austin
Senior Advisor, Summa Strategies

“This unique program brings political players and new talent together, with big benefits for both. Our intern brought real value from her first day on the job, and a year later she’s earned herself a permanent government relations job with the organization.”

– Gabriel Miller,
Director, Government and Media Relations,
Federation of Canadian Municipalities

“We were very pleased to benefit from a Clayton H. Riddell Political Management student.  The professional, non-partisan approach to assisting us as a child well being focused organization gave us valuable insights into how best to engage with the public policy and political management process”.

– Elly Vandenberg
Senior Director, Policy and Advocacy
World Vision Canada