David Goodwin Global Political Economy Alumni
Briefly, tell us about your job. What do you find most rewarding? What are your greatest challenges within this profession?
I am a senior policy analyst with the Department of Labour, Government of Alberta. I lead a team that supports the development of a labour market information and intelligence (LMI2) system to help government, industry and public make more informed decisions about labour market policy/programming, workforce planning and possible careers.
What experiences and activities helped you to map out your career pathway?
Moving between the private, non-profit and public sectors gave me exposure to the many different kinds of people working in these roles, ideas, functions and priorities.
As a student, did you see yourself in your current career? What stayed the same and/or changed?
I imagined myself in a role that was able to make systemic change, of which government was certainly one of them. But over time I realized how difficult that can be on such a large societal-scale. Government is such a large organization requiring so much input from various stakeholders, with many competing demands.
What advice do you have for students who are interested in pursuing a degree in global political economy?
The global political economy program will expose you to a world of alternative viewpoints that will allow you to think critically about social, economic and environmental issues. Sometimes, it can feel like you are being pulled in multiple directions. Your broad-perspective may run counter to more specific academic fields but these are good learning opportunities to deepen your knowledge and expand theirs. Approach this strategically. Complex world problems require schools of thought that encourage complex thinking and problem solving.
What job search advice do you have for students and recent graduates?
Continue to develop specific skills for the marketplace beyond just reading and writing such as data analytics, project planning/management and web management. Develop your ‘brand’ as a specialist in XYZ. Broad, generalist knowledge is good and useful for big-picture thinking, but employers still require certain specializations. Having both would position you well for competitions. There are a lot of candidates with Bachelor of Arts degrees in the marketplace; learn what value-added you bring that makes you different from the others.
Tell us a fun fact about your career path.
One day I was running around downtown Ottawa and I nearly ran into Jack Layton, former NDP federal leader. It felt strange to see a popular figure in real-life; always be in the present moment to appreciate where your life is going.