“…organizations are the people who work for them and the people they serve”.
Jagdesh Singh, MPA(M), Class of 2021
Jagdesh Singh is a recent graduate of Dalhousie’s Master of Public Administration (Management) program. He currently works at the Ontario Canada Revenue Agency as a Senior International Auditor and shares how his time at Dalhousie has helped him be more aware of the intrinsic value of public service.
For Jagdesh what has resonated the most in his MPA(M) program is that the courses all share a common theme of ‘compassion in service to others’. As a result he feels that he has become a better person both in his professional and personal life.
For me, completion of the MPA(M) program has been a necessary confirmation of the understanding that people are the centre of groups, organizations and governments. We often take up graduate courses with the intention of making organizations that we work for, better at achieving their objectives. We tend to think that it is the organizations that do all of the heavy lifting, but for me, the true value of my time at Dalhousie has been the peeling back of that illusion and that the grounding of those organizations are the people who work for them and the people they serve.
For many of us in the not-for-profit and government sectors, we are keenly aware of the intrinsic value of public service, expanding our efforts beyond ourselves to a larger group in order to meet more complex needs such as climate change, pandemics and hardening political positions are undoubtedly on our plates but the course has taught me that the outcome of any organizational objective requires the people who work towards those organizational objectives to attach themselves to a higher ideal. Each course identified its own ideal such as professional, communication or accounting ethics but the one that was common to all is that of compassion in service to others. The pursuit of that ideal in any arena, at home, in the community or at work, makes us better humans and tunes us in to the needs of others even if the people we serve hold views that are different from our own.
Completing this program during a pandemic has been undoubtedly a challenge for many of us, I particularly missed meeting up at the Intensives with like minded colleagues and faculty. Those sessions built a community that reinforced the people—first inclination of many public servants. The collaborative environment is a natural extension what we do in our personal professional lives and the coursework and learned experiences from faculty and peers has enabled me to be a better person whether I am parenting, volunteering in my community or contributing to some aspect of my organizations’ goal. I am indeed thankful to my family for the support and encouragement during these years of study and wish new and continuing students the best in their programs.