Building up to your dream job
5th year Economics major
Most recent co-op job: Policy Analyst, Ministry of Heritage and Culture, Cultural Industries Film & Video Policy Team
As a policy analyst for the Canadian Ministry of Heritage and Culture, Yael Boyd worked on policies to regulate film, television, and other cultural industries in Canada. Her work dealt with issues such as how the government promotes and encourages Canadian cultural industries, as well as the allocation of government funding between different organizations like the National Film Board (NFB) and Telefilm Canada.
In her role, Boyd got an up-close look at how government agencies make decisions about the allocation of finite resources. Individual filmmakers and grant seekers work directly with organizations like the NFB and Telefilm Canada, which are each funded by the Government of Canada’s Ministry of Heritage and Culture. These organizations must liaise with the government in order to secure their own portion of a limited amount of funding.
“Everyone has a really good reason as to why they need more funding, and then it’s the government’s job to decide what’s the best decision to make,” she explained. “I got to be in a lot of meetings listening to managers and directors work through that. It was really exciting and challenging.”
In Ottawa, she found a strong co-op community including many other UBC students, which helped with the transition to a new job in a new city.
Boyd believes the Arts Co-op Program is right for any student who is uncertain about the exact career path they want to take after university.
“In Arts, the difference between jobs can be very vague, and you can use your skills in a wide range of different positions,” she said.
The co-op program allows you to apply your skills in different work settings to help differentiate between the day-to-day realities of different jobs.
She suggests co-op students should take a long-sighted approach to their work positions, and focus on taking small steps toward the type of work that they really want to do. By strengthening specific skills in her first two co-op jobs, Boyd landed the policy analyst position she had really wanted.
“In my first job, I did only ten percent of things that I wanted to do, and then in the next job 30 percent, and I was able to combine that into the experience I needed for this last job,” said Boyd. “The best advice I can give is that your first job is not going to be perfect.”