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 375 hours in an office setting related to political management. Practicum placements are normally completed on a full-time basis 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
Business Council of Canada
Business+Higher Education Roundtable
Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada
Canadian Gas Association
Canadian National (CN) Rail, Office of Gov. Affairs
Canadian Urban Transit Association
Council of Canadians
Employment and Social Development Canada
Engineers Canada
Environment Canada
Federation of Canadian Municipalities
Heart & Stroke Foundation
Holland Bloorview Hospital, Government Relations
The International Republican Institute
Tourism Industries Association
UN Association Canada
Universities Canada
World Food Programme
World Vision Canada

The Hill Times

Frequently Asked Questions

Testimonials from Practicum Supervisors 

“Summa Strategies has hired so many MPM graduates over the years that we refer to it as our farm team. The practical skills taught in the program are a perfect fit for the work we do in government relations, communications and public affairs.”

– Jim Armour
Managing Partner, Summa Strategies

“The Riddell Graduate Program in Political Management does an exceptional job of preparing students for the workplace. Our practicum student arrived on the job with a significant amount of practical experience from her in-class assignments. It allowed for a nearly seamless transition into a strategic policy team, because of her familiarity with briefing notes, advice, and other hallmarks of public service work.”

-Daphna Mills
Manager, Social Policy Directorate, Employment and Social Development Canada

 “It can take years to learn how Canada’s political system works, and MPM distills it into a one year crash course with some of the country’s most prominent experts. It opens a network of colleagues and opportunities that would otherwise be inaccessible. The classes will get you the practical knowledge you need and immerse you in the real world of political work, while helping you pursue your desired field with a tailored practicum. There really isn’t another program like this out there”

– Melissa Rumble
Senior Advisor, Communications and Public Diplomacy
Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Canada