Having begun my internship almost ten weeks ago, I thought it would be a good time to take a little break from my daily activities of policy research on public justice issues to reflect on my experience as a CPJ intern so far.
It’s been a busy couple of months at the CPJ office, and there have been many highlights. Since I’ve started, I have had the opportunity to write blogs, web features and election articles on a plethora of relevant issues: poverty, the environment and the economy, housing and homelessness, regional election issues, diversity, and health, among others.
Along with other CPJ staff members, I have participated in a number of anti-poverty events in the community, including the Walk of Witness for the Millennium Development Goals and a rally at Ottawa City Hall to mark International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Events such as the CPJ Website and Advocacy Toolkit launch and the lecture by Jonathan Chaplin at the Institute for Christian Studies gave me the opportunity to meet CPJ supporters and past staff members in both Ottawa and Toronto.
So far, the best part of working at CPJ for me has been having the opportunity to learn about Canadian social, economic and environmental issues through a public justice lens and to meet and work with people who are also passionate about creating a just society.
It has also been invaluable for me to be able to learn about how an organization such as CPJ works – to gain a better understanding of the inner structure of an NGO and how decisions are made, as well as to gain work experience in the area of Canadian public policy.
As I primarily concentrated on international issues during my university studies, I have felt a definite learning curve in changing my focus to the domestic policy issues. The internship has enabled me to begin developing a more in-depth understanding of poverty, affordable housing, and other issues that affect Canadians. It has also given me a clearer perspective on how closely many socio-economic issues are intertwined, and how much their presence often reflects deeper values that we hold as a society.
I have learned a great deal more about the political process in Canada than I knew prior to starting at CPJ (particularly with the recent election campaign!), and it has been a great experience to feel connected with daily political events on Parliament Hill through my research and writing.
Altogether, it has been a great experience so far and I’m looking forward to the coming months ahead.
Mariel Angus is former CPJ’s policy intern.
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