From a classroom to the capitol building
Education can push the boundaries of what we believe is possible. A university experience holds much more than the chance to simply attend classes for 2-4 years and earn a (sometimes very expensive) degree at the end of it all. We find lifelong friends along the way, ground our values, and do things outside of the classroom that we could have never dreamed about doing otherwise.
I had the chance to work at the federal government of Canada during the summer of 2015 for about four months, and this was obviously due to my studies in political science, as well as connections that I had made on my campus. It was such a great learning opportunity, and something that I will never forget doing. Being one of the youngest people to have ever been hired by the department was also a challenge, as many staffers had been there for many years. One even told me, “I’ve been here for longer than you have been alive.”
I grew up in a very different environment than the capital, Ottawa, where my studies are focused. But attending university away from home, and where the field that I am studying plays out in front of my eyes has truly been an incredible privilege, especially because of the opportunities offered by the program. I have engaged with many different individuals interested in the same things, many of whom came from different backgrounds or countries, and who work in very different ways. It has also been fantastic to have mentors who helped me develop as student and as an individual. Many people do not have this chance, and it is important to maximise your involvement and passion in order to be an active learner, and open to opportunities.
This journey from the classroom to the capitol buildings is perhaps rare, but it was simpler than many think. Probably some of my greatest advice to younger students is to look for more places outside of school to conduct your learning. Time management, professionalism, and even the simple art of crafting an email can be a great help to students, and are really the key to success for my generation. I am looking forward to continuing my education and working in a field that I am truly passionate about. I owe it all to my teachers, my parents, and my friends for helping me in this incredible journey.
About the Author
Sebastian Muermann is a third year university student and Loran Scholar from British Colombia, Canada, studying in the national capital region in both French and English, at the University of Ottawa. Sebastian is in a multidisciplinary honors degree focused on Political Science and Public Administration. As he has a keen interest in the public service, as well as culture and language, Sebastian has worked at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and International Development, and was one of the youngest people working in this fast-paced environment. Outside of school, he can usually be found volunteering, working (at a couple different things), or travelling.