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Alumni Profiles

Government of Canada Student Ambassador


Many UWinnipeg graduates have established rewarding careers in the federal civil service, across a broad range of sectors.  Meet some of our alumni:

Amanda Prysizney
Decision Support Meteorologist at Environment and Climate Change Canada 
Graduated 2002, Bachelor of Science, 4 Year Physical Geography

My time as a university student at the University of Winnipeg prepared me for my current position by helping me become highly independent.  In order to be a successful university student, one has to be extremely self-motivated and proficient at time management. My current position requires many of these same skills.  During my degree in Physical Geography at the University of Winnipeg, I also took many courses in meteorology and climatology.  These courses sparked a passion in me which I then nurtured by continuing my studies in the field.

After I graduated from the University of Winnipeg, I went to Dalhousie University in Halifax to do a Diploma in Meteorology.  One of our instructors was a meteorologist with Environment Canada and was integral in informing and supporting us through the federal government hiring process.

As a decision support meteorologist, I provide support to both the operational meteorologists (those that produce the official public forecasts and alerts) as well as the warning preparedness meteorologists (our spokespeople for the organization who speak to the media and our internal and external clients).  My position is relatively new and is still in development.  I am in charge of the production of new and innovative experimental weather products such as weather notifications and the Manitoba Highways weather summary. I also respond to media and client requests for information.  I perform weather briefings via WebEx on upcoming significant or impactful weather to both the media and internal and external clients across the Prairie Provinces and the north.

Clients such as provincial, federal and territorial emergency management organizations have expressed positive feedback regarding the weather notifications that are produced for them. These weather summaries are sent out well in advance of upcoming significant weather and provide supplementary information to the official forecasts on weather.gc.ca.  Clients are able to prepare well in advance of upcoming significant weather and have expressed that the additional information has been highly beneficial to their planning process.

The best and the most interesting part of the job is the collaboration with my colleagues in the development of this innovative position. There is also a high degree of autonomy and independence which is empowering. It is both exciting and very rewarding to see our ideas brought to fruition.

I would say there are many advantages to working for the federal public service which shouldn't be understated. That said, there are many challenges that exist now with the public service of Canada that didn't exist in the past.  I would therefore advise current students to pursue a well-rounded education that encourages and/or requires them to develop skill sets that are applicable to a variety of different career choices be it the public service or elsewhere.

Linda Howes - Senior Forensic Accountant
BA Honours Criminal Justice (2016)
Bachelor of Accounting Science, University of Alberta (2004)

I provide financial analysis and expert advice to law enforcement and government departments.  I work predominantly on analysis relating to criminal cases involving a financial component.  These cases could include fraud, money laundering, proceeds of crime and murder. I may be called upon to testify in court as an expert witness.  In order to do so the court has to accept my qualifications as an expert (voir dire process).As an expert witness my role is to summarize and simplify complex financial information to enable the trier of fact (judge and jury) to use the information in their decision making process.

I have worked on diverse engagements – the work changes based on the type of files I am working on.  Forensic accounting involves extreme attention to detail while also requiring a creative mindset on the part of the accountant which is a very unusual mix.  My position requires exercising professional judgement on a constant basis – I appreciate that I am not often engaged in repetitive work.  I am part of a larger team of forensic accountants and investigators but work independently. I love most parts of my job and look forward to coming to work every day.

I started with the government before I took my UWinnipeg degree.  I went back to UWinnipeg to get my criminal justice degree because the subject matter interests me and I hope to go on to get my Masters at UWinnipeg. I am hoping to transition to teaching and research when I retire from my current profession.  It has provided me with a better understanding of why certain investigative processes are in place as well as being able to research case law.

My advice to students interested in the federal public service is apply as a summer student to various departments and positions. The Government of Canada is a respectful, diverse working environment, with good pay, benefits and advancement opportunities.  If you are not currently bilingual then think about taking French, it is helpful if you want to advance to an executive position.