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 5098). 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.