To get ahead, you need to put in the time and effort to invest in yourself and your career. Education is an excellent way to gain knowledge, and it’s even better when it can be applied to your professional experience in the working world.
This is part of what makes The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education at Ryerson University so unique. You gain real-world knowledge and skills that help you advance in your personal and professional life. Take it from this seasoned government employee who used his experience at The Chang School as a springboard for not only his career but also for his continued education.
A Passion for Learning
Meet Colin Williams, a Management Consultant with the City of Toronto, where he oversees corporate strategic transformation, long-term financial planning, organizational transformation, and policy reformation. After completing The Chang School’s Certificate in Public Administration and Governance, Colin was so intrigued by the courses he had taken that he committed to further study and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration and Governance through Ryerson University. Completing his Chang School certificate and Ryerson degree inspired a long academic journey of continuous learning and professional development. Colin went on to receive a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Western Ontario and is currently working towards a Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Applied Science and Management at Ryerson University.
Colin admits that he genuinely loves education, and this was his biggest motivation when choosing to expand his knowledge at The Chang School.
Why The Chang School?
Colin has been interested in the public sector for a long time. “I pursued a career in the public service as it provided a wide range of learning opportunities and a strong sense of purpose”, Colin comments. However, moving up the corporate ladder, especially in the government, is a difficult task. Colin knew he had to stand out in order to advance his career, so he made a strategic move and started his lifelong learning path with The Chang School.
“Having worked in government since 2003, it made sense to apply to the Public Administration and Governance program as I was looking at advancing my career within the municipal sector. My goal has been to work in the public sector, and I have always viewed education as an important element for professional success,” says Colin.
He was also drawn to the convenience of the program at The Chang School, where he was able to continue working full-time and study at the same time. The flexibility of classes offered, with both online and in-person options, enhanced Colin’s experience. “I found that even with online courses, instructors got to know you on a personal level, and regularly communicated with you regarding your progress in the courses,” he says.
“My time at The Chang School has permitted me to enroll in my doctoral program at Ryerson University. I am also working towards the completion of my Chartered Professional Accountancy designation.”
What The Chang School Has to Offer
The program provided Colin with both the practical and theoretical skills and knowledge that he needed in his current and future positions within the public sector. “…The program gave me a new view of how governments operate, and the in-classroom discussions gave me new techniques when interviewing for management roles,” he adds.
Another skill he was able to master during the program was writing. “I think one of the most valuable skills I advanced during the program was my writing capability. I recognize just how important writing is, and being able to articulate a thought clearly and concisely is a skill that has served me well within all of my positions,” Colin says.
An important advantage that The Chang School offers is smaller classes to allow for more personalized learning. “Class sizes were considerably smaller, and the instructors of most of the courses had professional experience outside of an academic institution”, he notes. “Further, the students in the class also were in the workforce, contributing to in-depth classroom discussions, and expanding my personal professional network.
Finding Balance and Final Advice
While Colin found balancing full-time work with studies challenging at times, he believes it was truly worth it. Colin was able to hatch a stellar career and educational journey from his experience at The Chang School. The foundational training and professional development he gained has inspired him to consider future career goals as Deputy Minister of Health and Long-Term Care for the province of Ontario and as a tenured professor at a university’s business school. The Chang School opened these doors for him to fulfill his passions, make meaningful connections and gain knowledge related to his role in the public sector. Colin offers some final advice to anyone looking to enroll in continuing education at The Chang School.
“If you are considering taking a certificate program at The Chang School, my advice would be to ensure you can fully commit to the program, as it requires a tremendous amount of time and energy. But if your personal education advancement is important to you, like it is to me, then it is well worth the investment.”