Misu Paul

Misu Paul
Grad Year: 
Asst. Program Officer
Natural & Applied Sciences
Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Q: Briefly describe your current position and responsibilities, including challenges/rewards. How did you go about your job search upon graduating -- what strategies were most successful and why do you think you were hired?

In my work I deal with consumer protection issues as they relate to food. I applied to jobs that had a direct or indirect connection to the sector I was interested in (regulatory), combined with my field of technical expertise (biology and biotechnology).

Q: List the key positions you have held since graduation, and any post-graduate degrees/diplomas you earned after graduation. If applicable, list any other ways you are involved in your profession or in your community (member of a professional association, involved as a leadership volunteer, etc).

I completed an internship with a health products company in my senior year and briefly worked in clinical research after graduation. I have continued to pursue career relevant professional training which is a perk in the public service. I am also a member of the Community of Federal Regulators on GCPedia.

Q: What personal characteristics/skills are most important for success in your job/field?

My job requires initiative, judgement and flexibility. You also need fantastic research, writing and people skills.

Q: During your university career did any key experiences assist you in making your career choices? If yes, how so? (Internships? Extern Program? Volunteering? Student clubs? Summer job? Mentorship?)

I did a summer research opportunity project in first year, an internship and an independent research project in my final year. I gained much more career direction from these courses than in-class courses.

Q: What have been the keys to your success? What advice would you give to students who wish to pursue a similar career path? If you had the chance to plan your studies and your career path again, what would you do differently (if anything)?

The keys to my success were networking and a creative, analytical approach to problem solving. I would advise students who want to do writing/research based work in the field of biology, to put in effort in understanding research methodologies and writing techniques, as well as concepts of biology. For students intersted in public service, apply for the student internships and placements in the federal, provincial and municipal governments. Although I came into the job from the private sector, most of their recruitment really goes back to students.