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kurrika last won the day on May 22 2017

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  1. It depends on the positions people are hiring for. Some places do internships or coops for students or recent graduates. Some places do entry level positions where you don't need a ton of experience and basically just a degree. Some are more mid-level where you need a degree or graduate degree and a year or so of work experience. Recent call and excel skills. French skills if you are applying federally. But there are lots of ways to get into government. Just keep applying.
  2. A brief note on implications / pros and cons. Some people really like options to have a list of pros and cons underneath them. My preferred approach is to instead list implications. There are two reasons for this: Whether something is a pro or is a con is typically a matter of perspective. Many options will have pro and con lists that are mirror opposites. However, read the instructions. If they want pros and cons, give them pros and cons.
  3. Some common and easily corrected errors in test briefing notes - you will note that most of this advice is very similar to how to do a bit better at law school exams: Failure to read the instructions and the fact set - read and understand all the instructions Failure to take 10 minutes at the end to spellcheck and format for neatness / headings etc... Failure to apply the relevant policy principles - for example if you are writing a tax briefing note your note had better contain a brief discussion of tax policy principles and the options and implications of those options should be weighed against those principles. I assume other policy areas have their own policy principles - learn them before you write. Equity (horizontal and vertical) Economic Efficiency Administrative simplicity (for taxpayer and government). Some other good issues to think about: Precedent Me toos (a variation on precedent really - who else is going to try piggy back on a policy change) Cost to the fiscal plan Alternative options that leverage existing programs or taxes Options for fixing equity concerns - grants, leveraging other credits Hypothecated taxes - you should have a view as to whether these are bad or good and state why if that is an issue Revenue stability Failure to critically engage - if we have chosen a recent new program as the topic of analysis and the new program doesn't make policy sense, don't be afraid to point out where it falls down. Failure to critically engage with stakeholder comments or data / too much deference to stakeholders. If the background information provided says "the Dairy Lobby has stated that an increase on the deposit fee for milk containers will put 2000 farmers out of business" that is probably bullshit. Failure to use common sense - most of our written assignments state something along the lines of "you are free to make assumptions provided you clearly note that you have made an assumption". Assumptions let you use common sense or your own knowledge and can let you better grapple with the policy principles if you are missing data that would give you a clear answer. This is particularly true with the equity principles. A non-refundable seniors fitness tax credit probably has vertical equity issues and there may be weird things going on with how much tax seniors pay. An assumption could help you discuss those issues. Assumptions and a justification also let you do rough costing for options if there isn't enough data or missing data. Over doing the background section of a note. The meat of the note is in the discussion and analysis. Summarizing is easy. Getting the Minister's name wrong. Failure to manage your time. If there are 2 questions and 3 hours and the questions are both equally weighted, spend equal amounts of time on both questions. Don't give me an A on question one and a F- on question 2.
  4. Trinity Western Loses 7-2

  5. Post Screening Once you have screened into the competition there will be some form of assessment. In BC the assessment is typically broken into two parts: Skills and Knowledge Behavioural competencies Skills and Knowledge will typically be assessed through a written test. In a policy shop this will almost always involve writing a briefing note and may involve an excel test of some sort. I can not speak for common practice across government but I have seen tests in a similar fashion to law school tests - typically there is not enough time to write a perfect test and this is deliberate. Normally 2-3 hours is allocated for the written test. The expectations for the written test vary based on the level of position being hired - an entry level position the expectations would be lower than a mid level position and then lower than a director. An entry level policy job would likely involve preparing an executive summary of a policy paper or writing a basic briefing note when given a lot of information. A very basic note. A mid level policy job would involve preparing an options note when given some information. For example, a note may ask for an analysis of a proposed policy - "The Minister has expressed interest in creating a seniors fitness tax credit similar to the existing child fitness tax credit, please provide a briefing note" and "here is a bunch of data about seniors and tax rates". Common practice is to have a briefing note topic that is "ripped from the headlines" - eg a live issue, a recent election commitment, a recent budget measure etc... Briefing notes typically follow a format, here are some links to some resources that talk about writing briefing notes: https://web.uvic.ca/~sdoyle/E302/Notes/WritingBriefingNotes.html https://www.publicsectorwriting.com/?page_id=6 Short rant about briefing notes
  6. Trinity Western Loses 7-2

    Something a little better than the headnotes?
  7. Trinity Western Loses 7-2

    I'd appreciate a summary if someone has time. All my mental energy is being used up on something else.
  8. I will add to this as I have time. I've seen some poor applications and poor interview performances this past year. Stage 1 - Applying for a job and getting screened in or screened out. This advice is specific to the BC government hiring process - it would be useful for other people in other provinces or the federal government to pipe up. You are not applying for a summer position or an articling spot. I don't care if you like biking or long walks on the beach or if you are a good fit or if you volunteer to remove crude oil from baby ducks. At the screening stage all I care if you meet the criteria and/or merit criteria. Review the screening requirements (https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/careers-myhr/job-seekers/application-process/screening). Applicants are responsible for clearly demonstrating their qualifications in their application and questionnaire (if applicable). If the job posting says "must have x degree - clearly state on your resume that you have the degree or the equivalent". For example, don't say you have a diploma in Business if the job says it requires a degree without explaining why the diploma is the equivalent. You will get screened out. Your resume and cover letter should clearly indicate how you meet the required experience. If the job posting says you need extensive experience briefing senior executives or the equivalent in writing and verbally and your resume just says "I'm a commercial lawyer with 7 years experience" it doesn't help. Explain why being a lawyer is equivalent (did you brief CEOs? Do appellate work?) . If the job wants experience providing policy analysis and presenting options, talk about both requirements - policy analysis and presenting options. Start with a bullet list of the required education and experience and build your cover letter and resume around that. Make it easy for the person reading it to screen you in. Some people even just baldly state in the back of the cover letter - here is how I meet the requirements (I don't know if this is common in other governments). That makes it pretty easy to screen. This is a mechanical exercise - resumes are being screened in or out in bulk and resumes and cover letters are not being agonized over. Failure to meet a single requirement means you are automatically out. Cover letters are generally just being assessed on whether you meet the criteria. But it is pretty obvious when you are using the wrong cover letter (talking about your desire to do health policy work when applying to a tax shop) or a bulk cover letter. Grammar and spelling also still matter. But your cover letter isn't going to land you an interview on the strength of your prose or your interesting life history. If you don't understand the job requirements or want them explained - EMAIL THE RECRUITER AND ASK TO TALK TO THEM ON THE PHONE ABOUT IT. There is a contact person for each government posting. You can ask them what they are looking for. If a job is being posted externally (ie, you can see it) there likely isn't a preferred internal candidate (it would just be posted internally if that was the case) so this is your opportunity to get in. Eligibility lists are a great thing. People hate running hiring competitions and eligibility lists last for a year. If you see a posting with an eligibility list, you should apply.
  9. TWU and the SCC

  10. Bay St Articles Offers

    Get drunk at the firm retreat and vomit down the air ducts of a partner's time share vacation place...
  11. Solicitor Exam - Tax Woes

    Eenie Meenie Miney Mo?
  12. Start volunteering for a federal political party early in your career. Not donating money but donating your personal time. In a world of grasping semi competent poli sci graduates and student council reps you will stand out. 15-20 years from now you will get your pay off.
  13. Suits For Men

    Mix hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dish soap (as a binder) and use it as a stain treatment and it should get the yellow stains out. Oxyclean should do it as well.
  14. SCC Clerkship Chances?

    I'd do another. If I didn't have a wife and kids to support.
  15. The Value of an LLM

    I do policy. So... no?