Experiential learning

Kailene Jackson BA (Hons), MA Candidate

“I am currently in my MA in Political Science, specializing in International Relations, after graduating with my BA (Hons.) in Political Science and Sociology last Spring. Studying Political Science at Brock has not only shaped me as a professional, but also as a person. During my time at brock, I also participated in, and led, Brock Model United Nations, which allowed me to experientially learn about international relations and multilateral diplomacy as well as visit (and speak at) the United Nations Headquarters. I also co-founded a registered non-profit focused on youth civic engagement with three other Brock Political Science students, which has enabled me to make an impact in the political sphere. The best part about the Political Science department at Brock is the amazing professors and staff who are committed to your success and help you out along the way. I am lucky to be a part of such an amazing department!”

Evelyn Pesantez

“I completed a Bachelor of Arts Degree majoring in Political Science and Labour Studies at Brock University in 2018. In my final year, I enrolled in the POLI 4P95 – Political Science internship course. I had the opportunity to intern at Sullivan Mahoney LLP., in St. Catharines. As a legal assistant, I was able to review case briefs, attend court hearings with attorneys involved in civil disputes matters and sit in on town hall meetings where they discussed the impacts of the legalization of cannabis. Additionally, I had the opportunity to work closely with articling students that were able to advise me on the process of applying and attending law school. This experiential learning experience granted me the opportunity to learn outside the classroom in a professional setting, develop valuable transferrable skills such as interpersonal, critical thinking and research skills, and solidify my interest in pursuing a career in law; while also having the support and guidance from Dr. Tossutti/Brock’s Political Science Department.”

Colton Ambrosio

“As a former undergraduate and graduate student in the Political Science program, I cannot say enough wonderful things about the department. All of the Professors do their absolute best to provide students with the highest level of knowledge and understanding of the political world around us. The administrative staff always go above and beyond their duties to ensure that each student is satisfied and thriving in their classes. The entire staff of the Political Science department including past teaching assistants, have allowed me to thoroughly enjoy the years I spent at Brock as both an undergraduate and graduate student. I am proud and honoured to have been a member of the Political Science department and to call myself an alumnus of Brock University.”

“All of the Professors do their absolute best to provide students with the highest level of knowledge and understanding of the political world around us.”

Darby Wheeler

“Taking part in the service-learning component of the POLI4P12 course was a truly awesome experience for me. I completed my placement at the Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre in downtown St. Catharines where I was able to meet and work with inspiring staff and clients, and gained a deeper understanding of how a non-profit organization and the provincial and federal governments worked together to support newcomers to Canada. A few months after completing my placement, I was hired at the Centre to assist with research and data entry and was able to work part-time while completing my final semester at Brock. The work I was doing at the Centre solidified my desire to further my understanding of public policy. After working at the Centre for a year I decided to pursue my education further and completed a Master’s in Public Administration.”

Matthew Mengia

“Interning for Member of Provincial Parliament Jeff Burch in Welland was an incredible experiential learning opportunity that tied together the concepts and theories taught in Brock University’s Political Science Program. I was able to observe the often unrecognized work that Constituency Assistants and Members of Provincial Parliament do in helping constituents navigate provincial programs. I saw in action our Parliamentary Democracy including the responsibility of the Official Opposition, the process of a bill becoming a law and the division of powers.

This internship strengthened my transferable skillset. Specifically, I was able to advance my research, written and verbal communication abilities by creating and presenting detailed reports on Niagara Centre. I am grateful to Professor Tossutti, Academic Advisor Diane Leon, MPP Burch and his Executive Assistant Caitlin Hipkiss for providing me with this life-changing opportunity.”

Melanie Davis

“Enrolling in POLI 4P95 in my fourth year of my degree in Political Science gave me the opportunity to intern at Niagara Workforce Planning Board (NWPB) and develop hands-on data analysis skills that were introduced through methods courses earlier on. I spent time pulling, cleaning, and analyzing local data from a variety of sources and compiling that data into graphs, presentations, and briefs. Working with NWPB allowed me to use the skills I had developed through my coursework to analyze the issues faced within my community. It challenged me to write content that was accessible to a diverse readership. It sharpened my skills in assessing the data available to tell a compelling story of what was happening in the labour market. While working with NWPB, I developed a confident understanding of the skills I developed in my undergrad and how they transfer into the working world.”

Amanda Tieber

“During my undergraduate studies at Brock University, I had the amazing opportunity to participate in the Political Science Internship course. After applying to the course, I was placed at the City Clerk’s Office for the City of St. Catharines and immediately discovered my passion for working as a public servant. My internship at the Clerk’s office provided me with an abundance of knowledge and hands-on experience that has greatly benefited me when entering the workforce.

By working alongside the City Clerk and staff, my duties and responsibilities were diverse and ever-changing. My duties included attending staff meetings and public city council meeting, conducting research, and preparing presentation materials. The internship also gave me the confidence to work independently with tasks, such as creating training material, handbooks and PowerPoint presentations for the Advisory Committee and Task Force members. Overall, this opportunity has increased my transferable skills and provided me with valuable networking connections that have provided long-lasting benefits.

Without having the experience and privileged opportunity to work at the City Clerk’s office, I would not have been inspired to continue my studies at Brock University researching Canadian municipalities and candidates. I am forever indebted to both Brock University and the City Clerk’s office for giving me the confidence and tools to pursue my dreams.”