Podcast on My Academic Career

Alex Rascanu, one of my best public management students, is a true public sector entrepreneur. Alex recently graduated with an M.P.A. from Dalhousie, after doing a B.B.A. at the University of Toronto Scarborough, which is where I had the honour to be his instructor. We’ve also kept in touch since then. He’s had a wide range of experience as the about page on his website shows. Right now he’s a stakeholder specialist for the Canadian Association for Supported Employment and he also has a podcast about career planning, aimed at people in his own cohort. And he’s also parenting three young children. (I admire the energy of exceptional young adults!)

Telling my Story

Alex interviewed me for his podcast, speaking retrospectively about my career. I talk about how my interest in politics and public policy led to an academic career, rather either politics or the public service – two other directions I seriously considered. I discuss my early research experiences: my doctoral dissertation on the economics of airport planning and my first book, which was on the bilingual air traffic control conflict in Quebec in the Seventies. I also discuss my subsequent research on public sector innovation and organizational narrative.

Life after the Ph.D.

Alex concluded the podcast asking me about career prospects for newly-minted Ph.D.’s. When I graduated universities were expanded, whereas now they are retrenching. I still believe in the value of a Ph.D., but those who embark on that journey should consider alternative destinations than the professoriate.

Thank you, Alex, for the opportunity to discuss my experience, and I hope it is of interest to both the audience of your podcast and of my blog.


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