Megan: Digital citizenship at the Canadian Digital Services
Megan Beretta was a student in the MSc in Social Science of the Internet in 2017-18. Before joining the OII, she completed a Bachelor of Social Science in Political Science and Communication at the University of Ottawa, and worked as part of the original team at the Canadian Digital Service.
What have you been up to since leaving the OII?
I’m now a Policy Advisor at the Canadian Digital Service (part of the Government of Canada), focusing on policy issues challenging the advancement of digital government in Canada. I love my work, and I get to use what I learned in my Master’s everyday – from digital ethics to quantitative methods!
After my time at OII, I was chosen to be part of a group of 10 fellows for the Institute for Canadian Citizenship for 2018-2019. The fellowship funded us to work on projects related to technology and citizenship, and my project focused on teaching Canadian youth about digital rights.
How did your time at the OII prepare you for this?
The OII’s variety of courses let me choose a career in tech policy: I was able to specialise, unofficially by taking courses in law and politics, and methods courses that would help me along the analytical path suited to government work. The flexibility of the thesis let me explore a question suited to my country and my context, opening up new areas of interest, but strengthening my knowledge and understanding of the Canadian political and governmental environment. There has been a lot of interest in Canada in this topic, so I have been well prepared to contribute to the vital policy discussions around digital rights, tech ethics, and the influences in technology companies in Canadian politics.
What job-seeking advice do you have for our students?
Use your interdisciplinary studies to your benefit – our studies have truly made us dynamic candidates for a wide variety of work. Helping employers understand how you fit into their organization is key, so be ready to demonstrate how you can add value with your unique skills and knowledge.
Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years I would like to be working to advance digital rights in Canada. I am not sure the venue for that yet, it might be through government, politics, or civil society. I would also like to continue doing research, because there isn’t sufficient research in this space studying the Canadian context – I may have further studies in my future!