Emerging talent: Andy Carrozza

Duration: 6 minutes, 35 seconds.

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Andy Carrozza
Andy Carrozza

From the outside looking in, starting a career within the Government of Canada (GC) can seem intimidating—a big feat, with many hurdles. For starters, there are endless opportunities and so many different departments to choose from. On the other hand, the application process itself can be a bit intensive. But once you’re in―it can be the most rewarding experience in the world. And for recent graduate, Andy Carrozza, it has been exactly that.

The student experience

My colleague and I meet with Andy for the first time over a virtual chat―cameras on—and Andy greets us with a big smile. He’s here to tell us all about his journey, as a recent graduate who is kicking off his GC career at the Public Service Commission (PSC).

“I first joined the PSC as a student two years ago while completing my undergraduate studies at Carleton University. This was my first-ever government job opportunity, and I was so excited to start,” he tells us. Working in the GC is exciting, especially as a student―not only is it a great experience but there’s potential to be hired post-graduation. “After working as a student, I was bridged in upon graduating,” Andy tells us. Student bridging is the hiring of a student, who was previously employed in the public service through a student program.

“I began university and started my communications program and that’s when I knew I wanted to work in communications within the GC, but I wasn’t hearing back from my applications and I began to feel defeated.”

Prior to working as a student at the PSC, Andy had been trying for years to get into the public service, “As soon as I graduated high school, I started applying and I continued to apply year after year.” When asked how he knew it would be a good fit, Andy tells us, “I began university and started my communications program and that’s when I knew I wanted to work in communications within the GC, but I wasn’t hearing back from my applications and I began to feel defeated.” I think many of us can relate to Andy, especially those of us trying to get our foot in the door. Although the application process can be trying, it’s important to continue pushing forward and never give up―all it takes is one successful application and a manager who sees your potential. And that’s exactly what happened with Andy.

“I was browsing through job opportunities one day and something stood out to me. It read ‘Employment Opportunities for Students with Disabilities (EOSD)―at first, I was hesitant because my disability isn’t visible. I was scared to self-declare. But I knew I had a disability, so I took the risk and I’m so happy I did. Within a month, my current manager reached out to me and that’s where it all took off. The EOSD program changed my life.” Programs like EOSD, not only assist students with disabilities in their hunt for a job within the public service, but are the stepping stones to a more inclusive GC; we all have something to contribute and when everyone is given equal opportunity to do so, we become a stronger force.

Communication makes the world go ‘round

“I’m able to have my hands in everything and the work is always evolving―that’s something I really love about my job.”

With his degree in communications, Andy really enjoys working as a communications officer ―whether it’s assisting with social media requests, liaising with the web team, or coordinating visuals with the multimedia team. “I’m able to have my hands in everything and the work is always evolving―that’s something I really love about my job,” he says.

Working on a strategic communications team, I ask Andy how his work differs now compared to when he was a student. “Although I’m still working on the same team, when I was working here as a student, my focus was mainly to assist in any way that I could. Whenever someone needed some extra help, I was ready to make myself available. However, now as an employee, I have many of my own responsibilities―I even have my own clients and my own projects. And I feel like I’m learning more and more each day,” he tells us.

While the work he’s doing continues to evolve, I know there must be something special about his current team, since he’s been with them for two years now. I ask him what drew him to his team and how he knew it was the right fit, he tells us “It can be scary starting a new job, especially as a student. When you join the public service, you’re joining a multi-faceted organization and sometimes that can be overwhelming when you’re new to the work. But everyone was so welcoming and helpful. They would always check in with me to make sure I was okay and that I understood the tasks at hand. If I didn’t, they would take the time to sit down with me and explain it. I’m so grateful for them.”

Just keep swimming

“I would like to move around, try out new departments. I think it’s important to branch out and see how different departments are doing things and expand my skillset.”

As we wrap up our conversation, I ask Andy where he sees himself in 5 years, he tells us “I would like to move around, try out new departments. I think it’s important to branch out and see how different departments are doing things and expand my skillset.” That’s another great thing about the GC, you’re never stuck in one spot, there is always that freedom to move around. When asked if he had any words of wisdom to share with students or those considering a career in the GC, Andy says, “if you’re like me and you’re trying to get your foot in the door―keep trying. If I can do it, you can do it. Don’t ever give up.”

 
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