Chief of Staff to the Hon. Jill Dunlop, Associate Minister of Children and Women's Issues
What inspired you to enter and pursue this field?
I have always been involved politically as a volunteer but when the opportunity arose to join Doug Ford's team, I took it. The reason why is because it was refreshing to see a new leader after no change in government for 15 years.
How did you come to be in this position?
I studied at the University of Ottawa in Communications and French. I was involved in the campus club and also did an internship with the Federal Conservative Party in 2014 with the Minister of Transportation at the time, Lisa Raitt. I think her passion and drive to make the world a better place than you found it really drove me to want to continue in this field. Seeing a female role model that was actually making a difference for Canadians and her community, made me realize that women are capable if you work hard and can make real change happen.
After that, I was a volunteer coordinator for a local candidate/campaign. When the candidate lost, I pursued a career at Air Canada where I worked customer service and travelled frequently. I learned a lot of valuable skills such as crisis management and patience. Following that, I decided to return to school to do a Post Graduate program at Seneca College in Public Relations and Corporate Communications. This program was extremely valuable to me with a work placement and I learned so many practical skills that I use in my job today. My work placement was in government in the Ontario Public Service at the Ministry of Colleges and Universities.
It was during a transition period and during an election which piqued my interest to get involved with a new leader. I reached out to my network and mentors to get involved and met with the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Premier. I started working for him as his Executive Assistant for one year. Following that I moved on to to the Communications Department as Senior Communications Advisor and then Deputy Director of Communications where I developed internal communications materials for all of our Caucus and Ministers as well as managed social media for the Premier and correspondence. This experience was invaluable to me in my position now.
My current role is where my passion lies— to make life better for women and girls including economic empowerment and equal opportunity. Fighting human trafficking is currently our priority to help women and girls live a life free of violence.
I am apart of something that is bigger than myself and being able to give back, even incrementally has been very rewarding.
What advice would you give young women looking to enter your current line of work?
The best advise I have received throughout my career is to never give up. I know it sounds cliché, but if you truly are passionate about something, don't give up. Approach it in different ways and strategize how you can accomplish your goal.
A second piece of advice I can give to someone in any field is to never be afraid of reaching out, people are more willing than you think to help. Don't ever stop networking and commit yourself to meeting someone new every month. There are so many tools at our disposal. We will never grow inside of our comfort zone— take the chance, make the call, send that email.
Contact Alexandra via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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